POLIA BOISHAK or Bengali New Year will be celebrated all over the city with much feasting and festivities. On April 15, those wanting a taste of good Bangla khabar will be spoilt for choice. However, to enjoy a meal that combines authentic Bengali food with interesting history and a good cause, visit Suruchi, the food outlet run by The All Bengal Women's Union, one of the oldest women rehabilitation centres in the country. Suruchi was started in 1969 as an income-generating project for the sheltered girls. This year the emphasis is on a range of delicious fish preparations. There'll be fluffy luchis and crisp kochiuris; vegetable preparations and many other Bengali specialities and, of course, a mishti platter that will win over all with a sweet tooth.
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CINE Central's "4th New Millennium Film Festival" continues with some great films. On April 13, it will beArgentinean director's Carlos Jaureguilazo's "Three Birds" the disturbing, volatile film about the clashing of two worlds. On the same day are the highly-acclaimed "I Love You Too" from Netherlands (Directed by Ruud van Hemert) and "Neutre" from Swiss Director Xavier Ruiz. April 18 features the Dutch "The Sea That Thinks" (Director: Gert de Graapa) and "Scars", directed by Norwegian Lars Berg, a funny yet poignant look at adolescence told through the story of three buddies. Also on April 18 is "Mayday Mayhem" from Hungarian director Robert Koltai.
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ONE of Satyajit Ray's more popular films is "Aranyer Din Ratri" (Days and Nights in the Forest). The story of a group of young urban men going for a weekend get away to the forests that changes their lives forever is one of the most intense, nuanced works of the great master. Now Gautam Ghose is all set to release "Abar Aranya" (The Forest Once More) his sequel that looks at those characters lives decades down. Some of the original players feature here including Sharmila, and there are new characters played by young actors like Tabu. Oxford Bookstore and Gallery hosts a pre-release Script Reading from the film on April 14 with Ghose and many of the star cast participating.
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FOR decades Kalahandi has been synonymous with droughts, famines, starvation and poverty. Against this bleak backdrop the Kalahandi Vikash Parishad (KVP) took up the challenge of poverty alleviation through employment generation using traditional skills of the tribal people. Nuakala is one of the most successful initiatives of this mission. This women empowerment project encourages tribal women in their traditional work on cotton textiles. Nuakala products are easily available throughout Orissa and now Kolkatans get a chance to buy these special fabrics at a KVP exhibition-cum-sale being held till April 14 at Arati (Jodpur Park).
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