Santiniketan Diary: Story of Three Hoots, Two Boutiques & A Cafe

When life throws me lemons I make the lemonade in Santiniketan. I mean seriously, there is no second place which has great food, fresh air, great art and great shopping together. Also we stayed in a quaint home-stay which served great breakfast and dinner. And every time I visit the place I discover something new .. this is a story of such discoveries..

  • Dokra

I can almost hear the “duh” when I say Santiniketan and dokra and claim it is new. It is almost like saying “I went to Kolkata and was surprised to find sweets there”. But wait, there is more to the story..I have dozen of traditional dokra jewellery , if you throw a stone in gariahat it will hit a shop selling dokra three out of five times. But this time I met two gentlemen who were experimenting with the art, both from the local tribal community and both so helpful and talented.

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Stole My Heart in a Second

 

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Puppet aren’t we

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Not strictly dokra, but has ghungroo and rudraksha..what not to love

  • The Tale of Two Boutiques

Everytime I visit Santiniketan I go to Alcha, the two storied bunglow turned into a boutique..and every time due to the sheer fact I get bankrupt in the Haat I return empty handed.. but not this time, I got bags and a owl..also this will be most peaceful shop you will ever visit.

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Alcha Means Leasure..There is Loads in a Name

The Block, The Shibori, The Kantha …

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Fabric Owl from Alcha..Wooden from the stall of a small boy

The second boutique is Tanzil, which I did visit, The shop is gorgeous but their things were slightly out of our budget ..may be someday. Also had two awesome experience, while browsing one lady pointed at my dress and asked the SA if it is from them and if she can buy the same..my narcissist soul did a happy dance and second , after me and my my friend left the shop without buying a single thing , we were stuck in front of the shop due to rain, the lady called us in and asked us to sit till the rain stops… this is why I will go back there a hundred times..

 

The cafe

The best new place we visited is of course a food joint…..A cafe called Chayaghor, almost nextdoor to Alcha, they had a rooftop seating, sweet coffees, awesome chicken satay and a naughty cat. Please visit the place if you can, you will thank me 🙂

 

So till the next time… take care.

Exploring Heritage & History : Itachuna Rajbari

Itachuna Rajbari is just around 2.5 hours drive away from Kolkata , but it is nothing like the busy, crowded. polluted city.It is a restored Rajbari (palace) of the old landlord. I went there to spend a quiet weekend with the husband’s colleague. And they are the finest gang I have seen in a long time ( I mean it, I am pathologically unsocial). I will let you see the beauty of the place and will encourage you to take the trip…

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The first glance was Majestic

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Natmondir- The family Deity Temple

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The “hut” with every modern facility

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Our hut had a fancy name too

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The “Royal” Traditional Bengali Food

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Ron Weasley would have approved

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It Was Time for Evening Prayer

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The most peaceful day coming to an end….

As a part of the Bollywood maniac nation I feel obliged to sign off saying that Lootera was shot here..Manmarziya…..

The Onset of Spring…Life Lately

Spring is short-lived in Kolkata, like a glimpse of a loved one , like a breezy holiday it is gone before you stop and stare. But we are lucky enough to enjoy the weather for a month or so, and life is not too badly…

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The colour…the riot of colour

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February Means Kolkata Bookfair ( The haul post is coming up)

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This is the first Ruskin Bond Book I have Read ( ya I am terribly ashamed) and I LOVED everything about it

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A Random Outfit I wore and Love … Indigo+ handmade + bag with mirrors + hand-loom .. what not to love

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This chicken tex mex rice bowl at Chillis is to die for

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Cupcakes from Mrs Magpie….pure awesomeness

January Reading Round Up- part II

The last three books I have read in January

Maranbiva : Saikat Mukhopadhyay

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Saikat Mukhopadhyay is one of the most promising Bengali writers. He writes mainly for the young adult crowd but shines in every genre he tries his hand on. This was one of his earlier works. One lone forest officer’s struggle against poachers, organised land mafias and  few mysterious deaths. There is a sweet love story as well which I really enjoyed. Not one of his best works but worth a try .

A Study In Scarlet – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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I don’t have the audacity to review this . But will you believe if I tell you that I have read only ten percent of all Holmes fiction..that is going to be a hundred percent end of this year..

Potash Gorer Jongole – Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay

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An irritated ox tried to ruin a school football match, a scholar but not so clever teacher tried to stop it and ended up being in a haunted castle ..or so he thinks. A last bencher went to save him and all he had to do was to solve math to find a way back. This book has trouble maker kids, corrupt and coward politician, brave old men, alien and so much more. One of my favourites by Shirshendu and I truly feel blessed that Bengali is my native language when I read such work.