Back from Calcutta


When the British were in Calcutta, they started a club called The Saturday Club. Years later, they left. But inadvertently, it would seem, that they left behind an immaculate construction of unintended English humour. I caught this notice on the club’s main notice board, it reads,


Two very important people I met on this trip were Amyt-da, my ex-guitar teacher. I disclosed, with utter embarrassment, that I have started to teach. Which left him speechless and his fingers stuck on the fretboard for about 3 bars after which he coaxed out a burpish “good” from an unknown vibration of his vocal chord.  Skinny Alley, is coming out with their second album soon, so stay tuned.  

The other important person was Letu, my 8 year old niece, thusly named ’cause she came into this Earth 6 days late. We played badminton on the road (since the goons at Saturday Club would not let us play during lunch hours) and I taught her a trick or two before my breath ran out the door. We went over to The Forum, a mall, where we ate and shopped a bit. It is a strange Calcutta, very distant from the one I knew. Caught between the forces of traditionalism and consumerist validation, the city and its folks trudge on the daily grind of exceptional existence. Every visit to Calcutta makes me think. This time is no different. I am still thinking (and this is serious so you should, too) how come Marie biscuits get so much of advertising budget ? Tell me.



  1. Check this intereting info on mall develeopment
    Mall Development in Kolkata

     Now the action is taking place in newly developing suburbs such as the area around the EM Bypass

    • Retail, the next two years will see an additional 5.5 million square feet of shopping space getting occupied in Kolkata.
    • Most of the development is planned in the emerging suburban markets, primarily due to availability of land.
    • At least five new malls are slated to come up there in the near future and each one will be between 400,000 sq ft and 450,000 sq ft. Two others are being developed in other parts of the city. About Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) will be invested in each one.
    • Leading the charge into the malls is Rahul Saraf, managing director Forum. Saraf is now planning two sprawling malls on the EM Bypass and both will be around 400,000 sq ft to 600,000 sq ft. That’s about two or three times the size of Forum.

    • By the end of 2009, Kolkata will have 17 new shopping malls.

    • With nearly six malls coming up at Rajarhat alone

    • Some of the big upcoming shopping malls in and around Kolkata include

    • Acropolis (Rajdanga),Technopolice, Lake Mall, City Centre II, Forum II,Terminus,DLF -IT park Retail area also there, Lake Mall, Nandu Belani’s mall
    • First IT park in the city has a separate retail complex, apart from three independent towers for office use.

    • South City Mall is one of the largest real estate projects under construction with a usable area in excess of 7.5 lakh square feet (sq.ft).-Pantaloon shop is there.

    • Vivek Kathotia of Fort Group already has a name for his jewellery mall that is scheduled to come up next year: Fort Knox.Fort Knox on (tanishq)Camac Street is a specialised jewellery mall-Already existing

    • Lake Mall is a shining instance of an old KMC (NOT YET COMPLETED) market being remodeled into a modern mart. Homeland and Block-by-Block (hsril)will be specialized home malls in south Kolkata and New Town respectively.

    • Neotia’s 550,000 sq ft City Centre, which is scheduled to open in May in Salt Lake. Neotia has already gathered a galaxy of retail names from around the country including Shopper’s Stop, Planet M, Nike, Reebok, Samsonite, Arrow, Lee and Wrangler

    • Malls exclusively positioned towards the very high end segment are Nandu Belani’s mall at Elgin Road spread over 80,000 sq ft, Haute Street on Park Circus connector -WHAT IS THIS !!!


    • Merlin Group has formed a consortium with South City Projects and CMDA to develop “premium housing, commercial and high-end retail space” over another 600,000 sq ft of space near the Ruby crossing.
    • To be developed across 6.5 acres at the Kasba Rajdanga ground, near Siemens, the Rs 400-crore Acropolis will comprise a 4,000-seater sports stadium, a 17-level IT-enabled business tower and a shopping mall with a four-screen multiplex, besides two mini-anchors. The property will have a three-level car park for 750 vehicles.
    • Avani Galleria on Park Street covering over one lakh sq ft. Several medium format retail projects are also on the cards-At Rabindra sadan Khadims egro is also there.

    • 22 camac Street
    • Goriahat Mall
    • Highland Park Metropolis
    • The CBD, comprising of the old Dalhousie district, Chowranghee, Camac and Park Streets, and AJC Bose road, is not expected to have any significant addition to commercial stock in the near future due to unavailability of land parcels.
    • Avani Signature, a Grade A building with a built-up area of 107,000 sq ft is to be operational in 4Q 2007. About 75% of commercial buildings in the CBD are old and would classify as Grade B space.
    • However, the suburban districts such as Salt Lake City and Rajarhat are expected to witness an addition of 8 million sq ft in 2007-2008 driven by high growth of the IT sector. Vacancy levels in the CBD and suburbs are low at 0.6% and 4.5% respectively. A majority of upcoming Grade A projects were also pre-leased early.
    • Retail Space to increase five times
    Currently there are seven operational malls – Forum Mall, Home Land, Avani Heights, Gariahat Mall, Orchid Mall, City Centre, Metropolis Mall, and Orchid Mall – with 1.4 million sq ft of built-up space in total. Vacancy levels are low around 1%.
    • According to Abhishek Kiran Gupta of JLLM, the retail real estate market in Kolkata is expected to grow exponentially with as many as 16 new malls with 6 million sq ft to be operational by 2008-09. 3.1 million sq ft is likely to come up by end 2007, including Forum II, South City Mall and Mani Square.

    • The signature mall coming up at Topsia on the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.
    Haute Street is a first-of-its-kind shopping mall with an investment of Rs 50 crore. The developer claimed that “it will house niche products and will have a niche footfall”. With several malls coming up in the city in the recent past, this mall promises to set new standards and will be spread over an area of 1 lakh sq ft.
    The mall will have all the high-end brands – both national and international. Sujit Arya, director of Surya Mansion who are developing. Architect Harsh Sanon pointed out that this vent. Haute Street, “India’s first-ever signature mall”, coming up on the Park Circus connector next to Viswakarma, promises to bring a clutch of designer labels in first-time exclusive stores under one roof.
    • “We have already signed with Omega and Rado. Talks are on with brands like Zara, Versace, Mango and Swarovsky,” Sujit Arya, director of The Surya Group, a consortium of the Rawalwasia and Arya groups developing the Topsia mall, said at the launch on Wednesday.

    • Paharpur is developing one of the biggest housing projects in Calcutta. Located on the Diamond Harbour Road, close to the Indian Institute of Management, Joka, the project is offering 2,000 residential housing units.The project, called Genxx Valley, is slated to be completed by the first quarter of 2008. Paharpur is now working on a mall next to the housing project. Spread over 2.5-3 lakh square feet, it will be developed as a destination mall.


  2. @Dips, have you noticed how biskut dipped in tea becomes bishkut ?

    @ Devashish, on paper this looks real good. But I do not think all of this will materialise in the next 2-3 years, at least not in the scale at which it is being portrayed. When I went to Forum (on a weekend), I did not really see an overflow of crowd (what I see in Bangalore), so I am not sure all the forthcoming Malls will have so much of a demand. But your comment was quite informative. Good to know so much is happening in the city.


  3. Admin-No it is happening.I have more info that has transpired in all these days.Hey! would you be interested on some tips about the lighting in Retail stores and the malls in general.We can together make this site more informative+cash earning.Reply your interest.


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