For my birthday I wanted to do something different this year, in the sense that instead of having a gala lunch or dinner with my family I wanted to have a grand breakfast. Talking about breakfast what could be better than a gala Chinese breakfast in the heart of our grand old city of Kolkata.
Continue reading “A Chinese Breakfast in Kolkata”
My phone rings, with no name displaying I was sure that it was from a tele marketing firm, reluctantly I pick up the phone, after few seconds of initial silence I hear a voice, barely able to understand anything I ask the caller to please speak louder, after a brief pause I hear “Kya Aap Kaal Ayengay” will you come tomorrow? Still not being able to figure anything I ask for the name of the caller, I get the reply “VEN RU JIAN”, its then that I realise that she is the nun from Fo Kuang Shan Buddhist Centre Kolkata, this is the same Buddhist temple where I had been on 2nd of October this year along with Sumit Surai and Indrajit Das.
Continue reading “Elder’s Day in Chinatown”
Chapter 1 – The Match Box
1925, Calcutta, somewhere in China Town renowned for its leather boots and wood works the shops often hid the real business that went on beyond its façade, it’s actually opium that ruled this part of the city. Smuggled from China these opium entered the streets of Calcutta through the narrow lanes of old China Town.
My great grandfather Mr John Solomon was a Daroga (Inspector) in the Excise Department which was at that time an integral part of the British India Calcutta Police. The British Government wanted to stop the infiltration of illegal opium in to the country as it was seriously hurting the revenue whereas the Chinese Opium traders were using the wealth of the rising upper middle class Bengalis or the Babus who often got lured into opium addiction.
Continue reading “Opium War & Leather Boots – Calcutta’s China Town”