Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Kolkata beckons

Its pouring since morning and the temperature is soaring by the day. Today is the 14th and weathermen say the mercury will touch 18 to 23 degrees by next week. People can feel the summer is already in and have begun putting flowers in front of their houses and started cleaning up the swimming pools. The shops have also started to display fresh spring and summer wares.
For me it is time to return to Kolkata. Did a bit of catching up on the Kolkata front by calling up some of my friends. Sunil da was about to leave for Italy, Swastika is preparing for her sister’s marriage which I promised to attend long back. Her sister is getting married to one of my journalist friend Indronil. Rituparna is as usual shuttling between Kolkata and Mumbai. Heard that Manoj is in Dubai.
I got a nice text from Rupa Ganguly requesting me to bring some mountains of ice from Alaska and water from the Niagara Falls. Arindam and Agni are taking care of the Pronam Project in spite of their busy professional life. Dona is performing in China and Kolkata is in the spirit of municipal elections and Tagore’s 150th Anniversary celebrations.
Everyone in Kolkata is talking about the heat and punishing weather with power outages adding to the discomfort. Got an SMS from Amit Chowdhury. I will miss his performance on Sunday evening at the Someplace Else at The Park Hotel
Amit (picture) is a talented and versatile performer and I had last attended his performance at the Raj Bhavan Kolkata hosted by the then Governor Sri Gopal Krishna Gandhi.
For the past five weeks I had a feel of the life in North America especially the Quebec region of Canada. The life is so very different and some what difficult due to the extreme weather conditions. I often felt if only India too had the kind of facilities and infrastructure that some of the other countries have.
A week before my departure from Kolkata, Dolly di (picture) was discussing with me to start a campaign to provide facilities to the handicapped persons. Canada is one of the best countries in the world for such persons and the Canadian government’s efforts towards extending wide-ranging facilities and support mechanism to the disabled is indeed very laudable.
Let me share an observation before I forget. Yesterday I saw a $5000 parrot at an animal shop. The parrot, true to its reputation, repeated whatever one said in front of him. Then I saw an advertisement for a missing cat carrying a reward in many places (picture). I knew about the love for cats in France and to some extent in Austria. I am also aware that some of the insurance companies in the world provide cover for cats and dogs. But I have never ever seen a missing ad campaign for a cat on such a big scale promising a reward for the correct information.
Anyway, in India we always live and brag about the notion that India or the Indian civilisation was once a beacon of learning and taught the world many things. I don’t know what was or will be but as of today I know for sure that we Indians have to learn a lot from other nations.
ess bee

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