Sunday 20 October 2013

NEW MARKET- The heart of Kolkata….

New Market
“New market” despite the appearance of new air-conditioned, Western-style, shopping malls all over Kolkata, New Market, which has survived devastating fires and regular flooding, remains at the core of the shopping experience in the city. Over 500 stalls under its roof sell everything from clothing to wheeled luggage to electronics to a special cheese found nowhere else. Under its apparent chaos lie extraordinary finds as well as remarkable bargains and never to forget even we get to see different kind of people too.   

The giant shopping arcade was thrown open to the English populace with some fanfare on January 1, 1874. News of Calcutta’s first municipal market spread rapidly. Affluent colonials from all over India shopped at exclusive retailers like Rankin and Company (dressmakers), Cuthbert son and Harper (shoe-merchants) and R.W. Newman or Thacker Spink, the famous stationers and book-dealers.
A fire burned down large portions of the original building on December 13, 1985. It has since been rebuilt, and provided with a new wing, which houses a famous Kashmiri handicraft shop "PUMPOSH" and other storied retailers.
Another fire broke out on July 20, 2011 but was confined to a small area in the Flower Range near the Lindsay St. entrance.     

New Market’s growth kept pace with the city until World War II. The northern portion of the market came up in 1909 at an expense of 6 lakh rupees. Despite the gathering storm of World War II, an extension was engineered on the south flank, and the historic clock tower on the eastern end of the market was shipped over from Huddersfield and installed in the 1930s. Florists were located near the front entrance, and stalls selling fresh and preserved foods were placed towards the rear of the market. Beyond the vegetable stalls, fishmongers and slaughterhouse butchers plied their trade, and, until the mid-1960s, at the very back of the market, exotic animals from all over the British Empire could be bought as pets.

No better place than the "NEW MARKET" in Kolkata for a firsthand experience in all kind of shopping's .Say it clothes or households stuffs or gifts to give away or ornaments for occasions one can find almost everything here in the "NEW MARKET" and if you happened to get hungry and crave for a bite then there are lots of food outlets too, ranging from cut fruits to lemon tea, sandwiches to south Indian to Chinese foods everything is just a way step forward

Hawkers at New market

We can’t even beat the eye catching stuffs which we get in “NEW MARKET” and yes shopkeepers even claim that “ pura Kolkata   ghum lijiye aisa saman dusri jagah nahin milega apko” confidence within them is another strategy for the sellers to sell their products.

If not with the product then may be the way they repeat the line “100 100 100  kuch bhi lijiye sirf 100” will no doubt for a while will attract the people at least to have a look over the products, this is the actual magic of the place. No doubt the street sellers in new market are great communicators.

 New market is for every kind of people, you can enjoy with just Rs.50 in your pocket and even you can buy worth products of thousands of rupees too. The beauty of “new market” is enhanced with the beautiful ornaments displayed in such a way that tempts every woman to stop for a while. The rickshaw pullers in the area earn their livelihood through new market streets and serves as the best transportation when you want to cover up the entire market viewing the entire area.

The busy streets of New Market
New Market has its own charm and a hidden beauty with in which some way or the other makes a person even an impulsive buyer. This is one place which gives employment to thousands and help them earns his/her daily meal.

One line we can state for this magical place “variety is the spices of life and every individual has the right to taste it, be rich or poor”.

Waindrilla Saha
2nd sem

Spice of the East – A Whiff Of Kolkata’s Amazing Street Food

When it comes to the best street food in India, The City of Joy is easily at the top of the charts. A variety of gastronomic delights are available on the streets of Kolkata, and that too at prices that will not pinch the pockets. Despite the mushrooming of fine-dine restaurants and food courts, Kolkatans, ranging from a daily-wage labourer to the MNC executives, indulge in these roadside delicacies.

And Bengali cuisine is not the only thing that your palate can indulge in. Although, there was a time when the street food comprised only of jhal muri (puffed rice mixed with other ingredients), phuchkas (golgappa), singaras (samosa), kachauris and the telebhajas (oil fries). But over time it graduated to include hot kathi rolls (kebabs rolled in a paratha) and mughlai paratha (paratha with potato filling laced with egg) as well. Later, during the 80s the city also added chowmein (mixed noodles) to its menu. About the same time, the city also adopted the hot favorite of Maharashtra, paw bhaji (bonn + mixed paste vegitable). Later, the south too joined in with dosas, idli-vadas and uttapams. Chola- bhatura, chana kulcha, momo (dumplings) and thupka (noodle soup) went on to extend the gastronomy list.

