Sundeep Bhutoria

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Thank you.
ess bee

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

An Authors Afternoon with Anand Neelakantan

With Esha Chatterjee and Anand Neelakantan
18 May, 2017: I attended another edition of An Authors Afternoon at The Taj Bengal today. The guest author was Anand Neelakantan who is a novelist, cartoonist, and writer of short stories and television soaps.
Anand handing over a signed copy of his book
It was a session full of wit and humour at its best as Anand played out to the galleries. Anand’s latest novel The Rise of Shivagami is a prequel to the Bahubali trilogy which sets the background on which the immensely successful Bahubali series of films are based.
Though Anand enjoys writing short stories the most, he finds it the least remunerative on the monetary front. In contrast, the dumbed-down television soaps help him to earn a lot more.
Another very interesting fact about Anand is that his books Asura: Title of the Vanquished, Roll of the Dice and Rise of Kali present a narrative as seen from the eyes of those characters of our mythology and epics, like Ravana and Duryodhan, that happen to be the bad guy.
With Bickram, Sohini and Arindam at the special screening of Durga Sahoy
I attended few other meetings after the event and then dropped by at the special premiere of Arindam Sil-directed movie Durga Sahoy at the Inox at Quest Mall. The cast of Durga Sahoy and other guests attended the screening.
ess bee

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Dinner with diplomats and friends

With Bruce Bucknell and Sein Stein, Acting Dy Asst Secy, South & Central Asian Affairs,
17 May, 2017: I hosted a dinner for diplomats and some of my friends. It was nice to have Mr Sein B Stein, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for South & Central Asian Affairs, US Foreign Affairs department, at the dinner at the Hyatt Regency today.
Mr Sein has previously served as a Consul General in Shenyang China and besides English, he speaks Mandarin Chinese and Indonesian.
With Alexey M Idamkin, Consul General, Russian Federation, in Kolkata
The dinner was attended by the Consul Generals of USA, UK, Russian Federation, Italy, France and other countries.
I had also invited some of my other friends to attend the dinner.
ess bee

Saturday, May 13, 2017

In Delhi for meetings and lunches

May 13, 2017: I came to Delhi from Jaipur and checked in at the ITC Maurya. I stayed over for few days as I had quite a few meetings and a lunch to attend. 
With Home Minister, Rajnath Singh
I met Home Minister, Sri Rajnath Singh. I had a good meeting with the Human Resources Development (HRD) minister, Sri Prakash Javadekar, yesterday.
I also had a brief meeting with Sri Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State with Independent charge of Culture and Tourism Ministry. I have always admired his multi-tasking abilities and the speed at which he carries out his work.
With Mahesh Sharma, Cultural & Tourism Minister
I had a lunch meeting with danseuse Sonal Mansingh ji yesterday as well. It was nice to meet her after a spell.
Today afternoon I went to the Taj Mahal Hotel to attend a lunch for which I was invited by Toni Atanasovski, Ambassador, Republic of Macedonia, to introduce the host, Mr Namit Bajoria, newly-appointed Honorary Consul, Republic of Macedonia in Kolkata, to some of the other ambassadors and guests.
With Toni Atanasovski, Ambassador of Republic of Macedonia and Shazia Ilmi
The Ambassadors of Serbia, Bosnia, Krygztan, and a senior diplomat of the Holy See (Vatican City) and a representative of the only lady minister of UAE were present at the lunch. Shazia Ilmi and Ina Puri also joined in.
I shall leave for Kolkata to night.
ess bee

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Choupal with Rahul Bose

With Rahul Bose at Choupal, Jaipur
May 10, 2017: I took a flight from Kolkata and came to Jaipur on Monday night and landed Delhi this noon. Yesterday was a session of Choupal with actor-director, Rahul Bose, at the ITC Rajputana.
Rahul Bose was very impressed with the set up for the event and said that he had done over five hundred events but had never seen such a nice setting. In keeping with the name of the event, we had kept the setting very simple and introduced charpoys for the guests to sit on, which, perhaps, raised the novelty of the event manifold.
Rahul talked about his latest film Poorna which is inspired by the teenage sensation, Poorna Malavath, who has become the youngest girl to scale Mount Everest.
Yesterday evening I also attended a dinner hosted in my honour at the Periwal House at International School, Mahapura. I am really thankful to the Periwal family for the warmth and love extended to me.
In Delhi it is a busy day for me with quite a few meetings tied up.
ess bee

