Friday, February 27, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire - The Claps and Cries

Oscars 2009: Slumdog Millionaire wins eight Academy Awards!
And becomes the talk of the city! And lots of claps and rejoices! And some criticisms coming onto surface as well. 

iKolkata intends to introspect the reality! Read on!

Another Mind blowing A. R. Rahman composition "Jai ho!" rocked the city! And introduced Slumdog to us!

A debate on use of the word "dog" in conjunction with slum dwellers seemed to hit up the air! Kids organized rally in protest. 
This was a pre-release campaign - "THE FEEL-GOOD FILM OF THE DECADE" Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle

And a snippet of synopsis in the official Website! "Jamal is a story of modern India"! 

Now who is Jamal?
Jamal Malik (Dev Patel), an eighteen year old Mumbai slum kid, is the would-be winner of a staggerring twenty million rupees hit TV Show contest, "Who wants to be the millionaire?"

Latika (Freida Pinto), an orphaned girl, Jamal comes to care for, and to love later on. 

Jamal participates in twenty million rupees contest and surprises everyone to reach the final question.  The show host, Prem Kumar (Anil Kapoor) refuses to believe in Jamal's ability. Prem Kumar already has Police waiting outside to arrest Jamal for cheating.

Police inspector interrogates Jamal only to find out how Jamal has come to know all answers. And we come to know about the interesting life story of Jamal, a slum dweller!

The Awards:

(1) Slumdog Millionaire Oscar 2009 Best Film 
(2) Danny Boyle, Best Director
(3) A R Rahman for the Best Original Score 
(4) A R Rahman for Best Original Song Jai ho
(5) Resul Pookutty for Best Sound Mixing.
(6) Simon Beaufoy, Best Adapted Screenplay
(7) Chris Dickens, Best film editing
(8) Anthony Dod Mantle, Best Cinematography

So, Indians have every reason to feel glorious!  But are we really responding to this big event that way? Probably, there's an element of confusion! There's a big doubt. Is it an Indian movie? Though admittedly directed by British Director Danny Boyle, Slumdog seems to be very much Indian in nature in terms of its presentation. It is more like any other Bollywood musicals. Besides, the plot itself is based on India.  The cast is also Indian or Indian origin.  This is what one Lekhni has to say in a blog entry. 

Accused for being "poverty porn"  the feat of Jamal gets glorified because of his background, the Dharavi Slum located in the suburb of Mumbai, India, where the reality is a nightmare! But Jamal comes across all obstacles to win the contest.  That's what Mr. Rahaman has pointed out - "The power of hope in our lives...". 

It should be noted that Slumdog is a movie and not a statement of the Developed nations about India. Western world is well aware of economic developments in India, and their recent studies suggest that India is going to be a giant economy by 2035.  

Above all, the movie is based on a novel written by an Indian bureaucrat, Mr. Vikas Swarup, entitled "Q & A". Simon Beaufoy wrote the script after a lot of field works based on "Q & A". A note from Simon Beaufoy regarding his goal for the script worth a mention -  "What you pick up on is this mass of energy."

And this is how Mr. Rahaman summerises the subject: "The essence of the film is about optimism and the power of hope in our lives."

Let's celebrate! Let's celebrate! Let's celebrate!

What was shooting in Mumbai like?
The city is in fast-forward economically. Even if it wasn’t, there would be so much going on. The people offer you up stuff all the time.

I think it will create a bridge between Western and Indian audiences, and lead to more people exploring Indian music.

The essence of the Mumbai was captured in its true spirit, in tough conditions. 

I think this is a film about hope and overcoming the impossible. That's kind of the flavor of the movie.

Monday, February 23, 2009


Airtel Kolkata Marathon 2009

Airtel Kolkata Marathon 2009

This was an awesome Sunday morning! On the 22nd February, 2009! The maidan tent had more crowd than any other ordinary days. With over 20,000 participants ready to face the challenge to bag nearly INR 1.1 million prize money. City celebrities flocked into the spot with a festive mood. 

Women's Racing at Airtel Kolkata Marathon

Women participants run for 'Airtel Kolkata Marathon' in Kolkata

My friend, who was also a volunteer, told that the spirit was high! And it was sprouted with true sportsmanship. He spotted an aged person desperate to complete the race. When asked why, his reply was worth mentioning! "Let me finish the race!  If I can't run forty-two odd kilometers, I would rather walk to reach the finishing line!"

And that's the spirit.  The race comprising of three different categories - Men’s Marathon (42.195 km), Women’s Run (10.5 km), and SAIL Celebrity Run (4.2 km)! Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakrabarty flagged off the race, which is now into fifth year. Participants include corporate executives, school children and even those physically challenged persons.

Had you been there, you could have easily spotted all city celebs running for health, integrity and prosperity!

This is, claimed to be, the largest marathon in the eastern India.

Official Website: Airtel Kolkata Marathon
Photo by Bikas Das

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Kolkata Observed Shaheed Dibosh February 21st, 2009

"Kadte Ashini Fashir Dabi Niye Ashechi"
 (I have not come to mourn but to appeal for hanging)!
(Shaheed Minar, Dhaka University Campus, Bangladesh)

This was how Mahbub Ul Alam Choudhury reacted while responding to the police incident at Dhaka University on 21 February 1952. He immediately wrote the poem "Kadte Ashini"!

The then Pak Government tried to enforce "Urdu" as the sole national language of Pakistan!  "Urdu and only Urdu will be the national language of Pakistan"! This was the statement made by the governor, Khawaja Nazimuddin.

