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


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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Ek Mulakat with Toni and Ritesh

With Mr Alan Gemmell and Debanjan Chakraborty
3 August, 2017: I had a meeting with Mr Alan Gemmell (OBE), Director of the British Council in India and Debanjan Chakraborty, Director of the British Council, East and North-East India, today. I discussed possibilities of tying up for events and activities with Prabha Khaitan Foundation and other like-minded associations to mark India UK 70 Years.
With screenwriter Ritesh Shah
With Paoli Dam
In the evening I attended the third Ek Mulakat session at the Tollygunge Club. The guest speakers were Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury aka Tony and screenwriter Ritesh Shah. 
Agnimitra Paul was the conversationist of the event which was attended by many eminent guests and members of Tollygunge Club.
It turned out to be a lively session with Toni sharing his life experiences while making films like Pink and told the audience how he approaches various films and his views that shape his films.
With Srijato, Paoli and Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury aka Tony
Ritesh also chipped in with his takes on the industry and how his life’s journey from Srinagar to the glamour city Mumbai. Ritesh has written the screenplays for films like Pink, Kahaani, Kahaani2, Airlift, Madaari, Namaste London, D-Day and many others.
With Anil Mukherjee, Tony, Ritesh and Agni Mitra Paul
Among those who attended the event were Bratya Basu, Paoli Dam, Gargi Roy Chowdhury, Saheb, Anindya, Srijato, Kaushik Sen, Sourendro, Soumayjit and others. Ek Mulakat is being organized in Kolkata by Prabha Khaitan Foundation in association with Tollygunge Club and Calcutta Times as the print media partner.
ess bee

Monday, July 31, 2017

Lunch with Meeryung and Craig

With Meeryung and Craig L Hall, US Consul General in Kolkata
31 July, 2017: I hosted a lunch for Mrs Meeryung Hall and Mr Craig L Hall, the Consul General of US in Kolkata at The Taj Bengal
With Vera Gerasimov and Gleb Gerasimov, Dy Consul, Russian Federation, Kolkata
It was small gathering of few friends and representatives from the diplomatic fraternity in Kolkata. 
With Meeryung, Anupama and Craig L Hall
Meeryung is a talented musician who is also interested in Tagore songs.
With Kusum Ansal and Archana Luthra
The lunch was attended by Gleb Gerasimov and his wife Vera, Japanese Consul General, Mr Masayuki Taga, danseuse Tanusree Shankar and her daughter Sreenanda, Suman Ghosh, Madhulika Kanoria, Anupama Sureka, Archana Luthra, Kusum Ansal, Sarah Sandhu and Caroline. 
With Masayuki Taga, Japanese Consul General in Kolkata
The Italian and continental cuisine were much liked by the guests.
ess bee

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Farewell Laura and Stephane

With Umesh Saraf, Birgit Holm, Padam Khaitan, Stephane and Laura Amalir
27 July, 2017: I, on behalf of Prabha Khaitan Foundation, and in association with Hyatt Regency Kolkata, organized a farewell reception for Monsieur Stephane Amalir and his wife Laura Amalir. Stephane, who has been in Kolkata for more then 5 years, was the director and head of Alliance Fracaise du Bengale and the couple had blended with the city very well.
With Sephane and Avik Sarkar
I had attended and jointly hosted quite a few events with Stephane in the city. He and his wife attended numerous events that I have been hosting over the past many years. Mrs Laura Amalir also recently released her book Calcutta: Lens and Bylanes which is like a gift to the city she fell in love with.
Presenting a copy of Gitanjali to Laura and Stephane with Birgit Holm
The farewell dinner was attended by many eminent Kolkatans cutting across different walks of life. I must thank Birgit Holm, the general manager of Hyatt Regency for making the nice arrangements and also inviting Mr Umesh Saraf and Mr Padam Khaitan to the reception.
Presenting a farewell gift to Stephane and Laura with Birgit Holm
A painting of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore and a copy of Gitanjali was given to the couple on behalf of Prabha Khaitan Foundation and Hyatt Regency. A live classical music made the evening all the more pleasant. 
With Rashmi and Devendra Goel
I wish Stephane and Laura all the very best as they will soon leave the city for Britanny – a cultural region in north-western France.
I missed the small dinner post reception hosted for them though.
ess bee

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Swiss National Day reception

