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Club sandwich
- A chat with the new president of the Saturday Club

The new president of The Saturday Club says he can usually be found in the club between 6.30pm and 8.30pm on weekdays. “Of course, the standing joke in my family is ‘no one knows when your 8.30pm comes!”’ said Dipak Mukherjee as he settled down for a chat with t2 in the club office.

The 63-year-old lives in Kidderpore and works in a family business that straddles banquets and containers to storage.

Mukherjee, who was the club’s vice-president last year, is “very happy” with the infrastructure upgrade at the club in the past few months. “We have created a lot of infrastructure in the past year or so. The primary task now is to maintain what has been created. While creating infrastructure is a challenge, maintaining it is, in some ways, even more demanding,” he pointed out.

One of the much talked of additions to the Wood Street address is the pair of elevators near the entrance. And that has opened up other possibilities. “With the elevators working, not just the first floor, the second floor has now become accessible. We have around 3,500sq ft space there that can be utilised. We now have to think how to use that space constructively,” Mukherjee added.

One of the suggestions is to turn it into a large banquet space. There is one hitch: one of the primary requirements of banqueting is the proximity of the supply line but the pantry and supply areas are not connected to the second floor. So, a bit more thought has to go into this, he said.

According to the president, the ground and first floors are the club’s “premium spaces”. One idea involves moving the offices and leisure rooms to the second floor and use the important areas on the first floor for F&B activities. But this is just an idea.

The new bar, Ballentine’s Lounge, has also taken off very well. “Look, any place that opens into a patch of green immediately gives you a sense of space. Just imagine how wonderful it would be to sit in the bar during the rains!”

His team is also looking into the shortage of rummy tables. The renovation of the men’s cloakroom is also pending. “Since there’s a lot of sporting activities here, the showers are used extensively. So that space needs attention. We are trying to do them up on the lines of other sporting clubs like CC&FC or Tolly (Club),” he said.

A member since 1978, Mukherjee said he used to love sitting in a quiet corner of the Light Horse Bar and read. “Now my favourite spot is an open-air table just outside the Ballentine’s Lounge. I feel delightfully comfortable there, the glass-front of the bar behind me and the lawn before me. I’m finding this spot very addictive!”

The next thing to look forward to at the club is the heated pool. The equipment has been installed and only the electrical connection needs to be put in place. Members will soon enjoy an all-weather pool. The nip in the air is just perfect to make a warm splash at your club!

Samhita Chakraborty

How do you think the second floor should be utilised at The Saturday Club? Tell t2@abp.in