Tele bhaja

Jhal Muri

Biryani that was among the carte du jour of the big restaurants is now the pride of streets. Excellent quality authentic beef biryani is served at roadside stalls right in the heart of the city. One can also try the Kheeri Roll and the incredible Beef Chaap.

Haleem is another dish, beef eaters love to hog in Kolkata. It is a mixture of wheat, meat (usually beef) different types of daal (including lentil) and spices.


While one can taste these delectable dishes all over the city, the kiosks along Decker's Lane (Dacre street)is the ultimate destination for foodies. You can get chicken cutlet, fish fry, fish roll, mutton/chicken/vegetable stew, ghugni, chowmein, fried rice, chilly/schezwan/garlic chicken, luchi/puri sabzi, chola-bhatura, kulcha-chana, momo, biryani, a wide range of sweets, lassi, firni and lots more.

Kaathi Roll

AJC Bose road offers you the best of Kathi Rolls. You can take your pick from a stuffing of paneer, mix vegetables, egg, curried chicken or chopped mutton. Also, you can select the roomali bread or paratha bread.  East Metropolitan Bypass serves you a plate of chaat, puchka or jhalmuri for just `10-45. BBD Bagh offers luscious luchi, kochuri and allodom, Cholar dal, rice and fish curry and lanchan. Chinese delicacies can be enjoyed at Sudder Street. 

And if you are worried about the quality of food available, the World Health Organization has in a survey, certified the food sold on Decker's Lane in Kolkata as among the best street food available anywhere (as per an article in The Times of India). So, if it is variety, taste and spice that you are looking for, simply head east.

Swati Verma
2nd sem


Indian Museum Kolkata

I was excited on my visit to the Indian museum, Kolkata. In the morning we took a cab and reached at 27, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata 700016, where the largest museum of India is situated. We stood in the queue to buy the entry tickets and eventually I was lost in the history of the Indian museum. The idea of establishing a museum was first done by Dr. Nathaniel Wallich, who happened to be a Danish Botanist.

The interior of the museum still has many elegant features with Marshal Woods. The statue of a young looking Queen Victoria is still standing proudly at the top of the stairways. It is a magnificent statue to look at. However on entering the museum I found there are six sections comprising 85 galleries of cultural and scientific artifacts namely Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geology, Zoology and Economic Botany. I liked the Fossil’s Skeletons of pre-historic animals most. Among other interesting things I liked the Egyptian Mummy, the Buddhist Stupa from Bharhut, the Buddha’s ashes and the Ashoka pillar, whose four Lion symbol became the official emblem of our Country.

However, the museum is currently under renovation and at least five to six galleries were found closed, as it will complete 200 years of its foundation in 2014. Preparations are being made for celebrating the same. The main areas for its renovations are to give it a visitor-friendly outlook apart from the traditional look. The other projects are to re-open the Harappa Gallery with a new look to the visitors.
From time to time various workshops are being organized by the Indian Museum, Kolkata. Some of which have taken place are –

Kites: Learn, Create and Fly
Indian museum in collaboration with Craft Council of West Bengal, Kolkata organized a workshop on Kite making. This was arranged on the roof –top of the museum building.

Continuity of Teracotta Art

Another workshop was organized on “Continuity of Teracotta Art” in the archaeological garden, Indian museum. Students from various schools attended this workshop. 

Facts and figures:
  • Established in 1814
  • Founded by Asiatic Society of  Bengal in Kolkata
  • Present Director of the Indian Museum is Mr. Anup K. Matilal
  • Nathaniel Wallich, the Curator, donated 42 Botanical specimens
  • Collection 1,02,646 (as on March 31, 2004)

Sushmita Byapari
2nd sem

Kolkata Adda

Kolkata is the cultural capital of India. It has been long known for its literacy, artistic and revolutionary heritages. As the former capital of India Kolkata was the birthplace of modern, literary, artistic and scholastic thoughts. Kolkatans tend to have a special appreciation for art and literature its tradition of welcoming new talents made it “a city of furious creative energy “.

