Sunday, July 08, 2007

We weren't many hashers at the Victoria Memorial for the early morning walk which prompts me to make the monsoon walks a bimonthly affair till the weather improves. Though the rains held off during our walk, we did have to skirt a few pools of water. The sun was up and with all the humidity in the air, it was certainly muggy. Moreover we don't want people slipping on mossy paths.

As the Chat Junction was still closed, we ended up at Flury's (taking advantage of the fact that Zoria was in England- Sorry Zoria for waking you up). We were pleasantly surprised to receive our orders within 5 minutes! However we aren't likely to go back there for other Hash breakfasts.

The Taj will receive us only on the first Sunday of the month. Rajesh and Payal have invited us to their home for breakfast on 22 and we will discuss hash funds.
Payal will have a stall at the Akarshan exhibition at the Ice Skating Rink starting tomorrow for 3 days. Don't miss her Art Bunker stall as you can stock up on lovely gifts like candles, soaps, wooden handicrafts and other quite ingenious gift items.

So the schedule now is as follows.
22 July 7:30 am Swabhumi Lakes Breakfast at Rajesh Nath's
5 August Botanics followed by breakfast at Taj

Hash fees:
Guest hashers : 200
Hashers: 100
To join 500

Sunday, July 01, 2007

On 1 July, we had quite a crowd at the Botanics. We had an hour longwalk with newcomers Marco brought by Francesca, Tuna brought by me,and Chi brought by Vineet. A lot of amateur photography of flowers andof course of the Banyan tree ensures good turnout at the Botanics.Good to see Gherda and Rajesh Nath after a long break. We've sortedout the next venues so please note or look up on our
*8th July Victoria Memorial ticket entrance below the Flyover wherethere is also Parking. Breakfast at Chat Junction on Camac Street
*15th July Horticultural Gardens entrance on Belvedere road near theTicket counter. Breakfast at Taj Bengal
22 July Swabhumi Lakes Breakfast at Rajesh Nath's
29th July Trip to Chandernagore and if we can get extra bus we can take the art school children on their long promised trip.

Hash fees:
Guest hashers : 200
Hashers: 100
To join 500
Subscription Rs.1000 starts 1st July. Valid till end 2007
P.S. Please renew your membership to the French Association. Allmembers are invited to the 14th July celebrations at the Hyatt and Ihave inside news that Pascale of Bollywood will be belting outbollywood numbers so please wear disco colours
;-D Neela

Sunday, June 17, 2007

On 17 June, 7 hashers visited the Carmlite Church on Outrum st. Weassembled 7 am in front of the Exide Nature Park. After walkingclockwise and anti clockwise (for a different persepective) we did theRana Pratap Singh Udyan or MacPhearson Park followed by Minto Park. Wethen had breakfast@ the Taj and sampled some of their new delicacieslike Chicken liver with figs and a Vegetable hotdog. Sudeshna a friendof Manosh of Bates, also joined us on my invitation and it turned outthat she had met Zoria before. Doc was surprised to see me back. Ibrought everyone greetings from Patricia and guest hashers Josette andMargherita. Sudeshna has decided to become a regular hasher.Look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday at Princeton Club for the French Rock concert.
*24 June 7am in front of Calcutta Rowing Club, walk around lakes.Beakfast@Homely Raj for some dancing coffee
Hash fees
Guest hashers : 200
Hashers: 100
To join 500
Subscription Rs.1000 starts 1st July

Sunday, April 22, 2007

22 April Taratala Nature Park -Mudiali Fisherman's Cooperative Breakfast@Taj * 29 April 7am in front of Calcutta Rowing Club, walk around lakes. Breakfast@Banana Leaf * 6 May, 7 am Botanical Gardens, Shibpur Gate, breakfast@ Taj * In May three weeks hash break * 3 June, 7 am Botanical Gardens, Shibpur Gate, breakfast@Taj * 10 June, 7 am Park Street Cemetery, breakfast@ Chaat Junction * 17 June, 7 am in front of the Nature Park followed by Minto Park, breakfast@ Taj *

Sunday, April 15, 2007

We had a great Poila Baishakh, a hash walk around Central Park and a wonderful breakfast at Rajesh and Payal’s place in salt Lake. Rajesh’s mom made us some delicious Alu Paranthas and Doc had quite a few in Natalie’s absence. Bhaskar, down from Bangkok, joined us and Madhuri became even more keen to go to Bangkok on a holiday as a hash group. The Hash sprung for some mishti shingaras and Bombay halwa that Margherita loved and I enjoyed the Kookie Jar Walnut Cake.
We had a short meeting and decided a number of things.
1. Since most of us will be away in May, it being the hottest month in Cal. we will hash till 6th May and then renew the hash again on 3 June. Sid will be away for three months. The two Rajeshes will be away for 5 weeks, and I will be away all of May. Zoria and Madhuri, who will be in town, will instead head to a few NGOs and schools for street children to distribute notebooks and stationery.
2. We decided to use Rs.15,000, half the money in the bank account, for good works as we have not done any with the banked money in the last couple of years. Chesta needs school books for their students and Zoria has been to an orphanage in Howrah, a small NGO that could do with a shot in the arm. Apart from school books and stationery, we could also think of giving them a first aid kit that Doc can get together. The receipts will show what the hash has paid for. Madhuri is responsible for the distribution of 100 notebooks and pencil boxes to the street school children in Bhowanipur and New Market. Whatever remains can be given to the other NGOs.
3. We will also use some of the Hash money for an excursion with the art school children later this year.
4. We will keep Rs.10000 as reserve in the bank

Monday, April 09, 2007

We shall meet at Central Park at 7am on Sunday 15th April. We haven't
been to Salt Lake for a while now. We have been invited to have
breakfast by Rajesh and Payal Nath at their new house in Salt Lake. I
can always hope that Payal has some of her interesting objets d'art
handicrafts for sale like the sculpture of the nose to keep ones
spectacles beside the bed table that Gherdie absolutely loved.

