The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The city is known for its old alleys. One such is shot by Atanu Pal.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Autograph - 75 days

Autograph completes 75 days in theatres. Kudos to Srijit Mukherji & team and Shree Venkatesh Films. It's great news for Bengali alternative cinema in its year of glory marked by a handful of big successes - the highest in recent years.

Nondinee first look

Here is the oven-fresh first look of Nondinee (Releasing in 2011), that marks the return of director Subrata Sen five years after Bibar. Nondinee is a light take on contemporary urban relationships.

Bioscope-e Bajimaat

It was a memorable, chilly evening dedicated to 90 years of Bangla cinema on 22 December. The Tee Lawn in RCGC was sparsely filled at 6.50 pm, both the small general arena and the expansive VIP arena. All were waiting for Bioscope-e Bajimaat - the film quiz on the history of Bangla cinema, organized by Ananda Bazar Patrika and contested by film personalities - to start (Read my earlier post Bioscope-e Bajimat countdown). It was indeed the first-of-its-kind in the city.

It started at about 7.30 pm, precisely late by an hour, in true-blue Bengali tradition. Mir, the main emcee for the evening, appeared on stage and said "Byapar-ta jome gechhe" (He actually referred to getting frozen in the biting cold). He called on stage Gautam Bhattacharya, a senior journalist from Ananda Bazar, known for his verbal skills and knowledge of trivia, to introduce the celebrity pairs who would sit for the contest. The teams were Rituparno Ghosh-Indraneil Sengupta, Srijit Mukherji-Gargi Roy Chowdhury, Rituparna Sengupta-Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Prosenjit-Roopa Ganguly, Sandeep Ray-Sabyasachi Chakraborty and Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury-Ananya Chatterjee. Rituparno's long earrings, Prosenjit's Bengali look complete with dhuti-panjabi-shawl and Anyanya's short white dress were noticeable. Roopa looked elegant in black westerns.

Gautam did the prelude on a funny note by engaging Mir, the quizmaster for all the rounds except the last (the rapid fire round, to be hosted by Gautam), into answering googlies. "Which lady in the industry Rituparno doesn't address in tui?", "How many times has Supriya Devi uttered 'Apnader Dada' (referring to Uttam Kumar) till date?", " In how many Artist Forum meetings attended by her, Roopa Ganguly hasn't wept?" flew some of the deliveries, catching Mir off-guard and having the crowd in splits. Well, the answers are 'Bijoya Ray', '34738' (Mir got it right according to Gautam) and 1 (Only in one AGM Roopa wasn't seen weeping ever).

As the quiz started, the competition gradually shifted between Rituparno's, Srijit's and Aniruddha's teams. Some of the questions were pretty interesting, while some were too easy for the contestants and some others plain ridiculous. For example, a) In the picture round, where each team were to find out someone’s name from a still shown, Parambrata’s team got it as easy as to tell the person’s name from a photograph of Pulak Badopadhyay, the noted lyricist and b) In the audio-visual round Sabyasachi’s team was asked to tell the name of the saree that was in Bipasha Basu’s hands in a footage from Shob Choritro Kalponik. Even Rituparno, the director of the film expressed ignorance for the answer, terming it a bad question. The question was changed as Mir also thought it was a little unfair to ask. As an instance of a really interesting question, the footage of the ‘Peters’ fan TVC from Seemabaddha was shown and the name of the film was asked.

The buzzer round went haywire, with the rule being the buzzer could be pressed anytime to attempt answering a question, and Srijit kept on pressing it just after the photographs flashed on the screen and before the questions related to the photographs were asked (even after Aniruddha did it once and failed to answer the question). The risk was that if they answered it wrong they would lose 5 points, but if they could, they would score 20 points. Objections from other teams flew thick that no team should be allowed to press the buzzer before the question, but Mir stuck to the rules. Srijit-Gargi’s score shot to such a level after the round that no other team could catch up to till the end. Rituparno’s knowledgeability about cinema was well-known to all, and it obviously showed, but Srijit’s cinema quotient was found to be very impressive and comparable to the former. As obvious by now, Srijit-Gargi triumphed as winners with a superb all-round performance, followed by Rituparno-Indraneil and Aniruddha-Ananya.

Mir’s antics kept on entertaining the audience as usual. The highlight being, as he noticed that Indraneil and Rituparna never answered a question or spoke anything else on the microphone till the middle of the show, he made the two recite ‘Ba ba black sheep’, with each one saying the alternate lines. The funniest part was that even in this Indraneil needed Rituparno’s prompting. Mir indeed handled the show very well. Only a professional of his skill and quick-wittedness could handle so many celebrities on such a competing platform.

The contestants were cheered (even prompted sometimes) by many from Tollygunge in the audience, including Rudranil Ghosh, Kanchan Mullick, Saswata Chatterjee, Sudipta Chakraborty, Mithu Chakraborty, Kaushik Ganguly, Shayan Munshi, Subrata Sen, Aniket Chattopadhyay, Koustuv Roy and Moni-Shrikant. Arijit Dutta and Hiran came in quite late. The only put-off was that general audience sitting at the rear didn’t get to answer questions though there were 99 t-shirts to be own.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas cakes from Kathleen

While I was a child, Christmas cakes (or cakes per se) would mean Great Eastern Hotel bakery or Kathleen. Flurys was elite for us living in Barrackpore, a suburban town of Kolkata. That was not the age of cake shop chains, thus for good Christmas cakes one had to queue up at certain shops very limited in count.

