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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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

An unscheduled trip to Kolkata

With Hartosh Singh Bal at the Write Circle in Jaipur
December 31, 2013: I arrived in Kolkata last night from Jaipur. Till the evening of December 29, I was in the forests of Ranthambore and really had amazing number of sightings. In fact, we had more than a dozen sightings of tigers in the tiger land – Ranthambore.
Before going to Ranthambore, I attended yet another very interesting series of the Write Circle event at the ITC Rajputana, Jaipur. This time it was with the author and journalist Hartosh Singh Bal who was till very recently the political editor of OPEN magazine and the author of Waters Close Over Us: A Journey Along Narmada.
I made an unscheduled return visit to Kolkata as lots of invites had piled up. Christmas onward Kolkata is full of events during the wintry months.
I shall again travel from 2nd or 3rd January. I had no plans to come to Kolkata but I had to make this short trip as the President of India has confirmed to formally present the “Sunil Gangopadhyay Memorial Award” to eminent poets Sri Nirendranath Chakraborty for 2012 and Sri Sankha Ghosh for 2013 - at an Award function on January 11, 2014, at the Raj Bhawan, Kolkata. Much remains to be done.
The Sunil Gangopadhyay Memorial Award” was instituted by The Bengal in memory of Late Sunil Gangopadhyay who was also the immediate past President of The Bengal.
The President’s function calls for a lot of protocols to be complied with and I was in office doing just that for most of the time.
ess bee

Friday, December 20, 2013

At the Chilli Bar & Grill in Quest Mall

With Neelu Parekh and Sanjeev Goenka
December 20, 2013: On Wednesday evening I went to the Quest Mall for a sample test at the restaurant Chilli Bar & Grill brought to the city by Utsav Parekh, Chairman, SMIFS capital Markets Ltd.
It was my first visit to the Mall
I met Sanjiv Goenka the man behind this Mall and complimented him for setting up an excellent infrastructure in the heart of the city.
Yesterday evening I went to the premier of the film Chander Pahar which is being touted as a big budget Bengali film. It is the first time I witnessed such a huge premier of a Bengali cinema as far as I can remember. All the audience for the screens of the multiplex were booked. This film is said to be the costliest Bengali film made till date with an equally big budget for special effects.
With Utsav Parekh
It is being released with Dhoom 3 and would be interesting battle for the eyeballs at the cineplexes and theatres.
It was nice for Dev and Srikant to call on me personally for the movie premier. No wonder Dev did a fantastic job and a risky one too. 
With Srikant Mohta
I watched the movie till a little after interval as I had prior commitments and had to go. I intend to see the movie once I am back in city with Raima Sen who missed the premier show due to her tight schedule.
It was a good treat to see the African jungles and animals on big screen just leaving for the jungles on a holiday.
ess bee

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Some interesting events I missed

December 17, 2013: There were quite a few interesting events in the past few days in Kolkata which I missed out. There was a cultural programme at the Birla Academy of Art & Culture on Saturday evening called Pandavani by the famous Teejan Bai of Chhattisgarh. It was a traditional performing art, a musical narration of tales from Mahabharata told.
Another event that I wanted to attend but missed out on was the fashion show with a cause organized by Ficci in association with the National School for the Blind which was inaugurated by ex-Governor and former human rights Retired Justice Shyamal Sen.
The show was directed by designer Agnimitra Paul and attended by host of dignitaries including members from the tinsel town, local consulates and bureaucrats. It was a different kind of fashion show in which the actors and actresses from Bollywood, singers, sports men and women and consular representatives walked on the stage with visually handicapped children.
I really missed out on seeing US Consul General, Helen LaFave also walked the ramp for a cause to the tune of Give Me Some Sunshine as did Saswata and Abir Chatterjee attired in dhoti and kurta.
With Jerry Pinto
And then yesterday was the 13th edition of Author's Afternoon with Jerry Pinto whose novel Em and the Big Hoom won the The Hindu Literature for Life award last year. He is also the author of Helen: The Life and Times of an H-Bomb which won the National Award for the Best Book on Cinema in 2006. He teaches journalism and is a board member of an NGO called MelJol that works in the area of child rights.
Later in the month another edition of the Write Circle with journalist Hartosh Singh Bal would take place in Jaipur which I am looking forward to attend.
ess bee

Saturday, December 14, 2013

At the Japanese Consul celebrations

With Masako Kawaguchi, wife of Japanese Consul General
December 14, 2013: Last week I was busy with a family wedding which kept me occupied for the entire week although the wedding was on December 13, that is yesterday.