Looking forward to this Sunday's hash as it's also Poila Baishakh,
Bengali New Year and we shall get our summer T shirts. Grey ones that
are v necked for the girls and round necked for the boys. It's
inclusive in the membership subscription, Rs.100 for hashers and Rs.
200 for guests. We shall maybe even have a guest from Bangladesh, a
hasher friend of Juned Choudhury (aka Rail Jerker who had joined us on
the Sunderbans expedition). Going to Salt Lake is always a bit of a
pilgrimage for me as it's so far. If any of you want to make a day of
it and catch a movie at Inox, City Centre, we can follow up with lunch
at a new restaurant in City Centre called something like a Bit of This
and a Bit of That.

Siddique is traveling from 17th April and I will be away in May so no
more hash write ups. Madhuri has agreed to take collections of hash
cash. If you have any requests for hash venues in May and June, please
come up with suggestions on 15th April.

They will be emailed once and also put up on the

Happy Easter and Shubho Nabo Borsho
RSVP Rajesh or me so we get an idea of how many we'll be.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Dear Neela and HASH,

We are sorry to be saying this: we will be leaving on Friday morning to return to our North American lives after nearly six wonderful years in Kolkata. Our Sunday mornings with HASH were some of the great highlights of our time here. We will think of all of you fondly, especially on hot Sunday mornings!

Twila and Ed Miller

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Subscribed Hashers: Zoria, Vineet, Iipui, Neela, Siddiqui, Carl, Madhuri
Regular Hashers& visitors: Rajesh Poddar and Niti
Guests: Adam, Albert

We walked up to the Banyan tree that Adam, a photogram-mer and artist, Englishman in New York, had been planning to see, since his first visit to Calcutta some ten years ago, without getting around to making the expedition. Iipui picked up some flowers of the cannon ball tree and she and Adam were entranced by the heady perfume. Siddiqui seemed to be smelling Mahua everywhere though we couldn't see the yellow flowers that are supposed to be so intoxicating. I have a bottle of Mahua from Shantiniketan and as a farewell to Margherita on 22 April we can organize a brunch in the garden with Madhuri taking charge of the Mohua Rum Punch, and Carl of the smoked beler sarbat! This was the first time that Adam had seen a bel/wood apple tree. I saw a red dragonfly which I promptly called a grasshopper. I'm not very on the ball early in the morning!

We saw a mongoose, langurs, kingfishers and the white birds bakla (take your pick of egret, pond heron or whatever).

Back at the Taj, we put on our new red and black T shirts with the logo in front and the Kolkata skyline(of the yellow T shirts) on the back and the Taj on the sleeve. For guests it's Rs.200, for hashers and visiting hashers it's Rs.100 and subscribed hashers it's inclusive. So if you haven't already paid your thousand, please do so for the next 6 months! Adam has bought the Tshirt and will become a subscribed hasher when he's back in town later this year. Madhuri's backpack is also in the pipeline!

Niti, who is here for the week, was happy to join the hash with Rajesh who gave her a lift. They left early after breakfast. We had a leisurely breakfast and Adam even showed us the hand bound art books he's getting made in Cal. The calligraphy is taken from the epitaphs of our Park Street cemetery!

Rajesh P. will be traveling for 6 weeks. Rajesh Nath was away in Delhi. He'll be heading to Aranayak, an hour away from Calcutta on the Kona highway, this weekend. It has started getting pretty hot in the mornings so we shall have to switch to our summer time of 7 am and this Sunday being Easter Sunday we will meet in front of St. Paul's Cathedral near the Birla Planetarium and walk around Victoria Memorial before heading to Thandai/Malgudi Junction on Camac Street for breakfast. In the afternoon there is a Free Film Festival at Princeton Club between 3 and 6 p.m. It's open house so please join us for the premiere.

8 April 7am in front of St. Paul's Cathedral near Birla Planetarium, walk around Victoria Memorial to Thandai on Camac Street

15 April 7am in front of Taratala Nature Park to walk around Mudiali Fisherman's Cooperative Breakfast at Taj

22 April 7am in front of Calcutta Rowing Club, to walk around the lakes. Breakfast at Banana Leaf

29 April 7am Central Park Breakfast at Sojourn

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hashers: Rajesh, his daughter, Sunita
Regulars (who have paid up their subscription): Neela, Zoria, Vineet, Ipui
Guests: Margherita, Francesca, Albert

The ten of us walked around the Horticultural Gardens and ended up buying a few plants too. Zoria bought a cactus with pink flowers called a Euphoria Milly (but I could be seriously wrong) and another rather bulbous 5 year old plant. Bonani and Anando were missed for their bountiful botanical encyclopedic knowledge of flora and fauna.
Ippui bought three potted plants, which Albert, fellow volunteer at Missionaries of Charity- Kalighat, helped carry for her. I wanted to buy some of those Feng Shui bamboos for Mom as hers have died, but Ippui assured me that they only survive in panda country up in the highlands.
Recently back from Rajasthan, where we were filming with Bibi Russell who is teaching the village women to make accessories out of threads, grasses and reeds available in the environs of Talchapar, a black buck sanctuary, I helped Rajesh's daughter collect some seeds and beautiful dried flowers which she will hopefully turn into pot pourri.
We walked back to the Taj and had a very leisurely breakfast. Zoria was able to speak in Italian with Albert from Zurich and Francesca who is here for 2 years to work with various NGOs. Jennifer was in town but left for Bombay on Saturday night where she will join Andy. Aparajita was supposed to have joined us but forgot. Together we saw
Water on Sunday evening and I would certainly recommend it to Zoria, (but unfortunately no English subtitles), who was most disgusted by the film 300 (on the 300 Spartans) which see saw and panned. Margherita and Albert had already seen Water and were disappointed but I thought Lisa Ray and John Abraham were just too mouth watering! And what a tear jerker! Francesca, Sunita and Margherita are thinking of going to Benares during the Easter weekend.
Ippui is most excited about doing the Wetlands next weekend Sunday 25th March 7:30 am in front of ITC Sonar Bangla.
Rajesh will look into visiting architect Dulal Mukherjee's bagan bari with its resident craftsmen.
Siddique has also come up with a River Cruise for next Sunday.