Kolkata and its suburbs have gone through a major transformation meanwhile. Today Monginis as a cake shop chain has left Kathleen much behind. In savouries Monginis is matchless in budget category. And it makes decent cakes and pastries too, considering the prices (Though many may not agree here). The pastries from Kathleen never appealed to me, and its quite a few years that I last tasted a Kathleen Christmas cake.

It really sucks to be compelled to work on Christmas day, which stands as a 'cancelled holiday' this year in office due to some late development. But it was made partially good by the slices of cakes served to desk. And it was precisely because the double bonanza of the fruit cake and the plum cake, from Kathleen and Bisk Farm respectively, tasted yummy. Nice to know that Kathleen still bakes good cakes.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Arekti Premer Golpo - positive buzz

The buzz on Arekti Premer Golpo (Just Another Love Story) on Facebook is positive after yesterday's premiere ta Priya (Picture above). Rituparno's performance impressed those who've shared their take. Keenly waiting to watch the movie.

Picture courtesy: Rana Basu Thakur.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bye Bye Bangkok: First look

The first look of Aniket Chattopadhyay's (of Chhoy-e Chhuti fame) second movie - Bye Bye Bangkok - a rollicking comedy at the backdrop of Bangkok is out. One may spot this hoarding/poster in the city now. The movie, set to release in January 2011, flaunts an ensemble cast of talented actors, including some masters of comedy (Kharaj, Rudraneel, Kanchan). Watch this space for more.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bioscope-e Bajimat countdown

Keenly waiting to experience Bioscope-e Bajimat - the celebrity film quiz organised by Patrika - the Saturday supplement of Ananda Bazar Patrika this evening at Royal Calcutta Golf Club.

The hook? The contest will be fought by actors and directors in six pairs. The list goes: Prosenjit-Roopa Ganguly, Rituparna Sengupta-Parambrata Chattopadhyay, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury-Ananya Chatterjee, Rituparno Ghosh-Indraneil Sengupta, Srijit Mukherji-Gargi Roy Chowdhury and Sandeep Ray-Sabyasachi Chakraborty. Mir and Gautam Bhattacharya (Ananda Bazar sports editor who is well-connected with the film fraternity) will be the MCs.

To the best of my knowledge it is the first time at least in recent past that such a film celebrity quiz is being held in the city. The last time the local film industry celebs collaborated in a live show of this nature was the 'Directors vs Journalists' debate on the current state of Bangla cinema at Star Theatre in January 2009. It saw Aparna Sen, Rituparno Ghosh and Goutam Ghose coming together with Suman Mukhopadhyay and Prabhat Roy to take on the media. Yours truly was among the organisers. The battle was closely and very engagingly fought.

This one should be an interesting show of 'film quotient' of the industry insiders. Am particularly interested to see how Prosenjit-Roopa, Rituparna-Parambrata, Aniruddha-Ananya and Srijit-Gargi fare, being pretty interesting pairs. Shall come back with a first-hand account.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I Laugh You 2 kickstatrts

'I Laugh You 2' kickstarted last evening on Star Jalsha. The entry of Ranjit Mullick was funny. He danced into the stage to the tune of his hit song Jodi Jagai Madhai na thakto/ Tobe Netai ke ki chinto loke from Mouchak. Moon Moon had taken her entry first. She mentioned " Good concept, good producer, good people to work with..." as her reason to judge the show and come back to television after ages.

Neel Mukherjee, Rudraneel, Shantilal Mukhopadhyay, Partha Sarathi Deb, Partha Sarathi Chakraborty and Kousani Roy were among the participants in pairs. The show started with the act by Neel Mukherjee's pair where it performed a well-known skit. Kousani played a characted called 'Tunir Ma' in a TV show that 'officially' airs trash. There was no gem of an act though. Ranjit had a bit of reservation for an act that was on (or on the other side of) the borderline of decency by the older generation's standards. Moon Moon though was game and she let the audience know it, only after she pulled Ranjit's legs for his 'strictness' .

The marks scored by the pairs mostly stayed between 10 and 12 out of 20. So, though the judges are appreciative, they are not lenient in giving marks.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Koel's take on ILY 2

In continuation with my earlier post (The glam queen...) on 'I Laugh You season 2', now Koel's tweet informs that she was almost falling off the sofa as her Baba (Dad Ranjit Mullick) shared the shooting experience of 'I Laugh You 2' with the gorgeous Moon Moon Mashi (As she calls Moon Moon Sen). She must catch up the show that starts today at Star Jalsha. The curiosity level is rising.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The glam queen is back

It was another talk show on Star Ananda on 17 December to promote the second season of ‘I Laugh You’ – the laughter show on Star Jalsha that has done a coup this season by getting Moon Moon Sen and Ranjit Mullick on the panel of judges. The two have happened to be co-actors in the lead in a couple of Bangla movies. A visibly slimmer and gorgeous-again Moon Moon admitted on the show that she craved to be back before camera while she was off work for years, and it was Raima who had insisted she did this show. Well, that's good to know and interesting too as she has maintained all this while that she doesn't work as her daughters don't want her to work anymore.

