Saturday, 21 January 2017

Spring Fest 2017 - Food Fest

The Spring Fest, organised by the students of IIT Kharagpur promises three days of fun, frolic, learning and more. To be held on the 20th, 21st and the 22nd of January at the sprawling Kharagpur campus, there are over 90 different kinds of events held in which students from over 400 colleges participate. The different genres include dance, music, dramatics, fine arts and others.

This year a novel addition is the Food Fest, presented by Zomato in association with DrinQ and Kossmo bartending school. The food fest has been organized for all young chefs and every other lover of food. The dofferent events to be held are interactive sessions with renowned chefs, cooking competitions, workshops and more. The first event as part of the food fest was a online food photography contest held over Instagram. You can now view the photographs by searching with the hashtag #SFFoodFest and #ZomatoatSF.

The interactive sessions promise a demonstration and display of culinary skills required to master the domain of Molecular Gastronomy and French Pastry Cooking. The star attraction of the food fest is none other than Miss Kirti Bhoutika. She is the winner of Masterchef India Season 5 and the youngest to have ever won this prestigious competition. Her areas of expertise include desserts, nutrition science and baking. One of the most interesting workshops is the mixology workshop where you will be taught the art of making various kinds of mocktails. The cooking competition is called “Too Many Cooks”. Lucrative prizes and cash prizes worth INR 15,000 is up for grabs.

Food has always been an area of fascination for a large section of the student community, whether it is at the kitchen or just grabbing a bite to eat on the way to college. Kolkata Bloggers is a proud Literary Associate of Spring Fest 2017. We will be hosting a Personal Branding and Digital Media workshop as well, on the 21st of January. We hope to see you there with us at the 58th edition of Spring Fest. It will be an exhilarating journey.


Friday, 20 January 2017

Spring Fest 2017's Social Theme - Masoomiyat

It has been an absolute honour being associated with IIT Kharapur's annual extravaganza - Spring Fest. In 2017, they bring up a social theme titled "Masoomiyat" which aims to lead the battle against child abuse in all its ugly forms.

A lot many of you reading this today would find yourself fortunate enough to have been blessed with happy childhoods that have enabled you to lead secure lives. As you look back on your glory days and find yourselves lost in fond nostalgia, reminiscing your own dreamy childhood, pampered with love and affection, with not the slightest care in the world, spare a thought for those little unfortunate souls around you not blessed with a similar happy childhood.
In our humble bid to give voice to the unheard, we launch our Social Cause for Spring Fest, IIT Kharagpur 2017, "Masoomiyat", An appeal to the child in you!
Masoomiyat primarily focuses on shedding light on instances of child abuse, child labour or child marriage and aims to strive for mitigation measures for the same. However, it doesn't restrict itself to the aforementioned only.  It aims to bring about a progressive change in the holistic development of a child in terms of his social welfare, education and opportunities.

With recent associations such as Teach For India, UPAY, Child Rights and You (CRY) and Gopali Youth Welfare Society, Spring Fest has strived to work towards the educational requirements of children under the banner of Shiksha and our efforts were recognised and boosted by Tata Housing, OIL and several other prominent organizations in previous editions. 

Masoomiyat aims to protect and preserve and build on the untarnished innocence and truthfulness in a child in a more complete sense.

You can join us in our cause for Child Rights and show support by dropping us a mail at masoomiyat.sf17@gmail.com and share your stories or suggestions.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Talking Pots Exhibition by Enactus, St. Xaviers' College

Kolkata Bloggers is proud to associate with endeavours that work towards the benefit of people in general. To that effect, we are glad to talk about our association with Enactus, an organization based out of St. Xaviers' College, Kolkata, that seeks to resolve poverty using entrepreneurial ventures. The core of any Enactus project is to empower the lesser fortunate with skills so that they can eventually sustain themselves without further external support.

Do take a look at what they have to say about their "Talking Pots" exhibition.