With Umesh, Mr Andreas Baum and Rashmi at the Swiss National Day
26 July, 2017: I attended the Swiss National Day celebrations at The Oberoi Grand, Kolkata, in the evening. It was a pleasure to meet the Swiss Ambassador, Mr Andreas Baum, and the Honorary Consul of Switzerland in Kolkata, Umesh Chowdhary, and his wife Rashmi.
With Umesh and Swiss Ambassador in India, Mr Andreas Baum
I got to meet many of my friends in Kolkata whom I had not seen for sometime due to my extensive travels outside the city.
With Hemant and Ravi Todi
I went to The Taj Bengal for a dinner with Dr Toni Atanasovski, Ambassador of The Republic of Macedonia in India. The dinner was hosted by Namit Bajoria, the Honorary Consul of The Republic of Macedonia in Kolkata.
ess bee

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Special screening of documentary on Amartya Sen

At the special screening of Argumentative Indian at Nandan-III
13 July, 2017: On Monday (July 10) evening I attended the special screening of documentary film by Suman Ghosh, Argumentative Indian, at Nandan III. The special screening event was organized by Prabha Khaitan Foundation. The hour long film was on Nobel Laureate and Bharat Ratna, Prof Amartya Sen.
With Soumitra Chatterjee, Amartya Sen and Suman Ghosh
The event was attended by Guest of Honour Soumitra Chatterjee and eminent Kolkatans including Dhrittiman Chatterjee, Barun Chanda, Nabaneeta Dev Sen, Nandana Dev Sen, John Makinson, Sugata Bose, Krishna Bose, Suvaprasanna, Srijato, Jawhar Sircar, Alexey Adamkin and other artistes and directors.
Felicitating Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen
The documentary, An Argumentative Indian, traces the life and work of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, one of the greatest living economists and philosophers of the world, and explores the intellectual giant’s formative years of life and its influence on his views of the world - past and present.
With John Makinson, Nandana Dev Sen and Nabaneeta Dev Sen
Director Suman Ghosh has filmed the documentary for the past 15 years and the film is structured as a free flowing conversation between Professor Sen and his student and Cornell economics professor, Kaushik Basu.
Through the conversation, the narrative took us from his childhood days in Shantiniketan, West Bengal, to his college in Calcutta and his academic career in the USA and UK, where he was the Master of Trinity College, Cambridge University.
With Amartya Sen and industrialist H M Bangur at the dinner
The screening was followed by a discussion and question and answer session. I left early in order make arrangements for a dinner later at night that was hosted by industrialist H M Bangur at his Alipore residence in honour of the Nobel laureate.
ess bee

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Tree Plantation and Rajasthan Forum board meeting

With Apra, Nitasha, Neha, Sujata, Kanak, Vandana and Alka
July 5, 2017: I took a flight on Monday (July 3) from Kolkata to Jaipur. I attended the Tree Plantation Day event organized by Prabha Khaitan Foundation at the ITC Rajputana in association with the hotel and Spagia Foundation on 4th evening before taking flight back to Kolkata.
With Saurabh and Vinnie Kakkar of Spagia
The event was held to mark the World Environment Month. The event, a tree and saplings plantation drive, is celebrated each year in Jaipur with celebrities and prominent citizens participating in the event.
This year a group of under-privileged children supported by the Spagia Foundation also planted trees. Tejinder Singh, General Manager, ITC Rajputana, was also there at the event. This time 18 different varieties of trees were planted by members representing 25 different organizations.
Each student who participated in the event were given a sapling to plant in their home and nurture it. 
With a group of under-privileged students supported by Spagia
Among the organizations that attended the event were CII, Arohini, Ficci Rajasthan, Ficci FLO, Siyahi, WeCare, Grassroot Media Foundation, Roop Rang Kala Sanskar, Rajasthan Forum, Star Foundation, Shruti Mandal, Help in Suffering, Raksha, Rang Mastane and People’s Media Theatre
With Sudhir Kasliwal and Nisha Singh
Thanks to Vinnie Kakkar of Spagia.
At the Rajasthan Forum meeting
Before that, in the morning, I attended the 8th Board meeting of Rajasthan Forum at the ITC Rajputana which was chaired by Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and attended by the board members. The meeting was followed by lunch with state artistes.
ess bee

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Launch of White Noise at the Hyatt Regency

