Sundeep Bhutoria

Welcome to my blog. Do share your views and thoughts with me. Request visitors to keep their comments brief and to the point. I shall respond to you to the extent possible.
Thank you.
ess bee

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Monday, September 30, 2013

My troika trips

Jaipur, September 30, 2013: Kolkata-Delhi-Jaipur or Kolkata-Jaipur-Delhi has emerged as a very common troika trip for me in the past few years. Hopping from one city to another in close succession often many times a month.
I arrived in Delhi on Saturday. I had plans to avail the afternoon flight to Delhi since I had just one function to attend in the evening. However, there weren't any options available from Kolkata in the afternoon and I had to book the 9 am flight only.
When I got up in the morning, there was a text message that the flight would leave at 2:30 pm which meant my flight was delayed by almost five hours. I wasn't really complaining since this suited me well I landed in Delhi in the evening.
I went to the Taj Mansingh for the award distribution ceremony of the Corporate Bridge Associations' 2nd Bridge Event. I went to the hotel with Sharmila Tagore who was the Chief Guest of the event. She spoke about her family's association with Bridge especially her sister Tinku and her husband, Late Nawab Pataudi, who was popular as “Tiger”.
Yesterday evening I took a flight from Delhi to Jaipur. Today there were two events in Kolkata where I should have been. One was An Author's Afternoon series with Tanya Medonca and the other a scheduled luncheon meeting with UNIC Director, Kiran Mehra Kerpelman.
Because of some unavoidable family commitment I have to be in Churu tomorrow morning. That's the reason for my staying in Jaipur today. I conveyed my apologies to the UNIC Director Kiran, Tanya and also Nilanjana Sengupta who honoured my request to sit in conversation with Tanya.
In fact, today evening there was another programme scheduled at The Park Hotel for Soha Ali Khan which, however, got cancelled last week. Today I shall attended a dinner which was long due here in Jaipur at a private residence.
ess bee

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Divided in birth and in death

Last week I was in Churu, Rajasthan, the village where I was born. The reason for my sudden visit was due to a funeral that I attended at the local burning ghat or crematorium where two things really caught my attention.
I noticed that there were some very beautiful old structures which are called chatris in local language. Inside these structures, there were stone plates fixed on the walls on which the price of gold, silver and food grains etc., were engraved as per the prevailing rates of the time when they were built and the day the stone plaques were fixed.
Most of these stone plates were built by Muslim workers or artisans which was evident from their names, written under those plates with Ganesha name on top.
It was a pleasant thing to know about the strong communal harmony between Hindus and Muslims that prevailed.
After chatting up with few people I was in for a surprise yet again when I came to know that in the same area there were about six to seven different exclusive caste-specific burning ghats meant for the different Hindu castes, including one for the lower castes. In fact, in all, there were more than fifteen in town.
The so called lower castes have their separate burning ghats for darji, taknail, meghwals and gurjar community. There is one burning ghat common for malli, khatti and kumhar caste. There is a separate one for the oswal community and also a separate burning ghat for the Jain monks. In fact, few of the families like Khemka, Bagla and Mantri had their personal burning ghats which is for their family members only.
My surprise gave way to realization that even today in our country the caste system still divides the people even after death. On returning to Jaipur when I asked someone, to my utter surprise, I was informed that in a city like Jaipur also there are few burning ghats on the basis of castes. For example the Pink City's Chandpole cremation ground, the oldest and the biggest, has separate assigned areas for different castes.
So there is no point blaming small town mindset when the situation in the capital city of one of India's largest states is no different.
Rajasthanis form ethno-linguistic group that is distinct in its language, history, cultural and religious practices, social structure, literature, and art. However, there are many different castes and communities, with diversified traditions of their own. Major sub ethnic groups are ahirs, jats, gurjars, rajputs, mali, meenas, bhils, kalvi, garasia, kanjar and so on.
I can understand that different rituals and the last rites of Hindus, Muslims and Christians, but such segregation on caste basis within Hinduism for obsequies seemed quite disquieting. It is something like we stand divided in birth as well as in death.
Recently, I read a media report that said The Urban Improvement Trust (UIT) of Jaisalmer, in a meeting recently, decided to please the various communities - from smaller ones like darzi and kumhar to brahmin sub-groups, by resolving to construct separate cremation grounds for 47 caste and communities. Accordingly, the UIT issued tender notices in local newspapers for the project that is estimated to cost Rs 5 crores.
I wonder are we really progressing on clinging on to an old and divisive tradition that is creating an apartheid of the dead. It is something we should have done away with a long time back.
ess bee

