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

1A Camac Court, 25B Camac Street, Kolkata – 700 016, India.

Phone: 91 33 2281 6934

Fax: 91 33 2280 2930

Email: essbee@essbeeindia.com

For Events: events@essbeeindia.com
Appointments: assistant@essbeeindia.com
Invitations: secretariat@essbeeindia.com
WhatsApp Text: 9836383333

Friday, August 28, 2015

At the Istanbul airport


August 28, Istanbul: Istanbul airport is like any of the crowded railway stations of India with endless number of passengers using it as a transit hub. This city airport has developed into the transit point for many of the east European countries and is always abuzz with activity.
With PM Tshering Tobgay
I am at the Emirates lounge waiting to board my flight to Dubai. The last ten days were exceptionally hectic. On Tuesday I had a meeting with the Commissioner of Police and other police officials at the Lal Bazar to finalize the modalities of the programmes for Pronam members for the Pujas.
On Wednesday, August 19 afternoon, I flew to Bhutan which is one of my most favourite destinations. 
My agenda in Bhutan was to attend the the sixth edition of the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival 2015 - an initiative of the India-Bhutan Foundation in association with Jaipur-based Siyahi
The LitFest concluded in Thimphu, Bhutan on August 22 2015.
With Kalki Koechlin
The three-day event drew eminent authors, litterateurs, celebs, guests and dignitaries. Among those spotted at the LitFest were Chetan Bhagat, Ashwin Sanghi, Goutam Ghose, Suhel Seth, Kalki Koechlin, Sudhir Kakar, Mita Kapur, Namita Gokhale, Pramod Kumar KG, Patrick French, Mala Singh and others.
With Indian Ambassador HE Gautam Bambawale
There were dinners held on the evening of August 19 hosted by the Ambassador of India to Bhutan, Shri Gautam Bambawale.
On August 20 evening the dinner was hosted by the Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Smt Vasundhara Raje at Taj Tashi. However, she was not present there nor any of the other ministers from the state government.
With Her Majesty the Royal Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuk
The August 21 dinner was hosted by Her Majesty the Royal Queen Mother Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck at the Motithang Palace and on Saturday (August 22) Prabha Khaitan Foundation and Bajoria Charitable Foundation co-hosted a dinner which was the farewell dinner of the LitFest.
With Mayur Sharma & Khendum Dorji
The three-day Mountain Echoes LitFest is drawing more and more Bhutanese authors each year and also the size of the audience is increasing. 
This year I was quite surprised to see intelligent questions asked by the Bhutanese students in excellent English. I
 met quite a number of authors at the Festival apart from my regular acquaintances which included the Indian Ambassador to Bhutan, Shri Gautam Bambawale. 
With Major General Devraj Anbu
I also met Major General Devraj Anbu.
Among the authors I spent some time with were Chetan Bhagat and Ashwin Sanghi. Ashwin Sanghi is scheduled to attend an Authors Afternoon in Kolkata on September 3.
I really liked the session of Rocky and Mayur the famous food show host who appear on the popular NDTV programme - Good Times.
My friend Suhel Seth was in conversation with them and during the whole session and everybody had a hearty laugh. 
I have extended my invitation to Rocky and Mayur to be in Kolkata, let us see if it happens.
On the morning of August 24, I landed from Bhutan to Kolkata and in the evening took the Emirates flight. 
With Malvika Singh
I had an overnight sleep at the Le Meridian Hotel where Emirates normally put up their transit passengers and via Istanbul I reached a former Yugoslavian country. Yugoslavia is divided into different countries namely Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Central Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo and Vojvodina. I spent three nights in one of these countries on the invitation of the Ambassador to explore the possibilities of literature and cultural exchange with India.
In a few hours, I shall fly to Dubai. 
With Chetan Bhagat
Although it was about nine hours in transit, but thanks to the Turkish Airways for not checking in my baggage to Kolkata. So, I had to come out of the transit area to collect my baggage. While the flight took about one-and-half hour only, it took two hours to get my baggage.
It is always better to have a Visa of country where you are transiting as you never know when you may need it. This is something I have learnt from my extensive overseas travel experience. Just because I had Turkish Visa, I was able to go out and check in again for Kolkata via Dubai.
ess bee

