Clicked by: Samhati Bhattacharjya
Clicked by: Samhati Bhattacharjya
She is only 24 and at this age she has received it all that any youngster would dream about. Be it success, fame, love, appreciation: she has achieved all these. Thus, on this special occasion of International Women’s Day, we celebrate the inspiring journey of Ekta Bhattacharjee, a professional designer who has given a new dimension to artwork.
Q1. You are an artist, designer, art director and now an entrepreneur. Please tell us about your journey.
Ekta: The journey has been an extremely beautiful one, with mostly ups and a very few downs. It has been a dream run for me… getting to work in almost 110-115 projects, with so many legendary artists from the country as well as abroad, that too within the age of 24 is obviously a matter of pride for me and more than that it gives me a sense of happiness and satisfaction. As an art director, I am assisting a lot of people, studying loads of books about this department. I guess I need to learn a lot more .
And as far as the entrepreneurship is concerned, I have just started. I have always wanted to have my own designing house, where I would get the opportunity to work with other talented designers from the city. I generally don’t work for free, so I try to make sure that people who are working for my agency get their respective remuneration/salary on time. Because ART IS NOT FOR FREE.
Q2. You have designed a poster for “Kaalmrigaya” and “Phera” starring Soumitra Chattopadhyay. Share your experience with us.
Ekta: Oh yes, I got the opportunity to work with him in Kaalmrigaya and Phera. But that happened only because of his daughter Poulami Chattopadhyay (actor and director herself), who gave me the opportunity to work with him. It is absolutely an enriching experience to work with this legend. He is an institute himself, there is so much to learn from him everyday. He is the most energetic and enthusiastic person I have come across and beside that he is extremely kind and caring towards the people he is working with.
Q3. Walk us through your recent artwork for a plays like “Abishkar” by Dulal Lahiri and “Ghasiram Kotwal” by Sujan Mukherjee.
Ekta: Working on these two big projects at the same time was very challenging for me. I was aware that both the projects would need a lot of commitment, time, energy and much more and I am pretty happy with the end results of both. People have appreciated both the art works and at the end of the day that’s what mostly matters to me. I feel extremely happy to have worked in plays like Ghasiram Kotwal and Abishkar
Q4. How was your feeling working with Mr. Mahesh Bhatt for the Hindi play titled, Hamari Adhuri Kahani?
Ekta: Working in a Mahesh Bhatt project is definitely one of the highest points of my career. And he himself is a very generous man. He takes keen interest in all the department of his play and films. One of his team members noticed my “Felicity” poster and referred my name to him and I was on board the very next day. When the play was premiered in Kolkata, I was very emotional to see my art work placed all over the city.
Q5. Tell us something about your other notable works.
Ekta: Well, there are many like:
Q6. Among all your works, which one is your favourite?
Ekta: Very very difficult to choose. All are extremely close to my heart. I had spent days and nights creating them. Each and every artwork is extremely special to me, so I can’t chose any particular from the lot.
Q7. Nowadays Photoshop and other digital softwares/means are used for creating some great posters and logos, be it for a film, play, book or a company. What made you take up this art of hand-made posters?
Ekta: I was pretty much convinced with the fact that if I will revive this old medium again. People will at least take a keen interest to look at it once, but the way people around me have accepted this medium all over again is just overwhelming. I don’t have anything against the digital medium. Rather I myself use the digital medium for the post processing purpose. And I always love Satyajit Ray’s artwork, which has been the biggest influence in my life.
Q8. What do you love most about your work?
Ekta: I love everything about my work, I mean the entire process and the reactions that follow. Script reading sessions, discussions, sleepless nights for executing the ideas, attending rehearsals, curtain calls, all the love, appreciations, criticisms. I enjoy each and everything thoroughly.
Q9. Are you comfortable being told what to design?
Ekta: I generally read the synopsis first and I am always keen to listen to the director’s or producer’s idea or what they are exactly looking for. I try to match that with my ideas and finally execute it. But I won’t deny the fact that I don’t like to be ordered thoroughly or just do what the director commands me. If the director is a designer or painter himself, then it’s fine but otherwise designers should be given full liberty to execute their thoughts. I believe in words like teamwork or discussions, rather than command or order.
Q10. Share a priceless moment in your life which is related to designing?