Friday, September 27, 2013

Exhibition on Lata and my unpublished notes

With Snehasis Chatterjee and Swagatalakshmi Dasgupta
September 27, 2013: Today evening I attended the media preview of an exhibition on Lata Mangeshkar by Snehasis Chatterjee, an ardent fan of Lata ji and a collector of Lata memorabilia. The three day exhibition (from September 28th to 30th) at the Jamini Roy Art Gallery of ICCR is being organized jointly by Prabha Khaitan Foundation and ICCR, Kolkata, to pay tribute to and celebrate the 84th birthday of the “Nightingale of India” tomorrow.
The formal inauguration of the exhibition would be held tomorrow afternoon which I shall not be able to attend as I will fly out to Delhi for another function which I had committed earlier. Mr Jawhar Sircar, CEO, Prasar Bharati, is scheduled to inaugurate the exhibition tomorrow. So I was there at the media preview of the exhibition today with special guest and invitee Swagatalakshmi Dasgupta who is also the top popular singer of Bengal today.
Swagatalakshmi, herself, a Lata fan, took a lot of interest to walk through the whole exhibition which had on display some of Lata's rare songs and earliest gramophone recordings. Snehasis had entered the Limca Book of Records in 2001 for his collection of rare Lata Mangeshkar memorabilia which includes posters, records, LPs, audio cassettes and CDs in many languages which he has collected in the past 23 years.
With Swagatalakshmi at the exhibition preview on Lata Mangeshkar
There was a heavy downpour during the event which did not dampen the spirit. I still remember that I had last met “The Melody Queen of India” in personal on November 29th, 2002, at the Sahara evening flight. At that time Lata ji had come to Kolkata on an invitation from Dona Ganguly (cricketer Sourava Ganguly's wife). Those days I used to write articles for Sabrang the weekly Hindi magazine of Jansatta.
During the flight I had approached her for an interview and, in a very rare gesture, she agreed. I call it a rare gesture for Lata ji usually kept away from the media glare. She asked me to swap seats with her niece for the interview. For some reason I never published that interview though I still have with me the notes that I had scribbled.
Once again, last year I thought of writing the interview for a newspaper some nine years later, however, that too never materialized. Perhaps, there is a right time for everything.
ess bee

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Welcome Helen LaFave

With Helen LaFave at the Taj Bengal dinner party

September 24, 2013: The last week end I had some respite and wasn't occupied so much as on the earlier ones.
With Joanne Joria, the new American Centre Director in Kolkata
On Saturday evening I hosted a dinner reception at the Taj Chambers to meet and welcome the new US Consul General in Kolkata, Ms Helen LaFave. 
With Hemant and Madhulika Kanoria
I also met Ms Joanne Joria the new American Centre director in Kolkata who succeeds Jeffrey K Reneau.
With Nitin Shivji Kothari
Ms LaFave served as the Deputy Director for Arabian Peninsula Affairs in the Near Eastern Affairs Bureau at the US State Department immediately before coming to Kolkata. 
With Victor Banerjee
She joined office late last month succeeding Dean R Thompson who completed his tenure in the city.
With Sangita Kejriwal, Madhu Neotia and Neelu Parekh
LaFave had also served at the US Consulate General in Chennai as Public Affairs Officer.
With Sanjeev Goenka
The dinner party was very well attended by the top industrialists of Kolkata. Many of them happen to be the Honorary Consuls representing different countries in the city.
With Utsav Parekh
On Sunday evening I went to the German Consulate to attend the Bundestag Election Wahlparty (election party) and met Mr Rainer Schmiedchen, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kolkata.
ess bee