WHAT: A leisurely cruise down the Hooghly to Belur Math and back, with a stop-over to at the Math to try and identify the different religious influences in the architecture of the structure.

WHEN: Sunday, March 25, 2007
WHERE: Leaving Millennium Park at 9.00 a.m., returning at 1.00 p.m. The boat will be available to us from 8.30 a.m. for those who want to spend some extra time on the river.

COST: 400 a head for adults and 300 for children. Please bring your own picnics as there will be no catered food.

INTERESTED? Call Siddique Cowper @ 9433867101/22497295

Friday, March 16, 2007

This weekend the out of town trip has again been
postponed, due to the violence in Nandigram.

Instead at 7:30 am on Sunday 18th March, meet in front of the Horticultural Gardens Belevedere Road followed by breakfast at Taj.

A Senegalese Hip Hop Band Dara J is performing tonight at Tantra 9 p.m.


Sunday, March 11, 2007

The weekend of 11th March Nitish, Jolly, Siddiqui, Carl, Zoria, Madhuri and co are planning a weekend hash get away to Mandharmani, close to Digha, by Bus. Those who are interested please get in touch with Sid on 9433867101. I will most probably be away in Rajasthan looking at Black Bucks that weekend.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Last weekend for Holi I was in Shantiniketan at my Uncle's place with my cousins, their friends, Margherita and Anais, while the hashers met in the Botanical Gardens. Vineet and Ippui have become hash members and have given in their subscriptions. They brought some German guests. Gherdie and his daughter also came. He will try to come atleast once a month.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Kristina and her family have left Calcutta but before she left she participated in the Woman's 10 k Marathon run on 25th February and Madhuri and Petra were at the finish line to cheer her and take the picture. Sid and Bonani and others were on a Boat Cruise for the launch of the book on the ghats and I was away in Digha to recce for Mandharmani. I enjoyed the balmy skies in Digha but didn't make it to this remote beach.

Monday, February 19, 2007

We were 12 this morning at the Mudiali fisherman’s Cooperative also known as Nature Park. We walked around the lakes and saw many cormorants. Margherita and Anais snapped lots of pictures that will one day be up on the blog site. Petra has a p i cture of herself wth a g i normous Tangra f i sh. After our walk we reached the Taj and found it completely over run by French sailors. Madhuri promptly sat down at our table and after 9 they had all cleared out and we could calmly get seats and breakfast.
Madhuri and i were able to contrbute our money for the coming 6 months. We have also placed an order for T shirts to be made and worn by us for the kolkata Marathon coming up next weeend whch is also kristna’s and Petra’s last hash as her stint in Cal wth iBM is over. She is keen to compete in the women’s 10.5 and this is a chance for the hashers to support a fellow hasher to victory.
On Sunday 25th February 2006, Exide presents the The Telegraph Kolkata Marathon. There will be 3 races: -

Race Distance Starting Time
Marathon 42.195 Km 7:00 am
Ladies Run 10.5 Km 7:15 am Forms at kennel Club on Mayo road
Fun Run 4.200 Km 8:00 am

We hashers will once again be participating in the Fun Race.
Reach Red Road at 7:30 to fill in your registration form and collect your Marathon T shirt and cap.
Once the Fun Run is over, you can collect your breakfast box and drinks. By 9 after the Fun Run is over, there will be a performance on Red Road as Sandeep Vyas did last year.
To check who all ran in the Airtel Marathon check under Archives for March 2005 on
The total prize money on offer last year was Rs 7.60 Lac. The event is being organised by the Athletics Coaches Association of Bengal. (ACAB).
So come Run For Your City and join us in making this years marathon a grand success.
More on last year’s marathon on

4th March Botanical gardens and taj Bengal 3rd happens to be holi so i may be away in Shantinietan.
11th March we are planning an out of town trip to Mandaharini whch is 2 stops before digha. Nitish knows a good guest house.Pristine beaches to wade in and no crowds! Those who can take car and driver please come forward.4 hr journey. Also possble by bus.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dear Hashers and Booklovers,
The Cal Book fair is on in Salt Lake but heres something closer to
town. Hope you will join. It gives us great pleasure to invite you to
the following event at Crossword, Elgin road, Kolkata.
Join us for the launch of the book 'The Calcutta ktchen' by Simon
Parkes and Udit Sarkhel.

The launch will be followed by a dialogue with Mr. Victor Banerjee
(Actor and gourmet), Mr. Nondon Bagchi (Food critic & leading
columnist), Mr. Simon Parkes (London-based food writer and
broadcaster) and Moderator Sujoy Prosad Chatterjee.

Date & Time : Thursday, On 15th February , 6.30 pm.
Venue: Crossword, Elgin road, Kolkata

About the book:

Calcutta's food is richly diverse. There's freshwater fish from the
city's rivers, street food, recipes influenced by the British
presence, sweets, extraordinary vegetarian dishes, and a rich variety
of rice dishes. Simon Parkes explores the city's food culture,
including its people, flavours, markets, traditions and restaurants,
while Udit Sarkhel gives recipes for the city's finest dishes.

