Monday, 20 June 2011

How to spend it: Rs 100 in a day!


Where: The second-hand bookshops lining College Street.

What: A Collection of Stories by Edgar Allan Poe.

condition: Mint, almost.

Cost: Rs 30

What: A Mills & Boon titled A Taste of Heaven.

condition: Much-thumbed.

Cost: Rs 20

What: A “complete and unabridged” edition of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.

condition: As good as new.

Cost: Rs 30

What: Sydney Sheldon’s The Doomsday Conspiracy.

condition: Dog-eared.

Cost: Rs 20

They Speak: “Rs 100 is a king’s ransom on College Street. Half the fun is in haggling with the shopowners to bring the ridiculously low prices further down.”

What: A pair of Old Navy denim shorts.

Where: At one of the stalls outside Indian Museum.

Cost: Rs 35

What: A V-neck white cotton top.

Where: In front of the Indian Museum.

Cost: Rs 25

What: A pink printed silk scarf.

Where: Sunshine, on Sudder Street.

Cost: Rs 40

They speak: “Shopping is so much fun when an entire outfit can be assembled for just Rs 100! A little bit of patience, a keen eye to ferret out the right stuff and the dum to bargain are enough to get you going.”

Statutory warning: Wash ’em before you wear ’em.


Where: Outside New Market.

Cost: Rs 100

They speak: “You have an array of footwear to choose from for 100 bucks. There are flats and heels, peep-toes and strappy sandals. But for summer, what better than Oshos?”


What: Broad red hairband.

Where: Outside Sreeram Arcade.

Cost: Rs 10

What: Coconut shell neckpiece and earrings set.

Where: A Tagore mela at the Nandan complex.

Cost: Rs 30

What: Silver-coloured anklet.

Where: Beside New Market.

Cost: Rs 13

What: Funky marble-and-bead neckpiece.

Where: Grand Arcade.

Cost: Rs 30

What: Brown hair clip.

Where: Gariahat footpath.

Cost: Rs 5

What: Blue wooden bangle.

Where: Gariahat footpath.

Cost: Rs 10

What: Tiny black earrings.

Where: In front of Gariahat Market.

Cost: Rs 2

They speak: “Calcutta is a treasure trove when it comes to accessories. New Market and Gariahat are the best stops.”


What: A date with history.

Where: Indian Museum.

Cost: Rs 10 (camera charges extra)

They speak: “It is a great place to spend a summer afternoon. It is really cool inside. And there’s so much to see — artefacts, fossils, insect specimens, masks and paintings. The big crowd-puller seems to be the Egyptian mummy.”

What: On the wild side.

Where: Zoological Garden (Alipore zoo).

Cost: Rs 20 (ticket) + Rs 10 (ice-cream) + Rs 5 (Frooti) + Rs 3 (150g groundnuts) + Rs 12 (mineral water) = Rs 50

They speak: “Not a good option when the sun’s blazing but on a cloudy day, ambling through the zoo’s green premises can be great fun. You might even see the peacocks dancing. It takes almost three hours to visit all the enclosures. But armed with a bottle of water and the occasional ice cream, it makes for an ideal lazy summer morning.”

What: Starry, starry day.

Where: M.P. Birla Planetarium.

Cost: Rs 30

They speak: “If you crave air-conditioned comfort, this is the place to be. The shows on planets, constellations and other celestial matters are for around 45 minutes each and are held throughout the day at regular intervals.”

What: An evening stroll or a morning walk.

Where: Victoria Memorial Hall.

Cost: Rs 10 (for entry to the grounds and museum)

They speak: “It is a beautiful place to just sit and chat or to take a walk. There is lush greenery, shaded benches and a little lake. To escape the sun and for a dose of history, step inside the museum (except Mondays). In the evenings (except Mondays), there are light-and-sound shows for Rs 20.”

What: Chicken Momo with Soup.

WHERE: Exide crossing.

Cost: Rs 12

They speak: “A yummy, healthy, low-calorie meal.”

What: Chocolate Softie.

Where: Emami Mall, Lord Sinha Road.

Cost: Rs 6

They speak: “With summer at its peak, an ice cream a day is a must. But gelatos every day would burn a hole in the pocket. The softie ice cream is cool on you and your pocket.”

What: Phuchka.

where: Opposite Azad Hind (Hindustan Park).

Cost: Eight pieces for Rs 10

They speak: “You cannot possibly walk past a phuchka stall without yielding to temptation.”

What: Mango Shake.

Where: Elgin Road.

Cost: Rs 15

They speak: “It’s the season for mangoes. When you down an original Aam Sherbet — that too chilled — the bottled mango drinks just fade into oblivion!”

What: Mutton Shammi Tikia and Lachha Paratha.

Where: Saima, behind Rabindra Sadan Metro station.

Cost: Rs 18 + Rs 7 = Rs 25

They speak: “This little place is hidden by the Metro station, but it’s a tasty and pocket-friendly find.”

What: Slush (Semi-frozen drink with added flavour).

Where: Fillers, Vivekananda Park.

Cost: Rs 15

They speak: “Why drink the regular cola every day? A glass of Slush is extremely refreshing. With a wide range of flavours, one could drink a different kind of Slush each day of the week.”

What: Ice Paan.

Where: Behind New Market, just outside Aminia.

Cost: Rs 3

They speak: “It’s cold, it’s sweet and it melts in your mouth.”

What: Egg Roll.

Where: Bedwin, Gol Park.