Paras in Kolkata signify a neighborhood with a strong sense of community, and are usually sharply defined on the basis of loyalties. Paras culture typically segregate Kolkata communities on the basis of origin.(West Bengal communities GHOTI vs East Bengal communities BANGAL).Typically every para has its own community club with a club room and often a playing field. People of a para habitually involve themselves in “rock “and “rowack” addas and teashops in the evenings after work .North Kolkata typically has more street life than the south.

It has been since my birth that I have been in Kolkata which I  still think of as Calcutta has been the same as it has always been .But what pleases me the most is the Kolkatan thing about Kolkata that goes from strength to strength is the institution of adda .Other communities pass the time in idle chatter and gossips but not so the Bengalis .There is nothing idle about his chatter or gossip which goes by the local name of “Adda”. For the Bengalis the adda is not a mere time pass it’s a timeless passion .Its a conversation devoutly to be wished and the Bengalis spends hours at it .According to them Adda is not a wastage of time but time is a wastage of adda. Anything and everything Right from the success of Chennai Express to the execution of Ganguly from the Ipl, from mountains to molehiles.Bengalis can talk a lot and that also with loads of energy .

As Amartya Sen has noted all Indians are argumentative .If we weren’t India wouldn’t have been the biggest and most vocal democracy in the world, because democracy is just another word for argument. Long ago we Bengalis realized that argument is the essence of adda, its life blood and its Oxygen. Right from the age to 12 to the age of 60’s the adda is very much evident in Kolkata specially the Bengalis. Each one of us has its own taste and so the topic changes  accordingly .And moreover adda is the tradition of Bengalis .

During the last few months the city witnessed two debates one organized by a local  newspaper and the other organized by a Saturday club .The themes respectively were topical : Should politicians be ruled out of government? And have scams kept up with inflations? The popularity of such events underscores the argumentative nature of Bengal. There are so many clash of words ,some wise advices while someone giving dumb statements it seemed to be a heroic moment of argument saga. Overall Kolkata is the place of adda and fresh talents from where lots of wise decisions also come up. Some people can fight for a social cause , while others making a blood donation camp ,or may be something in terms of entertainment adda is not only time pass its fruitful as well giving rise to new thoughts and ideas and hopes that glitter our future .

Subham Basu
2nd sem


Sanghti: I am growing up

Kolkata is one of metropolitan city like Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, etc. now-a-days Kolkata’s population (15 million)  is one of the densest cities in the world.  So far less than two percent of people have cars, but as ownership rises like in the much of India cars pose a particular issue in Kolkata: there’s very little space to put them. Only 6% of land is road, compared to 23% in Delhi for example, a comparatively tiny amount of space to move millions of people. Add to this India’s only tram system, which has snaked through the narrow streets since the 1880′s but in more recent years has had to compete with cars, buses, and auto rickshaws – and it’s slowly but surely being nudged out of the right of way.
That strip of earth and grass basically said tramways belong to trams and the people that ride them. But these were ripped up in 2004 and paved over to make more room in the narrow streets for cars and buses – so the trams run in the middle of the road and people have to dodge traffic to get to them.  The photo below shows a stop where passengers have to stand to board the tram with hardly any physical separation from traffic.
Rajrhat past: The honorable Minister has not divulged all information on the Rajarhat New Town Project in the said booklet. His only intention was to expose the participation of the Opposition parties at different point of time, at different degrees in the New Town Project. As if by proving the participation of the Opposition all the immoral evictions and environment destruction that had gone on would find legitimacy. He has tried to justify the New Town Project by quoting from the survey report of a professional organization. But he has not made the entire survey report public. The report has quoted the census reports of 1981 and 1991 and described the 3075 hectares of area as ‘rural in nature’. It has been reported that the main occupation of the people is agriculture, only 1% of them have 3 acres of land or more, whereas 87% of the Project land is unirrigated land etc. There is no reference to the vast wetlands of Rajarhat in the Professional Report. -

