October 4, 2012
The world's cuisine is shaped by immigrants - migrations large and small. Jose Garces showcases the influence of Chinese settlers on Peruvian fare at his Chifa. Munish Narula has added an Indo-Chinese menu to the original location of Tiffin. Chinese immigrants in cities such as Calcutta and Mumbai adapted Indian cooking styles and ingredients such as cumin, coriander seeds, and turmeric. Most of the menu is a spice lover's dream - the green chiles in the manchow soup, the red chiles in the kung pao dishes.
February 15, 1990 |
The Indian government has reversed itself and tentatively agreed to allow a British crew to film a controversial movie adaptation of the best-selling novel The City of Joy in Calcutta. Before getting approval, however, the production company was required to hire Sunil Gangopadhyaya, a well-known Indian writer, to serve as script consultant. According to P. Upendra, Indian minister for information and broadcasting, the script will be revised with Gangopadhyaya's help so that "no portion would offend the sentiments of the people of Calcutta.
October 9, 1989 |
It was an hour before dawn, but red-eyed Bhanu Lal refused to sleep. Next to him - stretched out on tattered pieces of cloth and covered by rags - his wife, his mother and his five children slept as soundly as one can on the squalid sidewalks of Calcutta. Bhanu Lal said he, too, needed sleep. All day long he had worked as a porter, running around town with huge mounds of bananas and heavy bales of jute perched atop his head. But there was no resting now for him, and many more of the estimated one million ragtag people who spend each night on the sidewalks of central Calcutta.
May 23, 1990 |
Oh! Calcutta! has achieved notoriety as the show in which the actors take off their clothes, but one of the main problems with the musical comedy, which opened last night at the Theater of Living Arts, is that the performers don't shed their clothing often enough. When the cast is nude, as they are in the opening and final numbers, the show at least has some novelty. It is not every day that a theatergoer can see nude bodies dancing and bouncing about a stage. It's not culture, it's not beauty, but it is, at least, different.
March 16, 1991 |
A movie starring Patrick Swayze and currently shooting in Calcutta is having major problems getting completed. Two weeks ago, citizens disrupted the set, protesting that the film, City of Joy, exploited Calcutta's slum life while ignoring its culture and vitality. A court order also has restricted shooting to one outdoor location. The latest wrinkle came this week, when a court directed that no more filming be done until native writers and film producers check the script to see if it projects a fair portrait of the city.
February 25, 2005 |
Outcasts from birth, the children of prostitutes in Calcutta's red light zone are trapped. The girls, invariably, go into the same line of work as their mothers and grandmothers before them; the boys, with little or no schooling, become idle hangers-on, errand runners, petty thieves. Born Into Brothels, nominated for a documentary Oscar in this Sunday's Academy Awards, offers a rare look into the cloistered precincts of Indian whoredom. But it also offers more than a glimmer of hope for a few of its youngest inhabitants.
April 15, 1987 |
Below the streets of this pitiless, once-great city - away from the broiling sun, the legless beggars and the buses belching black smoke - a new Calcutta is trying hard to be born. It is still a tentative thing, this subterranean transformation of the city that, in its poverty and chaos, has come to symbolize urban failure and decay. But it is something real, something clean and orderly that is growing beneath the streets, and it belongs to Calcutta alone. This harbinger of better times is a subway, the only subway operating in India today.
September 14, 1997 |
As eager as they were to prove themselves capable of producing a world-class state funeral, officials here were also a little panic-stricken by the logistics involved in hosting dozens of foreign dignitaries. Chief among their worries was transportation. As in roads - Calcutta's are narrow, rutted and filled with maniacal drivers. As in cars - specifically, air-conditioned cars. There aren't that many in the city, and the heat and humidity here are hellacious. As in jets - if all the foreign dignitaries wanted to fly in on their own, there wouldn't be enough space to park them at Dum Dum International Airport.
September 7, 1997 |
By the time she died Friday, Mother Teresa had become one of history's truest saints, a living symbol of Christlike devotion to the poor, the sick and the hungry. A small woman who stood less than five feet tall, she helped awaken the world's conscience to the depths of human poverty and loneliness through her decades of labor in the slums of Calcutta. For this, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. At the Blessed Katharine Drexel Guild in Bensalem there was scoffing Friday at the very suggestion that Mother Teresa would someday be declared a saint.
September 11, 1997 |
Mother Teresa's life was pure and simple. But weather, the neglected infrastructure of this city, and the complications of protocol surrounding dignitaries and diplomats are creating a logistical nightmare for those organizing her funeral. To complicate matters, several jurisdictions have a hand in the funeral arrangements. The military is ostensibly in charge, because the Indian government decided that Mother Teresa should be honored with a full state funeral. But her order, the Missionaries of Charity, decided she should be buried in its Mother House, rather than a cemetery.