The Sindhali Who Stole Hearts

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A Sindhi guy, in his Prussian blue suit, started his note in English, satisfying all our expectations. But within seconds, he switched over to Bengali in proper accent, much better than a son of the soil in the truest sense of the term. Not just the language! You should’ve heard his voice brimming with confidence and passion, his love for the soil, his portrayal of the Bengali culture, his poise within, all in the form of a staccato. I was literally taken aback.

Ladies and gentleman, I present to you Sumit Vidhani – a fresh, young man in the block of Hospitality with distinct thoughts and discrete tastes. It was 21st Feb, 2020, the evening of the Grand Finale of TFBA 3.0, and also, International Mother Language Day. So, the moment Sumit decided to shift his address in Bengali from English, the famous words of Nelson Mandela probably started playing in his head. “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. But if you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” And needless to say, this man steals the spotlight in no time.

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Once the function was over, I couldn’t resist myself from going to meet him. “How come you speak Bengali so well?”, I asked him. The COO of a 4-star property in Bilaspur, Aananda Imperial (V.N. Inn Pvt Ltd.), turned to me and smiled softly. “I might be born in a Sindhi family, but I’m more a Bengali by heart than a Sindhi”, quips Sumit who had spent his entire student life in Chattisgarh. But amazingly, he gets goosebumps whenever something creative related to Bengal takes place.

The Aananda Imperial’s association, as a proud Trophy partner with TFBA 2020 and simultaneously, introducing The Aananda Imperial trophy for Best Bangla Blog Content in the 3rd edition, undoubtedly speak volumes about his passion for the City of Joy and its culture.

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A strong believer in “Dream Big”, being instilled by the group Chairman Mr. Dula Ram Vidhani, Sumit is one of the front-runners to take their 10-year old legacy to the next level. The very next evening, on 22nd, all the finalists were invited at their newly owned Kolkata restaurant, Bongnese, in Salt Lake to celebrate an after-party. As the name suggests, the place is an amalgamation of two words- Bong, which is a colloquial term for Bengalis, and Chinese. Bongnese is a signature house to offer Authentic Bengali dishes from East and West Bengal along with some lost names of the great Colonial era. The restaurant has eighty seats. Traces of both Bengal and China have been infused into the decor. The furniture, the hue, props and lights all suggest the confluence of the two cultures.

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The passionate hotelier greeted us along with his GM Confidant Rajib Roy Choudhury in traditional Bengali culture. And our good old friend Rajibda cracked some magic moments by presenting us with a brilliant ginger wine prepared by an Anglo Indian community in Bilaspur, under the initiative of Aananda Imperial. Goes without saying that there were innumerous other imported drinks available. But I decided to stick to the new and uncommon one with a soothing background score of a brilliant violinist, Ramanuj Chatterjee. “I think you like that drink a lot!”, Sumit whispered in my ears with his signature smile. I couldn’t help but nod. It was absolutely fantastic. Amidst all of this, a variety of starters including Haans’er Dim’er Devil & Chorbi’r Bora had created a tremendous amount of enthusiasm among the food bloggers and I was no exception.

A very down to earth, culturally sound Mr Sumit Vidhani, is a Chef by choice and has worked with the Taj Hotels after completing his Degree in Hotel Management from Bengaluru. Believe it or not, he can fluently speak in eight regional languages of Bengal, as surprising as that sounds. Isn’t that enough proof to understand his love for the language? He has been awarded with the coveted Young Hotelier of the Year Award at the recently concluded 5th Annual IMA Awards at Pune. His child, Aananda Imperial, has seen a new dawn in the Hotel & Hospitality industry of Bilaspur in Chattisgarh and has been awarded as the Best Wedding & MICE Hotel in Central India.

The dinner was elaborate with all traditional and extraordinaire Bengali cuisines. But who knew the surprise was still due? Sumit requested us to stay back for some more time as he calmly held our hands much alike in the form of a ‘merry-go-round’ and started singing Pratul Mukhopadhyay’s 26-year old, evergreen iconic number, Ami Banglay Gaan Gai. We all sang along, our eyes tearing up.

Enjoy Rye Bread and Take home a Kuksa Cup

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Finland is a remarkable European nation and has a rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. A visit to this place for me has been rewarding in every way imaginable. However, even in the midst of all the Northern lights and exquisite natural beauty on display I could not help but take notice of two unique items you would find there. One among them is the famous cup made in Finland. The other is a kind of a bread or cake known as the Rye bread.

Kuksa, Inari, Finland

The cup is an amazing specimen of Finland’s craft and culture. Devised by the locals, the cup is made from the barks of the Birch tree. This is known as the Kuksa cup. It is not breakable like the usual cups and is thus a great idea to use for beverages. The Lyap group of people in Finland usually indulges in the making of such cups. They are hardy and strong and easily withstand a lot of damage without a scratch on them. There are however replicas that are made and sold in the markets. These replicas are made of ceramics and can be handy items to decorate your house. In fact as a gift from the capital city of Finland, Helsinki, this can be a great gift item for your near ones back home. This is an ideal cup for those willing to delve into a hot or cold beverage. The usage is very convenient and it is in fact a lot of added advantage to use these cups.