Ekta: Mr. Anupam Kher called me up to see all my art works and he was immensely happy after going through each and every work of mine. He praised a lot about me on Twitter and told that he would also love to work with me soon. That’s of course a priceless moment for me.
Q11. Moving on to your personal life, in this age of crumbling relationships, how do you people manage to held on to each other or stay strong since last 8 years and maintain a balance between both your personal and professional life?
Ekta: Patience, perseverance, forgiveness, dependency are few things which made this relationship so strong. Even we have our share of indifferences and I believe no true relationships are perfectly crafted. I know Arnesh since class I and we started dating since class XI. I think what works mostly for our relationship is that we are more like best friends than lovebirds. He was the one who motivated me to follow my dreams. I consider him to be my biggest support and critic, of course.
Q12. Tell us about your future plans and your upcoming artworks or projects.
Ekta: Expanding my designing house is surely on the priority list. And currently I am working for 3 upcoming plays, 3 short films and in the pipeline there are 4 bengali feature films, 3 events, and designs for North American Bengali Conference.
Q13. Considering the struggles artists face nowadays, what suggestions/ideas/experiences would you like to share with others?
Ekta: The demand of Graphic designing is increasing everyday. It’s a known fact that advertising agencies in Kolkata do not pay you much but it’s okay, one has to struggle to exist with his/her passion. See, young guns have to believe in themselves and take the final call .Freelancing is obviously a good option to earn your bread and butter, but at the end of the day quality, creativity, uniqueness matters. If you have these qualities you are bound to do well in life. Graphic designing is such an innovative field, you just need to have a rock solid guts to turn your passion into profession.
Q14. Any advice you would like to give to the young artists who aim to take up designing professionally?
Ekta: I always believe there is no substitute for hardwork. So, you just need to Believe in yourself and start experimenting. Keep your designs simple and unique. Patience and innovation are two most important factors one has to keep in mind if you are in this profession. 🙂
From Mr.Funtoosh, Professional to Sada Canvas, Chorabali and now The Best Seller, she has shown a rapid growth in her career graph. In no time, she has proved her acting skills and made her position in the Bengali film industry. In an exclusive chat with iNTEGRiTY Magazine, Malobika Banerjee, the hot rapidly upcoming actress of Bengali movie industry shares her journey in this glamour world of Tollywood.
1. How did you get involved in acting? Did you learn acting?
Malobika: No. I never learnt acting in any school. Actually, I never wanted to be an actress . In 2007, I participated in a beauty pageant titled, Miss Kolkata Sundori and I happened to win the title. This happened at a very young age. Since then my career started.
2. Which was your first film as an actress?
Malobika: My first film was named Mr. Funtoosh. I played Prosenjit Chatterjee’s sister’s role. My character was the second lead in that film.
3. How was your first experience? Would you like to share anything from your first shot of your life?
Malobika: Oh, yes! It is one of the memorable moments in my life. My first shot was with Bumba Da ( Prosenjit Chatterjee) , the superstar of Bengali Film Industry. I was very nervous but finally pulled it off quite well. The funny part was that in that shooting I had grown an infatuation for him, which he actually understood and very easily managed the situation. 😀
4. Till date you have done so many films, which has been your favourite character that you have performed?
Malobika: All the characters are equally important to me. But yes, in the film Sada Canvas, my character was that of a psycho girl. I had to work really hard to portray myself as a psycho girl on screen. This character is really one of my favourite characters till date.
5. Tell us about a time where you had difficulty turning yourself into a character. What was the character and why was it challenging?
Malobika: I have just finished shooting for a film called ‘Tope‘ directed by Sri Buddhadeb Dasgupta. In that film, my character is of a documentary filmmaker. Buddha babu strictly instructed me that I have to be a smoker to give that life to my character. And, my biggest problem is I hate smoking, and can’t tolerate the smoke. But for the film I smoked for one week which was really a challenging task for me. But somehow I finally managed to do that.
6. Who is your favourite actor? What motivates you to act?
Malobika: My favourite actors are Amitabh Bachchan and Uttam Kumar. They motivate me a lot. I get inspired from both their personal and professional life. They have taught me many things. I have learnt that failure is nothing but a step forward to success. They have shown it through their careers.
7. Are you working on any current projects?
Malobika: Yes, I’m doing an Oriya film and a Bengali film right now.
