The Idea Of Being In Love

For the longest time now, I think I’m in love with the idea of being in love.

It’s an idea created through the fairy tales at first, then the romcoms and all the mushy songs. There is never any denying that I have always romanticised everything. Whether it’s the weather or a special conversation, there are some things that always try to enforce the idea of being in love.

So I thought of penning down a few thoughts about love that cross my mind often.

Yes, love is important. There will always be people who will deny it and the importance of it, but believe me, they are probably the people who crave for it the most. I recently read a fantastic book called the “The Palace of Illusions” by Chitra Devakaruni where the author wrote that a person will always crave most for what he has not received in his childhood. Somehow, I couldn’t agree more. So don’t trust people when they say love is a waste of time and energy. It never is.

People mess up. People change. I am probably the worst when it comes to letting go, but I have learnt that giving it time is the key. From holding on too tightly, there will definitely come a time when letting go won’t hurt as much as you imagine it will. Forgive. That’s extremely important.

I have also realised that it’s somehow more tempting to fall for men who seem dark and exciting. My friends have told me this a million times, but it’s the mystery about the “wrong” men that probably draws you to them. Believe me, a few drunken encounters and 3 a.m. conversations, you’ll know that every single person has a story to tell. You just need to give them the time and space. The “wrong” guys just know how to work the charm and present the story in ways that will get you excited. That is it.

Growing up, and particularly college will broaden your minds. I have learnt to never judge people. No matter what their choices in life are, there is always some reason behind them. Accept and understand.

Love is strange. Very strange. I always thought it was easy to put down labels on each relationship of mine. Best friend, acquaintance, crush or something else. I learnt, that there can also be relationships you cannot label. Those which you cannot put a tag on. People will probably not understand, and they don’t need to. You aren’t answerable to them. Let it remain undefined, as long as you are happy. These people will be very special and sometimes, not defining it is beautiful in its own way.

Everyone needs to experience heartbreak at least once. I think there’s much to learn from it. Pain is never bad. Crib about it, cry your heart out, stay indoors and curse the hormones. But if you never feel the sadness how will you ever know what happiness feels like? It is only after a heartbreak that you can fall in love again. The next time around, you’ll value things more. You’ll learn to trust again.

In a milder way, the above is true about fights too. Forgive and forget. You’ll somehow become closer to the person if both of you manage to do that. Letting go because of petty issues is not acceptable.

The idea of what you want from a guy will change over the years. From stupid criteria framed when you were 16 with the girlfriends, respect and kindness will come into the picture. Fall for a guy who never trivialises it, when you cry. Who isn’t ever too busy to ask you how your day was. Who will not crib if you want to dropped home on certain days. Who is proud of being with you and wants to be with you as much as you want to be with him. Who you’re comfortable with.

Lastly, I know this post is more of a rant, but I just needed to write it all down. There is no harm in being in love with the idea of being in love. It is painful, crazy and beautiful all at the same time, I tell you.

k2
As the sky turned golden. Picture clicked by my father, Saikat Bhadra.

Kovalam- An Affair With the Sea.

In the end of April, 2015, I went on a family trip to Kerala. It was a much needed break from the daily routine. It proved to be a lovely trip with lots of relaxation, mountains, chilly air, houseboats, pristine beaches and quality time spent with my family. It was a also a trip, where I lay down a lot on hammocks and enjoyed music. Dad clicked some amazing pictures, which is what I’d like to show you all in this blog post.

I’m specially dedicating this blog post to a beautiful place called Kovalam in Kerala. It has some of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen.

A Panoramic View.
A Panoramic View.

Kovalam boasts of three main beaches, namely the Lighthouse beach, the Hawa beach and Samudra beach. The pictures is this post are mainly from the Samudra beach, as our hotel was situated on this one. We stayed in the Kerala tourism hotel, which was situated right on the beach and had sprawling gardens and many hammocks.

p 66

The blue waters, accompanied with calm waves and huge boulders adorning the beach, the place looked spectacular during sunset. To enjoy the sunset while sitting on one of these boulders was an experience I’ll never forget. As the sky turned gradually from blue to yellow and golden and then reddish, the fact that the beach remained nearly empty aded to the charm. As a person who hates crowds and noise, this was everything I could ask for.kovalam 2
My sister is the more lively one and thus, could not resist walking into the sea. She found the idea of just sitting to be rather “boring”. So she jumped about and splashed about a little in the waves.

p 57

As the sky turned golden...
As the sky turned golden…

But is a trip to the sea complete without some serious splashing about in the waters?

