SNIFF OF A SHOWER:
A dog on pre-Independence Day duty on Red Road. Picture by Anup Bhattacharya
What’s the weather forecast?
Intermittent showers, some of them heavy. Satellite pictures show thick clouds over the state. The combined effect of a cyclonic circulation spread over Bihar and parts of Bengal and the monsoon trough is likely to be wet, wet, wet. The weatherman predicts moderate rain on Friday-Saturday, that is anything between 7.6mm and 34.4mm in a day.
When will Mamata Banerjee arrive at Red Road?
How long is the programme?
1 hour and 20 minutes
What can you expect?
A shower of flower petals from the sky will mark the start. Then, the chief minister will hand out awards to four IAS and six IPS officers. Nineteen contingents from police, fire services and other security agencies will march past. The parade will start from the Casuarina Avenue-Kidderpore Road crossing, proceed north along Red Road and terminate at Plassey Gate Road. Four state government departments have built tableaux. Students from five city schools will perform. The show will end with a performance by the Calcutta police orchestra.
What about the star quotient?
Like at almost any Mamata show, expect a fair sprinkling — if not a flood — of Tollywood celebrities to make their presence felt.
What can you carry?
Umbrellas and water bottles but no binoculars and food packets. Women can carry handbags.
Will you get the Metro?
Trains will run from 7am, like any other day.
Roads to avoid?
Red Road will be closed to all vehicles from 10.30pm on August 14 till the end of the parade and the dispersal of the crowds. Closed from 5.30am till the end of the rally: Mayo Road, Hospital Road East and West, Hospital Road, Lovers Lane, Casuarina Avenue, Kidderpore Road, Red Road, Gostha Pal Sarani, RR Avenue between Dufferin Road and Govt. Place West, Queensway, Plassey Gate Road, Outram Road.
WHAT TO WATCH
For hardcore fans of Bolly masala, blockbuster man Rohit Shetty is back with Singham Returns, starring Ajay Devgn’s stunts, Kareena Kapoor’s charm and Yo Yo Honey Singh’s Atta maji satakli. Tolly-Bolly teamwork shines through in Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury’s Bunohaans, the Samaresh Majumdar story of an innocent young man (Dev as Amol) sucked into the underworld, with music by Shantanu Moitra and the climax guest-designed by Shoojit Sircar. For Holly fans, Marvel biggie Guardians of the Galaxy guarantees a big bang for your buck, while The Hundred-Foot Journey starring Om Puri-Helen Mirren is recommended viewing for lovers of film and food alike.
WHAT TO WEAR
Keep it traditional, says Jessica Gomes Surana, model and emcee. Combine a basic white or a pastel-coloured fitted kameez with a billowy patiala. Throw on a colourful dupatta. Carry two pairs of earrings — a dainty pair for your day look, chunky jhumkas for your evening look.
Team a pair of jeans or well-fitted trousers with crisp cotton kurta. Jessica has a new hottie on the block — Fawad Khan from Khoobsurat — in mind. Your go-to edge? Hair gel!
WHAT TO READ
The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee (Random House, Rs 599): Calling old boys of Don Bosco Park Circus and Jadavpur University to pick up this Booker-nominated novel by one of your own.
The Return of the Butterfly by Moni Mohsin (Penguin Books India, Rs 299): She’s back, her Jimmy Choo ki heels and Prada ki sunglasses intact, taking us on a rip-roaring trip through Pakistan.
WHAT TO EAT
Order a very large pizza (with extra cheese!), brew some masala chai and indulge in a long adda. If you want it the desi way, then nothing can beat a platter of piping hot khichuri with ilish bhaja (fried hilsa). Vegetarians can pair it with some crispy fried kumro phool (pumpkin blossoms) and a little hot-and-tangy homemade pickle.
Pssst: I-Day is a dry day so hope you’ve stocked up!
WHAT TO WATCH ON TV
Akshay Kumar-Sonakshi Sinha’s superhit film Holiday (Zee Cinema at noon) to a double screening of the Hugh Jackman-starrer The Wolverine (STAR Movies at 1pm and 9pm). Fans of Comedy Nights with Kapil can catch a special show (Colors at 1pm and 5pm).
And for cricket junkies, there is always the hope of a Team Dhoni fightback at The Oval, from 3.25pm on STAR Sports.