The two authors, Simon Parkes, a journalist who works for BBC Radio
4's The Food Programme, and Udit Sarkhel, one of the most respected
Indian chefs in Britain, have combined to produce a timely book on
Bengali cuisine.
There is also a discussion Forum organised by pUBLIC on 17th Feb 5 p.m. at Max Mueller Bhavan on the Right to Information. pLease join us
This Sunday we are set to do the Taratala Environment park. Seven
thirty am. Taj Bengal after. Then we can decide if we want to go to
Tangra in the evening for the chinese new Year.The wetlands hash was cancelled as there were not enough people golng.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Botanical Gardens and TAJ BENGAL

We were a fair bunch at the Botanical Gardens. I got a lift with Vineet and Ippui, and was supposed to pick up a Swedish Delhi Hasher whom I’d asked to RV in front of the Zoo but he ditched as did my houseguests Shaman and Margeherita. Madhuri and Siddiqui were waiting in front of Turf View to offer us a lift, and in the confusion headed to the other entrance. With Rajesh Nath, Doc, Zoria, Kristina, Petra, we headed towards the Banyan Tree to meet up with Madhuri and Sid, and Sunita who finally reached with an Australian down for the Book Fair called David Curzon ( no relation to the Parks, Bonani ;-). While waiting for Sunita at the Banyan Tree, we discussed various hash matters.

Various options were discussed and if we can all meet on the 18th we can finalise.

Option 1: Rs.1000 for a 6 month subscription. (Or payment of Rs. 800 on 25th Feb till 30th June, 2007). Rs.1000 July to December, 2007.

This option will make accounts easier and more transparent. It is an incentive for regular hashers.

T shirt inclusive and 50 % off on outings.

Option 2: Rs.100 for each hash.

T shirt bought at actual cost. Outings at actual cost.

Guests: Rs.200

Guest Children: Rs.100

The cash in hand as per accounts presented will be placed in the bank.

Collections in hand for 2007, to be used as petty cash, for incidental expenditure.

11Th February 7:30 am in front of ITC Sonar Bangle for a walk in the Wetlands.

18Th February 7:30 am in front of Taratala Mudiali Fisherman’s Cooperative for a Nature Park walk. Taj Breakfast.

Please email your ideas and views by 17th February. And come with your suggestions on Sunday for utilization of Hash Cash.



Prospective hashers please note the website and log on in the weeks to come to find future hash venues.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Last Sunday even at 7:30 am, though fog shrouded the streets of Calcutta, ten hashers made it to Statesman House. There was such poor visibility that disoriented taxi drivers were driving into the Maidan. Madhuri who was to pick up Siddiqui couldn't see her in the fog and Siddiqui had to walk to the Statesman, as did Francois from the Oberoi Grand. It's lucky he didn't look out the window before stepping out or he may not have made it! I cabbed it with my new house guest Margherita, an intern at the Italian Consulate. She will be in town till end April. Matthias, a French tabla player who comes to Calcutta since the last ten years, would have joined us too, but was at home with a fever. Kristina brought her daughter and a very tall man. Ed and Twila were there, as were the street children and pavement dwellers who were queueing waiting for a Maruti van, to bring boxes of food. *

We piled into two cars and decided to head to Poddar Court for a Chinese breakfast as the Chinese New Year is round the corner. We tried fish ball soup, momos and thukpa and fried chicken drumsticks. Margherita was able to take lots of pictures of the market and the sellers of Chinese cabbages, fish and prawn, and prawn crackers. While making our way to the Sea Ip Church, we saw a man selling export reject scarves for Rs.2 each. Siddiqui, Madhuri, Frandois, Ed, Margherita, Petra made a killing , at do rupiya, and picked up loads of printed silk scarves and the viscose ones of animals like rabbits and monkeys!

While I tried to get more information about the Chinese New Year, the others were being entertained by a squabble in the street which everyone watched from the first floor of the Chinese Church. Margherita tried the divination sticks and the incense sticks. While kristina had to head back we then walked back towards the corner of Canning street to the Jewish Synagogue which thanks to a little bakshish was opened to us. If they are being difficult they ask you to get a written permission from Nahoum's in new Market. Doc called to say he couldnt make it. We remembered George and his prayer in Hebrew.

Madhuri and Siddiqui walked back to the car to head to Anand for coffee. The Millers and margherita and i walked down BBD Bag all the way to Anand past the white washed ABP building.
We didnt have a collection and the Millers who thouroughly enjoyed the walk, actually treated us to the chinese breakfast and outing which came to Rs. 2oo. Coffee came out of hash cash for 2oo7.

Over coffees we decided the next weeks' venues.

Feb 4 Botanical Gardens and Taj Breakfast

Feb 11 Victoria memorial and Taj Breakfast unless we come up with an interesting alternative

Feb 18th Evening hash and dinner at China Town on Chinese New Year

Other hashes to look forward to:

Bonani will try to organise Clive House near Dum dum and Rajesh Poddar must get us to visit the old house across Howrah Bridge with the clocks. We could also do joka and the Gurusaday textile Museum. Abhishek Basu is happy to have us back in north calcutta to visit his house (we only saw a part of it) and maybe other houses in North Calcutta. We can even organise a Weekend hash to Shantiniketan. We can also head to Foolia.

If we organise hashes like these we don't even have to charge hash cash and can just split the costs. Since Taj sponsors breafast anyway we can collect the 1oo from guests to cover tips. Ths way we don't have the headache of accounts and putting money into the bank

We have around Rs.30000 in the bank.

My suggestion is that we spend a third on Hash T shirts and haberdashery like the backpack that madhuri has been asking for a long time. We are now 25 regular hashers. Then we can wear them to the Calcutta Marathon which should be round the corner. Red t shirts with navy trim the opposte of the blue Tsh irt design.

We can use a third to have the Zoria bridge in the Wetlands to Connect with the City or any other eco friendly project

We can use some funds to take the children of the art school on an outing we promised.

Hashers will have to be deputed to take charge of a project.

