In high spirits

Remembering Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland

  • Published 9.02.18

The spirits were high on the British Club lawns (inside the  British Deputy High Commission) on January 25 as members came together to celebrate the birth anniversary of Scottish national poet Robert Burns with a traditional Burns Supper. 

Shinjini Chakraborty and her band — (from left) Navonil Sarkar on mandolin, Pankaj on cajon and Brata Deb on keyboard — regaled the audience with Burns compositions like A Red, Red Rose, John Anderson My Jo, My Heart’s in the Highlands, A Fond Kiss and of course the popular Auld Lang Syne.

Live band music, a curated menu and a special whisky-tasting session from Amber Glen (a Scotch brand soon to be launched in India) and a talk on the golden traditions of Scotch whisky by the Diageo brand ambassador Brandon Toborg made it a night to remember.

Friends (r-l) Prakash Khanna, Ira Kaikobad, Margaret Dass, Udayendu Das, Kailash Ahuja and Pervez Kaikobad enjoy their drinks at Burns Supper. “We loved the Amber Glen and enjoyed the poetry and music by Burns,” said Das.

“Burns is to Scotland what Tagore probably is to Bengal and perhaps even to India. Burns is the national poet, he led quite a short life but like Shakespeare he was not necessarily very highly educated but he brought together all the folk traditions of the people of England. He was an early Romantic poet, he had influenced the later poets and he was one of the earliest free thinkers who had said A Man’s A Man For A’ That,” said British deputy high commissioner Bruce Bucknell, the host for the evening.

Haggis, described by Robert Burns as “the great chieftain of the pudding rice”, is traditionally eaten on Burns Night. It is a dish made of minced meat, onion, oatmeal, and spices. 

On the menu: The Burns Night menu isn’t complete without the Cock-a-Leekie Soup made with leek and peppered chicken stock, Haggis served with Neeps and Tatties, and Cranachan, a popular Scottish pudding. Also on the menu were Shepherd’s Pie, Baked Veg Cannelloni, Buttered Rice and Dundee Cake.

Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert made with whipped cream, whisky, honey and fresh raspberries.
Besides whisky, Bira beer was one of the pop sips at the club bar.

Text: Sibendu Das
Pictures: Rashbehari Das