Monthly Archives: October 2014

Calcutta captures King – Superstar dances and dimples his way into 10,000 hearts


Shah Rukh Khan rocked St. Xavier’s College on Wednesday evening with his dimpled smile, star appeal and snappy quips, giving a 10,000-strong crowd of screaming fans plentiful “happy” moments to remember the evening by.

If a kiss each on the forehead was a fairy tale come true for three second-year students, SRK’s spontaneity ensured that everyone else had something to take away from the hour-long Happy New Year show “Indiawaale Kolkata Mein Chha Gaye!” — presented by t2 in association with CenturyPly and Gameplan, powered by Glamour World Ayurvedic and partnered by the St. Xavier’s College Alumni Association and 91.9 Friends FM.

Chants of “We want Shah Rukh” had rent the air from 5.30pm with half the crowd already on the playground by then, armed with posters professing their love for King Khan and wishing HNY “good luck”. By the time SRK, Farah Khan and the rest of the Indiawaale team arrived from The Oberoi Grand, the crowd had doubled.

First on the stage was director Farah, who promised the audience King Khan in exchange for another promise. “Promise me, all 10,000 of you will go and watch Happy New Year again tomorrow, then I’ll ask Shah Rukh to come on stage,” she said.

For SRK, this crowd would have promised her the moon.


Shah Rukh jogged onto the stage clad in ripped denims, black tee, tan leather jacket and his trademark dimpled smile. Delirium.

“There is no place like Calcutta for the love that I get and this is even beyond that. So, thank you very much. I am going to be here. I will talk for you, I will dance for you. I will do everything that you guys say,” promised Shah Rukh.

He proceeded to do just that and more.

The crowd would roar in approval whenever Shah Rukh said something, the screaming continuing when his HNY co-stars Sonu Sood and Vivaan Shah or director Farah endorsed the Bolly Badshah’s love for his adopted hometown. “Shah Rukh told me that when you come to Calcutta with him, you witness love like you have never before, and I am witnessing it right now,” Farah said.

“I genuinely feel like a king of the world because of everyone in Calcutta. I was born in Delhi and brought up in Mumbai, but I can tell you, absolutely, unquantifiably, the love that I get in Calcutta I get nowhere else. As long as I am working I want to come back and do something special for Calcutta so please pray for me that I can do so,” Shah Rukh added.

He went on to repeat a dialogue from Happy New Year that he said was closest to his heart and one which students could learn from — “Duniya mein do tarah ke log hote hain, winners and losers, lekin zindagi har loser ko woh ek mowka zaroor deti hai jismein woh winner ban sakte hain.”

While Shah Rukh the non-stop entertainer didn’t come as a surprise, at Xavier’s on Wednesday it was his turn to be entertained by his fans. Ten Xaverians got the opportunity to perform not just for, but with King Khan, Sonu, Vivaan and Farah.

While Moubani Roy Choudhury tried a dialogue from HNY, to which Shah Rukh responded with a “You are breathtaking”, fellow Xaverian Virender Singh sang Indiawaale. But it was when four students chosen to dance with the star took the stage that the fun went up a notch.

“I am switching to the Xavier’s team. I am in Calcutta, I have to be with my city. You guys (Farah, Vivaan and Sonu) can represent HNY,” SRK said, slipping between the Xaverians.

After the group had danced to various songs from HNY, Shah Rukh announced that it was time to groove to something different. “Can we have Lungi dance, please?” he hollered.

The audience went wild, as did everyone on stage.


When Class VI student of St. Xavier’s Collegiate School Divyansh Agarwal was reported missing in the crowd crush, SRK did his bit in locating him. “Divyansh, your parents are a little worried. Can you come in front of the stage? You can use this as an excuse to come up and see us from up close as well,” Shah Rukh said, prompting the ladies in the audience to call out that they were all “lost”.

SRK immediately flashed a dimpled smile and flipped a thumbs up sign.