I guess not.

The next few pictures, in my opinion, express how much joy the waves can bring. I had initially decided not to plunge into the waters and had decided to sit on a pretty recliner and sip coconut water, but after watching my sister splashing about, I really could not resist for long.

14

Initially, I decided to just dip my feet, but soon I was all wet.

16

Even though mountains remain my eternal favourite, activity wise, the sea indeed has a lot to offer.

The expressions speak a lot, in my opinion.

19

My sister put in her best efforts to make me sit down. Then began our eternal fight of splashing water on each other.

25

27

All said and done, this was one my best trips ever. This was just one segment of the tour, there’ll be more.

All pictures, as I mentioned, have been clicked by my father Saikat Bhadra.

A December To Remember.

Winter.

Picnics. Hot coffee. Blankets.  Love.

Is it just the weather though that makes this time of the year so special? Wher exactly does the charm of winter lie? Is it a way of bidding goodbye with a blast or having a good time to forget the sorrows that the year brought?

Having stayed in a city like Calcutta all my life, where it’s mostly hot and humid all year round, this one word spells happiness. I’m writing this because it was today that there was a lovely wind blowing when I woke up, probably announcing the arrival of winter  (hopefully) and that got me insanely excited.

So here are a few reasons which make this season a favourite for me.

The happiness all around. With most college exams ending around December, the dip in temperature and Christmas approaching, it always proves to be a very happy month.

I think half of Park Street’s charm lies in all the happy faces around. Yes, all the pretty lights too, but it’s mostly the spirit of the people who go there anticipating a brilliant end to a year, which makes it such a special place. I have a friend who told me recently, “You know Rupsha, Park street is too special a place to go on a date with anybody random. I keep it reserved only for a few.” It’s this special place that Park street holds in our hearts that can never have another replacement.

December calls for good food and a great time spent with the ones who matter.. Koraishutir kochuri (peas kochuri). Nolen gur er paayesh. Christmas cake. Hot coffee on chilly evenings. The list is really endless, but it would be unfair if I did not mention the rooftop barbecue. There’s a little story to this, which I’d like to share.

1604446_10203024120914869_2023263150_n
Most anticipated, the koraishutir kochuri.

 

So one 24th evening, my dad, mom and I went to Park Street for dinner. This was about 10 years ago. However, my dad hates crowds and somehow didn’t enjoy it much. So the next year, in an attempt to make our Christmas special, he made his own barbecue kit. I invited four of my childhood friends. there were a couple of my parent’s friends, and that’s it. Dad set up his tent (He trekked a lot at one point of time) on the terrace for the kids, arranged for a few lights and we spent all evening having delicious chicken and listening to ghost stories inside the tent. That party has become a ritual now and any person who has attended it once will want to attend it every year, guaranteed. This year, the guest list is almost touching 30 and Rheya (who had seen the first edition) will be here after about missing 3/4 editions due to college. From new lips smacking recipes, succulent chicken to the momo that was added to the menu a couple of years later, the party is one that I personally look forward to every year. The rooftop barbecue happens around 5 times in the winter season nowadays, but the one on Christmas is the biggest. Be nice to me and I might invite you for the next. 😉

1613977_10203030610237098_1728718781_n
Clicked about two years ago.

It’s the season when the best people come back to town for holidays. On a very personal note, each year, more and more people seem to be leaving the city to either study or work outside. But thanks to the holidays during this time, they all come back to visit. That always calls for an extra round of celebrations, doesn’t it? This year, my best friend Rheya, studying in Nagpur and Bablai dada, studying in Chicago come back around the same time in December. Toshani, studying in Orissa is already in town. Only I know how excited I am.

 

Blankets. It’s the season when my sister will cuddle me endlessly in the morning because she refuses to get out of the blanket.

1779744_10203070796121720_464012354_n
That’s my best friend Adrija. She literally refuses to get out of this even when I go over.

 

Hot coffee. Long walks. Romance. I’d leave it to that as I’m sure each you have your own romantic dreams and fantasies associated with winter. There is no denying, that it is only when you spend the special times in the arms of someone you love, is when you can call the year complete.

Picnics, meeting old friends and dressing up in the fashionable woolens.

