Monday, August 29, 2005


Originally uploaded by dalbhat.
To the Local Bazaar

The market place in India is full of color and fascination for children and adults alike. To the Local Bazaar uses a village art form to illustrate a shopping trip to the bazaar by a young girl and her mother. In this book, the pata style, which traditionally uses framed pictures in a scroll that is unrolled to tell a story, has been put into a contemporary children's book format. A lyrical Bengali subtext has also been included along with the English ryhme story. Just like the market place, this book is sure to appeal to both the young and old!
(For ages 3-6; 10 pages)

Pictures by Karuna Chitrakar (patua of Medinipur, West Bengal)
Words by Maura Hurley Basu (runs Mustard Seeds Community Library/ Activity Room in Salt Lake, Kolkata)
Published by Mustard Seeds, an independent family project that supports traditional artists, and a variety of social and charitable programs in Kolkata.

If you would like more information or to purchase a book, contact:

In Kolkata, the book is available at SASHA fair trade for contemporary living at 27 Free School Street

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Letter to the Editor

Originally uploaded by dalbhat.
Something in the air

Dear Editor, The irresponsible attitude of the state government towards air pollution in Calcutta is just incredible (Govt dumps clean-air date, again, Aug 9). For how long will the government drag its feet? Until some foreign investor with deep pockets finds it uncomfortable to breathe in Calcutta? I guess not, because they don’t take the bus or auto-rickshaw. They drive into their AC rooms directly from the airport, in their AC cars over the new flyovers. How about a court ruling making it mandatory for the transport minister and the chief minister to breathe the foul air in the city by pulling the shutters of their cars down when they travel in the city? Or even better, make it mandatory for the duo to take auto-rickshaws to office every day, sitting directly across the exhaust pipe of a bus. I can guarantee that this alone will make sure that the deadline is met before the pujas.

Yours faithfully,
Gautam Basu, Calcutta
15 August 2005 / The Statesman

Friday, August 12, 2005


Originally uploaded by dalbhat.
When friends visited recently we took them out to Kewpie's which was started by Minakshie DasGupta, the author of Bangla Ranna: The Bengal Cookbook. Kewpie's serves an authentic Bengali meal in the traditional style using terra cotta plates and cups with banana leaves under the food. We tried an array of Bengali favorites, like dal with coconut, eggplant with yogurt sauce and fish baked in banana leaves.


Originally uploaded by dalbhat.
This is a project we are trying to start at SASHA to get small producers a better market in the city. The first one is on Sept. 2-3-4. So far, some nice groups have been lined up to sell jams,pickles, peanut butter, fruit juices, etc.