The real essence of the word "Entrepreneur" is still not known. People just think of it as a fancy word with a difficult spelling. The actual power and responsibility associated with this word is beyond the comprehension of individuals and the immense amount of pressure that any entrepreneur undergoes is also unfathomable to the common eye. Add Social to it and it becomes yet more difficult. Social Entrepreneurs are the Messiahs of the common masses. We strive to achieve the unthinkable, to emancipate the poverty stricken and to make them self sustainable. We are a community of students, academic and business leaders, committed to utilising the power of entrepreneurial action to transform lives and shape a better and more sustainable world. We uplift the weaker section of the society by empowering them in a way that makes them self sustainable. We believe in teaching how to fish rather than serving fish on a platter.



What is Talking Pots?

 We married the aesthetical aspects of art and the bountiful largesse of nature and out of this wedlock emerged the idea of Talking Pots. At Talking Pots, we provide you with a must have aesthetic product which not only serves as an alternative to the traditional flower bouquets but also provides a greener and cleaner solution for home decor and gifting. To capture the cultural undertones in our Sonar Bangla and to bring to the forefront the latent artistic prowess of the natives of Kolkata, we launched into a search for women entrepreneurs who needed just a nudge in the right direction to pick up their paint brushes and whip up wonderful expressions of art. These women residing in the squalor of slums, were bound by the shackles of poverty and strangled by the vicious cycle of helplessness.

Art, in ways more than one, was an escape from the bickering that was omnipresent in the milieu. Capitalising on these skills, we hoped to help them find an independent voice and strong foothold in society. Slowly and steadily, they are picking up the tricks of the trade and will hopefully, one day, no longer require us to steer the venture. Talking Pots is an initiative undertaken by St. Xaviers College, Kolkata chapter of Enactus. Enactus is an international organisation dedicated with working with leaders in business and institutions of higher education to mobilise university students to make a difference in their communities and develop them into socially responsible leaders.

Let the beauty of Nature mesmerize us with its splendour.
Let us sway in its everlasting fragrance.
 Let us be a part of the Talking Pots Family.
Let us witness the story of struggle and perseverance, an endeavour to make a difference and a seething conviction to rise from the ashes.

Talking Pots is putting up a stall to display the artwork of our women on the 09th of January 2016 at the Solace Day Spa grounds in Sunny Park between 11:00am to 09:00pm. Do drop by!



Thursday, 12 November 2015

Realty Expo 2015 by CREDAI Bengal



Realty Expo is an annual event - eastern India's largest real estate exhibition hosted by CREDAI Bengal. This year, it was held from November 6th to 8th at the Milan Mela ground. CREDAI Bengal is West Bengal's edition of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers' Association of India, the apex body for the conglomeration of real estate developers throughout the nation. CREDAI Bengal hosts two annual real estate exhibitions, Realty Expo and Home Front. These annual fairs are aimed at bringing the best property in the land so that customers are able to make an informed decision and invest their money in an effective and efficient manner.

This year, apart from bringing together the giants in the realty sector and putting up residential and commercial properties on display, Realty Expo went one step further and brought in a new dimension in the form of decor items, interiors and other things necessary to turn your house into your personalized home.


The buyers were given a huge number of benefits and discounts on the field. No doubt the fair was called ‘Ghar Bhi, Car Bhi, Discount Bhi’. The benefits included Flat discounts on spot bookings, gift schemes for property buyers, competitive price analysis, investment options, sourcing, comparing and buying straight from the developers/accredited agents and of course a wide range of information on the realty sector of Bengal. Realty Expo 2015 lived upto its promise of being the best destination for property buyers. 

Apart from being the realty exhibition of magnificent proportions that it is, Realty Expo proved to be a hub of entertainment. Events to note were a chat show with Srijit Mukherjee, Raj Chakraborty, Nusrat Jehan & Abir Chatterjee, a Quiz show by Mir with Tollywood celebrities and eminent artists from the art and cultural sector like Ritwik Chakraborty, Deblina Dutta, Rupankar, Anindya Chatterjee, Upal Sengupta, Kamleswar Mukherjee, Sidhu, Lopamudra Mitra and Joy Sarkar as participants.