But the best part of the show was Moon Moon’s wicked sense of humour hitherto unknown. She kept on pulling Ranjit Mullick’s legs and teasing the veteran actor with a straight face with comments like “Besides lovely skin and hair that Bengali women are blessed with, legs are an important part of a woman’s beauty….I don’t know though what you find worth observing in a woman” and “Women look beautiful when they are a little voluptuous, don’t they?”. That she is having a blast during the shooting of the laughter show was quite visible. Looking forward to watch the show that’s coming up on 20 December.

‘Just Another Love Story’

The keenly awaited Kaushik Ganguly film Arekti Premer Golpo (English title: Just Another Love Story) marking the acting debut of Rituparno Ghosh is releasing this 24 December. The film explores the relationship between a gay filmmaker (Rituparno) and his bisexual cinematographer (Played by the new pin-up boy of Bangla alternative cinema – Indraneil Sengupta), detaching itself from the homoerotic aspect of such a relationship. The film also has a film within it and Rituparno plays another role in it, that of the famous jatra actress Chapal Bhaduri, who was known to play female roles. Watched a talk show on Star Ananda on the film today, where Kaushik and Rituparno, both reasonably excited, were present to provide an insider’s take.

An anecdote shared by Rituparno was that he was mistaken as a 'newcomer actress' as long as he was in the get-up of his character in the film-within-the-film during the outdoor shooting in Bolpur. It was obvious that both he and Kaushik (and surely other members in the unit too) found it an uproariously funny experience.

As for the obvious question of the similarities between Roop (The character of the filmmaker that Ritu plays in the film) and Rituparno himself, Kaushik pointed out that the two persons share a keen sense of aesthetics and a single-mindedness in work. The former is an important trait in this context surely, as Rituparno’s sense of aesthetics is well-known, and quite obvious in his body of work. He is known not to like his actors to use make-up (unless and to the point it is necessary) and nonetheless his women on screen look strikingly beautiful.

Rituparno was a hard taskmaster to himself for a change and gave the role his very best, right from physical preparation (He lost a lot of weight through regular workouts) to the finest detail in look and acting. By his own admission in the show, he started missing Roop deeply once the shoot was over. Ritu is also the Creative Director of the film.

Arekti Premer Golpo is actually a screen adaptation of Kaushik’s famous telefilm Ushno Tar Jonyo starring Roopa Ganguly, Churni Ganguly and Chapal Bhaduri, made for ETV Bangla years back. The difference is that a lesbian relationship was at the core in the telefilm, whereas in the film it is a gay relationship.

The first look of the film (Similar to the picture above), showing Rituparno in a deeply emotional hug with Indraneil, has surely evoked curiosity. The film has already made a lot of news and repeatedly drawn housefull audience in a lot of places the festival circuit as the two revealed in the show. Keenly looking forward to the release of the film.

She's on Zoom

I was surfing the channels post dinner. A familiar face of an anchor stopped me. She is from Kolkata, and it was a national entertainment channel. Hence I checked the channel name again, more so as a similar sounding Bangla music channel has just been launched. Yes, it was Zoom. And the lady in question was Pamela Singh Bhutoria. A well-known model from Kolkata who has turned actress of late.

Pamela is tall, slim and dusky, with an appealing mix of charm and sensuousness. Being comfortable in Bangla, I always thought she had what it takes to make it big in Bangla movies. However, going by the realities of the Bangla film industry in Kolkata, it is not surprising that she is yet to be considered by a big banner despite being all over media and successfully anchoring TV shows on Zee Bangla and Sangeet Bangla.

In this age where every young aspirant in showbiz and music, who hasn’t got the right amount of work in Kolkata is testing the Arabian Sea waters, it seemed but natural that she wouldn’t stick to Kolkata too. Having a good command in Hindi and English has landed her at the right place. Zoom, no doubt, is a great platform to earn her valuable brownie points for a television career and who can say, may land her a role in a Hindi movie too. Pamela was anchoring ‘Hot List’ on Zoom, a show that listsed ‘Hottest desi numbers’ from Hindi cinema, from Madhuri Dixit to Rakhi Sawant to Aishwarya Rai to Bipasha Basu, somehing that naturally goes with her sensuality.

And by the way, Pamela has recently landed a role in a Bengali movie too (Under production), directed by young and talented Mainak Bhowmik, called Ami vs Tumi.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ananya: the most searched

The blog stats showed an interesting insight: Ananya Chatterjee, the national award-winning actress from the city is not only the most-searched celebrity on this blog since May, 2010, her name is the 'Most searched keyword' leading to my blog during this period too! And no other keyword is even close to being comparable. The second keyword counts far less than even half of the count of Ananya.

Naturally the only dedicated post Ananya- the glam avatar has fetched the highest view among text-based posts during the said period.

When I first saw Ananya in a television series called Chena Mukher Sari years back, I found her acting skill impressive and thought she had potential. Mentioned her as one of the faces from television that deserves a big screen break in another post named Search for new faces in 2007 when she had hardly made a mark, having appeared in films like Tok Jhal Mishti, Raat Barota Paanch and Aamra.

Thus the insight is thoroughly pleasing indeed.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Moner Manush: A rocking weekend

Returned disappointed from Jaya Cineplex, Lake Town last Sunday. Had gone there to catch the evening show of Moner Manush which had gone housefull before I reached the ticket window. Blackmarketeers had a filed day nearby selling the Rs 50 tickets at Rs 100. It's unimaginable for this genre of films!