*Madhuri and Siddiqui feel that some part of the hash funds could go into providing pencils, erasers, and notebooks to street children in the hash areas like in front of the Bhowanipur cemetery, Lindsay street and Wellesley. Previously we have given sports shoes at an annual day function of an NGO for school children in Dashghara.

if we go with the idea to continue to collect hash funds then the suggestion that has been mooted is that we pay a 6 month subscrption of Rs.1ooo which goes directly into the bank. New members pay rs.5oo to join. Visitng Members rs.100. Guests Rs. 200 Children/guests children rs.100

Please emal your ideas and views and come with your suggestions on Sunday to the Botanical gardens.

akar prakar invites you to preview works by ALEX STENGHEL Saturday, 3rd February, 6:30 pm onwards .sarode recital by Sougata Roy Chowdhury with Debajyoti Sanyal, (tabla) will be followed by cocktails. P 238 Hindustan Park, Kolkata 700 029 . +91 33 2464 2617 show continues from 5th to 13th February 2007 3 to 8 pm, (sunday closed)

neela 930014934

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Dear Hashers
We are going to visit North calcutta this weekend. Meet in front of Statesman House at 7:30am on Sunday mornng and we’ll head to the bazaars in the Satyanarayan Park area where we’ll also sample a Bengali breakfast of motorshutir kochuri. Peter and Rosie Howard and Shanti Francois and Palesa should be joining. Nitish and Rachna are holidaying in kaziranga. Hope the Kakkars rajesh Poddar and doc Shantanu are joining to show us the way there. Alice sends her best and some souvenirs so looking forward to seeing you all on Sunday.
4th feb botanical Gardens and Taj
11th Feb boat cruise or out of town hash

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sunday 21 Jan at 7:30 am Regular Hashers and returnee hashers Peter and Rosie, Howard and Shanti, met in front of the Horticultural Gardens, Belvedere Road entrance, for a walk, followed by a Taj Breakfast, followed by a visit to the Marble Palace which is open to the public at 10 am.
This was a treat for those who hadn't seen the palace yet.
Hope the others enjoyed the Jazz Festival at DI this weekend, starting with the French Jazz Band with Erik Trufazz. I met up with hasher Alice in Singapore and she remebers you all and hopes to come to Cal soon.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

We had a record turnout at the Botanical Gardens. Peter and Rosie are
back in town for a few weeks. So are Howard and Shanti.
Since I'm hard pressed for time I'll leave you with this description
of Cal streets and lingo... Start practicing your Bengali slang!
There were no charpokas, peepreys or haatis on the streets Wednesday before
last. Except for a few mamas and mastaans, almost everybody stayed home
because it was a hartal. Bouncy break-dancers and slow-moving langras also
had a rest day. Near Howrah and other vantage entry points, CITU sergeants
saw to it that local trains could get no further. Decibel levels fell
drastically, due to the absence of the rattle of Calcutta's bone-shakers
and the barking of minibus conductors. There were no cries of "Aastey
ladies", "Hilakey Chalo" and "Electrikey Chalao". If you've lost me and
you're reaching for a Calictionary, stay right where you are, you'll find
it on this page. Calcuttans on the street, more than any other city, have a
term or a phrase of their own for everything under its scorching sun. No
city can match it for orginality and spontaneity when you talk of a
roadside lexicon. No other citizen in the world has the intensity, the
passion and the sense of humour that the Calcuttan
has. With his turn of phrase he is an Oscar Wilde, Bernard Shaw and Sukumar
Ray rolled into one ? Expressive, Explosive and always Exclusive. For the
uninitiated Calcuttan, here's a handy thesaurus of innovative street
jargon; for the hardcore Calcuttan, it could serve as a ready reckoner.

Mama: policeman. Now you know why you need to stay away from your
Peeprays: auto-rickshaws who are multiplying in hundreds and bugging one
and all
Charpokas: Maruti 800s
Matchbox: Calcutta's first generation mini-buses that left you
hunchbacked and stiff-necked.
Haatis: double-decker buses with a 'trunk' in which the driver sits; an
almost extinct species.
Langras: three-legged tempos that limp along and handicap other drivers.
Shahid Minars: speedbreakers. Erecting them has become a trend,
generally after someone has been killed on the spot.
Electrikey Chalao: a bus conductor's coded jargon, telling his driver to
speed-break-speed-break?in order to jerk passengers further in, since
they are all crowding near the entrance.
Hechkee tulchen kano: a passenger's retort to the above. Dada, Fevicol
naa ordinary?: question asked by a 'standing commuter'(usually on a
local train) to a 'sitting' one, wanting to know how far he is going. If
the answer is 'ordinary', the standing commuter will stay right there
waiting to pounce on his seat; if the answer is "fevicol", he will move
away to try his luck with another passenger.
Dada, kee kelchen? Test naa One day: The bus equivalent of above.
Dada, istri korey dilen?: what you tell a passenger who in his hurry to
get off, stamps hard on your toes.
Dada, je akebarey daak-ticket hoye shetey galen: sarcastic comment
targeting Romeos who refuse to budge from the vicinity of the ladies
seats, invariably getting 'stuck', just like a stamp on an envelope
Sandow maashi: a tongue-in-cheek conductor's term describing a
not-so-young lady wearing a sleeveless blouse, a la Govinda.
Half-ladies : a skinny, boyish girl in jeans and T-shirt; the conductor
is in a dilemma!
Dadar kee double ticket naa kee: a passenger's caustic remark to a
grossly overweight fellow passenger who is hogging the seat.
Dada, kon ration-er chaal khaan: this is another version of the rude
comment above.
Aierey, forsha korey dilo: a helpless pickpocket victim's exasperated
Dada, engine-er tuning-ta thik karaan: below-the-belt advice to a fellow
passenger who is snoring loud enough to drive the pigs to market.
Kaar badi-tey aaj moolor char-chari ranna hoyechey, dada: a subtle
comment directed to whom it may concern, in a crowded bus, post a
'sudden whiff in the air

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Happy New Year 2007.

The first hash of 2007 was the Vintage Car Rally on 7th January where Kristina and Siddiqui 9433867101 were Marshalls. Lilly got back in time from london to make it while i'd just got into town.