While Shah Rukh hugged, danced, sang along and blew kisses at the audience every few minutes, what he didn’t do despite several requests was take off his black tee and show his eight-pack abs.

The audience did get a glimpse of hunk Sonu’s pectorals though, thanks to director Farah’s bullying.

The HNY team was felicitated by Father Felix Raj, principal of St. Xavier’s College, and also cut a cake to celebrate the success of the film.

Each member of the HNY team got a Xaverian T-shirt and a cap.

The best gift, of course, was reserved for the audience: SRK up close and personal.

What makes SRK a winner each time he takes the stage? Tell

source: / The Telegraph, Calcutta / Front Page> Story> Calcutta / by Chandreyee Chatterjee and Pramita Ghosh / Thursday – October 30th, 2014

CSM, Goethe Institut ready for twin treats

Kolkata :

The Calcutta School of Music and Max Mueller Bhavan have joined hands to continue the school’s centenary celebrations as well as commemorating iconic composer Richard Strauss, whose 150th birth anniversary fell this year.

CSM will host ‘Bach-A Benediction and Theatre as Music’ — a fundraiser to boost their orchestra facilities on Friday evening at The Oberoi Grand, with Max Mueller Bhavan flying in eminent pianist-scholar Siegfried Mauser and vocalist Amelle Sandmann-Mauser, who will perform with the CSM Chamber Orchestra. “Since this is a fundraiser, there are no tickets but donor cards priced at Rs 750 each. The cards can be picked up from the school till Friday afternoon and also at the venue in the evening,” said Dickoo Nowroji, CSM president.

On Monday, the venue will shift to the Victoria Memorial, where the German pair will perform Beethoven, Wolfgang Rihm and of course, Strauss, among others. “The event is titled ‘Towards Modernity’ as what will be reflected in the concert is that classical music has not only survived for centuries but it’s still dynamic and progressive,” said organizers from the Max Mueller Bhavan. This programme is open to public, they added.

Sanjib Mondal, the resident conductor of the CSM Chamber Orchestra, was busy on Thursday rehearsing for the first time with Mauser. “Despite the time crunch, we are very happy after practicing together. Normally, before major concerts like these, we have many rehearsals but somehow, this time, after only one rehearsal we have become comfortable to each other’s style and pattern. Two more rehearsals will follow on Friday before we hit the stage in the evening,” he said.

“A fun trivia about Strauss is that the opening bars of his composition ‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’, a tone poem inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s novel of the same name, was used in the famous movie ‘2001: A Space Odessey’,” said Nowroji. The Oscar-winning film was produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1968.

Apart from being a pianist, Mauser is a professor of musicology, the president of the College of Music and Theatre in Munich and the designated rector of the University Mozarteum in Salzburg. He was also honoured with the German Federal Cross of Merit and the Bavarian Order of Maximilian. His wife Amelie was trained in Barcelona, Rome, London and Munich and she is also and actress in theatre and opera.

source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Kolkata / TNN / October 31st, 2014

Old Paulites rally to hills

Darjeeling :

St Paul’s School will turn 200 in another nine years. But it is time now for the institution to mark another milestone.

The school may have been raised in Calcutta, but most feel it is only when it moved to the mountains, and Jwalapahar on particular, that the school acquired its halo and high ground. Rather literally.

Some 300 Old Paulites have converged at this favourite tourist destination to celebrate 150 years of their school’s coming to the “Burning Mountain”, a name believed to have been acquired from the explosion of flaming rhododendrons that used to bloom there.

Over the next three days, Paulite Forever, as the celebrations have been christened, will see former students from round the world and as far back as the early fifties reliving their school days and sharing space with the current crop and teachers.

“The Quad”, “Dawkins”, “Lower Field”, “Dorms”, “Prep Hall”… Words that meant the many nooks and corners of boarding life in one of the premier institutes of the country will come alive once more for them.