Reached the nearest theatre screening the movie - Darpana, at Hatibagan - in a hurry. But things were no different there too.

It was indeed a pleasant surprise as alternative Bangla cinema, that too with this kind of a subject (The life and times of the legendary Lalan Fakir from the 18th century, based on Sunil Gangopadhyay's novel of the same name published in the Desh Puja number in 2008) is not deemed 'hot' at the box office. Reportedly Moner Manush has a better second weekend. The word-of-mouth publicity seems to have helped. The audience predominantly had couples in their 40s and 50s - a class that's surely not regular at theatres anymore. Kudos to Gautam Ghosh & team to bring them back.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The bonding over food

Post the workshop last weekend, and its emotional hangover the following Monday, a welcome change in the office was meeting over lunch for the senior and middle-level executives thrice a week including Saturday. For the foodies in the office, yours truly and the Branch Head included, nothing can be more cheer-worthy than sharing everybody's lunch (Home-made or ordered in). The range covering yummy, high-fat fast food to health food includes experimental home-cooked preparations.

As highlights of the first week, I loved the bites of grilled chicken sandwich and sips of the chicken sweet corn soup from Upper Crust (A fast food-cum-restaurant chain) ordered by a junior colleague in Marketing & Business Development. He picked up the idea of the combination after watching the lunch by the Chairperson and Managing Director who visited on Wednesday. Since that day he has been ordering the same everyday, conscious that his lunch budget doesn't permit it for one full month. The soup is lighter than the one served elsewhere. Also loved the innovative preparation of pieces of bread fried with capsicum, cooked by another colleague.

The workshop was about team-building among other topics, and such a practice indeed is a good application of the learnings from it. Bonding over food, I believe, is one of the best ways of bonding - both personally and professionally.

A wee bit of 'happy' concern as well: A foodie colleague, conscious of her bit of excess weight, commented that as this practice goes on, everybody stands to gain at least one kilo at the end of each month. Can't agree more as I share the concern.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

An evening out at Flurys

The visit of the Chairperson and the Managing Director to the Kolkata branch office after long lead to a refreshing evening with a senior and middle level team at Flurys yesterday. This was my first dining experience at the legendary confectionery shop-cum-restaurant from the British era at Park Street (Past visits were for takeaway). Chicken puff, chicken sandwich and egg mustard sandwich were ordered, apart from Darjeeling tea to wind up. The food was really heavy as evening refreshment. The Branch Head really missed its famous pastries not being a part of the order. The pastries enjoy a robust following even today in the city and among the 'informed' visitors. The old-world experience that is poles apart from today's plush cafes has a distinctive charm. Flurys definitely counts in a must-have Kolkata experience.

The chicken sandwich was good, and it tasted better with mustard sauce. But the puff was a put off for me. Nothing wrong with it as such, only that I don't like the way they make chicken puffs and patties. It's basically a mash and one can't get even small chunks of chicken inside. The Darjeeling tea was perfect, with its fascinating aroma. The Branch Head's suggestion was to have it without milk and sugar, so that the real taste and flavour can be cherished.

When it comes to savoury snacks in a cake shop, my recommendation is Cakes. It's chicken patty and chicken quiche can hook you if you have a tooth for savouries. Hope to come back with more on Cakes.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Images: Weekend retreat

Some images of Purna Laxmi Hotel mentioned in the last post (A memorable weekend retreat) and The Ganga as viewed from the hotel.

A memorable weekend retreat

Attended the office workshop over the weekend (Friday-Sunday, December 3-5) at Diamond Harbour. It took place in the newly built Purna Laxmi Hotel at the bank of The Ganga. A launch jetty is just a stone's throw. The view of the river from the hotel lawn is fabulous. One can watch the launches and cargo ships passing by throughout the day, with a rare glimpse of dolphins. It made for a wonderful setting for the evening drinks sessions indeed. The view was so tempting that we sneaked in a couple of minutes to the riverside at every break during the presentations. Catching the sunset over the river was at the top of wishlist of many. My room balcony also gave a straight river view.

The hotel is reasonably priced and looks good too, spread over a few acres with a pristine white main building and an annexe building with lots of open, green space. The landscaping is nicely done. The food is good in Bengali cuisine (Don't go for Chinese or Mughlai unless you feel for a change in taste). A special mention will go for the home-style alur tarkari they serve in the breakfast, the mutton curry that is not rich and the tandoori pomfret. A definite recommendation for a refreshing weekend outing.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Scoop: The Tolly big daddy on 'Dadagiri'

Here's a tiny scoop: Mahendra Soni, or Moni of Moni-Shrikant of the formidable Venkatesh Films, the undisputed king among Bangla movie production houses, will be seen on Dadagiri soon in one of the special episodes. A great coup this by Zee Bangla, considering his extremely restricted visibility on media for occasions not related to his home productions.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bihar polls

Development is addictive at a place that has been hungry for it historically. And the Bihar poll results vouch for that.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A nip in the air

There's a nip in the air, noticed day before yesterday afternoon onwards. People are contemplating pulling out the winter clothes. Train passengers are avoiding the slightly chilly wind blowing from the opposite direction. Is winter knocking at the door? This year it is predicted to be stronger than past. Am already thinking up the winter foods starting with 'Gurer mishti' (Jaggery-based sweets) and vegetable chop....ummm.