Monday, August 17, 2015

Rat ruckus


August 17, 2015: It was a holiday weekend since Saturday was 15th of August, Independence Day, and a holiday as well. I was working hard to clear things as I would be away from office for almost 10 days from Wednesday.
On August 13 evening I went to The Bengal Club to attend a dinner celebrating 100 days of success of the film Bela Sheshe. I met quite a few friends and acquaintances from the film fraternity.
With Prosenjit
I met Prosenjit Chatterjee after a long time. After the film premiere, I went for dinner at a five star hotel and after that when I was at the Coffee Shop past mid-night. Few of the guests apparently spotted a rat and sounded an alarm. This created quite a ruckus at the otherwise quite venue. The pest control staff came in and tried to contain it with a mouse-trap.
With Raima Sen
I was surprised seeing this because ideally they should have closed the Coffee Shop till they had contained the rat and then allowed the guests back into the Coffee Shop. This is something not expected from a five-star hotel. That is while a rat hunt is on the guests are sitting around and more guests are being allowed to come in.
With Rituparna and Shreya
On Friday evening I went to Priya to attend the premiere of Nirbashito
With Churni
It was nice of Churni Ganguly to call me up and invite me. I watched the film till the interval. Once I return from my overseas trip, I will surely watch the full film again.
ess bee

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

tete-a-tea with Rahul Bose and Konkona

With Konkona and Rahul Bose at ITC Dublin
August 11, 2015: Last weekend I was into many things. On Friday there was another session of tete-a-tea at the Dublin, ITC Sonar, in which the guests were Rahul Bose and Konkona Sen. They were in conversation with Suman Mukhopadhyay.
This was the first time we had two tete-a-tea events within a week because Suman Mukhopadhyay requested us and our media partner, The Telegraph, to organize it since both Rahul and Konkona were in town.
With Rahul Bose, Konkona and Mannoj Jain
I had the event at the ITC Sonar after quite a few years. ITC Sonar was my destination for most of my events from the time of Ranvir Bhandari and Anil Chadha, and then, all my activities shifted to The Taj Bengal. I think the ambience at Dublin came out quite nicely and I look forward to more events in ITC Sonar.
In the evening I went to attend the premiere of Shesher Kobita at the Quest Mall and then had a quiet dinner at the Bombay Brasserie. From there, I went for the 10 pm movie show of Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation. It was quite an entertaining movie and of course you cannot compare the acting skills of Rebecca Ferguson and Tom Cruise.
With Wiccan High Priestess Ipsita and her daughter Deepta
On August 8 I hosted a small dinner at The English Pub, The Conclave, to celebrate the launch of Deepta Roy Chakraverti' book “Bhangarh to Bedlam” which was released the next day at Taj Bengal
At the launch of Bhangarh to Bedlam
Both Deepta and her mother Ipsita Roy Chakraverti were there along with Aditya Ahluwalia and Swati Chopra who represent the publishing firm Life Positive – the publishers of the book. There were few others who also attended the dinner.
In the evening I attended the wedding of Dev’s sister at the Indoor Recreation Centre, (Big Lawn AC Hanger), Jheel Meel, Salt Lake.
This approaching week is also full of movie activities. Tomorrow the Governor of West Bengal is slated to watch a special show of Belaseshe at the Quest Mall
On Thursday, August 13, Belaseshe will celebrate 100-day success at the Bengal Club. Again on Friday there is a premiere in Priya of Churni Ganguly’s film.
ess bee

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Tete-a-tea and Deepta's book launch

