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 Kolkata, studying at St. Xavier’s College. The stint had probably created a deep love and affinity in him for the local Bengalis and their culture. And since then, 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.

Table Nine Makes It Fine

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Isn’t it amazing, if you come across a passionate dance-duo who have successfully done 8 big reality shows in India since 2006 and then turning out to be a real ‘Baazigar’ by virtue of showing guts to open up Table Nine, a Shisha cum pure veg café-kitchen?

Yes, believe it, or not, that’s the story of Saurabh-Vivek.

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Saurabh Bangani and Vivek Jaiswal started their dancing career way back in 2004 with local school level competitions and made their way up to state, national and International level dance competitions. In 2011, what it all started as a small dance class, gradually grown in leaps and bounds and has now become a multi activity centre where they groom talents young and old. BORN2DANCE PERFORMING ARTS is an Activity Training Institute for imparting training of different courses and event management services with over 200+ performances in Reality Shows, Talent Hunt and Events across the Globe.

Table Nine is their latest stunt in the market. I slipped into it on a lazy Sunday afternoon when the rush was about to set in and I bumped into two super cool guys, Saurabh and Vivek. It started on 10th October, 2018 just opposite to Derozio College on the roadside at Rajarhat Road, New Town. And it is yet to pick up in spite of the lovely décor and lip-smacking veg cuisines. The major reason probably, to my mind, is its awkward location. Food lovers having their personal vehicle can only venture out to reach here. But those who are not lucky enough to possess a personal vehicle will find it difficult to reach out.

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Somewhat dark with a dramatic Lumiere had set the tone of the approaching Sunday evening. And with the rhythmic number in full blown, you would certainly expect a dancing floor in front. Alas!! There is no such arrangement. Do not get disheartened though, for not being able to shake your legs. Instead try out some fabulous mocktails and pure veg Chinese and Italian delicacies.

I am both a mocktail and cocktail lover. Since this is a NO ALCOHOL zone, I had to rely on mocktails only. And I had apprehensions whether I’ll get my mocktail well-prepared. And they really impressed me in no time. The freshness in the drink usually comes from the mint. And they strike a magic by incorporating a twist of cucumber. Presented beautifully, this is one of the virgin mojitos in town. So if you’re a mojito lover like me, go ahead and definitely try it.

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Black Forest Shake: This shake had 3 layers. The bottom layer contains berry jelly. Middle is filled up with a dollop of cream and the thick chocolate shake served on that. The shake is decorate with chocolate shaves, an Oreo and a cherry. It was a burst of the flavours of the famous black forest combination.

Crispy Potato Cheesy Roll: The dish was drizzled with cheese clustered with a tangy, tasty dip. The rolls are neither too crisp nor too soft. A great munch to have with hookahs or mocktails.

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Crispy Chilli Babycorn: It is pretty common dish, known to one and all. But I loved their style of preparation. Neither too much sauce coated, nor too less. Just the perfect balance. And a little spray of sesame seeds made the dish more interesting.

Special Pizza: Cheesy pizza with Generous toppings. Gooey cheese with crispy french fries. And it is big one!

Hara Bhara Kebab: The coatings are a bit crisp, which enhanced the taste of the kebabs. They garnished the dish with cashews and peas and served with a mint yoghurt dip.

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Hakka Noodles: Nothing exceptional. But I loved the mild flavours. The noodles are thin. Tossed beautifully, and wasn’t too oily.

Veg Manchurian: A perfect, inseparable match for the noodles. This consisted of soft vegetable balls tossed in a spicy sauce. I loved the flavours of this one.

Average Cost 

₹650 for two people (approx)

Exclusive of applicable taxes and charges, if any

Cash and Digital Payments accepted

Opening Hours

12 Noon – 12 Midnight

More Info

  • Home Delivery
  • Vegetarian Only
  • No Alcohol Available
  • Table Reservation Not Required
  • Indoor Seating

Address

Siddha Pines, 1st Floor, Commercial 102, Opposite Derozio College, AS/185 Rajarhat Road, New Town, Kolkata

Contact Numbers: 9883388818, 9883888816

A Mahou Afternoon

Beer has always been my fancied drink and I have the knack for experimentation when a new product seems promising enough. After a tiring week a tall glass of beer does me as good as an Oasis does to a weary traveler in the desert. So last weekend, when the bartender drew my attention to a bottle of finely packed and attractive bottle of beer and suggested that I should most definitely have a taste of it, I was intrigued. What drew my attention in particular was the fact that this brand had apparently made a recent introduction in the markets of Kolkata and was apparently worth all the hype around it.

It was wheat beer as my bartender pointed out, alongside his rich promises of this beer being as good as the heavenly nectar Hoegaarden. “Do you actually mean what you just said?!” I expressed unable to hide my surprise. It was a tall claim indeed and now I most definitely had to taste this new brand of beer. “You will not be disappointed sir” the bartender assured me and added that this would be like no other beers that I have tasted in my life. By now the curiosity in me had beaten the combined curiosity of all cats on this planet. With no further delay I placed my order.