Monday, November 22, 2010

'Natobor Not Out' review

My Natobor Not out review is live on Washington Bangla Radio. Check the link for the review.

Natobor Not Out is a new Bangla release directed by debutant Amit Sen, with an ensemble cast of Raima Sen, debutant Mustafa Prakash, Ramaprasad Banik, Mausumi Saha, Kharaj Mukherjee, Chandan Sen, Kaushik Ganguly, Biswajit Chakraborty, Sudipa Basu, Saswata Chatterjee and debutante Ananya Dutta. The music is by Debajyoti Mishra.

Friday, November 19, 2010

My 'Tara' review

My Tara review is live on Washington Bangla Radio.

Tara is a new Bangla release directed by Bratya Basu, starring Prosenjit, Paoli Dam and Tota Roy Chowdhury, with music by Tapan Sinha.

The sensuous Sens

The morning was pleasant with the t2 cover story covering the Sens - the mother and elder daughter.

Moon Moon has slimmed down a bit and was looking gorgeous in a powder blue shirt and not-so-long white skirt. A refreshing change from her Natobor Not Out item number which would be best edited out. She looked old and minus her trademark oomph. In t2 she looks the way she would a couple of years back. What is amazing is she can carry herself effortlessly in such clothes at this age. Raima was gracefully beautiful as usual. She has a refreshingly natural look despite being a today's actress who is careful about her regular workouts.

For the full story click here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The new 'Talk of Facebook'

Natobar Not Out- the new Bangla release is gaining recommendations on Facebook from Kolkatans whose opinions matter to many. The comedy is directed by debutant Amit Sen, with an ensemble cast comprising of Raima Sen, Mostafa Prakash, Kharaj Mukherjee, Saswata Chatterjee, Ramaprasad Banik, Biswajit Chakraborty, Chandan Sen, Kaushik Ganguly and Mir, and music by Debajyoti 'Autograph' Mishra.

Can't wait to chcek it out.

Monday, November 08, 2010

JJMT teaser

Loved the teaser poster of Jor Jar Mulluk Tar - a Haranath Chakraborty film starring Prosenjit. With ragging and dirty student politics as the backdrop, the poster is a collage of newspaper clips about the subject, with the initials 'JJMT' written in red at the bottom. Pretty imaginative work by Bangla mainstream standards. The film has a bunch of newcomers along with Rudraneel Ghosh (Who has conducted a workshop for the rookies) in the cast.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

'Autograph' review

My Autograph review is live on Washington Bangla Radio. Please drop your comments here.

For the uninitiated, Autograph is a Bangla release in Puja 2010 directed by debutant Srijit Mukherjee, with Prosenjit, Indraneil Sengupta and Nandana Sen in the cast. It is a tribute to Satyajit Ray's Nayak.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Interesting array of nominations

This year's nominations of Anandalok Purashkar- the father of all film awards in this part of the globe are, honestly speaking, unintentionally funny. Here is why so.

1. Autograph has got a Best Actor nomination (Prosenjit) and one in Best Music Director (Debajyoti Mishra), but it hasn't been nominated in Best Film or Srijit Mukherjee (Director of Autograph) as Best Director!! And what are the deserving nominations in these two categories- Best Film and Best Director? Well, Le Chhakka, Byomkesh Bakshi, and ...hold your breath....Wanted and Josh in Best Film and Raj Chakraborty (Le Chhakka), Ravi Kinnagi (for Wanted, but not Josh), Anjan Dutt (Byomkesh Bakshi) and Rajib Kumar (Amanush) in Best Film. Wow!

2. Dui Prithibi has not got a single nomination, despite having been released on the same day as Autograph!

3. Indraneil Sengupta was overlooked in the Best Actor nomination, despite his sterling performance in Autograph. The nominees are Prosenjit (Autograph), Jeet (Wanted), Dev (Le Chhakka), Soham (Prem Amaar) and Abir Chatterjee (Byomkesh Bakshi). Has he been nominated in Best Supporting Actor instead?

Monday, October 18, 2010


Loved the Puja release 'Autograph'. Good script, storytelling and performances (By Prosenjit, Nandana Sen, Indraneil Sengupta and others). Technically sound. And what music! The best after Antaheen. Three cheers to Srijit & Co., and also Venkatesh Films for believing in such a project that deviates so much from their bunch of mainstream offerings every year. Go for it!

Review coming soon at Washington Bangla Radio.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Beche thakar gaan

Loved Beche thakar gaan by Rupam from the Autograph album. It's instantly appealing material, the best heard after Antaheen. Excellent lyric by Anupam Roy, who's co-composed the song with Debajyoti Mishra, the principal music director. Also loved Amake amar moto thaakte dao, written, co-composed and sung by Anupam from the same album. Acquired the album today. Looking forward to listening to the other songs, some of which I liked from the clips heard on television. Watch this space for a complete review of the music. Looking forward to catch the film soon (Released today) as well.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The preparation

Another look at the preparation for this year's Puja: a detailed capture of the idol-making that's reaching a crescendo. By Shilbhadra Datta, posted on Calcutta Adda n Food, the Facebook group.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Park Street

Some lively images of Park Street, shot by Shilbhadra Datta, a photographer by profession, in the Facebook group Calcutta Adda n Food.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The stellar 'Bangla' show at National Awards

Just came to know this, thanks to friends' updates on Facebook. Thought of putting it up here as a token of pride. Bangla cinema has picked up 6 National Awards! The list goes:

1. Best Director: Rituparno Ghosh for Abohoman.
2. Best Actress: Ananya Chatterjee for Abohoman.
3. Best Playback Singer (Male): Rupam Islam for Mahanagar@Kolkata.
4. Best Playback Singer (Female): Nilanjana Sarkar for Housefull.
5. Best Editor: Arghya Kamal Mitra for Abohoman.
6. Best Bengali Film: Abohoman.