It is also the time for all shutterbugs to get out their cameras. Fresh dew and the mist and fog make some of the perfect frames.

 

SAI_7149ll
Those are dew drops on the spider’s web that make it look this way. Picture clicked by Saikat Bhadra.

 

The list of things that make winter special is endless. I know I emphasized on December, but that’s because it’s this month that sees so much joy and festivity around.There is an unmistakable hope in everyone’s eyes. Hope for a better year next year. Hope of being together with the favourite people for longer. A hope to let go and enjoy the last few days of the year because you just a fixed number of trips around the sun anyway and it calls for a celebration..

There is an unmistakable hope in everyone’s eyes. Hope for a better year next year. Hope of being together with the favourite people for longer. A hope to let go and enjoy the last few days of the year because you just a fixed number of trips around the sun anyway and it calls for a celebration..

Or maybe, there is a little bit of pixie  dust in the air that brings about the magic.

So go out there and make it a December to remember.

The Heritage Quiz – CREDAI Bengal’s Realty Expo 2015

The Heritage Quiz, an event conducted as a part of CREDAI Bengal’s Realty Expo 2015, was held on the 6th of November, in the Milan Mela grounds, where the Realty Expo was being held. I as a member of the audience and part of Kolkata Bloggers thoroughly enjoyed the quiz, hosted by none other than Mir Afsar Ali.

Mir. Photograph by CREDAI Bengal.
Mir.
Photograph by CREDAI Bengal.

The quiz was broadly on the city of joy, Kolkata and touched upon all possible facets of the city including mishti, pujo, bus routes, iconic areas, personalities and more. The quiz saw participation from some of the most well-known faces of the city namely, Anindya Chatterjee and Upal Sengupta (of Chandrabindoo fame), Tathagata and Debleena Datta, Sidhu and Kamaleshwar Mukherjee, Rupankar Bagchi and Chaitali, Lopamudra Mitra and Joy Sarkar, Ritwick Chakraborty and Sohini Sengupta. All of those taking part are people who have made a mark in the areas of music, theatre and more in Kolkata and a quiz testing their knowledge of the city seemed quite interesting at the onset.

The Quiz in progress.
The Quiz in progress.

With a quizmaster like Mir, who is an acclaimed radio jockey, television anchor, comedian and more, the quiz promised to be an entertaining one and it lived up to all expectations.

There were 6 rounds in total.
Three rounds were the general question and answer, followed by audio and visual rounds and even rapid fires with buzzer rounds.

The quiz started with quick introductions, with quite a few jokes being cracked about Sidhu’s new hairstyle, who was expected to win, Joy Sarkar taking up too much time to finish his makeup and more. It set the mood for an evening filled with humour and very intriguing questions.

Round 1 started with the question ‘Whats special about the Ramlal Bazaar to Haltu bus route that crosses B.B.D.Bag and other points in the city?’. The question could not be answered by any, although the answer seemed quite simple after Mir revealed it – It the bus route number 1. There were questions about what “lalu bhulu” as a product refers to, which is commonly sold on local trains under this name. Correctly answered by Sidhu and Kamaleshwar, it refers to the pens which have two colours of ink in the same pen – red and blue. From the first transport strike in Calcutta, called by the palanquin bearers to Mahatma Gandhi being in Beliaghata on 15th August 1947 the round compiled questions from several different fields.

Round 2 touched upon topics like Durga puja, sweets, makers of the Bandel church and even dacoits.
One of them was ‘ Which Durga Pujo in Kolkata was formerly known as Company’s puja? ‘. The answer being the famous Sovabazaar Rajbari pujo, which, after the infamous Battle of Plassey was attended by Lord Clive and hence called “Company’s Pujo”. Another asked about the makers of the Bandel Church, which after many guesses by various teams was answered correctly – The Portuguese.

By this time, the audience area was brimming with people and everyone was majorly engrossed.

Photograph by CREDAI Bengal.
Photograph by CREDAI Bengal.

Round 3 was the audio round. Started with a lovely rendition of the famous song “Shohaag chaand bodoni dhoni” and the question being about which category of folk song or lok geeti this belongs to. The correct answer was “Dhamail” or the kind that is sung for brides in weddings. Doing justice to everyone, this round touched upon eminent personalities like Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Suchitra Sen, Uttam Kumar and more.