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From a bottle which was covered in a half white and half gold colored label shone in the lights and the condensation around it made me thirsty. I saw the beverage being poured into a tall glass from the attractive bottle and soon the glass made its way to my table. Now was the time for the first sip. Expectations cluttered my mind like the public after a new government had been elected. After all, my bartender spoke so very highly of this Spanish beer and compared it to the great Hoegaarden. Now was the time to check the facts in the claims.

The first sip transcended me into a different zone for a while. Clearly the beer was different from the various kinds of which I had gotten a taste of or developed a taste for over the years. In some ways I can say it was stronger. The wheat taste was strong enough and in fact after a few gulps of the chilled beverage I think it is safe to suggest that it is a bit too strong for my liking. The raw wheat texture and taste that hits your taste buds like a refugee caught in crossfire is most definitely not the most experience of my life.

It must also be pointed out here that the entire heavy flavor and strong taste is due to the starchy and strong hint of wheat and for those craving a different yet strong drink, this can be a great option to try out. The hint of coriander is something I missed out on even after the numbing sensation due to the chilled beer died down with time. So overall it was an experience I would not regret but surely it did not match up to the standards of the Hoegaarden.

When the Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse Creates a Symphony

It was a Google conference and I was invited to attend the same in The Westin, Rajarhat , just one stop before the State of the art Biswa Bangla Convention Centre.

Thanks to Google not just for sharing knowledge with innovators like us. But also paved the way to get into Westin for the first time and tasting their spread of cuisine in the process.

Fine dining was not new and The Westin was no different. There were assorted salads, breads, 4-5 veg preparations, two non veg items. But the ones which actually tickled my taste buds and literally swept away from my feet was their dessert spread.

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Taste their Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse. It is simply out of the world. I’ve tasted Chocolate Mousse in at least 10 more places of world class repute. But this one, to me, is really different and unique. A soft press with your jaw on the nuts and the magic begins! The chocolate and the nuts create a symphony within your mouth an you go mad!!

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Then I liked their Mixed Berry Cheese Cake. It tastes different. And it is awesomely beautiful. The small pieces melt in your mouth in no time leaving a sweet aroma within.

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I kept on avoiding Mong Dal Halwa in previous cases. But here I could not check myself to have a go. And it was delicious. An overture of ‘ghee’ is certainly there to make the taste more dramatic. But then, sometimes, one needs to forget the health hazards to taste an item, what can be termed as “sinfully bliss”.

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Reading upto this, if you come to a conclusion that I’ve sweet tooth and hence I’m highlighting their desserts. Then you’re completely mistaken. I’m a pure non veg guy who does not have the least little liking for desserts. But since it was really a “PRODUCT” worth mentioning, and I enjoyed a lot, I had to pinpoint those items.

ASICS Hits Kolkata to Establish a Strong Foothold in the East

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The Japanese Sports Performance brand, ASICS hits the “City of Joy” with a bang in an aim to expand its retail footprint to strengthen the brand’s foothold in India.

ASICS has been operating in India since last 3 years. In 3 years’ time, they have been able to come up with 34 stores in 16 Indian cities including metros, tier 1 and tier 2 cities. The target is set up 6-7 more stores by the end of 2018. Kolkata outlet is the outcome of that “joining dots”.

IMG_20181129_141657But why Kolkata? As per Gautam Raheja, the Marketing Head, ASICS India, ‘Sports and fitness are expanding in Kolkata. The consciousness has grown. So, we thought, opening an outlet in Kolkata can certainly help us foraying the eastern India market.’

The brand opens its store in one of the finest malls of the city, the south city mall. The outlet is all packed to provide the best products for the running, training, and the core performance sports shoes, apparel and the accessories both for men and women. The main aim of the brand is to extend their family in India for bolstering sales and also the marketing support mainly for the retail stores. This will benefit them with the increase in the consumer awareness of health and fitness and rise in spending of the power.

The Managing Director of the ASICS India, Mr. Rajat Khurana said “Given the potential and growing demand for fitness and sports, India has emerged as an important market for ASICS. This year, our focus is to expand our footprint in the both tier 1 and tier 2 cities and offer our best in class products ranging from running, sports, for gym and other fitness related gear. Kolkata is a very key market for us considering the large audience for sports and fitness in this market. We are hopeful that our products designed keeping core performance in mind will be able to cater to the needs of sports and fitness lovers in the city. IMG_20181129_141717

The store outlet in Kolkata will be showcasing their latest of the ASICS AW18 collection that will present the newest of the collections like the Kayano 25, Nimbus all featuring FLYTEFOAM which have the lightest ever midsole technology. The best thing about the FLYTEFOAM series of the brand is that it basically works with the wearer’s foot to deliver superior cushioning every step of the way. Another thing is that it about 55 % lighter than the industry standard midsole material which gives the runners with the comfortable fit with a fast and the responsive feel.