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Thanks and good bye Jeff

On the Friday before last I got a text from Jeff saying his flight was postponed and we could meet over coffee on Saturday. Jeffrey K Reneau, Director of American Consulate (Public Affairs), has completed his tenure in Kolkata and was scheduled to leave the city.
I could not meet him one-to-one last week although we met in social get togethers in the city. Jeff got very busy with his packing and other formalities and I was in a series of functions so we could not work out a timing to meet.
The City of Joy has seen many diplomats in the past so many decades who have come and left, but only a few of them have really made an impact, not only career wise, but also in the city's social circuit with their warmth and enthusiasm.
Kolkata still remembers George N Sibley and his better half Lee Alison Sibley.
Some of them like Guenter Wehrmann, the late Consul General of Germany, was also a very accomplished photographer who held his exhibitions of photos in Kolkata a couple of times and even breathed his last in Kolkata.
Former Italian Consul General Mr Campari also breathed his last in the city. Another former Italian Consul General in Kolkata Augustino Pinna and former American Centre Director in Kolkata, Suzan M Schultz, were also very popular in city’s social calendar. In fact, Suzan very sportingly rode a camel on Rajasthan Diwas in Kolkata in 2005 when I had brought a champion camel pair called Dhola-Maru to Kolkata.
And who can forget former US Consul, Ms Beth A Payne, who could be seen walking around the streets of Kolkata with a camera. Many Kolkatans would remember the familiar sight of a foreign lady shutterbug clicking away pictures of the rickshaws, roads, lanes, ghats, old buildings, potua para, Maidan, Victoria Memorial and countless other interesting places that India's cultural hub, Kolkata, had to offer.
Jeff was one of the few diplomats who lived in Kolkata more than any other Kolkattan and was an active participant in Kolkata’s social events. He was very lively and approachable. Except for his looks he seemed more Kolkattan to me. He was there to play dhak during the Pujas last year at the Chaltabagan Durga Puja which he found to be very exotic. During Dean's farewell at The Taj Bengal last month Jeff came dressed up in a Sharbari Dutta designer outfit.
When we met last during coffee on Saturday evening at The Taj just a day before his scheduled flight the next morning, Jeff became emotional and said to me, "I just fell in love with this city and I can never forget it."
I have come across many diplomats in the past 15 years who spent a span of time ranging from two to three years and then leaving the city but not many of them send you a gift which you receive after he has left the city. Also not many of them could honour an invitation received on the very same day of the event and even fewer could feel personal enough to call you up and seek a visit to your home over simple home food. That was Jeffrey K Reneau.
Goodbye Jeff and all the best.

ess bee

Saturday, September 21, 2013

At the film making workshop

With Anik Dutta, Swastika, Anandi, Daniel Smith and students
September 21, 2013: On Wednesday evening (Sept 18) I attended the closing ceremony of Lights, Camera Workshop a two-day film making workshop at the British Council by Daniel Smith in partnership with Education for AllDaniel Smith's company First Light is a UK-based firm that uses film making to develop skills of youngsters.
With Swastika and film director Anik Dutta
Daniel Smith, project manager of FLIC, has developed and launched First Light’s new social enterprise scheme First Light in the Classroom. This scheme provides schools with an opportunity to bring film and media professionals into the classroom. Using practical workshops in film, TV, games or interactive platforms, the scheme enhances curriculum based teaching, develops creative learning and helps to improve motivation, behaviour and attainment.
Anandi Ghosh of O Fish! Entertainment (OFE) also participated in the workshop with Daniel to guide the students. At the end of the workshop, participation certificates were given to the students of 13 to 18 years age group. The certificates were given by actress Swastika and film director Anik Dutta.
With Priyankar Patra
I was really impressed to know that Priyankar Patra, a 14-year-old boy, has his own film production company called Footstep Films. Also, his films have been screened at Nandan.
As I got into my car after the event I got an SMS informing me the death of a relative who was about 85 years old. I went to Rajasthan and after attending the funeral and other rituals came back to Kolkata yesterday night.
ess bee

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Taking things forward

With Daniel Smith at The Taj Chambers
September 17, 2013: The last weekend wasn't a very busy one. I went to Kolkata Zoo on Friday to finalise the formalities of adopting the yet-to-be-named youngest Royal Bengal tigress as well as to discuss other possibilities of Public Private Partnership with the Alipore Zoological Gardens.
I had a long meeting with the director and the assistant director and we have discussed quite a few things. Ms Baishali Dalmia, who has adopted the only Jaguar at the Kolkata zoo, was there with me.
Monday, September 16, evening Prabha Khaitan Foundation along with the British Council hosted a small get-together at The Taj Chambers for Daniel Smith who is a British film / documentary teacher who runs Creative Filmmaking Workshops in Schools or First Light in the Classroom programmes.
With Anandi Ghosh and Daniel
Daniel was in Kolkata to conduct a two-day workshop with Ms Anandi Ghose to teach film making to 14 to 20 years age group students.
The workshop was supported by one of our other projects Education For All.
I am in touch with the British Council if some of these skilled teachers can also be taken to Jaipur so that the students can be benefit from the skill-development projects.
ess bee

