Postal Museum Kolkata


Postal Museum Kolkata (41)

I distinctly remember that during the early 90’s till about the new millennium the usage of postcards was very common for me. The 90’s saw many quizzes and completions on television and newspaper which required the individual to respond on a postcard. Later due to their increasing popularity the postal department had rolled out special Competition Post Cards which cost a lot more than the ordinary postcard. However with the new millennium and the advent of Internet in the country saw the dominance of postal service slowly declining. Emails were slowly replacing letters and private courier services with better service took over the role played by Indian postal department.

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Lion Dance at India Banega Manch


Lion Dance at India Banega Manch (26)

One of the aspects of being a blogger from India is that you will inevitably get many phone calls from readers and many of them not necessarily be knowing the subject matter with which to converse with you. I have received calls from readers who actually wanted to install an electric crematorium in their village in some remote corner of Bangladesh and after reading my blog on Christian Gas Crematorium of Calcutta they assumed me to be a gas crematorium supplier. The best would be people mistaking me as a food truck manufacturer after reading my blog on food trucks in the city. I am assuming that they don’t read the blog in full and just after reading the name of the blog they search for my contact details to get in touch with me.

The same however has actually been very productive for my blog on Lion Dance and on Graffiti in the city. In both cases, I have been able to help the person whom I had written the blog get some contracts which in return has made me get very close to them and thus a different bond of friendship have developed over the years.

I still remember the day I got a call from BBC Worldwide Entertainment on behalf of Colors TV for a reality show named India Banega Manch. This television show will involve multiple cities where some teams will perform cultural activities from the city and depending on the response of the audience the teams will be voted to the next level. For my city of Kolkata, the television channel wanted Lion Dance team to perform during their auditions in Kolkata. Apparently, they had read my blog and wanted to feature them for my city since Kolkata is having such a diversity of culture Lion Dance will fit perfectly.

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Biography of a Riot


Biography of a Riot

As the wedding guests were being served the Chutney and Papad there were whispers flowing all around. Some wanted to finish early and head home while some formed groups discussing the current political situation. The date was 6th of December 1992 and a nationwide bandh (Strike) was just announced by most of the political parties in the country. Being a twelve year old for me it was a bonus dropping from the sky the bandh would mean that Monday would be a holiday and no school. For my mother, she was more worried that the bandh would push the exam dates behind and my father was rushing to the neighbourhood shop for stocking up on bread and eggs from the next day.

The wedding party ended a bit early as most of the guests wanted to leave early and stock up. During the 90’s a bandh would for sure bring any city to a grinding halt and it was always wiser to be prepared than to be surprised. In the meantime, I was already planning how we could enjoy the bonus day off with my friends in the locality.

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My Grandmother’s Ballygunge Circular Road


My Grandmother’s Ballygunge Circular Road

“Should we take the bus or should we just take a rickshaw instead?” asked by grandmother. Walk, just walk I kept repeating. The reason being quite simple the more we walked the more time that we had together listening to stories of her childhood and of course Indian version of fairy tales.

It was around 1985 – 1986 and I had just joined St. Lawrence High School in the junior section. Being very sentimental school was not that very attractive for me. Seeing my mother vanish beyond the curve near our house every morning on my school bus ride to school was always a very teary affair. Often tears would roll down my eyes and the boy sitting next to me would console that the school would be over in no time and I would be back home soon. I still remember his name “Piu”, I am sure it was what his parents called him home but he stuck with that. And the best part was that Piu was of my age and in the same class. I have never ever met Piu after leaving that school.

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Salted Beef – Kolkata Anglo Indian Style


salted-beef-kolkata-anglo-indian-style-1

It’s a common practice during Christmas season to exchanged cakes with relatives. In fact every morning during Christmas week we would keep tasting different cakes thanks to these exchanges. For me however the most special cake exchange happens between us and the family of my paternal uncle who along with cake always used to give us a chunk of Salted Beef. Since childhood I and my father used to eagerly wait for this which we would devour with a piece of bread and cheese. This however had stopped for a good two years when unfortunately my aunt had injured herself and was unable to make salted beef. This became a point where my cousin brother decided to make their own portion of this fantastic Anglo-Indian classic.

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