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

At the special screening of Bhalobashar Sohor

With Lamia Rahman Ahad and Jaya Ahsan
May 9, 2017: I, on behalf of Prabha Khaitan Foundation, organized a special screening of a short film Bhalobashar Sohor at the Nandan–III yesterday evening. 
With Tonushree
The 30-minute film is directed by Indronil Roy Chowdhury with Bangladeshi actress Jaya Ahsan as the main cast. Sohini Sarkar, Ritwick Chakraborty, who have acted in the film, were there at the special screening.
With Priyanka
Lamia Rahman Ahad, wife of Bangladesh High Commissioner in Kolkata, Zokey Ahad, was the chief guest and she was welcomed by Jaya Ahsan with an uttoriyo.
Among others who attended the special screening were actress Tonushree and Priyanka. Also present were directors Arindam Sil, Anik Dutta, Kaushik Ganguly, Srijato, singers Srikanta Acharya, Anindyaa, Titas Sen and others who mingled over tea and light snacks before the actual screening.
After the event, I went to the airport to catch a flight for Jaipur to attend the first session of Choupal with Rahul Bose tomorrow.
ess bee

Friday, May 5, 2017

At the IMUN in Agra

Train journey from Jaipur to Agra after many years
May 5, 2017: After many years, I undertook a train journey from Jaipur to Agra on May 2 to attend the Agra International Model United Nations (A-IMUN) that was being held from April 29 to May 3, 2017.
In my childhood, while travelling by train, I used to carry my own food. I realised that this childhood habit is still strong and I took some food with me. But I was surprised by the fresh and hygienic food served in the train. I must say things have definitely improved a lot.
At the closing session of WIMUN in Agra
In Agra, I checked in at the ITC Mughal which is set amid 14 hectares of landscaped gardens and two-and-half kilometres away from the iconic Taj Mahal. This was my first stay in this hotel and I must say that the hotel has taken care of the smallest details to create a luxurious ambiance.
I must say UP looks a lot peaceful and better ever since Yogi Adityanath took over at the helm. In the evening, I visited the locally famous chaat gali in Agra sadar. I think, after Taj Mahal, this is a must-visit place in Agra.
At the dinner hosted by We Care for me
In the evening, before attending the dinner hosted by We Care for me, I spoke at the closing ceremony of WFUNA International Model United Nations (WIMUN) held at the Jaypee Palace Hotel & Convention Centre. I met Mr Gary Fowlie, Head of ITU, and few others.
At the Taj Mahal
On May 3 early morning, I also visited the Taj Mahal and reached Delhi in the evening via Gatiman - the fastest train in India - which covered the distance between Agra and Delhi in one hour forty minutes.
With Derk Segaar of UNIC, Delhi
On May 4, I met the director of United Nations Information Centre (UNIC), Delhi, Derk Segaar. 
With Girija Devi
I also met Girija Devi at a private dinner and was blessed to have spent some time with the living legend.
With Sir Dominic Asquith, British Deputy High Commissioner in India
Today morning, I met the British High Commissioner in India, Sir Dominic Asquith at his residence. He is the great-grandson of former UK Prime Minister (1908-16) Herbert Henry Asquith.
ess bee

Monday, May 1, 2017

Kalam in Jaipur with Anant Vijay

At the Marriott Jaipur for Kalam event
April 30, 2017: I landed in Jaipur on Saturday and went straight to the Marriott Hotel Jaipur to attend another series of Kalam in Jaipur with author Anant Vijay.
The guest author for Kalam, Anant Vijay, is a senior journalist, columnist and author. Anant has written eight books on different genres, and today, at the Kalam event, I was in conversation with him. In fact I had to fill in at the last moment for the Dainik Bhaskar editor who had to leave the city due to an emergency.
During the conversation, Anant pointed out some facts that he felt strongly about. He said that Hindi literature is losing its eminence in India as more and more people prefer to send their children to the English schools. He also expressed his views against the trend of using “Hinglish” that is the use of English words in Hindi newspapers to connect with the youth.
At the Birla Auditorium, Jaipur ,for Annual Ballet Expose
After the Kalam event, later in the evening, I went to the Birla Auditorium to see the third Annual Ballet Expose. It was a fusion ballet in which kalbelia and bhawai dancers performed along with ballet dancers based on the theme “Get addicted to Happiness”.
Before the ballet show, I had tea at the Tapri Ashram, which happens to be the third Tapri outlet in Pink City, just outside the gate of Marriott Hotel. This joint was inaugurated yesterday only and I am sure its close proximity to the Marriott will affect the business of the hotel’s coffee shop.
Tomorrow I shall leave for Agra for the International Model United Nations (IMUN) being hosted by the World Federation of United Nations Association (WFUNA). I shall be addressing the closing ceremony on Tuesday May 2, 2017.
ess bee