Men who have moved on to their many distinguished paths will shed all that for school blazers, flannels, grey suits and the many little things that made life at what used to be a boarders-only school. “Several Darjeeling schools have this legacy of the British education system. But, St Paul’s was a little more into the British way than the others,” gushed film distributor and entrepreneur Arijit Dutta shortly after checking into a hotel at Darjeeling on Wednesday evening.

“You see, we looked down upon others from our perch high above Darjeeling town,” joked the 1983 pass-out.

As the first whiff of winter grips this hill town and the heavy woolens come out, the month-long cultural festival on the Mall nears its end and the hotels prepare for off-season discount offers, the Paulite party is set to begin. The nippy air is thick with a sense of anticipation.

“It will be a terrific reunion,” added an Old Paulite.

source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Kolkata / by Arup Chatterjee, TNN / October 30th, 2014

Three-day astronomy exhibition

Siliguri :

The Sky Watchers’ Association of North Bengal (SWAN) will hold a three-day astronomy exhibition and a Live Lunar show here from October 31.

“This year, we are hosting our annual exhibition in association with the state department of information and cultural affairs. Lot of activities involving school students and youths would be organised at the Ramkinkar Exhibition hall in Dinabandhu Mancha during the three-day exhibition which will commence at 11am and conclude at 8pm everyday,” Debasis Sarkar, the SWAN secretary, said at a news conference here today.

Astronomical equipment like telescopes and imager and images of the space, planets and stars would be displayed at the exhibition. A video show on celestial events like eclipses and transit of Venus and an on-screen presentation on Mangalyaan would also be organised.

“We will also organise a quiz contest for students on astronomy and space science, discussion on science and astrophotography. We are expecting footfall of a considerable number of students, youths and senior citizens from Siliguri and the surrounding areas who are interested in learning more about astronomy. It is an open-to-all exhibition and the entry is free. We will distribute software and study material among enthusiasts,” Sarkar said. “As far as we know, it is the only integrated exhibition on astronomy in eastern India.”

By an integrated exhibition Sarkar meant a display of pictures, videos, equipment and holding of competition and discussions.

On the evening of November 2, the final day of the event, a live moon viewing through telescope would be organised on Siliguri Boys’ High School ground (next to Dinabandhu Mancha). “The basic idea is to popularise astronomy and inculcate interest in the subject and allied sciences in the common people and students. We appreciate SWAN’s initiative and we feel good to be associated with the event,” said Miten Chhetri, the subdivisional information and cultural officer of Siliguri, who was present at the news conference.

source: / The Telegraph, Calcutta / Front Page> Story> North Bengal / by The Telegraph, Correspondent / Thursday – October 30th, 2014

Trinamul forms Alipurduar zilla parishad

Mohon Sharma takes oath as Alipurduar zilla parishad member on Monday. Picture by Anirban Choudhury
Mohon Sharma takes oath as Alipurduar zilla parishad member on Monday. Picture by Anirban Choudhury

Alipurduar :

The first zilla parishad of the newly-created Alipurduar district was formed today with Mohon Sharma of the Trinamul Congress being elected as the sabhadhipati and Atul Subba as sahakari sabhadhipati.

In the 18-member zilla parishad, Sharma won 10 votes against the Left Front’s Satish Roy. An RSP member was absent from the election and Roy got seven votes.

Trinamul had just one member when Alipurduar zilla parishad was separated from Jalpaiguri zilla parishad. While the Left Front had 13 seats (10 for the CPM and three for the RSP), the Congress had three members each. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had a lone member in the rural body.

However, all the three Congress members, including Sharma and Subba, defected to Trinamul in July. Four members of the CPM and one from the RSP also joined Trinamul in August, taking the latter’s tally to nine in the zilla parishad.

Today, the lone Morcha member extended support to Trinamul, paving the way for Sharma’s election.

Sources said Trinamul couldn’t reach on a consensus on the choice of the sabhadhipati as most of those who had defected had been offered the post.

