The Telegraph
Saturday , February 15 , 2014
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All that the city loves


Valentine’s Day couples, friends, families, students and elders — Calcuttans from eight to 80 and from north to south were all there at The Telegraph Bagbazar Festival on Friday evening to enjoy the sights and sounds of Bengal. It was nostalgia time for special guests Abir Chatterjee and Paoli Dam at the inauguration of the three-day carnival of music, food, art and craft at the Bagbazar Puja ground. “North Calcutta, especially this area, feels like home to me. The hall (Girish Mancha) next door is where my father would do a lot of theatre and I would come and watch. Five minutes from here is Jaipuria College where I studied, so it feels like second home,” smiled Abir after lighting the ceremonial lamp. Paoli recollected growing up in Bowbazar. “North Calcutta for me is my Calcutta. I studied at Loreto, Vidyasagar and Rajabazar Science College. The stretch is so familiar to me that I love coming back to this part whenever there’s an opportunity. Thank you for bringing me back.” Paoli, joined by Mainak Bhaumik, took the audience on a trip down memory lane, sharing anecdotes about the lanes, parks, culture and charm of north Calcutta.The evening ended with a rocking performance by Anjan Dutt, son Neel and friend Amyt Datta.

(Top) Abir Chatterjee lights the inaugural lamp, helped by Paoli Dam and Mainak Bhaumik; and Paoli and Mainak tour the Suchitra Sen gallery

The festival has a lot to offer over the weekend — art and craft stalls, pottery, painting and beauty workshops, a quiz and more musical performances.

The Bagbazar Festival is open from 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Text by Mohua Das Pictures by Anindya Shankar Ray