For those who have been trying to get in touch with me over the mobile to no avail, I trust you received my Happy New Year and Eid Mubarak Greetings from Dhaka. was on a relaxed holiday Neela style – eating, drinking and spending time with friends.

Please find as attachment an invite to a Japanese Pottery show at Ritika's brother's Gallery Rasa. India is the 20th country to host the show, it will then travel to Latin America, New Zealand and Australia. There are 71 exhibits covering seven most important ceramic producing areas of Japan involving 35 artists. Do send across the invite to all your friends.

Flute concert by Surjit Singh student of the late great Padmabushan Pundt V.G. Jog. Currently under the tutelage of Prof. Debaprasad Banerjee one of the finest flute makers in the world. Tabla accompaniment by Vidyut Chatterjee.
Thursday 11 Jan 8:30 pm Princeton Club 26 Prince Anwar Shah Road

As you probably know, i n January 2007, The Alliances Fran├žaises network in India and the French Embassy in India welcome legendary French cross-genre trumpeter Eric Truffaz . Coming with his jazz quartet composed of Malcom Braff (piano), Christophe Chambet (Bass) and Marc Erbetta (drums), he will be touring throughout India for one month.

In Kolkata, he will perform on Friday 19 January @ 7 pm at Dalhousie Institute, for the Cogo Square Jazz festival.

Erik Truffaz is today one of the leading trumpeters on the cutting edge of jazz , and his coming in India and moreover in Kolkata is a great chance for all the music lovers. In order to discover or know better the music of this great artist, the next programme of the jazz listeners' Forum ( Friday 12 January at 7 pm ) at Calcutta School of Music will focus on Erik Truffaz. Please, feel free to attend to this very special Jazz listeners' forum which will give you a first impression and outline of the big show scheduled on 19 January 2007.


Celebration of 250 years of Mozarton Monday 15th January2007 @ 7.00pm At Max Mueller Bhavan, Kolkata. Very famous Odissi Dancer Dipanwita Roy and her dancer friends will perform to the music composed by the great maestro. Ronie Sambhik Ghosh (modern ballet) Mitul Sengupta Ghosh (Kathak contemporary), Chironjoy Poddar (Kuchipudi), Sapphire Creations Dance Workshop (experimental) & Dipanwita Roy (Odissi) Will present items in their individualistic dance forms. ALL ARE WELCOME.

Look forward to seeing you all now that am back in town. Hope you were able to enjoy the Vintage Car Rally. We'll do the Botanics on 14th Jan at 7:30 followed by Breakfast at the Taj Bengal.

From: Rakesh Sahni <>
Date: Jan 8, 2007 12:10 PM
Subject: Japanese Pottery Exhibition

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Desh Bandhu Park, Bagh Bazaar, K.C. Das breakfast at Basu Bati

7 hashers met in front of The Statesman House at 7:30 am to visit Desh Bandhu Park and the Basu Bati in North Calcutta. Young civil lawyers Abhishek and Rupak, were equally gallant and escorted us along the by lanes of North Calcutta where we saw some beautiful architecture and many Romeo and Juliet type balconies! Ritika was so impressed with a house with bison horns above the entrance door that she peeked in and saw a piano inside. Rupak and Kristina ran around the Desh Bandhu Park while we walked around and stopped to gaze at the Bayam Samity and the numerous cricket pitches where matches were in full swing. There was a huge cannon ball tree heavy with fruit. On the way back we stopped at Bagh Bazaar and bought tulsi trees, varietas platy and various other fish.
Abhishek had already organised the breakfast from KC Das and we had a box with radhaballabi (matarshutir kachuri), chholardaal, amriti (large jalebi), rasamalancha (kheer wrapped in malpoa pancake), and shingaras. The daal was in a haanri and the tea in bhanrs. A truly authentic North Calcutta bengali breakfast sitting on the steps of the beautiful thakurdalan of the Basu bati. Sonalidi who is used to friends dropping in after their maach and gaach buying sprees at Bagh Bazaar was happy to host us and Abhishek, although he partied till 4 am was happy to show us around his neighbourhood and his art collection. If you want to buy any of the young painters he’s promoting, click on the link
click on Back to Basu Art to see the other artists in Abhishek Basu's album.
Before we left, Ritika sang the Rekha song from Parineeta at my request. Madhuri was totally bowled over. We think Ritika should perform there in a gala to raise funds for art, heritage and her Trust Trinayani.
The next hash will be at the Horticultural Gardens (and Bhowanipur Cemetery) followed by Taj breakfast. Meet at 7:30 in front of Belvedere entrance to Horticultural gardens.
There won’t be a hash on Christmas Eve and New Year’s eve.
The first hash of 2007 will be the Vintage Car Rally on 7th January where Kristina and Siddiqui are Marshalls. When we meet next Sunday we can finalise taking the children of the art school (who made the boats and painted rickshaws) to the Vintage Car Rally and give them a picnic there so they can see the Vintage cars. The children are part of the River Festival on at Millennium Park on the 16th-17th December.
Here’s Lee’s message for the hashers.
Dearest Neela,
Hello from Madagascar. Thank you for sending me this message. I looked at the Blog and felt so nostalgic for Calcutta. I also felt very far away and it made me a little sad, but happy to read all the great things going on there. George and I send lots of love to all our old friends and hashers -- be well and take advantage of everything the beautiful eastern part of India offers!
love, Lee
P.S. George runs the hash here every other week!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Botanic Gardens & Taj, Shankarpur and Shantiniketan and Alcha