August 6, 2015: Tomorrow Friday, and the coming weekend, I have quite a few meetings lined up and committed for some social gatherings and cultural events as well.
In the afternoon, there will be a session of the tete-a-tea event. This time the guests are Rahul Bose and Konkona Sen in conversation with Suman Mukhopadhyay. It will be the first tete-a-tea at the ITC Sonar the earlier three were also held at The Oberoi Grand, Taj Bengal and Hyatt Regency respectively.
After the event, I have two meetings lined up at the ITC Sonar itself and then I will attend the premier of Suman Mukhopadhyay’s film Shesher Kobita at the Quest Mall, produced by Ministry of Culture, Government of India, and post the film premier I have three more commitments.
On Saturday night, I am hosting a private dinner for few guests at The Conclave and on Sunday evening will attend Dev Adhikari sister’s wedding and prior to that in the afternoon, I shall attend the book release of Deepta Roy Chakraverti Bhangarh to BedlamHaunted Encounters at The Mandarin Hall in Taj Bengal.
Prabha Khaitan Foundation had planned to launch this book a month ago in association with the British Council In Kolkata and for which the Hon’ble British Deputy High Commissioner in Kolkata, Mr Scott Furssedonn Wood, had kindly agreed to do the honours of releasing the book.
Launch of Deept's Book at the Habitat Centre's Gulmohar Hall in Delhi
However, fate had other plans, and the publishers backed out due to some issues and the programme had to be called off. After that we had a very successful launch at the Habitat Centre's Gulmohar Hall in New Delhi on July 15. 
With Ipsita, Ravi Shankar Etteth, Kishwar Desai and Sarika at the Book launch
I attended the event, and there was quite an impressive discussion post release of the book. I met Sarika, Lady Kishwar Desai and others and I am looking forward for the book release in Kolkata. I wish all the best to the debut author Deepta.
ess bee

Monday, August 3, 2015

Events with Anupam Kher and Shoojit Sircar

With Neena Gupta
August 3, 2015: On Friday (July 31st) I went to Kala Mandir to watch the play Mera Woh Matlab Nahin Tha
With Rakesh Bedi
The play was directed by Rakesh Bedi in which he himself along with Anupam Kher and Neena Gupta acted in it.
Somehow, their play created quite a hype in Kolkata and I have never faced so many requests for entry invites for any other play as I did for this one.
With Madhu Neotia and Anupam Kher
However, that is typical of Kolkata, if you want to do something everybody wants to do it. I liked the play but on a very personal and honest note, I find that the director had overlooked things. 
For example, Anupam Kher was reading a letter of 1982 in the play when he said Kolkata.
Well in 1982 the city was known by its name Calcutta.
At tete-a-tea at the Hyatt Regency
After the play, I hosted a small dinner at the Taj Bengal which was attended by all three of them. 
Amish Tripathi, who was in Kolkata, also joined in as well along with few of my friends from the film and business fraternity.
On Saturday, there was the tete-a-tea event in which Shoojit Sircar was the guest and music director, Anupam Roy, was in conversation with him.
With Amish Tripathi
Shoojit is a good conversationalist and he recounted his early life's experiences in Delhi when he was a struggling to have a foothold in the industry doing all kinds of odd jobs while remaining focused on theatre.
Shoojit's anecdotes, including his interactions with the Big B, were very interesting and informative and had the audience's undivided attention. Shoojit also told the audience why he shifted his daughter to Kolkata from Mumbai keeping in mind the quality of education.
With Vishal Agarwal, Radhika Singhi and Bhawna Agarwal
It is the first time the event was organized at the Hyatt's Presidency Suite and all the guests really enjoyed the ambiance as well as the tete-a-tea event thanks to Britta for providing the Presidential Suite for the event.
In the night, I had dinner at a private residence with a few other friends like Shantanu Moitra, who were in Kolkata, joined us. After dinner, we all went to Toni’s house.
While entering Toni’s place I was sure it would be well past 2.30 am. I was wrong. By the time we called it a day it was 4:30 am.
With Shoojit Sircar, Anpam Roy and Hyatt GM Britta Leicke Milde at the Hyatt Presidential Suite
ess bee