Sir — The Pench Tiger Reserve, with its adjoining areas, is home to a wide range of wildlife species. But these creatures often get run over by vehicles on the highways. It was therefore a relief when the new, elevated stretches of highways connecting Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra were constructed in that area.
However, earlier this week, a one-year-old leopard was reported to have lost its life to a speeding truck on those highways. This shows that there is an urgent need for administrative measures aimed towards sensitizing the drivers. One cannot expect animals to mind the roads; so it falls upon the people to be careful while driving in such areas to avoid accidents.
Learn a lesson
Sir — The article, “On pogroms” (Feb 28), Samantak Das not only draws a brilliant analogy but also makes readers reflect deeply on the unabashed display of violence in Delhi. It is obvious by now that such organized riots — pogroms? — will only increase and spread to other parts of the nation. What could have been nipped in the bud through some prompt action, such as dialogues with the people of the country and honest assurances, has been left out in the open like a festering wound to gather maggots.
Religion is just one of the tools that can be wielded to divide the people. It is frustrating to see how the different political parties are trying to make hay while the country burns. One cannot remain impartial in such tumultuous times, even at the risk of being branded ‘anti-national’. If we are to take any lesson from Germany, it must be that the nation has not tried to hide its shameful past; rather it has learnt from its mistakes and emerged as a more or less harmonious polity.
Sir — Chandrima S. Bhattacharya’s article reminded me of a time when central Calcutta was famous for biryani (“The man who presides over a magic biryani”, March 2). I came to the city from Burdwan in the early 1990s in search of a job and was fortunate enough to get my first assignment in an office at Park Street. It opened up an amazing new world for me.
I had never tasted biryani till the age of 23, since it was not available in Burdwan. There used to be a restaurant near Mullick Bazar called Tandoor Mahal. I tasted my first biryani there.
There is something special about the Calcutta biryani. I have travelled all over India as well as the Middle East but not eaten anything that can match up to the taste of Calcutta biryani. The soft boiled potato steeped in the flavours of the dish is something we get only in this city; it takes the taste of the dish to a different level.
Having developed a taste for biryani — we usually ate it on Saturdays after work hours — I, along with some friends of mine, tried out various biryani joints in and around central Calcutta, including New Aliah, the establishment that the writer speaks of. Yet, nothing will ever beat the taste of that first plate of biryani.
Sir — The article, “The man who presides over a magic biryani”, evoked too many memories of New Aliah. The biryani there is light, yet subtle, rich in taste but not too heavy as is the case with the dishes served by the multitude of biryani joints in Calcutta these days. The writer would have done well to mention Aliah’s chicken bharta with soft julienned pieces of meat in a light gravy topped with an egg. Besides, the softest mutton korma in the city, too, can be found at Aliah. As someone who has an office nearby, I have found Aliah to be a gastronomic hotspot.
Sir — Each iconic establishment that serves biryani in Calcutta has a distinct recipe that it uses to make this dish. A true foodie will be able to tell the joints apart by tasting the biryani, even without being told where it is from. Each restaurant also has its own quirks. If Royal Indian Restaurant traditionally does not serve biryani with potato, Aliah does not include an egg. But each biryani is delicious in its own way.