Monthly Archives: November 2015

Women behind the wheel


Manoj Verma, the commissioner of Siliguri metropolitan police, flagged off the Queen on Wheels 2015, the women’s car rally organised by Rotary Club of Siliguri Green in association with The Telegraph, at Siliguri Institute of Technology on Sunday.

According to the organisers, 71 cars, all driven by women, participated in the rally. However, most of the cars had men as navigators. The event was held with the help of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India.

The cars travelled for around 60km covering different terrains and reached finally at Uttarayon Township in Matigara. Suman Agarwal finished first in the rally that was held in Time-Speed-Distance (TSD) Format, while Shyamashree Mitra and Venus Baid came second and third, respectively. The top three were presented with trophies and prizes.

source: / The Telegraph, Calcutta,India / Front Page> North Bengal> Story / Monday- November 30th, 2015

App brings Kolkata’s history alive


A smart phone application will enable users to explore rare archival images of more than 100 geographical points and heritage sites of the city.

If you are going past any colonial and historic monument of Kolkata, such as the Victoria Memorial, all you need to do to get information about it is to point your smart phone camera towards it.

Now, a smart phone application will enable users to explore rare archival images of more than 100 geographical points and heritage sites of the city.

The application, Timescape: Kolkata, put together by the University of Liverpool, the Jadavpur University and the British Library, creates an augmented reality that allows the users to imagine themselves in the environment.

Material from archives
Photographs dating back to the 19th century were provided by the British Library.

“These photographs in the mobile app are one of the earliest of Kolkata. The British Library has provided the photographs, which were taken by Bourne & Shepherd Company, which has set up the world’s second studio in the city, and two other photographers Frederick Fiebig and W G Stretton,” Sujaan Mukherjee, a researcher at the Jadavpur University told The Hindu.

The richness of Kolkata’s historical buildings, often half-hidden behind the facade of an expanding modern city, is reflected in the copious archives of images of the British Library collection, said John Falconer, lead curator of prints, drawings and photographs at the library.

The setting of the application launch in the galleries of the Victoria Memorial was also fitting as the monument is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent colonial buildings in the country. The mobile app will showcase the city in a way that brings Kolkata history to life, said Nandini Das, project lead from the University of Liverpool’s Department of English. “It will allow users to experience urban space in a fresh and exciting way,” she said.

However, those behind the initiative do not want it to remain confined to the city’s colonial heritage.

Professor Supriya Chowdhury of Jadavpur University said there was a lot of scope for augmenting the application with historical data of non-colonial landmarks as well.

“We have added layers of historical data, photographs and geographic coordinates to the application which is open source and universally accessible,” Prof. Chaudhury said.

Researchers and academicians behind the application describe it as an outcome of broader research titled ‘Envisioning the Indian City’ between different departments of the Liverpool University and the Jadavpur University.

source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Kolkata / by Shiv Sahay Singh / Kolkata – November 29th, 2015

Writers with Kolkata link in line for DSC award


It is surely a proud moment for the city, which lays its claims to three of the six authors shortlisted for the DSC award for South Asian Literature 2016. While Neel Mukherjee and Raj Kamal Jha spent their childhood and youth in south Kolkata, Anuradha Roy had a brief stint with this city when she studied at Presidency College.

“Calcutta will always enter whatever I write because that’s the city I have walked the most, got lost the most in. ‘She Will Build Him A City’ is about the imagined cities inside our head, the magic that we need to live with reality,” said Jha, editor-in-chief of a national English daily. Jha, who was born in Bihar and had his schooling at St Joseph’s, put the city in his first novel ‘The Blue Bed Spread’ where the former IITian went beyond the cordons of the concrete city. Similar seemd to be the case with his fourth novel, where humans, under strain or facing irrevocable loss, find themselves deprived even of their names. Their narratives, fragmented and with a constantly shifting relationship to any recognisable version of events, are interspersed with characters allowed to keep their nominal identities.

Neel Mukherjee studied at Don Bosco School, Park Circus and then took up English at Jadavpur University before proceeding to University College, Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship where he graduated in 1992. He completed his PhD at Pembroke College, Cambridge. In his second novel, ‘The Lives of Others’, Mukherjee gives us finely-grained descriptions of daily life. It is a complete world, where political unrest is always visible on the fringes, casting ever-darker shadows over the domestic. The fragmented versions of families particularly in north Kolkata is carefully penned in his novel.

Anuradha Roy, novelist, journalist and editor, has been shortlisted for her ‘Sleeping on Jupiter’. Born in Uttarakhand and brought up in Sikkim and Hyderabad, she came to Kolkata to study English at Presidency College before moving to Cambridge University. The co-founder of publishing house Permanent Black said, “I did college in Kolkata, where I made lifelong friends, and became aware of a whole cultural universe. I have wonderful memories of wandering in the second-hand bookstores and films at Lighthouse and phuchkas and rolls in New Market.”

source: / The Times of India / News Home> City> Kolkata / by Saibal Gupta, TNN / November 29th, 2015

Film fest starts in New Town

Sabyasachi Chakraborty and Debashis Sen inaugurate the Nazrul Tirtha chapter of the Kolkata International Film Festival on Sunday (Shubham Paul)
Sabyasachi Chakraborty and Debashis Sen inaugurate the Nazrul Tirtha chapter of the Kolkata International Film Festival on Sunday (Shubham Paul)

Actor Sabyasachi Chakraborty inaugurated the New Town chapter of the 21st Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) at Nazrul Tirtha on Sunday. Nazrul Tirtha is the only venue where the festival’s films are being screened in New Town.

“Please come and watch these films as they encourage us to keep making films and encourage the organisers of such festivals to keep hosting them,” said Chakraborty, adding that he wasn’t sure how many movies he himself would be able to make time for amidst his busy schedule.

This is the second year that Nazrul Tirtha has been a venue for the festival. “Last year we were screening two films a day and this time there would be three films a day,” said Debashis Sen, chairman cum managing director of Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco) that is in charge of Nazrul Tirtha. “We have also installed dolby digital sound system in the auditorium this time for enhanced viewing experience.”


Before the inauguration, kathak dancer Anurekha Ghosh, a resident of Salt Lake’s CB Block, performed (picture above).

Nazrul Tirtha, on the Major Arterial Road, was inaugurated last year to facilitate research on poet Kazi Nazrul Islam but from August this year it has also started screening films on a regular basis. “Ever since the movie hall opened here I’ve watched several good films,” said Kumkum Chattopadhyay, a resident of the nearby East Enclave Co-operative Housing Society who had come for the inauguration. “As for the festival, it was not possible to travel to far-off destinations to watch the films before. This venue is convenient and I hope to watch the Asian films on offer, especially the Bengali film 9 no. Peara Bagan Lane on Saturday.”

The festival will continue till November 21 and the timings at Nazrul Tirtha are 1pm, 3.30pm and 6pm. Tickets are priced at Rs 80 and 60.

In Salt Lake, KIFF films are being screened at Carnival Cinema in IB Block (11am, 3pm) and Inox City Centre (3pm, 5.30pm). Tickets cost Rs 80 at both venues. EZCC had been hosting KIFF for several years but has been discontinued this year.

source: / The Telegraph,Calcutta,India / Front Page> Salt Lake> Story / by A Staff Reporter / Friday – November 20th, 2015