Sunday, September 15, 2013

India's wildlife genocide

Last week apart from the headlines of Narendra Modi, Delhi rape case and US DolIar, I came across a small piece of news in the media that one of the largest and strongest network of poachers in the country were busted with the arrest of one 65-year-old Surajpal alias Chacha, who, along with his nephew Sarju, is said to have killed 300 tigers in the past 30 years and smuggled hides, bones and skulls to international market, especially China, running into crores of rupees.
The report, which read like a horror story, said that 18 kilos of tiger bones, nails and skulls were found with Surajpal who ran his operations from Delhi. Cash of Rs 50 lakh was also found from his house. The CBI and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau were in hot pursuit of Chacha since 2005 when they came to know about his activities with the arrest of notorious poacher Sansar Chand who is said to have traded in animal parts by killing over 250 tigers, 2000 leopards, 5000 otters, 20,000 wild cats, 20,000 foxes and so on according to a report by Tehelka. It has been a wildlife genocide.
I was aghast to read the report which said Surajpal had earlier worked with infamous poacher Sansar Chand Gujjar, and had earned for himself a dubious reputation of being the best supplier of tiger skins and bones. The modus operandi of Surajpal was simple and deadly. The tigers used to be poisoned and attempts made to make it look like normal death.
To me, people like Surajpal and Sansar Chand should be tried for “wildlife genocide” and meted out the harshest of punishments by the law. I am a wildlife enthusiast and a tiger lover, to me the newspaper reports read like a horror story. The legacy of the likes of Veerappan lives on across the country and in wild sanctuaries like Jim Corbett National Park, Rajaji National Park and Melghat Tiger Reserves in Maharashtra. Surajpal had set up a network of poachers, smugglers and poaching tribes across India. But for him and few others, the population of Indian tigers, which stands at 1706 as per the 2010 national tiger census, would have been 2500 plus.
Last month I had organized a discussion in Kolkata on tiger on my recently published book The Safari: A Diary on Ranthambore. I was in conversation with two of India's leading wildlife conservationists, Belinda Wright and Nitin Desai. During the talk Nitin had shared with the audience about some of the counter-poaching strategies adopted by his organisation and others which included taking into confidence and doling out incentives to the villagers and local residents to inform about the poaching networks  like the ones that was used by Surajpal.
I now really understand the efficacy of such moves. There is a hue and cry over “human rights” violations across the world on so many issues. It is high time that we should have “animal rights” at par with human rights under the purview of law.
ess bee

Friday, September 13, 2013

At Soumitra da's art exhibition

With Jogen Chowdhury, Soumitra da and Rabin da
September 13, 2013: I was busy last week for a number of events that were lined up one after another. Yesterday was the inauguration of “Forms Within” the exhibition of Soumitra Chatterjee's art work which he had been doing quietly during his free time for the past three decades.
The Bengal, along with ICCR, supported by The State Bank of India, organized the exhibition at the Abanindranath gallery of ICCR. The inaugural function was followed by a dinner hosted by The Bengal at The Conclave.
Mrinal Sen's letter
Chief Guest Mrinal Sen could not attend the inaugural function and instead sent a touching letter which was read out by Arindam Sil. The Bengal Chairman, H M Bangur, President, Nabanita Deb Sen, Working President, Jogen Chowdhury were present at the inaugural function with artist Rabin Mandal, Chief General Manager of SBI, Sunil Srivastava, Rajashree Behera, Director, ICCR, and of course Soumitra Chatterjee himself.
It was a simple inaugural function attended by many eminent guests including Wasim Kapoor, Suvaprasanna, Prasenjit Chatterjee, Harsh Neotia and others. In all, 108 art works of Soumitra Chatterjee were put on display at the exhibition which was aptly named Forms Within since the artist said that it was indeed a reflections of his inner world going back to the days of his childhood.
At the Forms Within exhibition
The art work and paintings of Soumitra was a real surprise since most of the people came to know this aspect of his versatility for the first time. I came to know from my friends in the film industry that over the years they had seen him often scribbling on papers during shoots and in between work. His artwork, I felt, has a strong influence of Rabindranath Tagore. Many of the artists praised Soumitra's works from the heart.
Later in the evening we, on behalf of The Bengal, hosted a dinner party for the guests at The Conclave which was again very well attended. The party went on till 11:30 pm with Soumitra as the centre of attraction. By the time I came back home it was past mid-night. 
I hope to find some time and visit the exhibition sometime in the next few days and pick up a painting or two.
ess bee

