Big date night, concert and dinner, but first, a haircut on Lake View Rd. $1.
Next, a rattling good ride on the impressive Kolkata Metro from Kalighat to Park St, 2 return tickets, 40 cents.
Down Chowringhee past the stalls and colour and excitement, the throbbing and hustling, to the beautiful courtyard of the Indian Museum where legendary popular singer Usha Uthup regaled us as part of the Kolkata Festival. Free.
Usha was a sweetheart, a septo-octogenarian who has been belting out the hits all over India since the 60s when she wowed them at the Trinca in Park Streets then legendary (but alas now defunct) nightclub strip.
Usha is big in Nairobi where she knocked them sideways at the International Casino with her backing band, the Fellini Five.
An intimate of all the big names. Here she is with Indira, Amitab Bachchan and Mother Theresa.
The Japanese consul was at the concert shaking his booty and enjoying himself immensely, as did the crowd of mainly elderly folks. Her versions of Heartbreak Hotel and Can’t Buy Me Love have to be heard to be believed, We love her.
Here are some of Usha’s fabulous hits.
She also did a fabulous Hindi version of “ Don’t stop till you get enough” and sang and recorded in something like 18 languages. A remarkable woman.
Tomorrow evening we are heading back for the last night of the Festival to hear a young Russian woman play the piano. Stay tuned comrades.
So with stars in our eyes and a song in our hearts we metro’d back to Kalighat, strolled through the market there and dined at the wonderful Udupi Home, following in the sandal steps of none other than Sri Abdul Karam.
The dosa was sensational, the Uttupam divine. Lime soda and orange juice. $6.43.
And so to bed but not until Incredible Cal gave us one more present. Some amazing lights set up on the road for the Saraswati Festival. Oh Calcutta, you’ve done it again.