As a lead up to CREDAI Bengal’s big event, they also organized a few activities for school students – namely the CREDAI Bengal school festival, which consisted of a debate competition (elaborated here) and a sit and draw competition along with a photography contest (elaborated here). These events provided youngsters to showcase their talents, which displaying the tangible interaction between infrastructure, development, and real estate. The school festival was held in association with South City International School, at their auditorium, on the weekend of 31st October and 1st November.


All in all, Realty Expo 2015 was a roaring success. It provided great interaction opportunities between the exhibitors and the buyers, or to-be-buyers. CREDAI Bengal hopes the continued support and enthusiasm of the city’s residents remains with them as they come back next year with Realty Expo 2016.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

CREDAI Bengal School Festival - Sit and Draw Competition

300 students from 15 schools in and around the city participated in the Sit and Draw Competition for the CREDAI Bengal School Festival.

The CREDAI Bengal School Festival, an event conducted on the sidelines of CREDAI Bengal's Realty Expo 2015, was held over the weekend of 31st October and 1st November, at the South City International School. I was a member of the audience, as a part of Kolkata Bloggers, overviewing the thoughts and principles showcased by these young, talented minds.

After the inaugural debate on the 31st of October, the School Festival continued to its second day with two artistic events - namely Painting and Photography. The Inter-school sit and draw competition was held from 10 AM to 1 PM at the South City International School auditorium. Representatives from about fifteen schools participated in the sit and draw competition, including leading schools such as Delhi Public School New Town, La Martiniere for Girls, Apeejay School, South City International School, Kalyani Central Model School, Army Public School and Shri Shikshayatan School, among others. The theme for this drawing competition for junior school students was "Making My City Green" - another topic that could be transformed through various interpretations.

Mr. John Bagul, Principal of South City International Schools, opens the CREDAI Bengal School Festival.

The students participating in the competition were extremely young - junior school students. Yet, they displayed admirable maturity in their interpretations of the topic, and came up with artwork that defied their youth and inexperience. While some students depicted a scenery of their city, others went forward with symbolism to convey their message. It was a wonderful feeling to see these enthusiastic youngsters put forward their views on what they perceive their city to be, and their ideas for a more joyful City of Joy.

An overwhelming bunch of more than 300 students from across the city and beyond turned up to participate in this sit and draw competition. It was a resounding success, but in quality of artwork and diversity of perception. Take a look at some of the images that defined the CREDAI Bengal School Festival's Sit and Draw Competition for Junior school students.






In addition to the Sit and Draw competition, a photography competition was also held as part of the CREDAI Bengal School Festival, participated enthusiastically by representatives of quite a few schools.

Such a competition allows us an understanding of the very young and impressionable minds towards their home city. This is important for the parent initative of CREDAI Bengal School Festival - RealtyExpo 2015, It offers multiple options including an affordable housing section, for people looking to buy a home or invest in a second home. The Realty Expo, to be held at the Milan Mela ground from the 6th to the 8th of November, is a celebration of real estate, and its contribution to increasing societal standards in gradual steps. To know more, do take a look at their website, www.realtyexpo.co.in.

Monday, 6 July 2015

Darjeeling Trip 2015

Photograph - Anirban Saha | www.anirbansaha.com

It has been quite some time since I visited the hills, the last destination being Gangtok and adjoining areas of Sikkim. So when Anirban da asked me to join him on a short Darjeeling trip, I was thrilled. Twenty seven gruelling hours on a super-late bus to Siliguri, earthquakes, reports of landslides and a three hour drive later, I had actual reason to be thrilled.

