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 :
"Alright," I found myself, answering, "I'll wear a dress and keep you company."
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...
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.
|Swarnali and Me, trying out the food.|
P.C. - Dolon
|The Live Pasta Counter|
|And the band...|
|The Cabanas of all the Wine Labels|
|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 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
P.C. for my picture - Swarley :P
Oh, you blessed Sunday afternoon.
I am NEVER going to forget you. :-)