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Recipe Rendezvous takes off

With Raja Shreeman Vikram Singhji Bahadur-13th Raja of Sailana

September 10, 2013: From yesterday morning we started another series with t2 named "Recipe Rendezvous”. After a very successful series of Authors Afternoon and Tete-a-Tea, this new series is in collaboration with Madhu and Harsh Neotia's new multi-cuisine initiative Jhaal Farezi.
With Riddhima and Madhu Neotia
The idea is to invite food authors as well as renowned chefs to interact with a small group of people, including eminent citizens of the city, and also to give a live demo of a specific and interesting cuisine.
In the first of the series that took off yesterday, it was a rendezvous with our guest His Highness Raja Shreeman Vikram Singhji Bahadur, the 13th Raja of Sailana – a princely state in Madhya Pradesh close to the Rajasthan border. 
With Abhishek Dutta
The Sailana chefs are Rathod Rajputs, the descendants of Maharaja Uday Singh of Jodhpur. The Sailanas are famed for their culinary skills and exotic recipes that they have acquired and preserved over the generations.
The programme was planned and executed in three days. There was 100 per cent capacity attendance. Since it was the first event, we weren’t expecting it to be such a success. 
Usually it is hard to get cent percent attendance of guests for any event, however, this one proved to be an exception and the turnout was overwhelming.
It turned out to be a very lively and much-appreciated programme. The master of ceremonies of the programme, Ms Ekavali Khanna, did a fantastic job. She was extremely well prepared and spoke very well in Hindi, English and a few words of Urdu now and then to spice up the conversation. In fact the guests confessed that it was one of those excellent and engaging chat shows they had seen.
With the students from Jaipur
After the programme, later in the afternoon, I again went to Jhaal Farezi to meet a group of students who came from Jaipur for the semi-finals of the 34th Annual Inter-School Drama Festival organized by the British Council at the Satyajit Ray Auditorium in ICCR, Kolkata, from 9 - 13th of September, 2013, 10 am to 3 pm.
In this drama competition one of our social welfare projects wing, Education for All, is a partner.
ess bee

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Raising standards

For many years now, I have been staying at various five star properties at home and abroad, including some of the biggest hotel chains in the world. I have been observant about so many things that aroused my curiosity and also written about them.
I have noticed something in five star properties which may seem very trivial from the guest's point of view but can actually make or break careers. This is common to all the top hotels the worldover.
The issue at hand is that in their endeavour to serve the customer better, hotel chains have the practice of giving the customer feedback cards with the food ordered via room service.
This feedback card is apart from the overall feedback form which the hotels give to the guests while checking out or the email version sent to them later.
These two by three inch folded cards, which comes with the food trolley, seek client feedback on the quality of service, order delivery and efficiency and also on eye appeal, quality and taste of the food served. The end-user can exercise their options in YES or NO regarding the service. The card, often on the front fold, mentions “You are being served by” and there is the space for the name of the bearer or butler who takes the food trolley to the room.
The very purpose of this feedback card is to raise the standard of service and also to measure up to the needs of the clients. But there is much more than what meets the eye. Many hotels link this feedback form response to rate the efficiency of the staff concerned.
But what I have noticed in many hotels is that the feedback card does not mention the name of the person serving the food. This has many ramifications. The first time I noticed this I had doubts about this whole exercise being a serious one. How can a hotel assess its staff if the name of the person serving a guest is not mentioned anywhere in the feedback form. I find it a little odd for a guest to ask for the name of the butler serving the food and writing it in the form.
Very often the staff serving the guests are trainees. This is mentioned in their badge. How do hotels assess a particular staff whose name does not feature anywhere! The absence of a name scores out the element of seriousness from the feedback card. After all, what is feedback card for the guest is also a service assessment card for the hotel. Rating the efficiency of a staff is linked to points earned and accumulated on the basis of the feedbacks. Many hotels have this. It has a direct bearing on the career of the staff. It could be rewarding or could be the end of the road.
I think filling in a nameless card is a meaningless exercise. After all “quality of food and service” is one of the most critical areas in the highly competitive hospitality sector. The guests who check into hotels also should take this seriously and should, in their own interest, spare a minute to respond to the feedback form, which, I feel, are valuable inputs that can actually help hotels raise the standards of quality and service.
I have been quite amazed by alacrity of the response from certain brands to the queries and issues that I have raised in the past. I hope the next time I order food from room service the feedback card would have a name on it.
ess bee