Round 4 was another one of the “dry rounds” as Mir called them and comprised of regular questions. One of the most interesting questions of this round was ‘In the B.B.D.Bag area, the pin code is 70001, but only one spot has a unique pin code of 700062. Which building is this?’ The correct answer was Raj Bhavan. Another one was, “India lost Eden’s first one-day match to which country?’ The correct answer being none other than Pakistan, although it was arrived at after quite a few guesses. Another one asked, “Who started the trend of summer vacations in schools and colleges of Bengal?”. Answered correctly by Tathagata and Debleena, the answer was Vidyasagar.

Round 5 was the very interesting audio-visual round. It had a picture of the Shyambazaar more before the iconic statue of the Bose on horseback was installed and it was answered correctly by the help of a famous medical shop located there. It had questions about illustrations on the cover of a Charlie Chaplin book, done by Satyajit Ray. It also had a clip of Sourav Ganguly’s first ever run scored in an international one-day match. From the scriptwriter of Madhumati to the name of the Chevrolet shown in the movie Ajantik, this round also encompassed various iconic aspects of the city.

After the fifth round, team Anindya and Upal were leading with 70 points, followed closely by Sidhu and Kamaleshwar with 60 points and then the rest.

To keep the audience thoroughly engaged and engrossed, Mir also had several questions just for the audience. There were questions about Feluda, Jagodhhatri Pujo and more. Needless to say, my favourite was “What’s the most iconic and famous item in Milan da’s canteen in Jadavpur University?”.

The final round was a buzzer round in the form of a rapid fire. This round had the easier lot of questions, but whoever pressed the buzzer first would get to answer it, making it a race against time. Contestants mixed up answers in the rush of the moment, and tension of having negative marking and excitement could be seen on all faces around. From Devdas’s surname to the very new Parama Flyover, these questions ranged from locations to mega serials and much more.

The end of this round saw a tie between the teams of Anindya and Upal and that of Kamaleshwar and Sidhu. The tie breaker, also in the form of a buzzer question, was a recording of a male voice singing, the man behind the voice being the question.
It was none other than Rabindranath Tagore, which was answered correctly by Anindya and Upal.

The winners, with Mr Sushil Mohta and Mr Nandu Belani. Photograph by CREDAI Bengal.
The winners, with Mr Sushil Mohta and Mr Nandu Belani.
Photograph by CREDAI Bengal.

With a befitting end to a wonderful quiz, the audience was left smiling and asking for more. With Mir’s unmatched wit and humour, coupled with intelligent questions, this was an enriching event.

An event like this also makes it more entertaining for most. As Mir said, in the Realty Expo, organised by CREDAI Bengal, with the leading companies changing the face of the city every single day, this quiz was an endeavour to indulge in nostalgia and have a look again at the City of Joy.

The Realty Expo organised by CREDAI Bengal is being held at the Milan Mela ground from 6th to 8th November 2015. It is a celebration of real estate, and its contribution to increasing societal standards in gradual steps. Do take a look at their website atwww.realtyexpo.co.in

The Joy of Spreading Love

Each year, the city decks up in its brightest hues and starry lights during the festive season. The city doesn’t sleep for more than just the four days. The pandals bewilder many with the amount of skill and expertise that the workers exhibit. The spectacular lighting, new clothes, never ending queues in front of eateries and dressing up is what comprises pujo for most of us. What always attracts me the most, is how happy everyone becomes during this time of the year. But is everyone really that happy?

There still exists a great number of people, for whom pujo doesn’t mean all of this. Pujo perhaps mean extra work to earn a few more bucks. In the midst of this, there are children, who deserve to enjoy childhood and pujo the way most people do, get left out. They deserve to see all the magnificent decorations and feel happy, just as we do.

In an incredible initiative by Vivel, ITC’s leading personal care brand, these kids will get to experience just that. Vivel Pujo Love is an initiative, that plans to take underprivileged children around town to witness the spectacle called Durga Pujo.
They’ll be taken around town, by Dev, a popular Bengali actor and brand ambassador of Vivel.

Kumortuli. .
Kumortuli. The kids here lead very ordinary lives and perhaps never get to witness what the idols’ new, decorated homes look like.

In my personal opinion, it is the children who can enjoy pujo in its most unadulterated form. It is only during childhood, that most of us live without a bag full of worries of pending work. So these, kids, who have usually always felt a deficit of love might finally, thanks to this campaign feel happy and joyous.