Urbanisation is Not in the Interest of the Urban People, but for Globalisation: The urbanization drive at Rajarhat is not an isolated incident. The Left Front Government is a small perpetrator in the massive urbanization, effected through evictions and massacres which have been going on in different countries in the interest of world-wide globalisation, driven by the interest of big capital, along the path recommended by the World Bank. In India the central government is the main priest of globalisation, the state governments are its junior attendants. The Left parties are pretending to be anti-globalisation, anti-central policy. They try to fool people by organizing anti-centre, anti-globalisation meetings and demonstrations. Yet they invited promoters, corporate giants in every economic sphere in West Bengal. Wherever you look in this state the only signs you will see are those of Ambuja, Shrachi, DLF – the giant construction firms. The sources of livelihood of the common people are being gobbled up by the development business. Rajarhat is also part of the central urbanization project – the West Bengal Left Front Government is its architect. In accordance with the World Bank condition the urban land ceiling act’s application has been suspended in the New Town Project (actually for many years the determination of ceiling in urban areas has been stopped). It is the interest and support of the middle and upper class provide jobs to the lakhs of people whose livelihood has been snatched away. 
All agree that in the age of market economy there is little scope of high employment generation in the organization.
The data of production of crops in 1993-94 and 2000-01 in Rajarhat are as follows. 

Deduction as per ruling of Supreme Court in
Adinarayan Shetty case AIR 1959 SC 429
Koushalaya Devi Bogra case AIR 1984 SC 832 and other cases.

Sourav Saha
2nd sem


Kali Puja In Kolkata

The city of joy, Kolkata has so much to offer. It relishes our joy buds with various festivals, heritage, food, culture and tradition. The city is in festive mood giving the people a lovely, embracing, inclusionary and welcoming vibe specially during the months of October & November . A popular and most famous festival of Maa Kali was introuduced in the state during the 18th century.  Kali puja also known as Shyama Puja is a festival i.e, held in the month of November to worship the Hindu goddess Kali with immense love and devotion. Kali Puja gained popularity in the 19th century, with Krishanachandra’s grandson Ishvarchandra and the Bengali elite; wealthy landowners began patronizing the festival on a grand scale.
On this day the rest of India worships goddess Lakshmi on Diwali.  In Kolkata it is not diwali it is rather “ Kali Puja “. Diwali is celebrated in its own signature style personifying the term “city of joy “.The worshipers honor goddess Kali in their homes in the form of clay idols and in pandals and  worship the goddess at night with Tantric rites and mantras. She is prescribed offerings of red hibiscus flowers, animal blood in a skull, sweets, rice and lentils, fish and meat. Animals are ritually sacrificed on Kali Puja day and offered to the goddess.  The deity is offered lamb or buffalo calf for sacrifices. The day before the puja, thousand of diyas, small bulbs and little candles are used for lighting up the entire city.

In Kolkata, on the full moon day ( purnima ) and on the following new moon day (amavasya) coinciding with Diwali, goddess kali is worshipped. Kali, the more aggressive form or the destructive incarnation of goddess Durga  has a terrifying look. She destroys all evils. Lamps are lit in her honor and in return, she promises a renewal of life and justice on earth. Kali is generally a goddess to be feared rather than venerated. But Diwali is also celebrated with great enthusiasm and it is a time for gaiety and feasting.  The houses are decorated and lit with diyas. Two or even four plantains leave decorate the entry to the house or property with a row of diyas at the doorstep. The entire family gathers around for Lakshmi puja in the evening. Kali Puja stretches over three days but on amavasya, the final day the celebrations and lights are less.

 On Diwali light, the building dazzle of fireworks light up the night sky and complements the brilliantly   gleaming city below.

Snehankita Bose
2nd sem


GANGA - The gift of nature

India is one of the oldest civilizations of the world that flourished along the Indus and the Ganga. This civilization has given in abundance to the world heritage.

Ganga, the site of the Vedas, Upanishads and Purana’s, the mother medicine of the world AYURVEDA and other sciences, is being destroyed from its Himalayan source onwards. Around 40 Km down the Glacier, the forest is being destroyed to make another of the several dams. Uttarkashi, the holy city of the temples (located 118 Km downstream from the Glacier), is destroyed by putting the river of great cultural and social importance into a tunnel. In brief, the Ganga that flowed for thousands of years in this area is dry. Its entire fauna has dried out or eaten up. Contractors and local looters are plundering its stones and sand. 