Students of University of Dhaka, Dhaka Medical College and other political activists called for a provincial strike. Curfew was invoked to prevent this. Pak police fired on the students. A number of students were killed. 

(Moder Gorob sculpture in Bangla Academy)

Afterwards, the Government of Pakistan relented and gave Bengali equal status as a national language.

UNESCO decided to observe the 21st February as International Mother Language Day on 17 November 1999!

Kolkata observes the day with gratitude.  A function going on at Bhasa Udyan, Kolkata

It was an open air conference! iKolkata captured this photo when leading poets recited in front of a mesmerized audience!

How can we forget sacrifices of those youths for our mother tongue - Bengali? 

Friday, February 20, 2009

India's First Ever Elevated Light Rail Transit System

The City of Joy has some more reason to be excited when Kolkata was awarded with a Rs 60 billion project - Light Rail Transit System  - the first ever in this country!
Running at a height of 11.9 metres above the ground, the train will have four air-conditioned compartments with escalators to reach all 37 stations and ticket-booking counters. The vehicles will run at a speed of 40 km/h. 

The 40-km stretch will connect important city points like Behala, Kidderpore, Espalanade, Sealdah, Panihati and Barrackpore.

The two phased project will have two corridors from Joka to Esplanade and from Esplanade to Barrackpore, and likely to be concluded by 2013-14.

Photo Credit: Light Rail in  Macao

Saturday, February 14, 2009

iKolkata Blog Contest #01 of 2009

A new contest to giveaway fabulous gifts.

To enter all you have to do is:

1. Write the following text

Just entered to win a fabulous gift. View details here:

in your social profile*. 

*(ONLY ORKUT, mySpace, Facebook, and your Blog is allowed).

2. And Email us the url of the webpage, where you have posted the message with the answer to this SIMPLE QUESTION!

Simple Question: Who is the author of  "The City of Joy"?


1. Contest will be open for one month from February 14th, 2009 till March 14th, 2009.

2. Winner will be selected at random.

3. The contest is open worldwide.

Have fun!

Contest #01 of 2009


ANY/ALL Terms are subject to changes!

Our decision in this regard is final!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Book FAIR 2009

Kolkata Book Fair 2009, organized by the Publishers & Booksellers Guild, reflects the irresistible passion of the city Kolkata for books once again. And this is AMAZING! Book! The OLD HARDPAPER BOOKS DRAGGED millions of book lovers towards 'Milan Mela', the venue, during January 28 till February 8, 2009.

One of the entry gates: 

Doubts loomed large in the air! A new venue! Will it be a success? 'Maidan' is no more available because of a Court order! The present venue - 'Milan Mela' has barely 609840 sq.ft. area! Also it is a rather difficult place for transportation!  
Guild was pro-active. They published a 'Theme Song' - Oi dakchhe boi’ - (The Book is calling) composed by Bickram Ghosh.
And Book lovers' long queue put an end to every debate! The same passion! The same spirit! 

A long queue outside USA, the Honoured Country of International Kolkata Book Fair 2009! Mammoth cut out of Barack Obama, Hon'ble US President. 

A stall from Germany. INTERNATIONAL COMPLEX also includes representation from Britain, France, The African Union, Japan, Spain, Italy, European Union, Sweden, Romania
14 Latin American Countries, Vietnam, and Cuba. Beyond doubt - it is now an international event!

Little Magazine, a cultural heritage of Bengali literature, has always been one of the top point of interests! A table space for each publisher! 

The stall from Bangladesh:

ANANDA Publishers and few others. A stall, presumably Viswabharati, offering salutation to Rabindranath Tagore! Point to note: Book fair is not best known for its discounts! Book Shops at College Street always offer a cheaper rate! But who cares? Purchasing books at this venue has its own unique charm! And it has become an integral part of Bengal's culture.

Open air seminar. Charter of demands include returing the Book fair to its good old venue - 'Kolkata Maidan'! But whether it is at 'Maidan' or 'Milan Mela' - Kolkata is already preparing to welcome Book fair 2010.
Few more links:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Kolkata Flower Shows (PHUL MELA) 2009

iKolkata on a cheer Sunday afternoon went out to get a snippet of Kolkata Flower Shows - PHUL (Flower) MELA (Fair)! The eco-green posters looked no less beautiful than the flowers inside The Eden Gardens, not the one - the famous Cricketing Venue, but the one adjacent to it.

The other one inside the 21 acres compound of AGRI HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY OF INDIA!!!
Some of these Palms are more than 20 - 30 years old!!!

This one was spotted from the Cactus Corner!
Here Spectrum of Color Gallore!!!

Dalia with a fresh and youthful look!

Bonsai! The inset photo reveals the secret!!!

Some more from Cactus Corner! 

This one grabbed the First Prize! There's the tag, you may have already noticed!

An enterprise by Kalyani Municipality!

Even vegetables! Strictly not for SALE!!!

And a JALSA (Function).  The dance troop from Rajasthan charmed the audience at the Eden Gardens on that Sunday afternoon.
Have a great time. iKolkata comes back with a complete round up of Kolkata Book Fair.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

i Kolkata THE GIZMO

Welcome to i Kolkata - What??? 'i' Kolkata, and why not? I'm from Kolkata - born and brought up, and this is THE GIZMO for keeping an 'eye' on Kolkata!!! The pulses, vibes, 'torko' (debate), 'adda' (gossips) and more - from Pasta to 'Posto' - Kolkata waves with every flavor, in every occasion in unison to the world's tempo. And something more!!!

Stay tuned with me!!! Follow my deliberations at Twitter!!! And ENJOY!!!


Please do come back, and leave a comment.

Cheers! Have a great time!