At home, dad and I always gifted new clothes to the sons and daughters of our domestic help and other women who did similar chores in the campus. I have personally witnessed how a small act of kindness leaves them so excited.

So this festive season, do your bit to make kids feel a part of the celebrations. Support this initiative by Vivel, so that more and more corporates take up similar initiatives to make the city a happier place. Support this, so that these kids and enjoy the rhythm of the dhaak and the joy of new clothes, just as we do every year.

If you too want to be a part of Vivel Pujo Love, click a selfie with a child on your phone and post it on the timeline of Vivel using the hashtag – #VivelPujoLove.

Spread love.
Spread happiness.

Have a memorable Pujo.

Songs and Poetry – Apeejay Bangla Sahityo Utshob

At the last session of the Apeejay Bangla Sahityo Utshob, we witnessed a lovely discussion on modern day music and songs, and its relation with poetry.
With Tridib Chattopadhyay as the moderator and well-known musician Surojit Chatterjee as the speaker, it seemed to be the perfect end to the “festival”.

The member of the popular Bengali band “Bhoomi” spoke about how poetry need not be understood completely to be enjoyed. They need to be felt. Quite similar to music, I think. It isn’t always necessary to understand every lyric to understand a song. The tune and the melody, quite often steal our hearts.

A session on song and poetry would remain incomplete without a mention of Tagore, who in my opinion, composed the finest of them both. Imdadul Haq discussed that and more.
Modern day Bengali songs, have evolved over the ages to become what it is today. It has adapted to suit the preferences of the youth, and it is this transition that marks the true beauty of the language. Where it can evolve, change and still make people love it.

The session came to an end with a soulful rendition of “Kandey shudhu Mon keno kandey rey”: a Bengali modern classic. The day could not have ended on a better note.

Literature Has To Be Controversial To Be Popular

The third session was about how important controversies are in making a book popular.

With references from Shakespeare, which not only contained vulgar songs and cheap jokes, but will always remain a favourite, this session, I understood will definitely be very interesting.Yes, controversy does make a work popular, but it can never be a benchmark for good literature.

Ranjan Bandhopadhyay, who has written highly popular books like “Kadambari Debi’s suicide note” which became controversial and famous, spoke about how he wrote it because the lady intrigued him and thus, he had to put it down in a fictional piece. He never thought that it would make so much news or become so popular. He looks for interesting pieces of information, which would get reader intrigued but does not do that to make the book scintillating. He has also written books about Vivekananda, which did not become controversial, but was loved nonetheless. He believes, that whether a book becomes popular or not, is not about controversies, and is totally dependant on individual authors.
Tilottama Mazumdar said, that controversy and literature cannot be anticipated and so, the author can never guess what becomes controversial and what doesn’t. Discussion and controversy is not necessarily negative. It is only when an author hurts the sentiments of a community or section of people, is the time when a danger arises. The publisher however, does look for certain elements of controversy because he needs to publish books that would sell for ages.

Swapnomoy Chakroborty, who has taken the road less travelled by and written books on transgenders, spoke about how some books, when they come in the news, only paves the way for betterment.

Kaberi Roychowdhury, a bold writer, currently residing in Bangladesh, has a readership that includes the youth. She says, that sometimes, even the publishers purposely create a controversy to highlight some particular author or work. She says that when someone writes a character they elevate the characters to a level where no one can identify them. Especially if that character has been written from life. They breakdown the character to a level where none of their loved ones would recognize them. Writers have to write forever: so for them, they need to find ways to survive in their craft. Sometimes there are scenes which might not be accepted by the world at large, but needs to be depicted by the writers to substantiate their point in the book. Raat bhor brishti was controversial but she did not understand it during the time of its release.

The session contained a healthy argument about controversies and literature. It opened up new ways of looking at the entire idea of controversies, which not necessarily is negative. In the end, any publicity is indeed a way of making a book famous, and that can definitely make a book more read than the usual.

Writing out of love, or for readers? – Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utshob

The second session at the Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utshob, being held at the Oxford Bookstore, Park Street had speakers like Anish Deb, Prachoto Gupta, Bani Basu, Ullash Mullick and Dipanwita Ray.
The authors seem ideal for this session, as all of them are from varied fields of literature. Anish Deb deals primarily with ghosts and the supernatural, while Ullash Mullick is a filmmaker and Bani Basu is a prolific author whose works have been regularly published in Desh, apart from others.

