THE BRIGADE RALLY
| A child with banner and cellphone rises above the rally on Sunday. (Amit Datta)
What: Left Front rally against price rise and Maoist violence
Where: At the Brigade Parade Ground on the Maidan
Footfall: Around 5 lakh on the ground, thousands along the periphery
Top draws: A picnic in the city for those from the districts, a windfall for the vendors, and a whiff of oxygen for the huffing and puffing Left Front. (It’s a different matter that the city’s lungs were
trampled yet again to help the ruling party breathe easier.) Some of course came to hear B&B — Buddha and Biman — shout.
What we saw: By noon, the much-mauled Maidan was packed to capacity and the police had lost the traffic-management plot.
What we heard: “Eta amader mati, aar ekeyi bole manush,” crowed a supporter from under a red cap, admiring the crowd and taking a dig at we-know-who.
THE PRE-WEDDING GALA
| Sanjiv and Preeti Goenka with darling daughter Avarna at Stylefile 2009, last November.
What: A function to celebrate the marriage of Avarna Goenka (daughter of Sanjiv and Preeti) and Devansh Jain.
Where: Taj Bengal
Footfall: 1,000-plus, all famous faces or known names
Top draws: A performance by Shankar Ehsaan Loy before dinner and music by DJ Suketu after dinner.
What we saw: The hotel lobby, poolside and terrace looking prettier than ever. Pink was the dominant colour and flowers the dominant decor.
What we heard: “Whenever I am in Calcutta I am very aware that people here know their music. There may not be Tansens but there are ‘Kaan-sens’. It will be a complete Shankar Ehsaan Loy concert with Bunty Aur Babli to KANK to Rock On!! to My Name Is Khan,” said Shankar, before rocking on.
THE FAIR FINALE
| Fair visitors Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and a boy bond over books on Sunday. (Sanat Kr Sinha)
What: Last day of the 34th Calcutta Book Fair
Where: At Milon Mela
Footfall: Over 3 lakh
Top draws: Books, book-loving chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and a band of Mexican performers who danced the Ballet Mexcaltitan non-stop for two hours.
What we saw: Crowds, crowds and more crowds. Also, a protest by two organisations against Taslima Nasreen being “blanked out” by the Book Fair authorities. Then the chief minister closeted with guild officials and playing agony uncle before the curtains came down on the glitch-ridden fair.
What we heard: “Dada, Facebook ta kon stall-e pawa jachhe? (In which stall is Facebook available?)”
THE GOLD RUSH
| A shopper checks out a necklace at Sonar Sansar on Sunday. (Bishwarup Dutta)
What: Big day of Sonar Sansar 2010, the biggest jewellery show in eastern India organised by Anandabazar Patrika and the Swarna Shilpa Bachao Committee
Where: Netaji Indoor Stadium
Footfall: Over 2,750
Top draws: Lightweight gold jewellery
What we saw: Desire. In the eyes of women across age groups, trying on earrings and necklaces and looking for approval from friends and family. Though the name is Sonar Sansar, there is jewellery of every kind — diamonds, coloured stones, kundan, pearls and costume — and takers for almost everything.
What we heard: The jewellers from outside Calcutta (Surat to Bangkok) and their designs were the talking point. “I am here to check out jewellery I don’t normally get in Calcutta,” said Daksha Popat, artist and homemaker. There were grumbles about the post-rally traffic too.