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Old October 28th, 2004, 11:31 PM   #41
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The most famous modern landmark of Ballygunge and surroundings ...

The Birla temple built in Orissan style



And of course there is the lake..



The Mangal Madhav statue..



BTW Hindustani, those pictures you posted were great! They show places which are not seen too often on the net.

Last edited by Suncity; October 28th, 2004 at 11:40 PM.
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Old October 29th, 2004, 12:41 AM   #42
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Suncity.......................Here is an excellent reason why Indians dont deserve wide streets. So much space in his own lane & his other lane. Would it kill this driver to drive in his own lane & not drive into oncoming traffic.

Maybe calcutta authories knew it from before hand. New Delhi authorities didn't.
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Old October 29th, 2004, 01:22 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hindustani
Suncity.......................Here is an excellent reason why Indians dont deserve wide streets. So much space in his own lane & his other lane. Would it kill this driver to drive in his own lane & not drive into oncoming traffic.

Maybe calcutta authories knew it from before hand. New Delhi authorities didn't.
:-)

Yes, our social and civic sense is almost zero. But the same people behave so nicely aboard (The fear of the fines and law I guess). In India we know we can easily get off by bribing the all too willing cop. And why blame the cop alone? Bribing seems to be the national culture. Did you read the news where they discovered Rs 3 crore (30 million) in cash from one of Mumbai's Income Tax officers! If they raided all top officers of Income Tax, Customs, IAS, IFS, IPS, I think they can recover billions in public cash alone.
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Old October 29th, 2004, 01:31 AM   #44
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The mess of Kolkata..

This is the heart of the City (where most of the foreign tourists stay). The land value here is in millions. Just a fresh coat of paint would do wonders. But where is the public spirit?

Looking south:



See the contrast of paint (Indian Museum)





Looking North:



The New market - one of the first organized western style markets. Any other city and they would have spent money to maintain it..



The dome of the Roxy Cinema




The Great Banyan Tree in Howrah.. The Botanical Survey of India (a Govt India agency) does precious little to maintain this 250 acre park..



But it's true that Kolkata has improved a lot after the realization that slogans were not leading to anywhere except backwards. Unfortunately, all the development seems to be around the new expansions taking place in the eastern side of the city.



The central part has so much potential for re-development but it isn't getting enough attention.


An example of what can be done..


Last edited by Suncity; October 29th, 2004 at 02:15 AM.
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Old October 29th, 2004, 02:27 AM   #45
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Kolkata spends a lot of time doing politcal processions and rallies (democratic rights).

However if the political parties instead of misusing millions of people to "protest" for various useless causes used the same enthusiasm to clean up our streets, it would have benefitted all.

Wasting time and people's money

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Old October 29th, 2004, 03:32 AM   #46
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Night time in the same area..



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Old October 29th, 2004, 06:56 PM   #47
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the centre doesnt look that bad. It can really be a tourist destination if the painted it!! You were right about that.
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Old October 29th, 2004, 07:01 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nithin
the centre doesnt look that bad. It can really be a tourist destination if the painted it!! You were right about that.

I agree. Those british architectural type buildings are awesome. I think Calcutta will change the most in next 5 yrs. It got great potential. With all the hype surrounding Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, B'lore. In next 5 yrs, Calcutta will be a "comeback city" of India I believe.
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Old October 30th, 2004, 12:44 AM   #49
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That birla temple is beautiful
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Old October 30th, 2004, 07:04 PM   #50
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Merlin Residency





They are launching Phase II now of the above project.

Merlin Woodland High

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Old November 2nd, 2004, 07:55 AM   #51
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Typical lowrise/midrise apartments that have become popular in all Indian cities including Kolkata..A small sampling

1


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14

Last edited by Suncity; November 2nd, 2004 at 08:15 AM.
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Old November 4th, 2004, 06:08 AM   #52
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Kolkata, Kolkata

The city, once thought dying, is fast becoming one of the most happening places in the country
By Tapash Ganguly
http://www.the-week.com/24nov07/curr...s_article1.htm

One of Bengal’s greatest poets, Jibanananda Das, penned a poem of hope that Kolkata would become a kallolini tilottama (the most beautiful woman in the world). Almost half a century after his death, Das’s poetic exuberance is assuming a tone of prophecy; Kolkata is finally emerging as a most happening city.

