Tag Archives: Gurgaon

One Musical Afternoon…Remembering Uttara Di…

On 26 January 2020, while the whole country basked in the glory of India’s 71st Republic Day, my husband Sukhangshu and I participated in another memorable event in our lives; he as a performing artist and I as part of the audience at Mrs. Uttara Dutt’s Memorial function organized by her family at their picturesque mansion in DLF phase I, Gurgaon.

Sukhangshu did a monologue on Tagore. He received a big applause when he ended. The other artists who performed before Sukhangshu and after him also got similar appreciation.

It was amazing to see even the young children perform so confidently without feeling an iota of stage fright.

It could be because the stage had the aura of a wonderful personality who continues to shower her love and blessings on artists even after passing away.

The kind of barriers normally associated with a formal stage did not exist here. Both the artists and the audience were completely relaxed.

Uttara Di’s daughter Sanjukta Dutta and daughter-in-law Debjani kept coming in with trays of snacks for the guests. Some had green tea, while non-experimental people like me had dudh-cha (tea with milk and sugar), which was excellent.

The stage was set inside a large room at ground level with a backdrop of a lot of greenery behind a huge glass window, a room full of guitars, and a huge, heavily garlanded photo in one corner of a youthful Uttara Di playing sitar. The audience sat on sofas, chairs, and on little cushions on the floor.

While the benevolent winter Sun smiled in the clear blue sky outside, the green shrubs and leaves peeped through the window and created shadows on the surrounding walls.

Being far away from the noisy traffic of Gurugram, the place had a quiet and soothing ambience and contributed in keeping the discerning audience engaged with every performance.

During lunch time, we were all treated to delicious home made food cooked in Bengali style.

Being a vegetarian, I loaded my plate with my favorites, shukhto, rice, salad, luchi, aloo dum, chana dal, chutney, and payesh. They all tasted heavenly.

At the end of the program, Uttara Di’s husband Kalidas Da, an accomplished Architect, discreetly gave each artist an envelope as a token of appreciation. I came to know about this from Sukhangshu. This is meant to be a secret, so I will keep its sanctity intact by not revealing anything else.

Sukhangshu told me that this practice was begun by Uttara Di and Kalidas Da to nurture musical talent and their family organizes this kind of a get-together every year.

Being a singer, Uttara Di was well aware of the struggles young Indian singers and musicians go through in keeping their art alive and this was her way of quietly doing whatever she could to help, no matter how small. Kalidas Da ensures that this family tradition continues. Which only proves that Love is stronger than Death.

Here are some more pics that I clicked during the program.

My husband Sukhangshu. See him below.

Now the kids…

Flutist’s flutes…

This young man performed here earlier when he was a small child.

Kalidas Da, wearing grey sleevless jacket, busy, supervising…

Debjani (standing, in blue sari) and Sanjukta (seated on sofa, in magenta-colored sari), taking care of guests, offering them snacks…

Here I am with my Aunt-in-law, Maima, Mrs.Maya Bannerjee (Kalidas Da’s sister)…

With my Uncle-in-law, Bhola Mama (Mr.Bhola Bannerjee)…

Once Upon A Time…

Way back in 1990, at my first job, my colleague Sukhangshu Chatterjee performed an impromptu parody item during an office get-together. That was when I discovered that he is a talented artist too, apart from being a wonderful, caring human being. I lost my heart to him that day and married him 2 years later.

On 30 November 2019, on Bhola Mama’s 80th birthday, Sukhangshu performed this parody again and made me visit the old memory lane again. This time I got the chance to make a video too. Here it is…click here…

Poppy Lane

It is Spring now in Delhi. A poet’s delight. Flowers everywhere; even in those sooty, heavily polluted industrial patches of the city where flowers are the last thing on anyone’s mind.

The pic on the top is of a lane adjoining M.G Road Metro Station, right outside Beverley Park II Apartments. I call this road ‘Poppy Lane’ because these red and white poppies are its most striking feature. They look absolutely divine and ravishing. Whenever there is a breeze, they shake and bob their heads like Flamenco dancers and seem to be smiling merrily. A mere sight of them is enough to set your pulse racing with joy and forget your worries for a while.

Thanks to Poppy lane and its thoughtful gardeners, I am now one of those blessed ones who get the chance to grab a few moments of unalloyed happiness, peace, and tranquillity before getting sucked into another day of corporate turmoil.

Alas, this brief interlude will soon be over and these lovely poppies would disappear…Do visit them before they are gone…

Come Summer and the Champa trees on this lane would flaunt clumps of glorious white flowers. The road would then become The Frangipani Lane as named by the famous writer-blogger Mayank System Soofi in his Delhiwale column in The Hindustan Times on 15 August 2018. See the pic below.

Something like a much-loved child in a joint family with many pet names….

Official Bougainvilleas

I call them official bougainvilleas because they live and breathe inside the office premises. Their blazing, bright colors add soul, poetry, innocence, and freshness to their surroundings and inspire us to continue blooming; to be happy and creative in spite of the oppressive work life in the private sector and its inevitable politics…

These words are now part of a poem…Read it here…https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/official-bougainvilleas/?m=0

Awards And Recognition

Recognition is a wily, tricky little thing.

Some people get it so easily that it goes to their heads. They make mistakes and their short-lived euphoria soon gives way to crippling frustration.

And some people achieve recognition the harder way; after a lot of struggle, pain, and misery. By then they become so inured and so deeply humbled that recognition loses its sheen. They remain grounded and keep adding new milestones through sheer will-power and self-motivation. I consider myself lucky to belong to this second category.

On 21st September 2018, I participated in Volkswagen’s Sarvottam Skill Championship for dealerships in their Gurgaon Training Center as a Lead CR, Sales. It was as per prior nomination by my dealership.

Although my colleagues said that I was a strong contender because of my long experience, I personally had no expectations whatsoever as my association with Volkswagen so far had been for only last 6 months. I was there only to enjoy the learning experience.

A customer care manager’s job in a car dealership is, in fact, one of the most thankless ones in this world. You hardly ever get any appreciation for all those little things you do quietly behind the scenes that enable the other departments in achieving their targets and walking away with all the awards and applause. When you slave like that for almost 2 decades in a highly male-dominated environment, you kind of lose all interest in awards and you just learn to take life as it comes.

It was with this nonchallant state of mind that I took part in all the different rounds of the CR Sales Skill contest.

The gold winner’s name for Sales CR profile was announced towards the end. I was completely taken aback when that name turned out to be mine. For the first time in my life, I was a gold medallist!

Here are the pics.

On my way home, even the evening sky carried a huge rainbow; specially for me, it seemed.

But, of course, no celebration is complete till you share it with your family and all those friends who stood with you through the tough days…..

I have now qualified for the National Round due in December 2018 in Pune and I hope my calmness of mind lasts through this event as well.

Do wish me good luck, dear readers. I need all the good wishes I can gather.