8. If not an actor, what profession would you have chosen to occupy?
Malobika: I would have been a MBA or a CEO of any MNC. But, other than being an actress I have passed L.L.B. So, if I get time, I might start practicing law.
9. What have you learnt from your senior actors? Any memorable advice from anyone?
Malobika: I have learnt many things from my senior actors, good and bad both. But, I always try to take the good things.
10. What is your dream role?
Malobika: I am not sure about the dream role, but recently I have watched Tanu weds Manu Returns and I loved Kangana’s acting in that film. If given a chance, I would like to play Kangana’s character i.e. Tanu from the film Tanu weds Manu Returns.
11. Please share a fun fact about yourself which people might not be aware of.
Malobika: Oh! I’m very scared of cats . I have a cat phobia . I’m serious about it and let me tell you it’s not funny! It’s really scary.
12. Is it a career path that you would recommend? What advice would you give to someone aspiring to become and actor?
Malobika: Firstly, let me tell you that if someone is patient enough then only one should try for acting. Of course, talent is required but patience is very important. My dear friends if you want to be successful in a very short span of time, then this is surely not the right career for you. In this profession, you must be a warrior by nature who is always ready to fight against all odds. 🙂
– By Angana Sengupta
4 days of holiday and yet you don’t know what to do? Well I have got a solution for you. Why not just start packing your bags and leave for a short holiday and explore the nearby places of Kolkata. So what are you waiting for? Pick up your bags, tie your laces and just leave. Oh! Don’t forget your sun scream though.
If you are addicted to sea and love serenity along with it, then Mandarmani is a must go for you. 5 hours drive from Kolkata; it has emerged as a prominent weekend gateway by tourists who want to escape from the crowded cities. Mandarmani provides complete seclusion which is rare in other beaches near Kolkata like Digha or Puri. The beach is clean and is very idle. The beach resorts are well equipped with modern amenities and serve their guests well. You can enjoy your weekends in the resorts soaking the sun and enjoying the delicious sea food. The main attraction of Mandarmani is the golden beach and the peaceful ambience. The sunrise from the beach is a visual treat.
Mud homes, alponas, wild boars, fox, colourful birds, flora and fauna, hill, river, lake- if you want to experience all these in just one trip then book your tickets for Biharinath which is in Bankura district. 249 kilometers from Kolkata, Biharinath can be easily reached by train till Raniganj station and then by car. It is situated between Purulia and River Damodar and is the highest hill in the Bankura district. Covered with thick forest the place offers a natural treat to the eyes. It is a mixture of adventure along with exploring the scenic beauty. The Biharinath hill is ideal for trekking and one can reach the hill top within an hour or two. You can go for a walk with your loved ones and immerse yourself in the scenic beauty. You can also enjoy boating in the lake situated near the Biharinath Temple. The place also hosts a lot of religious fairs especially during the Shivratri and the Saraswati Puja.
If you want to stay in a dense forest of Sal and teak and spotted deer herds crossing your road every now and then, then Joypur forest is surely your next weekend destination. Joypur forest is a dense forest which extends upto 120 Kms. It has a watch tower through which one can enjoy the scenic beauty and also have a view of the spotty deer named Cheethals. You can stay in Joypur Forest resort which has its own farm, vegetable garden, a huge lake (Jheel) and is equipped with all modern facilities. If you want a complete seclusion from the city life and miss the peace then I am sure Joypur Forest will not dishearten you. It’s a must visit to rejuvenate yourself and gather all the energy for another tough and hectic week.
So what are you waiting for now? Three different places choose one and just leave on an experience of a lifetime. All these three places are cost effective and are worth your time. So give it a shot and do let us know what our experience has been like.
– By Sourav Mukherjee
Wherever one may roam, if they are in India in search of the game, Kolkata is undoubtedly the place to be in irrespective of the other big names that have made their mark in the recent times. No matter what, even if India ranks at 135 in the FIFA World’s list, The Kolkata Derby and its grandeur that is still intact even after so many years since its inception, still holds one of biggest rivalries in the world and could easily be counted as The Clash of The Titans, played between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal.