Gone is the despondency that engulfed the city following the 1947 Partition which led to an influx of millions of refugees from East Bengal (Bangladesh). Today, to accommodate the city’s burgeoning middle and upper middle class population, new townships are coming up along the eastern metropolitan bypass. At the northern end is Salt Lake City, officially called Bidhan Nagar, with a population of 5 lakh. Adjacent to it is New Kolkata, which when complete, will accommodate 40 lakh people. At the southern end is another satellite township, Baishnabghata-Patuli, where 1 lakh people live.

PIC:

Youngsters at Aquatica, a water amusement park

The geographical expansion of Kolkata is not confined to the eastern bank of the river Hooghly. A huge township is coming up on the western bank, in Howrah, which an Indonesian company has offered to build. Moreover, Kolkata is renewing itself every day, thanks to land developers and building promoters.

To cater to rapidly changing tastes and demands, dozens of shopping malls and plazas have sprung up all over the city, besides innumerable air-conditioned markets, arcades and gardens. Shopping is no more like being in a sweat shop. Rather, it is a pleasure where fast food, piped music and a congenial atmosphere induce people to spend longer hours and splurge. In the bargain, shop owners laugh all the way to the bank.

These changes have not escaped the discerning eyes of Jit Paul, 81—the head of Apeejay Group—who first came to Kolkata from Punjab in 1942 and subsequently made the city the headquarters of his industrial empire. "This is all because of the mesmeric effect of consumerism," says Paul. "Spending habits have changed. People are working harder so that they can earn more and spend more." He says the state government has realised that business must expand and productivity has to improve.

PIC

A jewellery store

Harsh Neotia, 43, managing director of Ambuja Cement, says, "Militant trade unionism is now a thing of the past. Earlier, when I said that the state was ready for fresh investments, my counterparts in other states hardly paid any heed. Of late, I find them paying more attention. Hence, investments are coming in."

The recent prosperity of Kolkata, according to Neotia, is linked with the overall prosperity of the state. In the last two decades, the state has registered a 6 to 7 per cent growth on an average in its gross domestic product, which is much higher than the national average. A huge market has opened up in the hinterland which in turn has accelerated the progress of Kolkata.

PIC

At the Hookah bar

And entrepreneurs are having a field day. Take the case of Tarun Mullick, 44, a scion of the famous but impoverished Mullick family, whose Marble Palace is one of the major tourist spots of the city. Mullick, who was state table tennis champion, spurned job offers from State Bank of India and the Railways. His mentor, Indu Puri, former national champion, advised him to take up business.

So, with just Rs 3,000 as capital he started a business of making raincoats and diary covers. In 1984, he got a big order for nylon bags from Bata Company which turned his wheel of fortune. By 1989, he entered the national market with his Clubb brand of bags. Today, he is a multi-millionaire and employs 60 people in his factory and office.

Higher incomes have fuelled a building boom. Earlier, a salaried person purchased a flat or a house at the end of his career with his life’s savings. Today young men and women are so sure about their future that they buy their flats and pay their loans later. Interest rates have come down from 17-18 per cent to 6-7 per cent. In fact, many young Kolkatans are changing their flats every five years. "The construction industry is the second largest job provider after agriculture," says Sushil Mohta, 41, a building promoter. "Though no survey has been made about the requirement of the city, greater Kolkata needs 50,000 flats every year."

Merlin Projects Ltd, of which Mohta is managing director, recently joined hands with five other major developers to build a ‘city’ within Kolkata. It is the biggest project of its kind in eastern India where four 35-storey towers will have 1,500 apartments, the price of each apartment varying from Rs 20 to Rs 60 lakh. "We have already sold 1,000 flats," says Mohta. "Most of our clients are young Kolkatans."

Once upon a time, cinema and theatre were the only sources of family entertainment. The night life in Kolkata suffered a deathly blow following the Naxal uprising in the late 60s and early 70s. Pubs and restaurants at five-star hotels closed for the day by 10 p.m. And there was no such thing as a discotheque. At that time, most cinema hall owners dispensed with their night shows.