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There are many features when it comes to having the best of the ASICS light show collection. It delivers a 360-degree visibility while running in a low light condition. ASICS has been derived from the Latin phrase “Anima Sana in Corpore Sano” which means “A sound mind is a sound Body” which also makes it the brand’s fundamental platform. The company was first founded by Kihachiro Onitsuka 60 years ago which has now evolved to become one of the leading designers and the manufacturer of the running shoes along with the other of the athletic footwear and as well as the apparel and the other accessories.

 

Why This Blogging Workshop Came out Handy For Me?

 Written by Deesha Bhatia

 

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One fine afternoon, I was browsing through my Facebook page, when I came across a post which had an attractive content named ‘Blogging Workshop’ and I stopped. For a second it hit me that since I started my blog 2 months ago , why not learn more about it. So there I gave my email id and then in a while I received a mail by Mr Subhasis Chatterjee, the one who posted on Facebook about it.

The mail contained all the topics and key points to be covered in the workshop . While reading it, I was getting all excited and curious and in my mind I was like “yes I want to learn this, I want to know what’s more in there” and so on . So I enrolled my name and got all the details on venue and time.

It was asked to reach the destination by 4.45 pm, but since I’m a very enthusiastic person, I planned to reach there by 4.15 pm. Turned out, I reached there by 5 pm since it was difficult to locate the place. And when I reached , I saw other people also faced the same problem as this area was new to them.

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Then by 5.30 the session started and it was hosted by Mr Subhasis Chatterjee himself, who’s the founder and CEO of an IT company called ‘ConnectIndia’. He started by introducing himself first and then telling us about different nuances of blogging, which was very handy for a newcomer like me.

It was planned that this workshop would be divided into two sessions. First session was all about how to find an inspiration for the words and ideas and choosing your blogging niche. There I realized that blogging as a career is passionate yet serious option. When I started my blog , I had just two things in my mind, that is, to show people how creative I’m in my designing field as an interior and to source work opportunities out of it.

But there was more to it when 2nd part of the session started. It was presented by Mr Sumanta Dutta, who is also a blogging expert. He guided us on where to blog, how to gain traffic, how to promote your blog and most importantly how to earn money out of it without any investment. In-short, he taught us how to make a career out of it. After attending this workshop, I learnt so many strategies, outlines and tips that can help me.

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I would like to appreciate Mr Subhasis Chatterjee for coming up with this workshop and boosting my career out of this . As my blog is new, I will be implementing all these tips and make my blog more useful and creative on the other hand.

Author Bio: Deesha Bhatia, born and brought up in Kolkata, is a Freelance Interior Designer | Interior Stylist | Blogger & 3D Visualizer. She started her own interior designing start up venture under the name ‘A Green Door ‘ where she aims to showcase her creativity on interiors.

Supreeta Preaches Important Lessons of Life through Grace

She is a born optimist and she sprinkles positive vibes. She loves to celebrate life and she speaks from the bottom of her heart. She takes life in its own stride and believes in relationship. That’s Supreeta Singh for you in a nutshell.

The moment we met each other, she smiles. And it is ‘Grace’ in the truest sense of the term. A full-fledged print media journalist turned into a PR person, who decided to come up with her first novelette on love and human relationships is all ‘Grace’. “My career in journalism and PR have probably helped a lot in coming up with this novel and choosing the subject line. Connecting and interacting with different cross section of people helped a lot.” She quips.

‘Grace’ by Supreeta Singh, is an immaculate attempt to unbox “LOVE” and set it free for readers’ choice to look at it from its different facets. Representing Gen Y, she made her novelette a fast read without a traditional introduction. That certainly had struck the chord beyond boundaries. The urban, conversational tone spelled a charm on young minds as if the two lead characters of the story, Kavita and Rana are echoing the readers’ mind, their heartbreaks, disillusionment and bitterness in the pursuit of finding “the one.”

Supreeta percolates a wonderful lesson through her 97 page work. As life doesn’t have all the answers in store, love is also not all about winning someone’s heart and living a life of fulfillment. Rather it teaches you forgiveness, acceptance and a lot of sacrifices through your course of journey. Through four romantic sagas of Kavita, which she has experienced, Supreeta toys with some brilliant attributes of human values…”affection, friendship, heartbreak, loss and self-discovery that men and women are facing today.” And there only ‘Grace’ becomes universal…for all ages.

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Life poses a lot of challenges. Whether you fight it out or not, it leaves a lot of “grey and undefined areas.” Supreeta’s unfathomable eyes are seriously on a quest to define those faded areas.

The quest continues while she aims for her next two titles, “Bani” and “Kolkata Kitty”. Stay tuned.

“Grace” is available on Amazon, Flipkart, Barnes & Noble and also at www.gracebysupreetasingh.com

Flipkart: https://www.flipkart.com/grace/p/itmf49szysg5kp4s

Amazon: https://www.amazon.in/Grace-Supreeta-Singh/dp/154370266X