As the weekend after Tastes of India is on the horizon, I look back and ponder..
What is “Tastes of India?” – Is it just a Food Festival? Is it really the biggest carnival of Kolkata, the grandeur of which will be the talk of the town for months to come? Is it a collaborative effort of a team who spent many a sleepless night toiling towards a single goal while perturbed with apprehension? Is it 70+ restaurants,home bakers, caterers, start ups across the city coming together for the joy of Food & Carnival? Is it my own baby which grasped my hand to take baby steps and finally grew into a splendor which I can look upon and beam with pride? Is it a story which unfolded itself in the most unconventional way, making me look back wonder-struck?? It is an emotion that engulfed me – taking me to the zenith of joy in one moment and plunging me into abysmal in the other? Is it just a dream that I can never touch? It is “TASTES OF INDIA” !!
When the First TOI advertisement came out in the newspapers (since I managed not to notice any of the hoardings across the city) my heart skipped a beat!! There was my logo in one of the top leading newspapers of the country, smiling back to me !! I knew , this was REAL !!
For all of us intricately involved in the process of making Tastes of India (TOI) the success it is today; TOI is many things!! But what makes Tastes of India? Is it mouth-watering food that we all have savored to our hearts content??? Is it the ambiance – the white cabanas, the welcoming lights, the awesome music, the festivity associated with a carnival? is it about the mild winter week-end ?? While it is true that TOI would not have been what it is if it hadn’t been for these, I still feel what makes Tastes of India GRAND are the PEOPLE. Before you assume (assume rightly 😛 ) that I’m a braggart, I must tell you that when I say PEOPLE I talk about every individual who walked in through that wooden framework(which had my logo, but I bet u didn’t notice it) and into the heart of TOI. It maybe the electricians, the people who made the stage, the hostess, the organizers, the photographers, the bloggers or the thousands who walked in with food on their mind and carnival in their heart!! I’m proud to say that TASTES of INDIA is about PEOPLE !! Probably Siddhant and Rohini (the head organizers) will kill me after reading this because we primarily pose to be a Food Festival, but it’s true!! We are a PEOPLE’s CARNIVAL!!
Well TOI is still a food carnival and I’m still a food blogger. So “ Kuch Khana toh Banta Hain, Boss” !! Worthy of mention are the Fish Kababs at Sanjha Chulha(sarson fish tikka) and Plams(mahi kolivara). Sanjha Chulha also serves some delicious gilafi kabab!! The Bombay duck fry at XII Xodiac was delicious too( I’m a fish person, don’t judge me). The hyderabadi biryani at palms was a killer. I also loved Mermaid’s Myths delicious offerings and BJs café cum longe’s lasuni kabab. Swatis Rasagollas’s , hand rolled ices creams and fire pan made some heads turn. Keventer’s served awesome milkshakes.
Apart from food the Zomato stall made some buzz with awesome games curated especially for the event. Samridhi Singhvi from Zomato Kolkata deserves accolades for this. There were many food group events too in their kitty – for example the Good Vegetarian Food of Kolkata group participated in a treasure hunt and the Calcutta Foodies group participated in a Quiz.
We bloggers curated some games involving “hoggers”, the “selfie-queens” and the yummilicious offerings from the 70+ stalls that participated in TOI.
Tastes of India was my first Food Festival, it will be etched in my soul forever!! Some people will always be there to support you where ever you go and in whatever you do(whether they approve or disapprove). Thanks Baba, Didi and Debarshi for enduring me !!
PS : I take this opportunity to thank all my photographers who painstakingly endured my incessant nagging. Lots of love Saurabh Dasgupta Photography, Rahul Sarkar Photography, Aarav Photography and Anish Photography.
Whole-hearted thanks to Siddhant, Rohini, Rukhsana, Prity for their never ending support. Vijayakshmi you know why 😛 . My fellow bloggers – Kirti, Subham, Luna, Debojyoti, Rana, Karishma, Koninika, Dipayamam it was lovely working with you ( pouting is also work, wink wink)