Cheerio, Tollygunge. And what a show by Team Abohoman! Take a bow. Hope Reliance Big Pictures is happy for their second Bangla outing (No matter the box office results), and the association continues.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Kolkata on Twitter I

Twitter is increasingly becoming a regular interaction platform for the who's who of Kolkata. Just spotted a well-known distributor-exhibitor-actor's tweet to the best known film & TV production and distribution house of the city (Twitter ID in co.'s name, though the partners have their own IDs and tweet regularly) suggesting to shift a well-awaited film by an acclaimed Bengali filmmaker starring a superstar to shift the release date from December '10 to avoid a clash with the Feluda release and a love story (Bengali). Such interactions happen generally on mobile, if not in person.

One also gets to know knows who attended which party, saw which play or movie with who (at home or theatre), who ditched who on a promise etc. Not to mention lots of pleasantries regularly exchanged among the entertainment fraternity of Kolkata in tweets. So you can experience the vibes. A curious development indeed.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The superstar on Twitter

It was interesting to see Prosenjit joining Twitter around the middle of August. The microblogging site is really catching up in Tollygunge. Though not very frequent in the beginning, he is tweeting big time in the last few days. It is indeed interesting to have a peek at the world of the superstar of Bangla cinema. His English needs a little help though. With 122 followers at the time of this post, the list includes big names like Koel Mallick, Shrikant Mohta, Mahendra Soni, script-writer NK Salil and Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

An unusual 'Bandh' day

The third 'Bandh' (strike) called by CITU (who it seems has little else to do these days other than planning their next strike) in two months. Ventured out after checking on television that trains and metro were running smoothly. Gave the train entering Barrackpore station platform no. 2 a miss even after getting close to it as I had to buy the newspaper. The train was amazingly empty. A Barrackpore local was waiting to start, past its time, at the next platform (No. 1A). Couldn't spot a single newspaper vendor on the platform no. 2, so walked up and down the bridge to the next platform. There wasn't any vendor there too. I had a feel that I still have 2 minutes to me before the train starts. So I walked up and down the bridge twice again for buying the paper from platform no. 1 and catching the train which had just started. It was empty with only a handful of people sitting here and there. Till Dum Dum station not even one person boarded the train from each of the empty stations (6 of them). Got down at Dum Dum and went straight to the metro ticket counter as there wasn't a queue. Then casually walked into the metro after waiting for it (A contrast to a normal day when the seats in the entire metro are filled in a split second after the doors open). Got down at Chandni Chowk and walked down to the office. A dream journey to work.

A colleague who had a similar experience of coming to work wished a 'Bandh' was called everyday. Ha.

Monday, September 06, 2010


Am ashamed to admit this. Being a confirmed foodie, I visited Sabir's Hotel (Popularly known as just 'Sabir') for the first time in life only last week though I have had planned to check out its legendary rezala umpteen times, and my new office (Since April 2010) is just minutes away from it. Tried the biriyani. It's good, and a dash better than Aliah's. The rice is good, the potato is decent, so is the piece of mutton (wish it were a little juicy). And the price is honest- Rs 70 (Back home in Barrackpore at the biriyani hotspot 'Dada Boudir Hotel' it has touched Rs 100 in all possibilities). The entire menu is honestly priced. Wish to come back soon.

Photo: Sabir's mutton rezala (Right), with chicken reshmi kebab (Centre) and tandoori roti (Left). Courtesy: Shilbhadra Dutta. Posted on Calcutta Adda n Food on Facebbook.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

A nightmare in the morning

Went to visit a senior manager in a telecom giant in Srijan Tech Park in Sector V yesterday. As I got down at Webel More (crossing) and turned left, I found little place to walk towards RS Software on the main road. There's no sidewalk. And the road is full of trenches (not potholes, mind it!), the brick base is exposed at places, and has muck and muddy water all over, after the morning shower. Was as alert as possible to avoid getting the stuff on road come on my clothes, as buses, auto rickshaws and taxis were passing by endlessly, at the same time stepping on the right place.....but a mini bus proved fatal. Muddy water from a crater got spread all over my clothes, making my appearance absolutely unfit to meet a prospective client.

Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority was formed in 2006 to do justice to the civic job in the state government's showpiece tech zone- Sector V. By the current condition, it is everything but a showpiece. As Telegraph reports today, tech companies are deferring their senior people's visit to office apprehending their reaction to the condition of Sector V. A techie has left his car at home and coming to work in taxi.

The authorities are hopeless to say the least. There have been many other wrongdoings reported in recent times. I feel the management needs a change with immediate effect.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

'Shukno Lanka' review

My Shukno Lanka review is live on Washington Bangla Radio.

Shukno Lanka is one of the recent Bangla releases directed by Gaurav Panday, starring Mithun Chakraborty, Sabyasachi Chakraborty and Debashree Roy.

Do read and drop your valuable comments here.