In Session.
In Session.

With a very witty introduction, involving how diabetes patients will always crave for sweets and how its not always okay to comply with what the heart wants.

Bani Basu began with how all authors initially write out of love, but then mould it into something that readers will love. Whether a writer ultimately will love the finished product or not, is debatable, but the publisher, primarily has to like it.

Pracheto Gupta, says how his writing is mostly born out of a fusion of both. He writes to satisfy himself, as well as, to earn a living. According to him, it is a constant quest for an author to fuse both sides –  to please himself and to impress readers. He says, a reader will love a writers writing only when the reader is inquisitive about what the author’s heart wants.

Anish Deb went on to use the analogy of which came first, the hen or the egg, to describe the topic. Generally, he has observed that whatever pleases him the most, also seems to impress readers a lot. He would always choose to express his feelings and write his heart out, instead of thinking about whether readers would like it.

Ullash Mullick, who mostly writes humorous pieces, says that its a reflection of his humour in real life. He feels, that in todays age, he cannot claim that pleasing readers can be of much good as the readership has decreased significantly anyway. He prefers writing, and laughing on his own.

Bani Basu says, when she reads, she prefers knowing the genres she hasn’t explored or doesn’t know of herself. As a reader, its those pieces that intrigues her most. Anish Deb says, writing science fiction has been his passion right from his childhood.

The discussion, indeed, made me think too. It is true, that each reader is different and preferences vary widely. Some love cheesy romances and some love action and the thrill. As an author, it is perhaps a very tough job to understand what he should cater to. It is important, that the works are loved and read. Pracheto Gupta summed it up pretty well. He said, that every author also becomes a reader simultaneously. He needs to close his eyes, and let himself get into his own writings and let his own writings make him laugh and cry. How the reader interprets a writing, whether he relates to the character or not, should just be left to the readers. It isn’t something that can be predicted or anticipated. That shouldn’t be tampered or bothered with. As an author, he needs to be content even if five people read and love his books instead of looking for numbers.

With the flow of writings, often, writing takes its own course. Characters form in the flow and often, even the author is left astonished. The discussion, involved wit, humour and serious debate amongst much more. Topics like generation gap, literature for kids and much more were also discussed in great detail. Most importantly, the discussion gave me a clear insight into what goes on in the mind of the author. Indeed, writing needs both. One without the other is not a very happy possibility.
…………………………………………………………………………………………..

Live Blogging from Apeejay Bangla Sahitya Utshob.
You can also check out live updates on twitter with the hashtag #ABSU2015

A Celebration Of Kolkata

At the age of seventeen, most of us pass our time glued to the screens of our smartphones (much to the dismay of our parents). However, Mahima Varma, a student of The Loreto House, Middleton Row put this addiction to a very different purpose and shot a beautiful short film on Calcutta through the lens of her iPhone.

Mahima, talking about how she made her short film.
Mahima, talking about how she made her short film.

The short film called “Kolkata: My Heartbeat” was screened at the ITC Sonar Bangla Hotel on the 26th of September. The special screening of Mahima Varma’s film was under the banner of WelcomArt. WelcomArt is an initiative of ITC Hotels to promote the Arts and provide a platform to young and emerging talents The afternoon started with a performance of the Loreto House school band. this was followed by a discussion of what makes Kolkata so dear to us.

The band performance.
The band performance.

Then, the film was screened. It is a film that sought to capture the many facets of Kolkata through the mobile phone camera. From early morning “chai” to men doing their daily round of exercise near Rabindra Sarobar to the glitz and glamour of five-star hotels and Quest mall, this film captured it all. It also had the flooded streets during the monsoons and the trademark yellow taxis stuck in traffic jams. It successfully portrayed the cricket frenzy that hits the city during the IPL season. From jalebis and phuchkas to fancy decorative cakes, it also showed bits of the culinary delights that Calcutta has to offer. There was also a portrayal of the rich culture in the spheres of art, dance and music. The film also had various other clips which made me fall in love with the city all over again. The music, composed by Bickram Ghosh, was splendid and brought out the essence of the movie even better. Usha Uthup’s vocals ended the short film.

The screening of the film.
The screening of the film.