While some regulars and newcomers went to the Botanics and the Taj for breakfast, others were away on a weekend out of town. Siddiqui and Kristina and her kids enjoyed their beach outing to Shankarpur. A bus that leaves at 6:30am costs Rs.90 and takes 4 hours to reach. Hotels like the Ashoka charge Rs.375 for a double room. You can slide down the sand dunes to reach the beach. There's swimming or rather wading as the Indians are used to on the empty and clean beach. Siddiqui says one can buy lots of large shells at Rs.15 while the smaller ones are Rs.2-3. You can see millions of red crabs on the lonely stretches of the beach. They had lovely prawns (Rs.20 each) in malai curry and basic Indian fare of daal, jhurjhure alubhaja and phulkas. Another trip had better be planned soon, as my mouth is watering already.
Jennifer came down from Hyderabad and with Padminie's pal Benoit a documentary maker and an ex DJ with Radio Nova and Dusty Tape blogger, we took the Shantiniketan Express on Saturday to Shantiniketan for theSaturday haat and Nandan Mela student's campus art show where along with the art installations like the Korean giant fish there was an international food fest organized by the students where we ate fried flowers and bhanrer chai. We ate breakfast and dinner at Alcha and met with old friends who are potters, artists and musicians there and Nayana's mom with whom we had cocktails and mua. It's always a treat to go back to the peace and quiet of Shantiniketan. Abhishek who will host us on Sunday at his residence Basu Bati was in Shantiniketan with his family who pointed out to me where pati shaptas– pancakes were available at the haat. Chiru had given Benoit and Jen a tour of the Santal village dropping them to the haat before heading back to Cal. for a wedding reception. Benoit sang lots of our favourite French songs and we penned Alcha postcards to old hashers like Andy, Francois and Padminie. Bappa Ganguly, Nayana's cousin who goes to Shantiniketan every Saturday, took the Ganadevta trainback with us. On the 3 hour train journey back we ate things like jhaal muri, chiki, shon papri which were explained to Benoit as muesli, rice crispies and cotton candy!
Looking forward to seeing a large group at Statesman House on 10th Dec at 7:30 am to go to Basu Bati and walk around North Calcutta. Monica Positano tells me there is an Italian DJ performing at Fusion, Golden Park on Saturday night and we have to go and meet him. The Revolutionary Saturday Hash is on, on so look out for email from the krh3. Please confirm whether you are joining us on Sunday by calling to wishme on my birthday tomorrow!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Bird watching in Satragachi

8 of us turned up at the Taj Bengal at 7:30 am to convoy to Satragachi bird sanctuary in the lake opposite the Railway Colony. Migratory birds land on an island of the Satragachi wetland, some 20 kilometres south of Calcutta off the Kona highway. An estimated 4,000 migratory birds visit this Satragachi lake annually during the winter.

Bonani, who has been flying in and out of Calcutta and was recently in Dhaka with Zinedine Zidane, brought her book on Indian Birds. Anando Mukerjee a lyric tenor, whose Concert repertoire consists of Areie antiche, Arias from the principal Bel Canto, Romantic and Verismo Italian and French Operas, Leider, Chansons, Canzone and English and Continental Art Songs gave a concert Friday evening at Calcutta School of Music which Zoria and I had attended. Madhuri heard about it from her dinner companions the same evening. Bonani would have joined us but was on a train in Jharkand. As his cousin's friend, I was able to net Anando to join us on our hash walk on Sunday. An Inlaks Foundation Scholar in 1999 for a Tripos in Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, he knew enough zoology to describe the birds as seen through Bonani's pre world war binoculars while we looked up his descriptions in the pictures in Bonani's book. Bonani even saw a Girgiti on the newly constructed railings around the lake and Bonani had me locking eyes with the lizard until it fell back into the water. Madhuri, Siddiqui, Kristina and Petra missed all this as they flew around the lake and found our picnic spot.

Anando, after completing his degree in Cambridge, has been training with retired professors of the Royal College of Music, London since October 2001. For the initial part of his operatic studies, he obtained a Charles Wallace (India Trust) award administered by the British Council and it's the British Council who sponsored his flight to Cal. Kristina will be happy to know that he is also a student of and receiving master classes from the celebrated Swedish Tenor Nicolai Gedda, singer of the Royal Court, Stockholm. In May 2007 he makes his Wigmore Hall debut accompanied by the internationally renowned pianist Leslie Howard and all the hashers are cordially invited.

Bonani is now keen to organise another concert for Anando in Kolkata perhaps during the December River Festival 2007. When I told him about the hash cruises on the river, he was delighted. We'll have to book him on one when next he's in town.

Satragachi is the one of the busiest railway stations in West Bengal. We could see that when our cars were stuck at the railway crossing for 40 minutes after we'd had breakfast. Siddiqui had organised tuna, cheese and egg sandwiches from Nahoum's, and some Appy to wash it down. Zoria and Kristina brought thermoses of coffee. One of the Railway staff who is part of the nature lovers club came and spoke to Anando, the only male amongst us birds. Bonani was also accosted by another group of bird watchers who were spending the whole day there. Madhuri mistook them for picnickers like us.

Rajesh Nath, whose daughter is a keen bird watcher, was busy with the German delegates. Lilly, Felicity, Sunita were all at the St. Andrew's Ball last Saturday and Lilly has won a free trip to England, while her escort George won a weekend at the Hyatt's Presidential suite! Gherdie was away to Jamshedpur with his family. Everyone wants to get away from Calcutta while the weather's beautiful and Zoria has found out that the WB government suggests day trips to Garchumik, Geokhali, Panitras, Antpur.

Siddiqui has found out that it is possible to go to Shantipur by train. Those keen on going this weekend, please give her a call on 9433867101. Kristina and family, Carl, Sid, Zoria are getting tickets on Wednesday so if you'd like to join call before Wednesday for some fun by the beach.
I'll be heading to the Nandan mela in Shantiniketan (see earlier email)
Dev r Nil are celebrating the 2nd anniversary of d designs and their success at the Lakme Fashion week on Friday 1st December at Underground with a Fashion Show from 9 p.m. onwards. Call me for passes.