With author Shruti Upadhaya and Rajat Kapoor at the launch of White Noise
July 2, 2017: Yesterday evening I attended a book launch event organized by Prabha Khaitan Foundation in association with Hyatt Regency Kolkata at its Gucchi banquets. The book White Noise by debutante author Shruti Upadhaya is a romantic-thriller and our guest actor, Rajat Kapoor, did the honours of unveiling the book and also engaged in a tete-a-tete with the young author. Veteran actor, Soumitra Chatterjee, was also there at the event.
With Ujwal Upadhaya, Utsav Parekh and Sunil Kanoria
The discussions and book reading by Rajat Kapoor covered various aspects of the book. Rajat Kapoor congratulated the young author on her first novel and said that it was very heartening to see more and more young people coming forward to express themselves.
With Ravneet Kaur
Besides family members, friends and acquaintances of the young author, some of the leading industrialists and other eminent Kolkatans were there. I must thank Birgit Holm, general manager of Hyatt Regency for making very nice arrangements for hosting the event. I got an opportunity to meet up with some of my old friends and acquaintances.
Dinner at Hyatt with Birgit Holm, Shruti, Rajat Kapoor and others
Later, after the book launch event, there was a dinner party with Rajat Kapoor, the author and few others.
ess bee

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Kalam Bengaluru with Yatindra Mishra

With Shinie Antony, Babita Kathoria, Yatindra Mishra, Anil Kathotia and Somnath Mukherjee
July 1, 2017: I reached Bengaluru on Thursday (29 June) and attended the Kalam series at the Taj West End. The guest author was Yatindra Mishra and he was engaged in a conversation by Shinie Anthony. I also met Shinie Anthony and Ficci Flo ex-chairperson.
With Shinie Anthony
In Bengaluru, Kalam is being held in association with the Taj Group of Hotels. I must thank Somnath Mukherjee and his team for making all the arrangements for the event.
ess bee

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A finger on Patna's cultural pulse

With Smt Sita Sahu, Mayor of Patna
27 June, Patna: I landed in Patna on Friday (23 June) and checked in at Hotel Maurya. In the evening I had a meeting with some of my journalist friends.
On Saturday (24 June) I took some time off and met the newly-elected Mayor of Patna, Smt Sita Sahu. 
In the evening there was a session of Kalam with Chitra Mudgal in conversation with Geeta Shree.
Later at night I attended a dinner hosted by the patrons of Navras School of Performing Arts - Dr Ajit Pradhan and his wife Anvita Pradhan – at the Hotel Maurya which was attended by the literati, authors, industrialists and the art and cultural fraternity of Patna.
At the dinner hosted by Navras Society in my honour
On Sunday (25 June) I attended a music concert “Yaadein” at the Birla Auditorium in Patna organized by the Navras Society to celebrate 100 years of Baba Alauddin Khan’s Maihar Band and it also paid rich tributes to Jaipur-Atrauli gharana vocalist Kishori Amonkar. The venue was packed and turned into a music lovers’ throng.
At the Birla Auditorium event "Yaadein" paying tributes to vocalist Kishori Amonkar
Among those present were, Vidushi Sania Patankar, an accomplished musician belonging to a family of music lovers. She is a certified Company Secretary and has rendered over 50 performances abroad, mostly in the US and Australia. At the concert, she performed few ragas. She was followed by a performance rendered by Maihar Band. Prabhu Dayal Dwivedi, the lead vocalist of the Band, explained the nuances and intricacies of music to the audience.
With Anvita Pradhan, Aradhana Pradhan and Usha Kiran Khan
I think the Navras Concert is perhaps the only concert in India that still continues to celebrate the contribution of legendary Baba Alauddin Khan’s Maihar Band. Also present at the Concert were Justice Dinesh Singh, Tripurari Saran (IAS), Ravindra Kumar (DC), N Vijaylakshmi, organizers Dr Ajit Pradhan, Aradhana Pradhan and Anvita Pradhan and others.
With poet Alok Dhanwa
At night, I had dinner at the house of Dr Ajit Pradhan. It was an honour to receive a book “The Life and Works of Rakhaldas Banerji” from Anvita Pradhan.
Late Rakhaldas Banerji (1885 - 1930) is forever etched in history for Indians as the “Discoverer of Mohenjo-daro” civilisation. Textbooks tell us that John Marshall, the longest-serving director general of Archaeological Survey of India (1902-28) discovered Mohenjo-daro, which is one of the many blatant historical “theft of credit and intellectual property right” for discovery of Indus Valley Civilisation. 
The first report on the discovery of Mohenjo-daro was submitted by Banerji in 1920 and was suppressed by Marshall who visited the ruins three years after Rakhaldas Banerji filed his first report. Banerji’s subsequent reports were also suppressed by Marshall.
Rakhaldas was a historian par excellence and one of the biggest names in archaeology, epigraphy and paleography that India has ever had. His discovery of Mohenjo-daro lead to the excavations and confirmation of The Indus Valley Civilisation. He was also the first to study proto-Bangla script or the original form of Bangla script.
With Padma Shri Sharda Sinha - musician and folk singer
On Monday (June 26) I met Padma Shri Sharda Sinha, a musician, folk and playback singer, who sings in Bhojpuri and Maithili. She is also very popular for her chhath puja-theme songs. She has also received many awards and accolades.
With Moni Tripathi
I also had a meeting with the Navras Society team over lunch.
Patna seems to have its cachet of those who love music, art and culture and have kept alive India’s rich cultural heritage and I congratulate the citizens of Patna. I must say my visit to Patna was unique for it was a very different Patna and I got to see a very bright and rich cultural side of this ancient city. I returned to Kolkata via evening flight yesterday.
ess bee

