Nandikar National Theatre Festival 2012

Nandikar Theater Festival

Nandikar Theater Festival

During my last visit to Kolkata, I was lucky enough to catch the Nandikar National Theatre Festival which over the years have evolved to be one of the major theatre festivals of India. During the festival, the Academy of Fine Arts compound livens up like no other time. This time Nandikar Festival was dedicated to the memory of the famous writer Sunil Gangopadhyay, playwright Mohit Chattopadhyay, and the great musician Pandit Ravi Shankar, all of whom we lost in the year 2012.  Huge posters bearing photographs and quotes from these masters decorated the path from the gate to the  theatre entrance. It was indeed a fitting tribute to these great men. Rudraprasad Sengupta, the seventy eight year old thespian and the director and president of Nandikar, claims that this festival is the festival of all theatre lovers of Kolkata. Nandikar only provides the labor. Continue reading

Adventures of a Casual Commuter


Can you please tell me which platform?

Many years ago, when I used to work in Kolkata, I used to commute regularly between Howrah and Kharagpur. The drill was something like this. After reaching Howrah station and buying my ticket, I walked down to the extreme left end of the station.  By then a large crowd has already assembled at a strategic location from where one can see the electronic display as well as reach any of the potential platforms where the train is expected to arrive which is almost impossible to predict. Suddenly the huge crowd starts moving in a massive frenzy. This usually means that the electronic board has displayed the desired information. Travelling light is extremely important, since in that tsunami, it is extremely important that you do not disturb the stream line motion. A huge luggage, or a slow moving elderly can create a massive turbulence.  And then when the train arrived, one needs to prepare himself for the next battle – to get onboard and then to get a seat. Continue reading