Friday, September 6, 2013

Satyanweshi premier

With Sujoy, Shoojit and his wife
September 6, 2013: Monday onwards, the current week, I have been occupied in office work.
It is mostly desk work during the daytime and various overseas conference calls in the evenings like with the WFUNA executive committee (EXCO) meeting, which is on in New York today and tomorrow. I am again going to miss it.
Yesterday evening I went to the premiere of Satyanweshi.
I found the movie a little slow. As is expected from Rituparno Ghosh’s direction. The movie looked very beautiful on screen. Sujoy Ghosh did full justice to his new role.
In fact, Anandi Ghosh had very little dialogues in the film which she more than made it up for with powerful expressions for which I would give her cent per cent ratings. Her acting is also very lively and free flowing.
I was a little surprised to find that the hall, Priya, wasn't houseful.
ess bee

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Krishna's holiday leela!

Last week I was in Jaipur scheduled to host a dinner at the Polo Club on August 28 evening. Then I came to know that Wednesday was Janmashtami and hence a dry day. So I pre-poned my dinner to August 26 evening. But then, again I heard that the state government had declared that August 29th, and not 28th, would be a holiday for Janmashtami. The citizens were left guessing.
The issue over dates cropped up when different religious organizations wanted the city collector to declare their preferred day as the holiday for Janmashtami celebrations.
It all started when the Jaipur-based Govindadevji Mandir administrative body, representated by Manas Goswamiji, had in a letter to the state government explained that, as per their astrological calculations, the Janmashtami celebrations would fall on August 29 and requested the administration to declare it a holiday. The district collector responded positively and announced it to be so without taking into consideration the fact that most schools had already declared 28th a holiday.
This decision raised many eyebrows and religious gurus, saints and various organizations, who were in favor of observing Janamashtami on August 28th, as per the Hindu calendar, protested the decision and took out a ‘Shanti March’ on Monday (August 26) from Lakshaminarayan mandir situated at Badi Chaupar to Tarkeshwar temple in Chaura Rasta.
A delegation representing different religious bodies, sects and astrologers met the chief minister on the issue. They very categorically expressed their displeasure to the Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot about the state's decision to declare August 29 the official holiday for Janamashtami celebrations this year. The state government yielded once again under pressure and without wasting any time officially declared August 28th also as Janmashtami holiday.
So not only both the dates (August 28 and 29) were officially declared holidays for Janmashtami celebrations in Rajasthan but also half day on Friday August 30 was added to it due to a proposed religious rally by the temple authorities from Govindji Mandir to Gopinath ji Mandir. As a result, anyone who could manage to take half-a-day off on that day could actually avail five days of holidays since the next two days were Saturday and Sunday.
The scenario in Mathura (UP) or vraja bhoomi (Krishna land), the birth place of Lord Krishna, and the surrounding Vrindavan region, was very different from Rajasthan and Janmashtami was celebrated only on August 28.
Janmashtami is one of the major festivals of India, especially in central and northern India, marking the mid-night birth of Lord Krishna at Mathura in the 28th year of dwapar yug (era), is also known as Krishnashtami, Gokulashtami, Ashtami Rohini, Srikrishna Jayanti, Sree Jayanti and so on. Most of the time Janmashtami is listed on two consecutive days. The first one is largely followed by the Smarta Sampradya and the other one by the Vaishnava Sampradaya or sect.
I may mention here that ISKON, which has popularized the cult of Krishna globally, follows the Vaishnava dates for celebrating Lord Krishna's birth anniversary and accordingly observed it on August 28 this year. Hindu religious texts like Dharmasindhu and Nirnayasindhu have elaborate and well-defined, even complex, rules of deciding the Janmashtami day.
Whatever be the reason, the people of Rajasthan were euphoric at the turn of events. After all, how come Lord Krishna has two birth dates? But Krishna has his way of making people happy and he showed his leela again.
ess bee