Friday, June 23, 2017

Ek Mulakaat with Rekha Bhardwaj

With Sourendro, Rekha Bhardwaj, Soumyajit and Usha Uthup at Tolly Club
June 22, 2017: I attended the second edition of Ek Mulakat in Kolkata at the Tollygunge Club. The guest of the session was singer Rekha Bhardwaj who was in conversation with Sourendro and Soumyajit of I & You.
The session started a little late as the guests, who faced bad traffic, took some time to make it to the venue. The Ek Mulakat series started in Kolkata with Swraj Paul but the first event was held at The Taj Bengal. This series is organized by Prabha Khaitan Foundation in association with the Times of India and Tollygunge Club.
With Rekha Bhardwaj at Ek Mulakat
The discussion was very well conducted by the Sourendro and Soumyajit duo who are themselves very creative and from the world of music. Rekha Bhardwaj shared her experiences of being in Taiwan and Turkey and her trysts with sufism and spirituality. She shared with the audience some very interesting facts about whirling, dervishes and how she tries to find her own centre and balance while performing on stage. She said her spiritual and inner experiences have helped her grow into a better person.
With Jaya Ahsan
The session was attended by Usha Uthup, Jaya Ahsan, Toni, Upal, Abhishek Roy, Tollygunge Club President, Indrajit Mookerji and his wife Sushmita.
In the evening I hosted at dinner at the Hyatt Regency and invited few friends.
Today I shall leave for Patna. This trip is long overdue.
ess bee

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

An Authors Afternoon with Prabhudesai; The Bengal meeting

With Guest Author Devendra Pradhudesai and Raja Mukherji
June 21, 2017: Today was a very hectic day with three back-to-back events of my own that kept me busy most of the day. First there was the 45th session of An Authors Afternoon with guest author Devendra Prabhudesai.

With Devendra Prabhudesai
Mr Prabhudesai has written six books and three of which are biographies of Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. Mr Raja Mukherji, for cricketer of Bengal engaged Mr Prabhudesai.
This time the venue of An Authors Afternoon the event was shifted to Souk from The Taj Chambers due to some renovation work that was on. The conversation, as anticipated was mostly on cricket, cricketers and cricketing in India.
The Bengal Board Members
With Usha Uthup
Mr Prabhudesai also shared his views on the next book he would like to pen. He said that he has, over the years, observed some amazingly silly scenes from Hindi films which stand out due to their absurdity. He hopes to write a book on this some day.
Immediately after An Authors Afternoon, I had a meeting of The Bengal in the same hotel.
The Bengal board members turned up in full strength and we had discussions taking stock of the progress and setting the agenda for the days to come. 
With Ekavali Khanna
We also discussed about The Bengal’s flagship project Pronam. The meeting was attended by H M Bangur, Nabaneeta Deb Sen, Usha Uthup, Jogen da, Rupa Ganguly, Arindam Sil, Toni, Agnimitra Paul, Nayantara Palchoudhury, Prof Yusuf and others.
Later in the evening, attended a dinner at a banquet in the same hotel which was attended by the members of The Bengal and other guests.
ess bee