Event: Grape Harvest Feast, Kolkata

The Invitation:

I had missed the trip to Baramati. All because I missed the phone call which would've got me into one of the best trips of my life...so I made it a point, that no matter how busy I was, I would never again miss Swarnali's calls.

On a particularly upsetting Thursday afternoon my phone rang shrilly and I saw Swarnali's name flash across the screen. She didn't even wait for me to greet her, "Aniesha! Are you free this Sunday? There's an event at Swissotel, and we are invited by GingerClaps. We'll be confirmed once you say you can make it."

During that particular moment I had no idea where Swissotel was, and neither did I know the details of the event. All I cared about was having something to look forward to at the end of a very crappy week. "Of course," I replied.

"Great," she said, and hung up.

I wouldn't find out that from my house to Swissotel Kolkata is was a 21 km journey until the next day, when I told my sister, gushing with excitement about the blissful Sunday afternoon looming around the corner.

"But that's really far!!!" she had exclaimed, "It's almost near the Airport."

"How do you know where the place is, sitting in Singapore?" I had muttered, darkly.

"Because I've seen it the innumerable times we passed by it to get home from the Airport," she replied.

I must say my confidence to travel alone was wavering, given the fact I have the reputation for mixing up the simplest of directions. But I was determined to go to that event - come Hell or high water. So I looked it up on Google Maps, had long talks with Swarnali (who kept suggesting buses I could catch from Gariahat, and buses I didn't want to ride). I had my friend, Rini, look up the Volvo bus routes and we decided that the V1 was my safest option. It wouldn't take me to Swissotel Kolkata at City Center 2, directly but it would take me to a point where I could meet Swarnali and then we'd go to the event together.

The Dress Code: 

The mail from GingerClaps arrived and the invite was very pretty indeed : 

"Aniesha, can you wear a dress to the event?" Swarnali's request had me almost falling out of my bed. She had called me two hours before I was supposed to start my never ending journey towards Swissotel Kolkata... 21 kms from my house to be exact. Before I could protest, the "pretty please with a cherry on top" emotional blackmail had started...

"Alright," I found myself, answering, "I'll wear a dress and keep you company."

The Journey: 

I was on the lookout for a V1 since the time I started traveling towards Gariahat from my house. I found one midway, ditched the auto, paying the fare somehow and climbed onto the bus. I called Swarnali to let her know I was on my way...and when I hung up the conductor says, 

"Mamoni, tumi onek dure e jabe, uthe boshey poro," gesturing towards the luggage place, right behind the first seat of the bus. (Translation: Kiddo, you're going to go very far, get up and sit there.)

I merely grinned at him, perched myself on the box, and waited for the Halidram's on VIP road to finally loom up in front of eyes soon... 

The Event: 

I finally met up with Swarnali around 2:30pm (not my fault, she was a late in reaching Haldirams), and we marched into Swissotel Kolkata, for the Grape Harvest Feast. The first thing that struck me was how beautiful the Sky Lounge was...with all the little cabanas for the wine labels, a live band playing...and the bar...not to mention the food counters. 

The cabana belonging to Four Seasons
Doesn't it look so pretty? :)

Swarnali and Me, trying out the food.
P.C. - Dolon
The Live Pasta Counter 

And the band... 

The Cabanas of all the Wine Labels 
While we talked to the other bloggers, Shikha and Dolon, we munched away and sipped away...with Mr Peter Mitter (the one who'd taken us through our previous wine trail), suggested the wines we ought to pair with the food which we were having... Golconda, he insisted, was to be had with the desserts... (I wish I had remembered to click the pictures of the variety of desserts being offered that day!)
A Closer look at the Four Seasons Stall...and with Peter Mitter...
P.C. - Swarnali 

Ever since I've become friends with Swarnali, she's dragged me into a wonderful life... One that includes dressing up on Sundays and traveling 21 kms, to taste the amazing food at Swissotel Kolkata's Sky Lounge, sip on wine and spend a lot of time around the people who'd make you truly happy... 

The Grape Harvest Feast is truly one of a kind. And I hope it becomes an annual event...I'd love to go back, again and again...because happiness indeed is, good food, good wine and amazing company!!! 

In the above picture, one can see
The Bar,
The Grape Stomping Place
 (how I regret not being appropiately dressed to stomp on them!! >.< ),
Swarnali with her goody bag from Spencers'...
Swarnali and Me....
and Me :)) Trying Four Seasons' Blush. 
P.C. for Me & Swarnali - A Random Pretty Girl in a Black Dress
P.C. for my picture - Swarley :P 

Oh, you blessed Sunday afternoon.
I am NEVER going to forget you. :-)

Musing:Valentine's Day

VALENTINE’S DAY J

Image Courtesy: Google 

If you knew you'd end up getting hurt, would you still fall in love? Even the most logical, rational person in the world is not going to be aware of the exact time when they do fall in love. It's like they say -

"Between laughing for no reason and making fun of each other, we don't know the exact moment when we fell in love."

I have had my fair share of heartbreaks and I’ve fallen in love (a bit more times than I can count.) Being a romantic person by nature I find it difficult to keep a check on my feelings.

I’ve fallen for fictional characters from books, from movies…from real life. I’ve had crushes too. On friends, on seniors, (never on juniors though :P) On someone I’d randomly met in some long forgotten party. Someone who jumped back into my life after maybe a decade of not being in touch with each other….

Once upon a time I’d found unrequited love to be a very sweet thing…until I faced the predicament not too many years ago. I’ll be honest – loving someone who doesn’t love you back, to say very least, sucks.

All these movies they make on love and romance, they always have the same dominant theme – never give up! You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow. Newsflash, sweetheart: Sometimes it’s NOT going to happen.

While I do know that you cannot cushion your heart and go through life, I also know how to draw the line. So on this Valentine’s Day, I have learnt the most important lesson there was to be learnt – fall in love, a thousand times over. Yes. But keep yourself in check…a million times more.

I write romance stories in order to make myself believe in happily ever. Yet sometimes, this happily ever after does not need to include some wonderful guy or a girl. Maybe the happy ending would be coming safely to the knowledge that even in the darkest of days, there is someone who will be there for you – YOU.

So, if you don’t have a Valentine today, you’re forgetting the most important person in your life.

You are your own Valentine.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone… J