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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Notes from Calcutta

Landed yesterday morning and the incorrigible shopper in me is itching to visit the shops. Oh I could do anything to swipe my credit card, hear the grating of the machine and sign the smooth slip with a flourish. The shops in this city of joy have been eluding me from yesterday morning by opening much after 10.00 am and closing much before 8.00 pm. And the rains today have been a mega spoiler. The roads are flooded and the shops remain stubbornly closed at half past eleven too. As I wait for my afternoon meeting, I am stuck in the office. So time to engage in my favourite activity- blogging.

I just hear and fret about the wonderful sari shops around Shakespeare Sarani, cursing the rains and the business sense of the shop owners.

Visited the impeccably neat and organized biscuit manufacturing plant. This local player in Calcutta market seems to have done extremely well for himself in just 5 years and his fully automated plant and machinery is one of the most expensive varieties. Saw the Marie biscuits being made and collected souvenirs of the same. But sad to see that the workers do not use gloves or head gear while handling the food ingredients and finished products. And none of the national players do the same, I am told. At the same time I am proud that both my current and ex-company adhere strictly to the gloves & head gear part since our ingredients (flavour) gets into food products.

Making a presentation on the biscuit market to the clients was a novelty. Firstly they are a family concern and every chacha and mama will be a Director. Secondly they dislike national players and no word of praise should be said about them. So a category presentation becomes difficult as the category is governed by the national players. Thirdly they are not too comfortable with English so my entire presentation was done in flawless Hindi, and I surprised myself at that. I was unsure about my capabilities to translate the English presentation smoothly into English, though Hindi is my mother tongue but I managed extremely well. The client also appreciated my comfort level with presenting in Hindi.

Today I hear that the guy who matters in the company has highly appreciated the efforts and is looking forward to doing business with us.

Hand pulled rickshaws are still seen inspite of the recent ban.

Things to do in Calcutta is Eat the road side gol guppa and kaati roll but will not for lack of guts! The huge Haldiram outlet en route to airport may be will be visited but the weight watcher section is holding me back by the scruff of the neck.

Looks like the kids have not given much trouble on account of my overnight absence- first one after last November. But I was bored without them and missed them a lot. Even woke up several times during the night and missed their presence next to me. Spent some time looking at their pictures on my laptop and listening to their voice recorded on my mobile.

12.00 pm and I am going to rush off to the closest market to do a quick dekho…

Edited to add-Lighter by Rs 11000- 6 saris, 2 salwar suit material bought at Ratiram Ramvinod in Shakespear Sarani and 6 t shirts for the kids....Now I feel contented.


Krishnapriyacr said...

I too feel really great after a shopping spree!! Amongst buying books and a long session in the parlor, shopping is my next vice!

And thanks for your comment, Itchy. I know its a tough tough decision and I am not sure if I will live to regret it, but we have decided to go ahead with the MBA!! Wish me all the best!!

Just like that said...

Ha Ha know that lighthearted feeling that comes from lessening your bank balance.

Good for you that the meeting went well and hope things work out even more positively in future.

sam said...

sarre shops around shakepeare closing down before 8??? you gotta b joking!!
anywyz, def try haldiram, and tiwari's chaat!! and the rolls and fuchka (golgappa) is a must try!! ask them tomake the latter a bit teekha with loads of the imli water!!
and in cal if you know where to shop, shopping is a delight!!

Orchid said...

Ah!, shopping in Calcutta bought some memories back...we took a family vacation a looooong time back, when I was in second grade !!...and I remember my class teacher had given my mom a long shopping list much to her annoyance!!....but other than that it was fun, we did puri, bhubhaneshwar, calcutta....all in one go!

mommyof2 said...

You didn't mention the smell;-) I was there 17 years back and the smell of fish & garbage drove me crazy;-)

But I loved the shopping in those bazaars & food especially rasgullas in matki..yum yum..:-)

GettingThereNow said...

What??? Nothing for your husband? Not good, not good.... *Wagging my finger at you***


Life Lover said...

yay! shopping always makes all women happy, especially shopping for clothes, for our selves :)

Vidwata said...

hey... great to have stumbled to your blog. Quite an itch to write I see. Well well well, let me make a connection at the onset... am an MBA Marketing ... recently graduated though. Now shifted to Kolkata...On the JOB hunt!

Giving presentations...biscuit industry...
with kids and all, I guess you have under your belt quite an experience (on and off the job!).

Food is just too great in Kolkata. I am not in Cal for last 6 waiting to get back and dig into the flavors of the city... I am tempted to write a post on this line now..

cya around. And can I add you to my blog roll.