PIC

Youngsters

But now multiplexes are throwing a challenge to cinema halls. To survive, halls are being renovated with a vengeance even as three multiplexes have come up in the past two years. Three more are in the offing. Almost all the major hotels have discos. And the nights are getting longer. Pubs, bars and restaurants rarely close before midni-ght. "The city has shifted gears," says Koena Mitra, a Mumbai-based model who travels to Kolkata often. "Tantra was the only proper chill-out zone at night. But there are so many other options now. Shisha Bar, in particular, I found to be pretty nice. But I am a loyal Tantra follower. It’s the most happening place in the city."

Earlier, for outdoor entertainment, the city had the zoo, the Victoria Memorial Hall and the Maidan—a rather jaded threesome. Now, there are more than a dozen entertainment parks dotting the bypass and other parts of the city. Even the traditional British club culture has undergone a sea-change. Dozens of new clubs have sprung up with all sorts of amenities; money—not pedigree—is the sole criterion for admission.

Travelling after a night out has become easier. In keeping with rising aspirations, the transport system is being overhauled. Potholed roads are out. Flyovers are in.

In the last five years, the state government and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation have worked in tandem to clear bottlenecks. Two new flyovers, besides the four existing ones, have come up and four more are on the way. All trunk roads are being widened.

To enhance mobility, there is the circular railway. Moreover, there are dozens of ferry services connecting Kolkata and Howrah over the Hooghly river, thereby easing the commuter pressure on the Howrah bridge. The new Vidyasagar Setu bridge has further increased connectivity between Kolkata and the districts. Another new bridge is expected to be complete by 2010.

Kolkata has the distinction of having the first underground rapid transit system, the metro, in the country. Set up in 1984, its length was initially 16 km from Tollygunj in south Kolkata to Dum Dum in the north. Now it is being expanded by more than 6 km, to places like Garia and the Netaji Subhas International Airport. Land in Kolkata, take the metro and within minutes you are in the city. Just like in Paris.

However, unlike Paris, Kolkata does have slums, an Indian phenomenon. But even the slums have changed. Dominique Lapierre, the author of City of Joy, described in detail the Pilkhana slum which, till the early 80s, could easily vie with Mumbai’s Dharavi in its poverty, squalor, disease and death. Today, most slums have metalled roads and piped water. Because electricity is easily available, every house has a TV. Motor cycles and scooters are aplenty.

PIC

Models abound

After many decades, Kolkata is taking care of its health problems. Till the end of the 90s, critically ill patients were rushed to Chennai, Vellore, Hyderabad, Mumbai or Delhi. However, in the past few years, more than a dozen specialty hospitals have sprung up which can handle critical cases. Efforts are now on to build a health city at the New Kolkata township with 100 specialty hospitals, hotels and shopping malls. It will be within hand-shaking distance of the airport. "Neither Chennai nor Mumbai nor Delhi has such a big hinterland as that of Kolkata," says Sajal Dutta, managing director of Ruby General Hospital. "We also get patients from Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan."

Till the end of the 90s, thousands of students went to Bangalore or Delhi for admission in engineering and medical colleges as there were only a few in West Bengal. Now, with more than 50 engineering and 10 medical colleges, West Bengal is in a position to offer seats to students from other states.

In sports, Kolkata is now the mecca of cricket and soccer. Former president Jagmohan Dalmiya has turned the Board of Control for Cricket in India into the richest sports organisation of the country in the last ten years. Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has helped Dalmiya in his mission by setting the team on a winning mode. Simultaneously, the East Bengal soccer team under its maverick coach Subhash Bhowmick has not only earned laurels abroad but also placed the club on a firm financial footing.

All these years thousands of young IT specialists were compelled to go to Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi in search of jobs. This started changing in the late 90s and the early years of the new millennium. Now Kolkata is the fastest growing software technology centre in India with a growth rate of 119 per cent (2001-2003). Growth rates for the nearest competitors for the subsequent period were 46 per cent (Chennai) and 36 per cent (Hyderabad). The IT hub in Salt Lake City has 175 companies and 21,000 employees. "Kolkata’s strength is its low attrition rate, which is embedded in the culture," says Kiran Karnik, president of the National Association of Software and Service Companies. "The state government has been extremely supportive," says Indu Khattar, head of Wipro's Kolkata development centre.