Monday, August 02, 2010

A hot debate on Facebook

Indranil Roy, a noted journalist of Ananda Bazar Parika, wrote on Facebook about taking a lesson from Raj Kumar Hirani showed in the making of '3 Idiots' in its recently released DVD........and it sparked a red-hot debate participated by producers, directors, actors of Kolkata, beside others (including yours truly).

Follow it here and drop your take in the comments section below.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The rally

My office at Chandni Chowk is at the core of action of today's annual martyrs' day rally by Trinamool Congress at Esplanade. And my desk is by the large window overlooking CR Avenue. Am curious to witness this historic annual affair that is known for, among other things, throwing life in the city out of gear every year and drew over 3 lakh last year by Kolkata Police estimate.

Saw the party supremo, Mamata Banerjee, last evening at the staircase to a dais at the venue near Income Tax building, in talk with Sovan Chattopadhyay, the newly-elected mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), Madan Mitra and Mukul Deb, a central minister. That many in the crowd gathered there were busy shooting her picture with their mobile phones was evidence for her celebrity status attained by now.

Hope to update you about the development over the day. Watch this post.

10.41 am: Male voices throwing instructions through the mike for a smooth organisation of flow of people. A Trinamool anthem playing in the background and as the filler. No gathering at Chandni Chowk by now.

Evening snacks

A food post after long!

Was craving for good shingaras (samosa) post-work yesterday. Found this small food joint serving snacks and fried sweets in the evening on Bentinck Street. As a bonus got to dig into a vegetable chop too. Both were delicious and reasonably priced. The shop, named Shivam Food Centre, is at the beginning of the lane opposite the premium sweet shop Kanha near Paradise cinema, bang opposite a food products store.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

'Ekti Tarar Khoje' review

My Ekti Tarar Khoje review is live on Washington Bangla Radio. Do read and post your comments here.

Ekti Tarar Khoje is the latest Bangla release produced by Screenplay Films- the house of Aniruddha Roy Choudhury (the producer-director of acclaimed films like Anuranan and Antaheen) and directed by noted cinematographer Abhik Mukhopadhyay, with an ensemble cast of Shayan Munshi, Arpita Chatterjee (erstwhile Arpita Pal), Dhritiman Chatterjee, Dibyendu Bhattacharya, Rudraneel Ghosh, Tanushree Shankar, Biplab Chatterjee, Arindam Sil, Anindya Banerjee and Arijit Dutta.

The film is also being distributed in North America through theatres, DVD and other popular channels.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Shukno Lanka

Shukno Lanka was an experience! After Antaheen, it was a film that struck the right chord with the audience, almost effortlessly. Take a bow, Mr Gaurav Panday, for writing (story, script and dialogue) and directing this soul-touching piece. Mithun is another experience in himself. This film wouldn't have been possible without him. And folks, this new face Angana Bose was a revelation.

It felt so nice to see the good old urban family audience back at the Jaya Cinema show, incl. several elderly people, a full balcony and fast-filling stall seats, at the second Sunday after release.

A full-fledged review coming up. Watch this space.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The screen god on small screen

Dev was the celeb on Ke Hobe Biggest Star on Zee Bangla yesterday, and girls far outnumbered the boys in fan count. He has equal following among both, by the way. Dev wore his heart on his sleeves and one saw a level-headed, rooted, family-loving individual who can handle big-time following. He spoke lovingly and emotionally as he introduced his native place - a village near Keshpur in Medinipur and his father's joint family.

Dev is a star, who, knowing from a little personal experience on my last job in the entertainment industry, doesn't have an aura of a star. Many a time he doesn't behave like a star in public, which is not advisable for a current numero uno, but actually brings his fans closer to him and love him all the more and makes others take notice too (And it includes people of my father's age group). My father considers only him among today's lead actors in Bangla cinema as someone who perfectly makes the cut as a hero in the looks department.

All those in the last 3 were girls, somewhat proving when it comes to DQ (Dev quotient), it's girls who have an edge. Pratyusha, the winner, was cool and composed all through. She was ecstatic but didn't show it as she got to sit (after winning) just besides her matinee idol. It only came out in the warm hugs she gave him. She had brought nothing special, but a bouquet to present him. Others who lost made it up with the hugs and gifting.

That the show went into two episodes of one-and-a-half-hour each shows the popularity of Bengal's new heartthrob. It also helps maintain Zee Bangla's leadership position in reality shows (Mirakkel, Dance Bangla Dance, Dadagiri etc) among Bengali GECs.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Kolkata on social media

You get to know the result of an ongoing football match sitting at your desk, the accident that just took place a few kilometres away from your office, the current state of mind of a dear friend, see beautiful photographs of the day just shot by a friend or e-friend, know about an eagerly-awaited film's group just formed, join it and interact with its makers, and apart from all this and more, read the comments posted to a post by the member's friends and join the conversation......on Facebook that has hooked Kolkata. Orkut is passe.

You get to know what your favourite film stars are doing now: when and what Priyanka is shooting, when Konkona is lazing, Raima Sen is travelling, when Karan Johar is feeling exhausted after a rigorous gym session and what Bipasha is eating. You know when a star goes to the gym to shed the little weight she put on, how another is promoting his film, more interestingly what Abhishek is telling Bipasha or Priyanka and Amitabh Bachchan are telling the world. Closer home you get regular updates from Jeet about his work and life and Mahendra Soni about his films.......on Tweeter. And you don't get to know a large chunk of it in traditional media (Rather you get to read the tweets of a celeb in the morning newspaper, that you have already read last evening ). It's addictive to be in Tweeter if you wanna closely follow the celebs.