The atmosphere at Darjeeling was magical. The mist, the gentle rain, the wind all combined to engulf us in a welcoming envelope of happiness. Taking a break from the sultry climate of Kolkata, it was exhilarating to feel the cold breeze brushing across my face. The scenery, of course, was breathtaking, with the hills at a distance partly shrouded in fog, and the sun occasionally breaking through the clouds.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

NASSCOM Product Conclave, Kolkata 2015

NASSCOM Product Conclave
The National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) is a trade association of Indian Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing industry. NASSCOM conducts an annual event called the Product Conclave. The NASSCOM Product Conclave (NPC) is an annual gathering of product and associated service entrepreneurs, technological start-ups, angel investors, academicians, CIOs and analysts. A large part of the existing product companies are represented at the NPC.

Monday, 22 June 2015

International Day Of Yoga 2015

International Day of Yoga commemoration at Victoria Memorial, Kolkata. Photograph - Anirban Saha | www.anirbansaha.com

On the occasion of the very first International Day of Yoga celebrated across the world on 21st June, Healthy Billions organized an event focusing on the benefits of yoga and nuances of corporate yoga, at the Taj Bengal, last evening. Among the dignitaries present, mostly from the corporate field, Anirban Saha and I were invited to the event as bloggers.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Fankaari Fossils - An Art Exhibition

Anirban Saha (left) and Arjyak Bhattacharya at Fankaari Fossils art exhibition.

“The aim of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle.

“Fankaari Fossils” is one such endeavour to represent art as a reflection of inner understanding. The artist, Rajesh Yadav, is a recipient of numerous awards and his latest works were displayed at the World Fine Art Gallery, New York and The Nehru Centre, London.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Mohun Bagan Win the League

Champions of India. Mohun Bagan celebrates its league victory. Photograph - NDTV Sports 

Mohun Bagan has always loved the big stage.
The National Club of India, the first Indian club ever to beat a European team back in 1911, the club that has united generations of football lovers, the club that shares almost the entirety of Bengali football glory with its great rivals East Bengal, is back in the limelight. As Mohun Bagan lifted the I-League trophy for the first time in thirteen long years, thus becoming the best club in the nation once again, a million hearts erupted in joy. 

Monday, 25 May 2015

Solving the College Dilemma



It’s that time of the year again!

With the board examinations having concluded, and the results just about pouring in from state and national boards alike, the one question on the mind of everybody who took these examinations is invariably about which college he or she should choose, and what streams he or she should continue further studies on.

Having been a victim of this dilemma only a year back, I can fully understand what all these fresh school passouts must be going through. To help ease the process, I asked quite a few college students across various disciplines, what they kept in mind when they selected their colleges. I also asked a few school students what subjects they would choose in college, which colleges they would prefer and why. Some of the students I asked are still in school, and some have just passed their boards this year, a mix which helped me to gauge which way they were generally leaning.

I hope the little experience I have, and what I’ve gotten to know from interacting with others who have also gone through the college dilemma, comes in handy.

Which Subject Should I Choose for Higher Studies?


Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Freshmen No More

Memories of Freshman Year

Growing up is a strangely exhilarating experience.

The switch from being a school student to a college student brings with it an enthusiasm to explore one’s own self, challenge capabilities and conquer new horizons. Such was the case too, roughly a year back, when I stepped into college. Brimming with excitement, yet with an undeniable degree of apprehension,  I was totally new to the surroundings of Heritage Institute of Technology.
As my friend Mukund put it, college is about “Getting thrust from your comfort zone and being able to redefine yourself from scratch.” Well, it certainly is. It is about forming new friendships, getting to know people better, understanding your own priorities and above all, making memories to last a lifetime.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Kolkata Bloggers Meet and Tea with the US Consul General

