Poila Boishak or Bangla Noboborsho is the first day of the Bengali calendar. The festival is celebrated with processions, fairs and family time. The DI being a family club, was the perfect venue to celebrate an event of such magnitude.
The club had planned to bring in The Bengali New Year on Sunday 14th of April. It was a pre-celebration of sorts as Poila Boishak is on the 15th, a day later.
The venue for the evening was Indoors@DI. With the mercury soaring sky high and no relief from humidity levels as well, Indoors@DI, with its state of the art cooling and environment, was a welcome venue in which to be seated.
Our emcee for the evening was Raju Raman or Raju da as he is fondly addressed, traditional dress and sling bag attached. In his own affable style and flair he welcomed the guests and also introduced Banjara Notes, the musical group performing for the evening.
Banjara Notes began as a group of all women lead singers, and presently consists of four female vocalists and one male vocalist, with a five-piece backing band. A very rare musical set up I must confess.
They performed Bengali and Hindi songs with equal ease and finesse. From traditional bengali music to foot tapping retro bollywood songs, and a few English favourites, Banjara Notes struck the right chord with the audience quite beautifully.
If music be food for the soul, the actual food wasn't lagging behind either. An elaborate Bengali styled menu was done up at the verandah, adjacent to the Indoors@DI. Saqi caterers, once again, did a fabulous job of quality and quantity of delectable items.
Apart from the traditional Luchi and Cholar Dal, the spread included Fish Fry, Prawn Malai Curry and Mutton Kasa for the meat lovers. The vegetarian guests didn't lose heart or their palate, as they had an equal variety to choose from - Mochar Chop, Potoler Dorma and Echorer Dalna. For those with a sweet tooth, there was Kalakand, Mihidana and Vanilla Ice cream topped with chocolate sauce. Paan was served towards the end of the meal. This ain't Benaras, but Kolkata too enjoys its share of Paan and quite proudly so!
To conclude my article, I would like to mention three words that would cover the entire beautiful evening for all those who were present at the DI celebrating Poila Boishak - Maach Mishti Masti.
(Pictures courtesy Shishir Goenka and Shubham Poddar)