Indeed, Kolkata is a city of many shades. It offers so much and accepts each individual as they are. With a tremendous amount of warmth and a heart of its own, Kolkata will usually leave a visitor happy and asking for more.

All of seventeen years of age, Mahima captured the essence of the city beautifully. Here’s saying cheers to her creativity and the constant source of love, Kolkata.

……………………………………………………………………………………….

I went to this event as a member of Kolkata Bloggers.
All pictures are clicked by Mr. Abhishek Chamaria.

Jadavpur University

“Ei Jadobpurer gaaye, koto boyesh mishe jaaye.”

Jadavpur University is a place that grows on you. A place that teaches you so much and eventually makes you fall in love with it. A place that will hold a new surprise each day. A place, which is huge, and yet, each corner will hold one special memory, which will make you smile each time you walk past it. Whether it’s Moni da’s canteen and adda, or coffee at worldview, there are too many memories stashed away in each part of campus.

Jadavpur was a place, that I walked into, around a year back not knowing what to expect. You hear a lot about this place and not all of it is good. Yet, you’ll discover if you’ve studied here, that this place is simply special. And you cannot pass a judgement of “good” or “bad” about things and places that are special.

The Open Air Theatre in college, all done up for the fest. it looked lovely.
The Open Air Theatre in college, all done up for the fest. it looked lovely.

I remember walking into a class which was full of unfamiliar faces. Eventually, I discovered people I could pour my heart out to. Whether it’s Shivvi and her madness, or Vanshika and her overthinking and excitement, I started looking forward to each day. I had a fantastic professor who took classes really early in the morning, but I never missed a single one. Classes ended earlier, but I couldn’t return home too early. Milan da and the chicken fingers and then Moni da and tasty food, college became a fun place. I met a guy called Rahi, who held my bags if a wanted to dance and walked me to 8b each day just because I did not want to walk alone.

At the college Freshers' with my favourites!
At the college Freshers’ with my favourites!

I have to mention here, that my class has been a blessing. There are people of every kind and from different backgrounds and yet everyone fits in. The parties are insane (and cannot be written about here) and adda is always cherished. Each person has a different story and I have discovered so much and learned so much. I have had intense discussions with Rituraj on our way back in an auto. There is Somashree (I call her Tiya) who rushed to college very early one morning, way before classes started, just because she knew I was upset. There is Ushmayo (better known as Mayo) who I have spoken to so much over WhatsApp and yet not much up front. There’s Wilson and his guitar and Ridhhi, the responsible one, who always greets me with a hug. There is Krishnadev, who taught me how to play cards and Stayaki who is always up for all plans. There are Joshita and Dwai who are just wonderful. I cannot name everyone in this post, but you guys know who you are and you are special.

College peeps. Clicked on a picnic we went on, after the semester got over.
College peeps. Clicked on a picnic we went on after the semester got over.

It’ll be unfair to not mention my seniors. They made it a point we were comfortable right from the first day. I eventually became very close to some of them. I met two of them in the most awkward situations, and that’s how, college teaches you to deal with a lot. There is Souj to whom food spells happiness and Trisrota (always called Tota) who is caring and mature. There is Ashmita who I bonded with much later and she is a sweetheart. There’s also Josh, who was my go to person during the first few days of college. I went to him with tiny little problems and he patiently listened.

Yes, college is different. very different. I have also often discussed with my school friends about how complicated college is. I have learned how the definition of friendship can change and yet some people stick by. There are fights, which don’t get resolved too easily and ego plays a huge role. There are misunderstandings and other nasty stuff, but it’s all part of the deal, I guess.
Yet JU is a charm. It’s not just a college but a place. I have walked into worldview on certain days and found people playing amazing music. There was a guy playing the violin one day and believe me, I have never heard anybody play it better. There are couples having a quiet time or groups playing cards and chatting. On rain-drenched days, the college looks different and on the days of Sanskriti, it feels different.
The months of hokolorob taught me how much the atmosphere meant to me. On days that campus seemed desolate and empty, I understood how much the random smiling faces meant. How much the intellectual conversations and different styles of dressing added to the charm of the place.

I could go on and on about Jadavpur. There cannot be an end to it. I am writing this today, because perhaps when I pass out, I will feel different about this place.

As Dyuti di had once told me, this place becomes a habit.

Also, this is a very personal post with personal opinions. So you are free to disagree.