The daring and the happy streets.

Happy Streets Kolkata, Park Street, Wazid, Infinity riders, anamitra ghosh
Horn not ok, please | Happy streets. Photograph: Anamitra Ghosh, Anirban Saha (Kolkata Bloggers)

Wazid had the most content and satisfied smile on his face, when the rest of us broke into a thunderous applause. He looked at me and I noticed him pant as the sweat dripped down by the side of his eye brows.

Wazid, infinity riders, happy streets, park streets
Wazid | Photograph: Anamitra Ghosh

These young men on cycles literally aroused us from our drowsy Sunday morning slumber. A class 12 student, Wazid is a proud leader of a group of school students from class 8 onwards, who do stunts. After having made their presence felt in Kolkata and Durgapur, they reportedly won a stunt championship nationally, in Lucknow.

 

happy streets kolkata
Note: Wearing helmet during stunts is highly recommended | Anirban Saha

 

Surprisingly, cycling stunts have never been recognised as a mainstream sport in India considering the risks involved. “Any sport involves risk. A few recently died playing cricket. It does not matter. We practise a lot although we do not get a proper place to do so. It is our passion.” retaliates Wazid. Having said that, if you are going to try out stunts, please get in touch with the correct people, learn and use helmet while performing stunts. 

Wazid is everything I would like to blog about: Young, friendly, rebel, an able leader, social media addict and from Kolkata!

For a person like me who had never ridden a bicycle, I might only imagine what it takes to practice stunts on it, and so effortlessly. From the by lanes of Moulali, Kolkata to making a national name for themselves, I listened to their story with sheer amazement.

Wazid, happy streets kolkata
…. | Photograph: Anamitra Ghosh

That Sunday morning I woke up to witness a series of events like Zumba, cycling, yoga, boxing, skating, cricket, football and what not! The Times Of India, in association with the Kolkata police, blocked the iconic Park Street and nearby streets and welcomed the citizens to “Happy Street”. Anyone was free to chose between the events and give a fun start to their Sunday morning.

Happy Streets, map
Happy Streets, map | Amitabha Gupta

And no, i am not the only mad person to be there at morning 6:30. More than 5000 people flocked the happy streets and the number might just increase in the coming weeks. Posting a few photographs, from my collection and of my friends. I hope you like them.

Soumo Laha, Happpy streets kolkata, The times of india
Photograph: Soumo Laha | Happy Streets
amitabha gupta, happy streets
Painting the can | Photograph: Amitabha Gupta
Happy Streets kolkata
Kids having their time on Park Street | Photograph: Amitabha Gupta

The kids were performing with enthusiasm and energy. Some fell down while performing sprang back on their feet with renewed energy, sometime getting a little help from their trainers.

.. Frankly speaking, I found this event to be more fun than that of Park Street Festival during Christmas. This was mainly because of the fact, there were so many events and kids were having a ball of a time at a place where they would never think of walking in the middle of the streets, let alone doing any activities like roller skating.

– Amitabha Gupta. (Read his entire blog post by clicking here.)

Happy streets kolkata
Hsappy Streets | Photograph: Soumo Laha
happy streets kolkata
Photograph: Indrajit Lahiri | blog post link.
happy streets kolkata
Stunt without front tyre | Photograph: Anirban Saha
infinity riders, happy streets kolkata
Pulling off stunts, Infinity Riders | Photograph: Anamitra Ghosh
Happy streets kolkata
Bowled! | Photograph: Anirban Saha
Happy streets kolkata
Happy @ Happy Streets | Anirban Saha
Happy streets kolkata
Happy Streets.. | www.anirbansaha.com

Magnum, Mishti and more

Soha Ali Khan, Chef Kunal Kapoor, Magnum ice creams, Magnum launch in Kolkata
Soha Ali Khan and Chef Kunal Kapoor, during Magnum’s launch in Kolkata

Last week, the room in Taj Bengal was packed, all eagerly waiting for Chef Kunal Kapur and Soha Ali Khan to launch the Magnum ice creams in Kolkata. While waiting with bated breaths, I sipped water from the glass. Magnum is yet another addition to the sweetness of the city’s culinary delights.

Bengalis have forever been in a love affair with sweets. The very mention of the word “Mishti” (sweet) invokes a hundred million positive sensations in the Bengali heart. Bengal, after all, is the birthplace of the Rosogolla, Mishti doi, Shondesh amongst others. And the love for food here does not just stop with a sweet tooth. Bengal boasts of a delectable variant in any food category. Famously known as the land of fish, our cuisine consists of dishes made from almost every ingredient available in the country, with a generous dash of those unparalleled spices that have changed international relations in times past.

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Photographs of Ravangla, Geyzing (Sikkim) trip.

Kangchenjunga, Himalaya, Sikkim tourism, Ravangla
Kanchenjunga | during the sun rise. The view from Ravangla.
kanchenjunga, ravangla, sikkim tourism
When the first rays of the sun hit the tip of the world’s third highest peak | Shot with Tamron 70 – 300 lens

 

Sikkim Tourism
Sikkim – the land of exotic festivals

I’ve never been the beach guy ever ! During the sultry Kolkata summers, I prefer staying indoors testing my AC’s ability to keep the temperatures as low as 16 degrees, if not lower. So naturally, mountains have always been my choice when it comes to travel. Be it my first solo travel to Darjeeling and north Bengal, the Meghalaya trip with Harshit and Surrbhi or the very recent trips to Ravangla and Pelling, both located in Sikkim.

While Pelling was a solo travel last week, I went with a few friends to Ravangla during December 17th, 2014. It was the harvest festival and our intent was to photograph Chham. You can read the blog post here.

In this blog post, I’ll share a few photographs I have shot.

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The curious case of Kolkata’s Literary circles

Shobhaa De, Kolkata Literature Festival

Anirban Saha |  Edited by: Srabasti Bhattacharya.
February 12, 2015.

“There is a craze in Kolkata about books” exclaimed Shobhaa De who went on to add that year after year families save to buy books at the Kolkata Book Fair, a book lovers’ paradise! Shobhaa De had recently come to Calcutta for the Kolkata Literature Festival, the last of the literary gatherings the city recently witnessed.

The city that is known to be the birthplace of the first Non-European nobel laureate for literature is also known as the cultural capital of India, and not without reason. Nowhere else in the world have books been so celebrated as it is here! It boils with tremendous energy that is almost infectious and there is no escape!

A city so engrossed in books and literature naturally was a host to not just one but, three literature festivals this year, one after another. The Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, the Kolkata Literary Meet and then the Kolkata Literature Festival.

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