Tollywood, the hub of the Bengali film industry, after decades of commercial degeneration, has turned itself around. "Even those cinema halls that showed only Hindi films are now switching over to Bengali," says Tapan Deb Banerjee, chairman, exhibitors’ section of the Eastern India Motion Pictures Association. Nowadays, Tolly-wood produces more hits than flops. Some of them, made at a cost of Rs 50 lakh, did business worth Rs 12 crore.

Banerjee is not painting an exaggerated picture because producers from Bollywood, Hyderabad and Chennai are now flocking to Kolkata to make Bengali films.

These producers have helped people like Subrata Sen, 40 who has made four feature films in the last four years. He started his career as a journalist with the Ananda Bazar Patrika Group and then moved to The Statesman, Delhi. "But after more than a decade in the profession, journalism lost its charm," he says. He quit and decided to try his luck in films.

His first film, Ek Je Ache Kanya, released in 2000 created history by running for more than 10 weeks in Kolkata theatres. Thereafter, he has released a film every year. "The market for my type of film, which is aimed at sophisticated people, is limited to Kolkata and a few urban centres of the state," he says. But his last film, Hathat Neerar Janya, got a favourable response in some rural pockets. Other talented film-makers include Kaushik Gangopadhyay, Urmi Chakravorty and Argha Kamal Mitra.

Even fashion-wise, Kolkata, a laggard in this aspect, has moved on to the ramp. Designers Sharbari Dutta, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and their ilk have added a depth of colour to the dull, stale life of Kolkatans. Thanks to Sharbari’s efforts, ornaments are now adorning men’s attire.

But who are the new rich who sustain the growth of apartments, shopping malls, plazas, arcades, gardens, beauty parlours, multiplexes, entertainment parks, discos and pubs?

"They are the new generation of independent professionals who earn much more than their parents used to," says Jit Paul.

Finance Minister Dr Asim Dasgupta says two simultaneous developments are responsible for the present affluence. He argues that land reforms initiated by the Left Front government in the late 70s coupled with the empowerment of the rural masses through the panchayat system enhanced the agricultural production several times within a decade. This rural affluence inspired the growth of small-scale units in the unorganised sector. In 2000-01 they numbered 28 lakh, employing 59 lakh people. "Small and medium-scale industries are the backbone of our industrial resurgence," says Dasgupta.

Tushar Kanjilal, a social worker who lived in the Sunderbans, a backward area, offers a different, dark version. "No doubt, a huge amount of money has been pumped into our villages in the last two decades, but the lion’s share has been siphoned off by panchayat and political leaders," he says. These leaders, allegedly, have invested thousands of crores of rupees in and around Kolkata. For Kanjilal, the changes are merely cosmetic. But his is a cry in the wilderness. For the most part, the city is up and running, and the momentum seems unstoppable.

PIC

The four storey Food Pavilion restaurant, at Park Street in Kolkata will open on Diwali.
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Old November 5th, 2004, 06:15 AM   #53
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Random pics..

Himalaya House


Metro Towers


Shakespeare Court


IDBI



Garden Apts



Niladri



Tolly Gardens



Belmont


Last edited by Suncity; November 5th, 2004 at 06:44 AM.
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Old November 7th, 2004, 04:56 PM   #54
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I like the pictures on Suncity's thread, which were originally photographed by Colin Beveridge.

Plus the ones on Hindustani's thread too.

Like the Indira Gandhi road, Golpark Ramkrishna Mission, St Paul's Church looks nice (would never visit it), Nandan Cinema, Merlin Projects, Sanjeeva Town, Udita, Utsa, Hiland Park, Suprabha Corporate Park, Lansdowne Tower, and Garia.

Keep it up Kolkata.
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Old November 8th, 2004, 04:27 PM   #55
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Indonesian firms to invest in township


The Salem and Ciputra Groups of Indonesia have decided to invest $ 330 million for building a new township in West Howrah near Kolkata, report agencies.

Top officials of the two Jakarta based groups have already floated a new company to develop the township on 400 acres of land.

The officials today called on West Bengal Urban Development Minister Ashok Bhattacharya, and Industry and Planning and Development Minister Nirupam Sen, to discuss the project.