A long-delayed post. But now onwards Facebook and Tweeter, the faces of social media, will feature regularly at this space, about their Kolkata connection and otherwise.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Koel in LBD

My 200th post raises a toast to Koel, the queen of mainstream Bangla cinema, seen in a LBD (with Locket Chatterjee). Though fashionable, Koel is not really known to be glamorous or bold, and is rarely seen in a LBD. She evidently looks fab. The photograph was shot in the launch party for her new film 'Prem by Chance' directed by Sudeshna Roy- Avhijit Guha.

Photograph sourced from 'I Love Bengali Movies' group on Facebook.

Monday, June 14, 2010

'Le Chhakka' review

My review of Le Chhakka is live on Washington Bangla Radio. Do read and post comments here.

Le Chhakka is the latest Bangla release direcetd by Raj Chakraborty and produced by Srijan Arts, starring Dev and Payel.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Three cheers to green move

My morning felt good to read about the state environment department's new circular that lit hoardings now have to source electricity from solar power. Those using generator solely to light up have to make the switch immediately, while others drawing power from grid have time till December '10 to make the switch.

Once this happens, it will save 60-80 MW per day! And a few hundreds of tons of carbon dioxide in generating it. Isn't that wonderful in the times of global warming and climate change?

The move takes a bow from all environment-conscious citizens of Kolkata. As implementing greater use of solar power in core areas of usage (domestic and industrial) is not an easy ballgame and will take time to take place in a significant way, identifying outdoor advertising for this is indeed wise.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mohun Bagan does it again

A happy news to share here: Mohun Bagan defeated Chirag United 1-0 a while back to become the Kolkata football league champion. And that's three times in a row! Congrats to the green-maroon brigade. A great feat.

Amanush review

My Amanush review is live on Washington Bangla Radio. Do read and post comments.

Amanush is the new Bengali release directed by Rajib (Who debuted with Dujone last year) and stars Soham and Shrabanti. It has been produced by Shree Venkatesh Films.

Monday, May 24, 2010


RIP, Goopi Gayen.

Tapen Chattopadhyay is no more. But he is immortal in our memory as his legendary screen character.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The leading men

Dev and Jeet at the sets of Dui Prithibi- a Venkatesh Films movie under production. It is Raj Chakraborty's next after 'Ley Chhakka'. Straight from the Tweeter photo album of the producer.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Here are some pictures of the city lovingly shot by Sayantan Roy, a photographer by passion from the city.

Anybody interested in buying the photographs/ using them can contact Sayantan at

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

First look: Ekti Tarar Khoje

Here's the first poster of 'Ekti Tarar Khoje'- the next release from Screenplay Films (of Anuranan and Antaheen fame). Produced by Aniruddha Roy Choudhury, this film marks the Bangla directorial debut of celebrated cinematographer Avik Mukhopadhyay (who shot Antaheen) and the comeback of the beautiful Arpita Pal (surely looking her best in this film) who pairs with Shayan Munshi (who we all missed so much after his brilliant debut in Bangla cinema in 'The Bong Connection'). Kolkata can't wait to watch it.

Friday, May 07, 2010

The teaser

This teaser of a movie is all over the city now. Seems to be rolled out about two days back. No prizes for guessing the film for those who've been to this blog in the last few days. The release is more than a month later. Looks like the makers of the film are going to do the whole hog to generate a big initial.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Le Chakka trailer

The trailer for Le Chakka- Raj Chakraborty's ambitious film based on an original script (on which he made a telefilm called Nagar Basanta on Zee Bangla years back) is out. After his first three films that were remakes of Southern hits Raj deliberately changed direction. He ventured outside Venkatesh Films and made the kind of film he wanted to. Le Chakka, written and scripted by Padmanava Dasgupta (Who also wrote Cross Connection), is quintessential Bengali in subject that deals with gali cricket, North Kolkata and South Kolkata divide and Ghoti vs Bangal. Needless to say the film is keenly awaited.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Srabanti- the flavour of the season

First, a grand comeback in Bhalobasa Bhalobasa in 2008, then Dujone happened in 2009 with the new heartthrob of the audience- Dev, now the well-hyped Amanush is released by Venkatesh Films in whose Champion she last worked before bidding goodbye for marriage and family in 2003. She's doing another with Venkatesh opposite Jeet......and yet another with the same house opposite Dev.

She looks set to be the flavour of the season and being in the good book of Venkatesh takes care of everything to ensure that.

A little rewind: about a year back Subhashree was in the limelight for her two back-to-back releases opposite Dev from Venkatesh. Wonder what happened to the girl who's not known to have signed another movie after the last of those two mentioned (Paran Jaye Joliya Re).

Friday, April 23, 2010

A look at Bioscope

A look at Bioscope- the new 4-screener in the city multiplex circuit, at New Town, Rajarhat (Opposite Home Town).

1. Box office at the mall facade.
2. Entrance (second box office at the left).
3. The Egyptian theme decor in the Cleopatra auditorium.
4. The Satyajit Ray corner.
5. The spacious lobby.
6. Sandip Ray is checking out the pictures at Ray corner.