“Trinamul leader Mukul Roy was forced to come to Alipurduar yesterday to iron out differences. Roy talked to the party’s zilla parishad members till midnight yesterday and couldn’t finalise a name for the top post in the zilla parishad. This morning, he again spoke to zilla parishad members at a hotel here and Mohon Sharma was chosen for the sabhadhipati’s post. It was also decided that Subba would be the sahakari sabhadhipati,” said a source.

After the voting, Shukla Brahmma Ghosh, a CPM member in the zilla parishad, alleged that Trinamul could prove the majority because of horse-trading.

“We have lost because Trinamul purchased some Left and Congress members like cows and goats. Many of us could withstand Trinamul pressure and continue to be in the parent parties. We will remain in the Left Front till death and nobody will be able to change our stand because we are not cows or goats. An RSP member couldn’t come to oath-taking and voting today because she was threatened by Trinamul supporters,” said Ghosh.

Mukul Roy denied the charge that Trinamul had paid money to the Left Front and Congress members for their defection.

“They joined Trinamul after seeing the development works launched by the Mamata Banerjee government,” he said.

source: / The Telegraph, Calcutta / Front Page> North Bengal & Sikkim / by The Telegraph Correspondent / Tuesday – October 28th, 2014

Bengali film ‘Chotushkone’ to release nationally on demand



Bengali movie “Chotushkone”, starring talents as versatile as Aparna Sen and Parambrata Chatterjee, will release in five Indian cities Friday by popular demand. It will be subtitled in English for non Bengali-speaking audiences.

The Reliance Entertainment movie will open in select theatres in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

This is a step towards catering to the growing demand of regional cinema across the length and breadth of the nation.

“The metros are home to a large Bengali-speaking migratory population who expresses a keen interest in local cinema. By releasing the movie nationally, it is our effort to reach out to them and other cinema enthusiasts favouring good content in various languages,” Sanjeev Lamba, CEO, Reliance Entertainment, said in a statement.

“Chotushkone” or “The Quadrangle” is a film about love, ambition, unconventional relationships and above all, vengeance.

source: / Z News / Home> Entertainment> Regional / Wednesday – October 29th, 2014

Olympiad to put Kolkata on fashion world map

Kolkata :

The City of Joy is getting ready to host the regional chapter of the National Fashion Olympiad. Organized jointly by the National Institute of Fashion Technology and the Union textiles ministry, the idea of the event is to put Kolkata on the world fashion map.

The Olympiad, which will highlight Kolkata’s young fashion talent, will be organized during November 11-13. The motto of this year’s fashion contest is “Sanyogam” or eternal connectivity of youth.

Students from Kolkata’s leading educational institutes, such as the La Martieniere for Boy and Girls, St Xavier’s College, Presidency University, Jadavpur University and Calcutta University, will take part in the National Fashion Olympiad (NFO). The competition will be open to students between 15 and 24 years of age. Students from IIT-Kharagpur and IIM-Kolkata will also be asked to take part at the Fashion Olympiad on the NIFT Kolkata campus.

The premier fashion institute has pioneered the unique initiative so that a platform can be offered to young talented individuals to test their skill and talent in specialized field of fashion. The regional-level competition will be held at various NIFT centres across the country, while the finale will take place in a metro city.

Though fashion designing is still in its nascent stage in Kolkata, the fashion Olympiad promises to catapult young talents with its beehive of activities showcasing what’s chic in fashion, interspersed with shows, exhibition, workshop and symposia.

“It has been our constant endeavour to hone new talents. Now, fashion students of the city will get the opportunity to display their creativity at this platform ,” said Bibekananda Banerjee, director of NIFT, Kolkata.

source: / The Times of India / Home> City> Kolkata / by Ajanta Chakraborty, TNN / October 29th, 2014

Kolkata girl bags Panda award

Ashwika Kapur / by Special Arrangement
Ashwika Kapur / by Special Arrangement

Ashwika Kapur is the first Indian woman to win the wildlife photography prize

Ashwika Kapur of Kolkata on Friday won the prestigious Panda Award, aspart of the annual Wildscreen Film Festival held at Bristol, U.K. She is the first Indian woman to win the coveted wildlife photography award for her film on a Kakapo parrot.