With the US Consul General Ms. Helen LaFave. Picture - Ipshita Nandi Banerjee
The last couple of days have been a very pleasant experience for the blogger in me. The Kolkata Bloggers Meet, hosted on Sunday, saw a riveting discussion by 37 bloggers, ranging from absolutely young and new bloggers, to veterans in the field. The very next day saw three members of Kolkata Bloggers (Anirban Saha, Sourav Ghosh and yours truly) being invited by the US Consul General for a discussion over tea at her residence. Also present were people from the fields of print media, radio and digital marketing.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Being Convict

Source - www.indiatoday.intoday.in

The Salman Khan case comes as no huge surprise. Disappointment, yes. Surprise? No. As KRK so surreptitiously put it, we would have lost all our faith in money if Salman Khan had been put in jail. The man we know on screen has gained a reputation for performing logic-defying acts successfully. Now, he has pulled off a similar stunt in real life too.

The Bollywood superstar could possibly be the only Indian at the moment to not have to spend a moment in jail despite being proven guilty and sentenced to imprisonment for five years. Salman got an interim bail in a matter of hours, and a permanent bail just two days after his conviction, speed unheard of in the Indian judicial circles. Fame, money, power, support – all of this undeniably factored in to make Salman Khan an “exception”.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Brute Force

Scenes from Nepal after the earthquake. Source - www.apherald.com

Quake. Fire. Rain. The past week or so has been tumultuous, to say the least. The City of Joy plummeted into a time of unfortunate mishaps, all in a day or two, but it was our neighbours in Nepal that took the hit worse than imaginable. There was torrential rain throughout the eastern and northern regions of the country, coupled with the fire at Citimart, New Market. But understandably, it was the devastating earthquake that caught most of the attention.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

The Fallacy of Women's Day

Image source - www.wallpaperup.com

We’ll be celebrating Women’s Day tomorrow. Women’s Day. But not Night, because we all know that a decent Indian woman must not have any existence to the outside world after 6:30.

It is downright disgusting to note how supposedly educated men throw up the words “Indian Culture” as if it were an impenetrable curtain that must be accepted without objection or clarification. Whilst our leaders talk of progress and development, their mindsets are still stuck in the medieval age. The scariest part of this is that these men who run the country actually believe what they say – that it is up to a girl to ensure her own safety, that men are allowed a little mischief every once in a while, that provocation justifies assault.

Friday, 20 February 2015

A Day of Darkness

Backdrop – I recently had a problem with my right eye, which required a LASER barrage. Consequentially, I had to remain in bed rest for a week. For a full day after the procedure, I had to keep my eyes closed. That is when I discovered how the other senses come to the fore when one is shut out.

This is just a sample picture of the phenomenon, and not the state of my eye. Image source http://en.wikipedia.org/

Its curious how Indians have swapped the word “myopia” for “power”. Tera kitna power hain? Mera -6 hain. Oh wow, kitne fingers bata? *dangles three fingers in front of your face.* This is a practice as old as Father Time in this country. I was pretty scared when I heard that my myopia had caused lattice degeneration, leading to an initial phase of retinal detachment. (Translated to English, that means there was a rupture in my retinal membrane, which could cause vision loss if left untreated.) I was rushed to the LASIK centre, administered shot after shot of painfully stinging lasers, and advised absolute bedrest.

Friday, 6 February 2015

India's First Wi-Fi City



Inauguration of the free WiFi at Park Street

"What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow."

I was incredibly privileged to be a part of history today. As part of Kolkata Bloggers, we were witness to the formal launch of the free 4G WiFi provided by Reliance Jio at Park Street - the first step towards making the City of Joy the very first WiFi enabled city in India. Mysore had tried and failed before. Bangalore has WiFi hotspots strewn across the city. But Kolkata aims to be the very first in the country where the whole city, including Salt Lake and rajarhat, would gain access to free wireless network.

Kolkata Bloggers was invited to be part of the event. Fourteen people represented the blogging community at Park Street today. I was privileged to be leading a team that comprised many new faces, but with bursting enthusiasm and talent. This was a momentous occassion for all bloggers - going digital is the way forward.

