Sundeep Bhutoria

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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Holi in the City of Joy

I am back in Kolkata to celebrate Dol  / Holi and attended many functions. I will leave again for Delhi today. While in Delhi I was talking on phone to Tapas Paul, MP, and he asked me when was I sending him the Holi colours. Normally, every year I send abir (colours) for Holi to my friends in different type of packaging and they all love the novelty and wait for it. This time as my Delhi stay was delayed, I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to send the colours this year. But when Tapas said that he puts my abir on thakur (god), though very late, I spurred into action and came to Kolkata on Friday evening. Thanks to my well wisher and brother like friend Mr Manoj Mohanka who got my tickets confirmed using his contacts of which he never brags about. Also thanks to Rahul Parakh and Baisakhi who helped me to procure five types of colours, abir materials, itra and thandai and help me accomplish the tedious job of delivering 500 plus packets to my friends and acquaintances. 
The packing was very well appreciated (Picture Holi Hamper).
I spent almost the whole of the Friday night organising that and on Saturday, though I missed Jogen Choudhury’s dol celebrations in Shantiniketan which I was looking forward to, but attended the programme at Dona Ganguly’s house. Never before have I seen 200 small children in white dress singing and dancing on Holi songs. I really enjoyed the programme put up by the children of her dance school Disha Manjari that culminated in an abir and gulal play. Dona warmly put abir tika saying, “I know you have other functions to go to so I wont spoil your clothes.”
From Dona’s house I went to Taj Bengal terrace to attend the launch of family friend Suuchandra’s new Hindi album launch Tere Liye. Met Arpita(Picture), Prosenjit, Payal, Manoj, Manisha, Siddharth, Pinky, Rajat, Aruna, CKD, Shukla, Arindam, Anupama, Anuj and some other friends. From the Taj I went to attend the Gulab Bari programme at Harsh Neotia’s residence at Queen’s Park. Gulab Bari is an important annual event in Kolkata’s calendar. Few years back, before I started going to the Neotias’ I kept on hearing about Gulab Bari from my mother. After enjoying three lovely songs there and attending a Holi meet organised by a Rajasthani organisation, I retired for the day at 2 am Sunday.
Again on Sunday morning the all-pervading Holi mood gripped me and I was at the Sunny Park residence of Rupa & Co Chairman Mr P R Agarwal. I wanted to spend Sunday at home, but since I missed Agarwal ji’s invitations on the last three occasions, I decided not to miss it this time. After hearing the last session of Kavi Sammelan, I had breakfast with the industrial fraternity of Kolkata who were there at the Sammelan from 8 am.
On Monday late morning went to Mr Dinesh Bajaj’s house for folk dance and music programme followed by lunch. I know Dinesh, an MLA, and his family for over a decade and I had great respect for his father Late Sri Satyanarayan Bajaj who introduced me to the Kolkata’s social life since my school days.
And finally, I watched the special screening of Aparna Sen-directed Japanese Wife at Nandan 3 (Picture) yesterday evening. The film would be released at the end of April. Aparna Sen was kind enough to invite me in the exclusive gathering of about 25 people and I got to meet Mrinal Sen, Gautam Ghosh, Tony, Moon Moon Sen and others. All were thanking me for the Holi hampers, but I must thank Aparna Sen.
ess bee.

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