3rd Dec. 7:30 am Botanics followed by Taj unless you are going to Shantipur/Shantiniketan
10 December 7:30 am in front of Statesman House to do one of the 10 walks of Calcutta. Will try to organise breakfast in an old house - Basubati in North Calcutta

Newcomers and old hashers please collect your blue T shirts from me and Siddiqui on 10th Dec. There are no more white T shirts from the boat cruise of 2005 with Pradeep and Bonani. Perhaps we can take up Madhuri's idea of a small hash back pack for the end of the year. Let's meet and decide the next hash venues on 10th December. Please come up with venues till end Jan.

Neela 9830014934

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


On 19th Nov at 7am, 5 regular hashers met at Garden Reach Water Works opposite Mudiali Fisherman's Cooperative/Taratala Environment Park(straight down from Britannia factory Behala) and enjoyed breakfastat Taj Bengal.

On 25th-26th Nov we were planning an out of town Hash to Jamshedpur, to see mica mines, dam etc. The stay was to be organised at Beldi Clubbut but this will have to be postponed. As I have been travelling for the last couple of weeks to Hyderabad and Jaipur I feel I have spent atleast 3 days in the last fortnight on train /bus journeys. Another train journey on Shatabdi Express of 4 hrs is not to be envisaged right now.

We can instead go to see the birds at Santragachi lake. We will also pass the market there and we can stop and have a look at Calcutta's winter vegetables! We will take a picnic from Nahoum's so please confirm your presence. Siddiqui will be collecting sandwiches and cakes on Saturday itself. Please meet at the Taj Bengal to Car pool and convoy to the venue. Back by 9:30 or ten I imagine.

As the numbers have declined at the hashes, I invite you to bring along any family, friends and prospective hash members. We will charge Rs.100 of guests too till the end of the year to boost attendance.

3rd Dec 7:30 am meet in front of Turf View for convoy to BotanicalGardens Shibpur Entrance. Breakfast at Taj Bengal.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

At Interhash Chiang Mai 2006 more than 3000 people voted to have Interhash 2008 in Perth during the Easter weekend. Start planning now if you want to be part of the wild weekend in Western Australia.
On, On.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Diwali Hash at Lakes Southern Avenue opposite the Lake Kali Bari

8 hashers walked around the lakes followed by breakfast at Banana Leaf on Diwali day.
29th October 7 am Horticultural Gardens and Taj Bengal
5th November 7 am Botanical Gardens Breakfast Taj Bengal
12th November 7 am Swabhumi Lakes Breakfast at Stadel or somewhere else if Madhuri can find out.
A number of international students in Calcutta have shown interest in going to the art exhibition of Indian and International artists on 29th October, for an out of town trip to Baruipur Choudhuri Bari to see an Open Studio with painters, art and video installations from 3-7 p.m. There are buses organised from Golpark at 2 and 2:30 p.m. Return after 7:30 p.m. Drive 1 ½ hours as in the map and invitation attached. Please call and confirm your seats or make your own way there.
I'll be in Chiangmai at the Inter Hash 2006 27th to 29th october where around 6000 hashers from round the world have registered.
The International Film Festival starts 10th to 17th November 2006 at Nandan, Rabindra Sadan, Sisir Mancha, New Empire, Star Theatre

Sunday, October 15, 2006


11 of us met in front of ITC Sonar Bangla. Siddiqui and I got a ride with Madhuri. Zoria picked up Patrick and Gherdie piled into their car. Kristina joined with her 4 kids Martin, Anders, and the twins Rikard and Petra. We were all thrilled with the walk as we saw lots of creatures. We saw so many snakes that Gherdie said George would have been most delighted with this Snake Day hash. We skirted a papaya plantation according to Zoria, past the snake lakes. We saw the fisherman removing the small fry from the lakes and throwing the big fish back in. They threw some enormous frogs out of the nets towards us on the bank and they would have loved it if we sat on the yellow plastic chairs and watched them fishing. We walked parallel to the duck path along the goat track and made it back to the cars. The thatched mud houses and the greenery all around were very welcome. Truly a lively livestock hash walk.

We then had breakfast at The Sojourn where we all tried the different canned juices – orange, sweetlime and pineapple and had our eggs made to order. Zoria was organizing a picnic to Dasghara and Patrick, Siddiqui, and Kristina decided to tag along taking a picnic.

Next Sunday Diwali meet in front of Southern Avenue Lake Club at 7:30 am to walk around the lakes. We are going into Winter time as you can ascertain from the archives of October 2005 on This will be followed by breakfast at Banana Leaf

The Sunday after, on 29th October, please decide whether you would like to do an out of town trip to Baruipur Choudhuri Bari to see an art exhibition of Indian and International artists. It is an Open Studio with painters, art and video installations from 3-7 p.m. There are buses organised from Golpark at 2 and 2:30 p.m. Return after 7:30 p.m. Drive 1 ½ hours as in the map and invitation attached. Please call and confirm your seats or make your own way there.

It may be more interesting than heading to Swabhumi lakes in the morning. Doing both may be a bit tiring.
I'll be in Chiangmai at the Inter Hash 2006 27th to 29th october where around 6000 hashers from round the world have registered.

See you in November. We are thinking of taking the art students to Science City as Children's Day comes around.

5th November 7:30 am Botanical Gardens Breakfast Taj Bengal



Monday, October 02, 2006

River cruise for Immersion - Bisarjan

The river cruise for the Bisarjan along with Bengali meal on 2nd Oct had about 40 places for hashers, family and friends on the top deck of the Ahalya.

Durga Puja, as celebrated in Calcutta, is truly an experience not to be missed and so is the immersion, when Durga is immersed in the Hooghly for her journey back to the Himalayas.

We had an opportunity to see the immersion from a boat on the river on 2nd Oct. The boat left at 7.30pm from Millenium Park and returned at 10 pm. This was a 2 1/2 hour cruise, cost Rs. 250 per adult and Rs. 200 for children.
This included an authentic Bengali meal with fish. We arrived early so that we got a choice of seats and heard the dhakis and saw the dhunuchi natch.