Monday, 2 February 2015

The Legacy of Tagore #KLF2015

Photograph - Anirban Saha | www.anirbansaha.com
Rabindranath Tagore’s name is synonymous with Bengali culture. His contribution to literature, especially to Bengali literature is unquestionably towering. However, the worth of Rabindranath Tagore cannot just be measured in the songs, novels, poems, stories, plays and essays he has composed. The legacy of Tagore lingers on even today, more than seven decades after his earthly demise. His influence is still evident in modern works of literature.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Kiss And Tell

Protesters in Delhi celebrate love. Picture - Youth Ki Awaaz

Welcome to India, the hotbed of ridiculous controversies. The latest to hit the streets is a protest against moral policing, that originated in Kochi and rapidly spread to other parts of the country - including Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata. The protest, being called the "Kiss of Love Campaign", was sparked off when members of the youth wing of the BJP reportedly vandalised a cafe in Kochi, following reports of a young couple engaging in kissing and hugging at that place.

Why #KissofLove?


Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Let's Football

The Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata lights up during the Opening Ceremony of the inaugural Hero Indian Super League. Photograph - DNAIndia

The Indian Super League is here, and off to a flying start. The much-awaited football tournament, consisting of eight newly-formed teams, is set to become a part of the sport's annual calendar with its two-month-long inaugural season garnering more popularity than ever anticipated. With bollywood personalities owning various teams, and cricket legends Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly doing their bit to promote the game, the glamour behind the tournament was never in doubt. The stupendous amount of revenue invested in every team too is an indicator of the sort of popularity this League was earmarked to achieve. With an average 15 crore rupees being the annual franchise cost, this league has got the economic backing that so many other Indian leagues in other sports did not.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Freshers' Tale

CSE during their Ten Minutes to Fame. What you cannot see in the picture is how loudly the crowd cheered for Suchismita. Photograph - Ankit Mukhopadhyay.

Eagerly anticipated, strewn with controversy, yet enthusiastically executed - Freshers' 2014 has now come and gone. The single greatest night for a college student in freshman year is inevitably looked forward to with unmatched anxiousness. With pieces falling apart from the puzzle that held the picture together, the fire ignited in hearts and minds culminated in a blast on stage that saw each department fighting it out against the other in a quest for supremacy. 
Huddling around my mates, cheering for CSE, dancing my heart (and legs) out, shouting till my throat got sore, it was a pretty eventful day. Freshers' is the day to celebrate being a first year student in the college. Disregarding all the culture, or the lack thereof, on display, it was always going to be an event to remember for freshmen like myself.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Let the Festivities Begin! #DurgaPuja2014



Photograph: Saimantick Bhadra | www.saimantick.com

"Maa ashchhe!"

If you're a Bengali, or you've lived in Bengal at some point in your life, or been here in the city at least once during the festive season, you know exactly how much passion and excitement those words carry.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Decoding the Collegiate Jungle

"Remember the words Arjyak, these will always be the best days of your life. These will be your best classmates. You look around now and you can see men with ambitions of becoming sportspersons, musicians, scholars, you name it. In six months you'll be in college, and all you'll see around you will be careeristic engineers. Enjoy your days."

Heritage Institute of Technology. The Central Block.


When I first walked into Heritage Institute of Technology, I had a fair idea of what the wanted my college life to be. I also had another idea of how I would have to juxtapose that with what it would realistically turn out to be.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Nineteen to the Dozen


Nothing is as self-reflective as a selfie. :)

When the clock strikes twelve, I will officially be nineteen years old.  Even though that is a far cry from my hair going grey, I feel like I have learnt quite a lot of stuff. And, like every old person, I feel the need to share my wisdom. So here are five things I would like to pen down about the year gone by. (Because I could not think of a sixth point.)  Some of this may be clich├ęd, some of it might still be in the unfinished stage (because I need something to talk about next year too, right?) and all of it will be pertaining too personally to me. But here goes.