Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Monday, November 17, 2014

A visit to Ganga Kutir in Raichak

My first visit to Style File
November 17, 2014: The last weekend once again turned out to be very busy as I went to the Style File on Friday evening. It was my first visit to Style File and I was impressed with the display of art and sculptures.
On Saturday I reached Ganga Kutir in Raichak around lunch time for the birthday celebrations of Madhu Neotia. Harsh Neotia had invited a group of friends for an overnight stay to celebrate Madhu’s 50th birthday at the beautiful Ganga Kutir.
It was my first visit to Raichak. 
Over the last three to four years, whenever Madhu and Harsh invited me to this picture perfect place, I was either out of Kolkata or was engaged in some other matter that did not allow me to be with them. 
I wish this time I could have visited all the three properties run by Harsh in Raichak - Ffort Raichak Hotel, Ganga Kutir and the newly opened Anaya Kutir
This, however, was not possible since I was busy at the birthday party celebrations which was very well organized with the minutest of details taken care of. 
This is what we always expect from Harsh Neotia.
Yesterday, after a brunch at Raichak, we drove back to Kolkata and went to The Taj Bengal where the “vegetable market” was on at The Taj Terrace. This idea has been conceptualized by Karen Anand - a food guru who influences the way people eat and perceive good food and wellness. 
With Madhu Neotia
Karen has often been called the “Martha Stewart of India". 
Karen was born in Bombay but grew up in London and Paris. She returned to India in 1984 and decided to dabble in cooking, until then a hobby, which eventually turned into a path breaking career.
Thanks to The Taj Bengal, General Manager, K Mohanchandran, who took me around the “vegetable market at The Taj Terrace. I also met Elizabeth, wife of Scott Furssedonn Wood, the British Deputy High Commissioner in Kolkata.
With Karen Anand and K Mohanchandran at The Taj Terrace
From The Taj I went to North Kolkata where Shoojit Sarkar’s film Piku's shooting was on. 
With Arindam Sil and Irfan Khan
I witnessed the shooting of a shot of Big B in which he even had a Bengali dialogue. Thanks to Arindam Sil, I met Irfan Khan and then had lunch with Shoojit Sarkar in his personal van which, of course, is like a hotel room.
It was Amitabh Bachchan’s grand daughter’s birthday so he had ordered sweets for the whole unit members. The weekend was not over yet.
Giving a copy of my book The Safari to Irfan Khan
In the evening I went to The Oberoi Grand on the invitation of Sunita and Naresh Kumar. The dinner was preceded by a perfomance by famous Pakistani classical singer Shafaqat Amanat Ali of Patiala Gharana. He was the lead vocalist of Pakistani rock band Fuzon and has sung many Bollywood chart busters.
I really enjoyed the evening. It was a selective audience and the singer, who was supposed to sing for an hour, sang and regaled those present for over two hours.
ess bee

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