Tag: Sunil

shuktara

Weekend in Mandarmani

Last weekend Pappu took the girls from Lula Bari to the seaside resort village of Mandarmani.

This is a good time of the year to visit the beach because the weather is sunny and the monsoon rains have usually finished. Everyone enjoys the beach and the fresh sea air is a welcome change from urban Kolkata.

Sunil went also because no one likes a holiday more than he does.

shuktara - Diwali

Happy Diwali!

For 20 years now we’ve been celebrating Diwali on the roof of shuktara. Diwali is celebrated with fireworks and crackers all across India. In Kolkata Kali Puja signifies the end of the puja season and usually takes place the night after Diwali. This year both festivals were on the same night so everyone set off their fireworks together.

Sunil loves pujas but this is perhaps his very favourite one because it involves extremely loud noises he is able to hear despite being profoundly deaf. Pappu took him to choose the fireworks and the choices were overwhelming – just take a look at this shop selling only fireworks (below).

Last Sunday (27th October) at dusk small clay containers were filled with oil and a wick and placed all around both homes. As darkness fell the lamps were lit and the feeling was absolutely magical.

Then the firework show began with rockets, pinwheels, fountains and sparklers. All over the city colourful lights and sounds continued for most of the night.

Happy Diwali from all of us at shuktara!

shuktara - lamps on Diwali
shuktara

Vishwakarma Puja

Vishwakarma is considered to be the divine architect and creator of the world. On this day workers ask him to bless their tools (from a simple hammer to a more complex machine like a computer) and give them safe working conditions, success in their work and a better future.

At shuktara this is usually a small celebration however this year Sunil decided that the statue representing Vishwakarma could be bigger. You can see Sunil in the first video below joyfully banging with a pair of scissors during the ceremony to honour Vishwakarma.

Gifts from friends

Feeling very grateful for gifts and support for everyone at shuktara!

Our friend Karuna Ezara Parikh and her husband Amitesh had a monsoon clear out of clothes that they no longer wear and one of our neighbours bought a water filter machine for the girls house.

Below are photos from Lula Bari with the girls modeling their new dresses and also Sunil, Bablu and Bappa are proudly showing off their new outfits. Lali is clearly excited about the new water filter at Lula Bari.

Thanks to our Kolkata friends for their generous and thoughtful support!

shuktara - Bapi taking a bath on the roof in the monsoon

Monsoon rains finally come to Kolkata

Usually by 10th June monsoon rains have started in Kolkata. This year the beginning of monsoon was delayed and the rains only really began a few days ago.

The boys at Anna Bari took full advantage of the cooling rain to bathe, dance and play on the roof in the downpour. The videos of Bapi dancing and Sunil “swimming” show the joy everyone feels now that the monsoon has finally arrived.

shuktara - Sunil lights the candles on his birthday cake

Happy birthday Sunil!

Everyone at shuktara has a cake for their birthday, and on Monday, 15th July, Sunil celebrated his birthday with a delicious black forest cake. He loves celebrations and as you can see from the video he really got into the spirit of cutting his cake.

Sunil finds pure joy in so many simple things – that’s why we call him The Master. Happy birthday Sunil!

To read more about Sunil click here

shuktara Founder's Day 2019 - David and Sunil holding a photo of Anna

1st July 2019 shuktara Founder’s Day

On the 1st July everyone at shuktara celebrated our Founder’s Day, commemorating the day that Anna and Sunil came on the 1st July 1999. Twenty years of shuktara is definitely something to celebrate. A dedicated team spent several days decorating the roof with draped vintage saris and jasmine garlands. There was a swing version of the Jasmine Throne, which is starting to be a serious shuktara tradition.

All afternoon and into the early evening a Hindustani music group played. A phuchka wallah was at the entrance of Anna Bari offering everyone what is surely the favorite Bengali snack. For those of you unfamiliar with phuchka they consist of a round light crunchy exterior filled with boiled potato mash, onion, green chillies, boiled Bengal gram or white peas, chaat masala, cumin powder, rock salt, chili powder, a squeeze of lime, fresh coriander, and tamarind puree.

Between the phuchka and the beautiful music most people sat downstairs and it was really lovely. The music was divine and had the most wonderful calming effect on everyone.

So many people congratulated us on 20 years and we thank you for your words of support and encouragement. We’re all looking forward to the next 20 years of shuktara!

Click here for more videos of our shuktara Founder’s Day…

Sunil’s fantastic dolls

Over two years ago we wrote about Sunil and his handcrafted dolls. Since that time, when the mood strikes him, he continues to create his dolls from bits and pieces of scrap fabric he finds around the house.

Sunil has always been a proponent of outsider art made from recycled materials. In his art he’s always been ahead of the curve.

Lately we’ve noticed a new trend in his creations – they’re getting larger. Take a look and see if you don’t agree that not only are they increasing in size but his craftsmanship has reached a new level of expertise.

Click here to read more about Sunil.