All the Ashrams along its banks, where people from all over the world come to learn yoga, meditation, Ayurveda and other healing practices have become redundant without the energy of the Ganga with its timeless water (no bacteria or fungus attacks Ganga water when kept in a bottle even for hundred years) and beautiful music of its rapids in this area. All that is a thing of the past. Ganga is dried by the anti-nature, anti-human, anti-environment policy makers. In a severe indictment of efforts to clean up the Ganga, a study conducted by the National Cancer Registry Program has found that those living along the banks of the river are more prone to cancer than others in the country.

Thanks to years of relentless discharge of effluents, including toxic industrial wastes such as arsenic, fluoride and other heavy metals, cases of gall bladder cancer along the course of the river are the second highest in the world while incidence of prostate cancer is the highest in the country. The authorities take little cognizance of the Ganga being the most important river system in India, with almost half the population of the country dependent on its waters. 

There is a saying ''For the want of a nail, the horseshoe couldn't be fixed, for the want of the horseshoe ,the horse couldn't run, for the want of the horse, the message couldn't deliver on time, and for the want of the message the war was lost.'' 

The want here is to recognize the importance of nature's gift to us-The Ganga and treat it with due respect for the selfless service this mother has done for its children-we humans.

Shyam Sengupta
2nd sem

Unveiling of the unsaid and untold

Upbringing is the base of the building called “childhood.” The first teaching always begins at home with parents and family members being the teachers. The children, being the future should be guided in the right path. Sometimes, children get disheartened and indulge in bad practices. It is not always the children to be blamed, too much of expectations from parents direct them towards malpractices. But the ones who are devoid of this guidance know the importance and essence of it. For such children there are organizations like CRY. These NGOs help the children grow better and meet their daily requirements.

What is lacking in today’s society is the cozy feel of belongingness. There are thousands of donations for such causes, but how many donors actually make it a point to spend some time with the “left-outs”? The answer is the cruel “NONE”. Social service is a service of the mankind which involves working for a social cause and general welfare. It aims to work for the upliftment of the backward sections of the society but should be understood or taken in a broader sense.

While visiting the NGO, couple of times the thing that stuck in my head is the glittering expectations in the eyes of the children. These places make such children feel occupied and belonged. Several activities keep them fresh and the learning process to continue. The real goal is not to acquire any Profit. The money from different sources helps these organisations to run on a regular basis. One person can do a limited amount of work but India is a bag full of needy people which requires thousands of hands to help the destitute. A volunteer is a person who can see what others cannot see, who can feel what most do not feel. Often such gifted people do not think of themselves as volunteers but as citizen-citizen in fullest sense; partners in civilization. The training which makes men happiest in them also makes them most serviceable to others.

India is home to more than 12.6 million children who are forced to work in order to survive. These children are working as domestic help, on streets, in factories and farmlands silently suffering abuse. Organizations like “Save the Children”, “CRY” help the society to eradicate such social malice.


Children close their ears to advice but open their eyes to examples; therefore they should be explained not exploited. Moreover, it is important for a child to live with fairness to learn justice. The present social scenario will give a distorted shape to the moist clay of childhood. 

Shruti Sonthalia
2nd sem

Thursday 17 October 2013

An Emblem of Kolkata: HOWRAH BRIDGE

In the days when there were no calculators or computers a bridge on two pillars of 71 feet was built in the city of Kolkata by the britishers. Call it howrah bridge  or a  vintage bridge which has no nuts and bolts (the entire structure is riveted)  and is still standing tall  for the last 70years. It is the  6th longest bridge in the world. The people of Kolkata are proud of having this bridge built in their city. It is an iconic landmark and symbol of Kolkata.

 The enigma of the structural marvel can be experienced by taking a walking tour of the bridge. It looks dazzling after dusk when the entire city is at its dazzling best. The silence of the river below , the blue sky above,  the cool evening breeze and the majestic sweep of the Hooghly makes for a surreal sight.

From a distance the modern yachts as well as the traditional boats can be seen on the ganga showing different facets of the ancient modern city. The beauty of the bridge could not stop big bollywood directors also from shooting various scenes of their movie on the bridge. From Vidya Balan to Ranbir Kapoor all have been a part of the scene shot on the majestic bridge.

Ria Shah
2nd sem