At the wedding functions I met quite a lot of old friends and relatives. 
The wedding reception was held in the morning and in the evening I went to The Oberoi Grand to attend a reception hosted by the Consulate General of Japan, Mr Mitsuo Kawaguchi and his wife Masako to celebrate the Birthday of His Imperial Majesty of Japan, Akihito.
With Friso Maecker, Director, Max Mueller Bhawan, Kolkata and Britta Leicke Milde
It was a mix of tradition and contemporary and the hostess, dressed in a traditional Japanese attire, welcomed the guests. It felt good to attend a public event after a week.
ess bee

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A breezy eventful week

With Hon'ble Governor of West Bengal M K Narayanan and Umesh Choudhury, Honorary Consul of Switzerland in Kolkata
December 7, 2013: Last week was a breezy one in terms of the number of events held in Kolkata which I tried to make it to the extent possible. With the onset of winter this is hardly surprising. The frequency of events pick up during this time of the year.
With the British Deputy High Commissioner in Kolkata Scott Furssedonn Wood and his wife Elizabeth
I attended the Navy Day on December 4 at the Navy House in Hastings. It was a well-attended celebration which was also attended by His Excellency, Governor of West Bengal, Shri M K Narayanan. The Navy Day is an annual event which celebrates the fall of Karachi and the victory of Indian navy in 1971 Indo-Pak war.
With Commodore Ravi Ahluwalia and Mr Haider Aziz  Safwi, Minister for Correctional Administration and Inland Waterways, Govt of West Bengal
Also present were Commodore Ravi Ahluwalia, NM, naval-officer-in-charge, West Bengal along with the representatives of American, Russian, Japanese and French consuls. Mira Pande, State Election Commissioner, General Shankar Roy Chowdhury and many others.
On Friday (Dec 6) I attended the premier of Prasenjit starrer Hanuman.Com at the South City Mall Inox
I noticed that the invitation card was unique. It was shaped like a “monkey cap” (picture) which indicates the onset of winter and one of Bengalis' favourite winter wear. 
Prasenjit introduced me to his father Biswajit – perhaps the first glamour king of Indian silver screen.
And then there were scores of invitations for various wedding functions and weddings. I hardly attend wedding functions. But to attend a few of these events I just dropped in for few minutes and that accounted for a lot of time .
With Prasenjit and Biswajit
In the last couple of days, I had in Kolkata three persons from Jaipur who are known to me. One of them is  an editor friend whom I took to the premier of Hanuman.Com, another was an industrialist friend whom I could not meet and the third person was Chhavi Rajawat, who is a sarpanch of Soda village in Rajasthan with whom I had lunch. Rajawat, who has transformed the landscape of her rural village, was in the city for the Infocom event.
In the past, many organizations have requested me to invite Chhavi Rajawat to Kolkata. But this time her schedule was very tight as she arrived by a late night flight and left the next day.
ess bee

Monday, December 2, 2013

At Yaadein

With Britta, His Excellency M K Narayanan, Pt Hari Prasad Chauraia
December 2, 2013: Yesterday evening I went to The Hyatt Regency Kolkata to attend a musical evening programme called Yaadein in memory of Pt Ravi Kichlu. Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasia played his magic on the flute and was accompanied by Pt Samar Saha on tabla. His Excellency Sri M K Narayanan and his wife Padmini Narayanan were the Guest of Honour.
With Bimla Poddar, Girija Devi, Purnadas Baul, and Britta Leicke Milde
Later in the evening I had dinner with the Hon'ble Governor and his wife at the hotel along with Britta Leicke Milde, the General Manager of Hyatt.
ess bee