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The Rye bread too is a delicacy of this land. These breads last for a fairly long time and the best part is thus that you can get some of this bread and not worry about them going bad in course of the journey. The cultivation of Rye in these parts of the world is as old as 2000 years. The German Rye bread is oilier than this and this is thus the better pick. As far as the Swedish rye bread is concerned it is spicier than this and thus once again this emerges as the better option.

Finland has been a rewarding experience and made me more evolved a traveler but pardon me for being materialistic in just this one instance and not getting over these two fine items from Finland. You too must use them or buy it for gift purposes if and when you visit the beautiful country of Finland.

Healthy Grey Rye Bread Bakery Nutrition

Photoblog: Khursheed Jah Devdi -Hyderabad

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Nawab Khursheed Jah Paigah was the maternal grandson of the third Nizam of Hyderabad. Khursheed Jah Baradari was his residence, near the Charminar. It is a gorgeous Palladian mansion with imposing pillars and a strikingly European design. While it is commonly referred to as a baradari (literally means having 12 doors) or a devdi (sort of like a haveli) it is counted as one of Hyderabad’s best palaces._MG_3318-1

The construction of the palace was started by Sir Khursheed Jah’s grandfather, and completed by his father. It is said, that when the Paigah family lived in this palace, it was full of expensive furniture, chandeliers and paintings, and that the extensive grounds adjoining it, had immaculately kept gardens with fountains and little reservoirs. Apparently, in addition to the horses in his stables, Sir Khursheed Jah also kept ostriches!

 

Toronto Art and Culture Warms Up Your Soul

The city of Toronto has lots to offer. The art & culture comes up with myriads of hues. Ujjayini Pal pens down her experience.

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Toronto has a lot to offer. It has everything for everyone starting from entertainment for kids, soothing sites for nature lovers, adventure sports for adventure lovers and last but not the art Indus New Logoand culture shows and spots for artistic minds. The city of Toronto even arranges or different art and culture exhibition from time to time almost every year. One such well known art festival of Toronto is the Art Festival. Read on to know more.

 

The Art Here Festival

If you are planning your trip to Toronto this fall, don’t forget to participate in the Art Here Festival. This exhibition is curate by Akin Collective this year and is scheduled to start on and from 18th September. Art Hear will grow the craftsman and group of onlookers association by presenting new, original critique, at the same time staying casual and enlightening.

Plans for the 2015 show

Many unique plans are there for the 2015 exhibition. This year Art Hear is all about open and interventionist workmanship; board discourses and specialists discussions will address the part of open craftsmanship inside of a few settings including scrutinizing the responsibility for spaces, prominent critique among Toronto craftsmen, the web as imaginative space, the advantages of outside craftsmanship, and new systems for connecting with open spaces all revolved around the subject of “desires”. Anticipate energizing dialogs from David Liss, Alex Mcleod, StART, VSVSVS, Bridget Moser, Sunday Drive Art Projects, Shari Orenstein, and more curated and facilitated by Oliver Pauk, Michael Vickers of the Akin Collective.

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The entire event is divided into various panel discussions. It is advisable not to visit the Art Now exhibition with your kids. This is mainly because kids will never like such boring panel discussions. However, if you are an art and craft lover then this is sure to draw your attention and make you fall in love with the entire concept.

The event is going to start on the 18th with the first panel discussion on 12.30 PM with the topic art and the internet. The panelist for the first panel discussion is Benjamin Bruneau, Alex Mcleod and Tough Guy Mountain. This will be followed by the next panel discussion focusing on the topic public art and its belonging. The panelists are Ben Mills, Laura Berazadi Lilie Zendel and Lara Tarlo of Toronto.

Program for next two days

The entire program is going to continue for three days in total. September 19 and 20 will also witness 4 consecutive panel discussions. The topics are outdoor area of interventions, attention towards audience, the shared area and popular commentary. The Art_3panelists for the discussion are all well known personalities like David Liss, Jamie Angell, Shari Orenstein, Oliver Pauk, Ashley Proctor, Adil Dhalla, Shannon Cochrane, Bridget Moser, and Basil AlZeri.

In conclusion, Akin has created rental space that keeps up a benevolent and rousing air where individuals can take a shot at imaginative tries and entrepreneurial endeavors of various types. With areas in Bloordale Village and Parkdale, Akin’s modifying incorporates the Forge workshop arrangement, open workmanship crits, open studio occasions, display and exhibition hall visits, and in addition different curatorial activities.

Pics Credit: http://www.arthere.ca/