East Bengal, established in 1920, being the representatives of the eastern region of the undivided Bengal, way before it was eventually named as Bangladesh and being announced as an Islamic republic in 1971, and other the side, being from the west itself, Mohun Bagan, the oldest of perhaps all the clubs in India that have ever played football in the country, established way back in 1889. These two sides make for a match whenever they turn out on the pitch. One might feel the shiver of witnessing history on their toes if they get to be in a packed Yubabharati Krirangan, of over 1 lakh heads getting bisected into Red & Yellow (East Bengal) and Green & Maroon (Mohun Bagan).
Producing numerous superstars of the game in the country, Kolkata never seemed to fall short in being called as the Mecca of Football, though in recent times, cities like Goa, Bengaluru and Mumbai have also joined in the league in producing some great talents who are proving to be the future ambassadors of the game. From Gostho Paul to P.K Banerjee, the likes of Chuni Goswami, Majid Boxer, Jamsid Nasiri, Krishanu Dey, Subrata Bhattacharjee, Subhash Bhowmik, Bhaichung Bhutia and other huge names have been the frontiers of the rich Kolkata footballing culture since its golden era had started a century ago.
Well, not just by the colours as they say, the glorious rivalry between the Mohun Bagan and East Bengal are measured by the choices of food their fans make for themselves as well. King Size Prawn vs. Golden Hilsa, primarily those of River Padma, (located in Bangladesh in present times) are the symbols of the fans who wear their jerseys and turn up to the event. It all go in the cards of history after every single derby takes place in the City of Joy, as people from both the sides never leave an inch apart in disgracing each other by their colours and pride. It seems as though a fight is being fought out of the game, which is much far and above the boundaries of football. More so to the temper at which it grows, days before the game is scheduled. In the end, the side that loses is the side that’s booed until the next match is in contention. The battle just gets tired of in wracking nerves if you’re a Bengali by any chance.
On the whole, as contributors of Indian Football, Kolkata is and shall always be up there where hardly any other state of India could ever match up, as far as the emotions surrounding the game is concerned in this part of the country. May this outburst of ruthless aggression live forever.
Kolkata can be termed as “The Paradise of Food”. You must be wondering why am I saying this. This is because, Kolkata is a city where you can get all the different types of food, you name it and you will get it. But, here is a list of ten popular food items of Kolkata which one must surely try when he visits this place.
I am sure that you have heard about rasgullas all your life. But, if you are in Kolkata and you haven’t had roshogollas in Kolkata, then what’s the point?
These tiny water-bombs with spice and masala dipped in tetul-jol, called phuchka, are probably the cheapest, yet filling item you can find on the streets of Kolkata. You might think you’ll stop after having 4 but once you start, it is that difficult to leave it.
3. Fish Fry
A fish fry is a kind of dish containing battered or breaded fried fish. It is generally served with kashundi (mustard sauce) or tomato sauce. It is really mouth-watering!
If it’s evening time and you are hungry, then you must try this famous evening snack called ghugni. This is one of the yummy street foods of Kolkata consisting dried yellow peas or dried white peas with gravy.
This is the perfect snack with cha ranging from peyaji, alu’r chop, beguni, phuluri, bandhakopir chop to a variety of crunchy, besan (corn-flour) covered street food! Only one is just not enough, you have to try them all.
6. Moghlai Paratha
Moghlai porota are the deep fried parathas stuffed with egg and minced meat generally served with mouth-watering, tasty gravy with juicy pieces of meat, what we call as kasha mangsho is every meat lover’s paradise.
Muri (puffed rice) mixed with mustard oil, onion, coconut, peanuts, coriander and other spices is termed as jhalmuri. It is an appetizing snack common in every street-corner of Kolkata.
8. Kolkatar Biriyani
Many people wonder what is so special about Kolkatar Biriyani! Well, if you are not a bong it’s a bit difficult for you to understand the speciality.
A unique smell of desi ghee mixed with rich masalas and spices along with juicy, tender pieces of mutton, potato and boiled egg cooked in rice and tava, is what we call as Kolkatar Biriyani. But, people who are still not convinced should taste it, in order to believe it.
9. Karaishutir Kachuri
Karaishutir kachuri is one of the popular dishes of Kolkata. These are fried, peas-stuffed puris. These are often served with tasty and spicy alur dom.
10. Mishti Doi
This mishti doi is a perfect blend of milk and sugar, which can beat any sort of frozen yogurt one can ever have.