The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The bridge, the river and kids' play. Brilliantly captured by Sujay Kumar Das.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Pujo 2011

It was decently spent. Through pandal-hopping at Barrackpore (checked out the first theme Puja - known to me- there), home-cooked mutton curry on Nabami, Salt Lake Pujas and Kakurgachhi-Sribhumi-Lake Town Pujas.

Didn't find the idols impressive this year. The patterns were too common, except for a bit of innovation like Lake Town Pradip Sangha (Conceived by Artist Prashanta Pal), and Salt Lake FD block (just the sheer size, all of 51 feet). The leading trend was the Jamini Roy-influenced style. I felt that the attention of the Puja organisers has drifted from the idol, (very unlike what it was in the 90's) and set on attracting huge footfall with newer and sensational themes in pandal. Some 'arty' idols were pretty small in size, rivaling a Saraswati idol one sees at the time of Saraswati Puja. Didn't find a single memorable face among the idols, and sorely missed the traditional angry face of Durga.

The auto rickshaws, of great help during pandal-hopping, made a killing, fleecing the vulnerable passengers. I was charged Rs 15 (the regular fare is Rs 8) for Ultadanga to City Centre and an incredible Rs 20 for Baishakhi to Ultadanga (More than double the fare). Was so irritated in the latter case that I refused to pay in change initially.

Didn't also find anything new in the street food, except for the Fruity Freeze range of Rollick ice creams. Had the Daab Malai flavour. Innovative and good in taste, but wish they used more of green coconut pulp instead of a mix of the same and coconut with the ice cream. The price (Rs 30 a single scoop) was exorbitant too! The rest was the same, routine roll-phuchka-ghughni-bhel puri-papri chaat-chowmein and ice cream. With an increasing number of cuisines on offer in the restaurants, it was time Kolkata expanded it's street food offerings too!