When I was first approached by +Rj Arvind for his show, Arvind’s Kitchen where recipes would be discussed, I was asked if I could help him out with the background work for another show of his. I agreed readily, and he later told me that this would be lasting around 3 weeks or so, beginning in August; or rather, 16 days in total. His idea was to feature 16 different kinds of food popular in Kolkata, and find out, with actor and fellow food lover Kharaj Mukherjee, the best places around Kolkata which made them. It could be from the streets, it could be from the best restaurants – but the idea was to make a food map of Kolkata and make the listeners aware of amazing places right around them.

Naturally, I was curious, and also very interested in being a part of the show, and one fine day, Arvind gave me a call, asked me to decide on a range of food, and together, we sat down and  I helped him in finding some of the best places of Kolkata which made them, and their locations respectively. He also wanted to try the ones he hadn’t tried already out before placing his bets, so we decided on a list, composed it, and went on a walk the next day to check the places out.

+Insiya  and +Saptarshi  came along with Arvind and I, and all together, we explored a bit of my favorite city and checked out a few of my favorite haunts. Insiya and Saptarshi took amazing photographs, which later were displayed proudly on to the Kolkata Food Guide Facebook Page.

Of course, some of the photos were edited to add captions and effects, and some hilarious edited pictures were added by Pracheta Banerjee, and, all together, the show was a lot of fun. After the initial work was over, I did linger on when it went on air, and I spoke on air a couple of times too, once, arguing for the Phuchkas of South Kolkata, and another time, I talked about some of the best Momo joints around the city.

I must say, I am really happy with the outcome and all the love I have received during the course of this show! I am grateful to Arvind for heeding my suggestions and accepting them, and to Kharaj Mukherjee for introducing a number of lovely places even I was unaware of, and being an amazing speaker with a great deal of knowledge about the top restaurants and street food available in Kolkata. Also, Arvind added some special inputs which were very interesting too!

Most of the pictures you see here are from the food walk, courtesy Saptarshi and Insiya (the watermarked ones, at least!). Thank you for coming along! I had to take some photos from the Kolkata Food Guide page as well.

Although I was at first unsure about posting this “aftermath”, as I see it, I have to say that the event opened my eyes to a lot of things around my city and its inhabitants. I have learned a lot from this experience – in both professional and personal domain, and I am grateful for the knowledge. Also, an experience like this opens up the eyes to new prospects, horizons and ideas, and re-defines your priorities, ideas in life, and points out very clearly who are there to support you when you dare take up the challenge, and who aren’t.

So, yes, in the end, that’s a wrap… or in my case, a roll.

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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