Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Kali Puja, Diwali and end of an era

Sunday morning November 7 (2010): Bengal celebrated Kali Puja and Diwali on Friday (November 5). I was busy at home performing pujas and attending to the guests and receiving phone calls from all over the world for Diwali greetings.
I kept my cellphone switched on during my birthday and Diwali for convenience keeping in mind the fact that I am using the mobile phone sparingly on doctor's advice. Many of my acquaintances now contact me over landline phones at my office and residence.
From Left: Satyam, Bratya, Pritimoy and Shiladitya (right)
In the recent past, I had stopped using cell phone completely and used it only for checking out and replying to SMSs once during the day. It is practically impossible to reply to very large number of messages and greetings that I receive, not only during my birthday or Diwali, but also during other festivals. It is difficult to keep track as to the SMSes that I have replied and the ones that are due.
No wonder SMS marketing is at its peak these days.
On Thursday evening I went to attend the premiere of the film Tara at Inox Swabhumi (formerly 89 Cinema). Though it was my birthday and I wanted to stay home but changed my mind thinking about the subject of the movie and also because Bratya – the director - had told me about it a month in advance and add to it the fact that I had missed his two other recent events.
Nazrul Islam, Bratya Basu
The film's story is about the Maoists and Prasenjit has acted very well in the film. After the show I also attended the party at Swabhumi for few minutes. Met Nazrul Islam, IPS, Satyam Roy Chowdhury, Pritimoy Chakraborty, Shiladitya Ganguly and others.
Yesterday, the former Chief Minister of West Bengal, Siddhartha Shankar Ray passed away. He was a grand old man of Indian politics. His death marks the end of an era. I was first introduced to him by the then Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot, at  Hotel Kenilworth in Kolkata. I still remember that was a time when Mr Ray (file picture) contested elections from Kolkata North constituency as the Congress candidate for the Lok Sabha elections.
Ashok Gehlot had come to Kolkata with more then a dozen ministers from Rajasthan government to campaign for him. Ray had met representatives of many organisations from Rajasthan and solicited their support.
After that, I met Mr Ray in a number of social events and functions and also in his house at Beltala. The last time I met him was at the State Assembly when he came to pay his homage to Jyoti Basu after his his death. At that time also he was very weak and he needed support to walk. He was very emotional on that day and had said that he too would not live much longer and was right. I'd say he was prophetic. On that day, he had also inquired from me about Ashok ji and how his government was doing in Rajasthan.
I am leaving for Rajasthan today afternoon.
ess bee

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