The tale of a parrot
Ms. Kapur’s film “Sirocco — how a dud became a stud” is based on Sirocco, a Kakapo parrot, which is perhaps the only bird to have bagged a government job.

The male bird was appointed as the Official Spokesbird for Conservation in New Zealand and it helps in conservation advocacy on social media.

The film earned 26-year-old Ms. Kapur a nomination for the best Newcomer category, competing against two other nominees. This year, the Windscreen Film Festival received 488 entries from 42 countries.

In an email statement, Ms. Kapur said the film was a solo project and she single-handedly managed the film’s scientific research, scripting, camera work, editing and music direction. She is currently involved in the filming and production of two international television programmes in India.

After finishing her school and college education in Kolkata, Ms. Kapur graduated in Science and Natural History Filmmaking from the University of Otago, New Zealand.

The Kakapo parrot, a nocturnal and flightless species of the parrot, is classified as a critically endangered species since 2012 on the IUCN Red List.

The bird, found in New Zealand, is known to be one of the longest-living birds and its known population is 125. Over 14,000 people from 162 countries voted the Kakapo the world’s favourite species in 2013.

The tiger and the African elephant came second and third, respectively.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kolkata / by Staff Reporter / Kolkata – October 25th, 2014

Trinamool MP passes away

All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) MP Kapil Krishna Thakur, 74, who was elected from the Bangaon constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls passed away in a city hospital here on Monday.

Mr. Thakur, was the elder son of Binapani Debi of the Matua community, a religious sect in the North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal.

Mr. Thakur’s younger brother, Manjula Krishna Thakur, is a minister in the AITC government.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kolkata / by Staff Reporter / Kolkata – October 14th, 2014

India’s First Fish Hospital to Come up in Kolkata

Kolkata :

The country’s first hospital to treat abnormalities and diseases in fish is set to come up in Kolkata by mid-2015, a senior scientist said.

Senior scientist T J Abraham, who is spearheading the project told PTI that the work has already started on the project.

He said that nearly 60-65 kinds of disease and abnormality were found in fishes in India and the one reason why West Bengal slipped from the number one position in fish production was due to the fact that 10-20 per cent of them died of diseases.

“Such hospitals are quite common in foreign countries,” Abraham, a senior fish microbiologist with the West Bengal University of Animal and Fishery Sciences, said.

The institute will not only help fish farmers increase yield by reducing the number of fish deaths, but will also ensure that people will consume healthy fish, he points out.

According to Abraham, the hospital will have 50 glass aquariums, 25 circular water tanks, each with a capacity of 500 litres, to admit and treat diseased fish.

The hospital will also have a separate well-equipped pathological lab to diagnose various fish diseases.

Asked when fish growers should approach the hospital, he said, “In such cases as abnormality, sudden death, change in colour or drastic reduction of weight, they may either contact the hospital or visit it with fish and water samples.”

He said that the diseased fish would be kept in aquariums for observation and after ascertaining the disease/ abnormality, medicines and tips would be provided to the growers.

The fish hospital, which is funded by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, under the Union Ministry of Agriculture, has a budget of Rs five crore.

“Nearly Rs 1.70 crore will be spent on hospital construction and the rest on creating infrastructure and lab facilities,” said Abraham.

Apart from Abraham, who is heading the project, there will be another scientist and the team of the two will be assisted by 4-6 research scholars initially.

Abraham said that the hospital would document diseases affecting fish in Bengal to be forwarded to the World Animal Health Organisation, Paris of which India is a member.

source: / The New Indian Express / Home> Nation / by PTI / October 24th, 2014