Cost: Rs 14

They speak: “Rolls are a classic student-favourite. It’s an eat-while-you-run meal.”


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Home delivery and Wives

Life in Kolkata post the economic meltdown has few good things to offer.
The plump of the wallet is gone and even if it’s not, then you must be spending much less than before. There are fewer trips to shopping malls and arcades and multiplexes, and fewer still expensive weekends at those sea-side resorts. The sheen of love life may also be missing as your wife or girlfriend is angry— fuming over the sheer small number of demands being met of all that she usually makes.

But we, the Kolkatans, have the mystical ability to take pleasure in things that other castes or creeds or populations don’t have, not at least to the extent benchmarked by us. And it’s a habit that not even the deadliest and nimblest chain of economic events set in by the brainiest and greediest wizards of the Wall Street can alter.

No points for guessing. It’s our uncanny talent to guzzle down anything we consider edible— for the sake of experiment or just to fill that eternally strong void below our chest— caring least about the nature of the place of eating or if proper hygienic measures were taken. The city streets showcase the flair with a great flourish, and also show why the eateries in and around the city— big, small and the ones that we call hole-in-the-wall— have been able to cock a snook at all business magazine editors! As if this were not enough, there are the new-age food home-delivery services bringing all the lip-smacking restaurant delicacies right to your door—hot, crisp and at card rates!

So, don’t blame the city if it’s gobbling down more than it can digest, as this prescription to fight recession is very much Kolkatan in nature— rightfully and quintessentially. And don’t we all know we eat more when we are depressed?

The USP of these services is not their web-based service. Nor is it the pricing, for their delivery charges are higher compared to the restaurants’. It’s the names of eateries on display in their websites, rather. They are names whose celebrated dishes Kolkatans have been craving for since time unknown. You plan your dinner with Chelo Kebab from Peter Cat, Aminia’s Biriyani and Mocambo’s Chicken Paprica, and get it all delivered right to your dining table. Isn’t it quite a revolution on our dinner table?

There’s been another change, almost invisible but substantial, which the home delivery services have brought about almost stealthily— because secrecy is a common prerequisite for all great radical movements. And the one I’m going to talk about is of such a magnitude that we’ll probably undermine it by calling just a ‘change’. It’s a change of order, more appropriately.

Think of an old man, maybe the one you meet at your morning walk often— retired, neglected and thwarted by his family members, whose life has shrunk into a corner, along with a pile of newspapers and other useless stuff. This man, in all likelihood, pleads for his morning tea everyday at least twenty times before a cup of pallid, tasteless and tepid liquid reaches him. Even occasional small desires like having a favourite dish are harshly snubbed by his wife, and a two hour long sermon in a shrill voice is what follows with the threat of continuing it further in the instance of a feeble resistance. He can’t remember the last time he ate his dinner without a pinch of the undying blame that it’s primarily his poor performance at vegetable markets and grocery stores responsible for the bland taste of the food served before him!

What’s the influence of new-age home delivery services on him?
It means a lot, and maybe much more. Because, someday his wife is going to find him at dinner table with a delicacy ensemble that doesn’t bear her signature taste. Our man, after finishing his dinner, would gently wipe his fingers with a tissue then— his face emitting the triumphant joy last seen on the faces of great crusaders— and would finally point a trembling finger at his wife and say, “Yes, we can!”

And the history of Kolkata’s dinner tables will take a new turn from this moment. Who said words like Change and Revolution are only Barack Obama’s copyright!


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

A true story of kolkata national library

Located at Belvedere Road, it is known for its rare collection of books. But the residence of the former Lieutenant Governor of Bengal has a more eerie side to 

"The footsteps of the Governor’s wife can still be heard," said a student, who goes to study there.

The posts of the night guards also keep changing. Most of them do not want to be put on the night shift. "They have seen apparitions," said a taxi driver.
The guards did not want to talk about their experiences as they feared they would lose their jobs.

The new building at the library has another story to tell. At the time of its construction, some of the workers met with an accident and died on spot. It is now believed that their spirits linger on. Two eyewitnesses told that they have seen black images fading in front of their eyes. Both fell sick four days later.

Staff members at the library deny that it is haunted.


Sunday, 12 June 2011

Obsessed with Facebook

Isn’t this an interesting reading ?Yes It is.Well there are so many things right about me in these stats like  I daily check my Facebook,I check Facebook right when I wake up,I check Facebook on my my smart phone before getting of bed,Facebook is one of the source of new for me.What about you?
Just for your info this social networking giant is now worth at $50 billion :o  and now you can access Facebook by only typing

Friday, 3 June 2011

So Little Time, So Much To Do

I've always got the feeling that, I have a lot to do, but dont find the time. How true is it? To an extent it is, but its also true, that by scheduling it, one can achieve it. But its a Monday morning, and with the excuse theme, I'd like to say that a lot of activities are mood based, and only when done in the mood, can you actually enjoy and do it, as opposed to doing it like a task. It could be reading Lonely Planet's travellogues, or researching a place on the Internet, or reliving some old cricket scorecards, but it requires the right mood to really enjoy the activity. When I have time, I am looking to complete some task that has a defined completion time, as that wishlist backlog is huge. I then need to start prioritising my hobbies, which is bad, as hobbies are not meant to be slotted and calculated in time spent. Its about meandering aimlessly and enjoying the journey as opposed to running to reach a destination. Yet another week, starts. Lets hope I am able to balance sanity and insanity.