Sundeep Bhutoria

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kolkata's eventful week in April

With Lord Swraj Paul
April 2013, so far, has been very unique is an unusual sensethe number of big ticket events that have taken place at this time of the year.
I have been organizing all sorts of small, big and mega events in Kolkata for over two decades now. All these years we all have realized that there are some broad patterns that has to do with the weather. It is common sense to avoid outdoor events at daytime during the summers from May onwards till mid-September when the monsoons are over. Most of the events are slotted during winters when the Kolkata weather is very much up to it for hosting events. This week of April, however, seems to have buck the past 20 year's trend.
With Himanshu and Kavita Ajmera
A series of big ticket events around high profile visitors to the city has been a major departure from the past. April onwards marks the onset of the sweaty, sultry Kolkata summer days when people prefer to stay indoors during daytime. But the arrival of Narendra Modi, Lord Swraj Paul, Dr R K Pachauri, Jairam Ramesh, Natwar Singh, Mahesh Bhatt, Meira Kumar, Lord Meghnad Desai and many others in close succession, set the city's events roster ringing.
Dr R K Pachauri, chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate, was in city to attend Ladies Study Group Annual charity function and many other events, warned about the rising sea levels threat to Kolkata, Shanghai, Dhaka. Same evening the Ficci Flo annual function `Aparajita' held at Pala, ITC Sonar.
With Gautam Kundu and his wife
Whirlwind Narendra Modi, with all the noise of Prime Ministerial candidate for BJP, had a hectic itinerary cut out in Kolkata which caused a media frenzy – Dakhineswar Temple, Belur Math, Mahajati Sadan, meeting with eager members of three chambers of commerce and so on. His trip was not only the talk of the city but was very keenly followed in Delhi. The fact that Modi, in his life, had thrice approached the Ram Krishna Mission order to become monk surprised many Kolkatans.
Then there was Lord Swraj Paul who visited the city after four years from London. He too had an events galore around him. I hosted a dinner for him that was attended and also an exclusive programme at the Souk of Taj Bengal
Lord Paul shared his feelings and views on a wide range of topics - empowerment of women, prime ministerial candidate, Indian politics, new college for girls, losing out his daughter to cancer, the feeling of being at the House of Lords for the first time and so on.
With members of Lord Paul's family
As I write this, Kolkata is gearing up to launch former minister and politician K Natwar Singh's book Walking With Lions at the Raj Bhavan. This is going to be another out-of-season big event in Kolkata. 
More events like the celebrations of the movie Shabdo and special screening of Arindam Sil's Aborto and so on have only added to the list of events in city. Shabdo and Goynar Baksho held their premier this week as well .
In my twenty plus years, I haven't come across so many events taking place during April. It is usually the winter when most big events are slated given the pleasant weather. But this April may have changed it all.
ess bee

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