They would also call on Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya tomorrow on the occasion of the registration of land for the new township.

A senior official said that the first phase of the project would be completed within three years.

The officials also visited Dankuni in Hooghly district. The state government is also planning to develop another new township at Dankuni to reduce the burden on Kolkata.

http://in.biz.yahoo.com/041108/65/2hre5.html
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Old November 8th, 2004, 05:18 PM   #56
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Merlin Links



Merlin Manor



Laurel garden



Geet Govind



Merlin Heights

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Old November 8th, 2004, 05:30 PM   #57
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GSI



CMDA



Bidyut Bhavan



Tantuja Bhaban



DVC Bhaban



IBP





Shrachi Centre



Jeevan Sudha and Jeevan Deep Buildings



Tata Centre



Industry House



CIC - the tallest commercial building is finally under extensive repair (the wall claddings are thus stripped off). It is supposed to get a blue/white colour.



Lots of highrise under construction





More and more LIG (low income) and MIG (middle income) housing in new townships







SAI indoor stadium


Last edited by Suncity; November 8th, 2004 at 06:59 PM.
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Old November 8th, 2004, 05:54 PM   #58
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During the seventies/eighties boom lots of apartments were built.these pics are poor quality but still give an idea..



Govt Housing Tollygunge..(old pic)




Birla Building



Bamboo Villa (Income Tax) [Now isn't that a funny name?]



Om Towers (red/white)



Ispat Bhavan (SAIL) Red/black





State Bank and New Secretariat Buildings



Typical apartment complex along the Rabindra Sarobar (Lakes)



Yogayog Bhavan (India Post)



Jeevan Prakash (13 storey/LIC)



JK Industries



Kanoria Chemicals



Sahara India



Ayudh Bhavan (Ordnance Factories)



Indian Oil Bhavan



Mizoram House



Manjusha Bhaban



Webel Bhaban



ERDC



Globsyn



Shipping House (SCI) and Eastern Railways



Reserve Bank of India



CPWD



Jalasampad and Bikash bhabans



Bellevue Clinic (Birla)



Suraksha Hospital



Birla Heart Institute



Kothari Medical Centre



Airport Hotel (India's first airport hotel is closed down as its current owners MBD want to sell it off and get back to core business of publishing)



UCO Bank HQ



AG Towers


Last edited by Suncity; November 8th, 2004 at 07:22 PM.
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Old November 17th, 2004, 04:28 PM   #59
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The Strand:

Notice the new floatel and the floodlights of Eden Gardens. Buildings are from left to right: New Secretariat Buildings - one of the first highrises in India ( I think architect is Joseph Allen Stein), State Bank of India - a late 20th century monostrosity which replaced the old SBI building (SBI traces its origin/roots at this site) and Ayudh Bhavan (Ordnanace Factory Board HQ).



A picture of the Strand for reference..



To the right of Ayudh Bhavan, you can see the United Bank HQ and behind it the Birla House.

To the left of the New Secretariat, you can see the Shipping House (SCI) and the Eastern Railway HQ.

The Eastern Railway HQ [the Koilaghat Tower]



A view of the skyline with the United Bank and the Birla Building.



Brabourne Road (one of the main roads in the old business district). Along with RN Mukherjee road, it is home to many of the old corporate houses and some of the first nine - 12 storey buildings in Kolkata.

In the pic on right side you see the UCO Bank HQ (blue), then the Tea Board HQ (with the symbol of Tea Board). Next to it is PNB and Dena Bank.

On the right, you see a faint glimpse of ILACO house (yellow color; an old insurance company), then the Bank of India (white and pink).



A pic of Chowringhee Skyline..

The tallest building is Chatterjee International Centre - now under complete renovation. Next to it is the Kailash apartment. At 17 storeys it was one of the early tall apartment buildings in Kolkata.



And finally the Kolkata crowds waiting to enter the Eden Gardens..

You can see the white Shahid Minar, Peerless Hotel and the Oberoi Grand Hotel in the background..

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Old November 17th, 2004, 05:25 PM   #60
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Action time for Kolkata locales
WIDE ANGLE| Saibal Chatterjee
November 15
http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/1...3,00110003.htm

The city has some of India's finest filmmakers. In recent times, however, Kolkata has rarely figured prominently on the radar of location hunters from Bollywood. But the situation is all set to change as the city promises to emerge as a hot destination for filmmakers of all hues.

The unit of Vidhu Vinod Chopra's next production, Parineeta, starring Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali Khan, Vidya Balan, Raima Sen and Diya Mirza, is already camping in the eastern Indian metropolis for a 40-day schedule. And that is not all. The makers of several other major films are due to land in Kolkata in the next few months.

Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Mira Nair will spend a whole month in Kolkata come December canning crucial sequences of her adaptation of Jhumpa Lahiri's The namesake. Although the final word on the casting is still under wraps, two actresses of different generations who have their roots in the city - Sharmila Tagore and Konkona Sen Sharma - have been penciled in to play pivotal roles. Portions of the film will be shot in one of Kolkata's oldest studios, Aurora.

Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Rituparno Ghosh, Raj Kaushal and Anjan Das are the other directors who have trained their focus on Kolkata as they get into action mode for their next films, all of which will be targeted at the national circuit.
Says producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra: "Parineeta could not have been shot anywhere else. Director Pradeep Sarkar, a former resident of the city, agrees: "Kolkata is such an amazing city. I am trying to capture its true essence."

That is precisely what all the others are attempting to do. Buddhadeb Dasgupta's Kalpurush, produced by Jhamu Sugandh and based on a novel written by the director himself, has already begun to roll. While the story is set in Kolkata, a part of the Mithun Chakraborty-Rahul Bose-Sameera Reddy starrer will be shot in Bhubaneswar. "With such a cast, I dare not shoot the entire film in Kolkata," says Dasgupta. Even for the Kolkata shoot, Mumbai-based art director Samir Chanda has been roped in to recreate a part of Chowringhee within the comfort zone of a studio.

Kalpurush will be ready for distribution by the time another Kolkata director, Rituparno Ghosh, gears up to launch his second yet-to-be-titled Hindi film, with Amitabh Bachchan heading the cast. The story of a filmmaker-father and a musician-son (this role was originally rumoured to have gone to Farhan Akhtar but that development has since been denied) will see the Big B shoot in Kolkata for the first time in many, many years.

Anjan Das, whose Saanjhbaatir Rupkathara, became the first Bengali-language film to be acquired for distribution by a Hollywood major (Columbia-Tristar), is ready with his next project. The upcoming film, Ranirghater Brittanto (The Tale of Ranirghat), based on a classic literary tale authored by Syed Mujtaba Siraj, will be produced by management guru-turned-filmmaker Arindam Chaudhuri and will feature a line-up of several gifted Mumbai actors, including Irrfan Khan, Yashpal Sharma, Sachin Khedekar and Shivaji Satam.

The lead actors of Chaudhuri's first film as director, Rok Sako To Rok Lo, Manjari Phadnis and Yash Pandit, will play major roles in Anjan Das' film as well. Like Dasgupta's Kalpurush and Ghosh's next film, Ranirghater Brittanto, will delve into the past through the tale of a man who returns to a village in quest of the missing link in his life, his father. In Kalpurush, a young man meets his father after many years and the encounter brings back memories of a troubled past.

Raj Kaushal's proposed film will, however, reflect none of the angst and anguish that are so typical of the work of leading Kolkata directors. The film, titled No Problem, is designed as a breezy romantic comedy that tracks three couples through one night. Being described as a 'Benglish film', No Problem will contain a fair sprinkling of dialogues in Kolkata's urban patois, a mix of the local lingo and English.

The growing interest in Kolkata among Mumbai filmmakers probably has something to do with the aura that Mani Ratnam's Yuva lent to some of the city's best-known locations. Interestingly, like No Problem promises to do, Yuva centred on the lives of three young couples whose paths cross on the streets of Kolkata in circumstances beyond their control.

Ratnam's film broke the stereotype that Kolkata has had to live with ever since Dominique Lapierre crafted the City of Joy myth. There is more to Kolkata than spirited slum-dwellers and unflappable survivors. In the reality-inspired, more relevant settings of the upcoming films, the city will probably get a deserved opportunity to redeem itself.
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