The Hunt for the Briar Pipe in Kolkata

I made a trip to Calcutta from 24th-26th Jan mainly for my visa application and also to attend the wedding of a friend.

I used to live in Calcutta during my first job (1999-2000) and it was a mized bag going to Calcutta again.

Try as I might I can never make sense of Calcutta nor make up my mind about the city.

On one hand you see filth and squalor. The grime sticks to you every hour you spend outdoors and the streets are overcrowded.

On the other, the city has a charm of its own. Just walking up and down the pavement from Rabindra Sadan to Esplanade and back you meet such a different cross section of people that it blows your mind. I love just walking around, haggling with the street vendors and buying stuff I am probably never going to use 😀

This time I had some time to kill before I collected my passport from the consulate and decided I shall hunt for a Briar Pipe and spent much time walking around, asking about where I can find it.

After a couple of hours of walking around, during which I found out assorted pirated pornography CD vendors, miniature handcrafted bongs (pun not intended) and pipes and about ten different varieties of BB guns/pistols, I finally followed a solid lead from the Bong (pun again not intended) Vendor into New Market located near Esplanade (or ‘Splanede as a Kolkata resident refered it to).

After some walking around and evading umpteen saree, salwar and gift shops selling porcelain curios, I finally managed to find an old fashioned Tobacconist shop called “TC Dutt – premier tobacconist and toys”.

They had a display of a large collection of pipes and cigarette holders from all over the world. I bought a Briar Pipe made of Burma Teak and some other gift items for my co-workers at dimdim ( I am leaving India soon and this seemed like the perfect place to pick up some going away gifts).

As is my habit I struck up a conversation with Mr. Dutt Jr. the grandson of the shop’s founder. We talked about pipes, tobacco blends and the death of the pipe smoker as most people switched either to cigarettes or gave up smoking.

In a blatant move to wring out some nostalgia discount, I told him a made up story about how the pipe was to be a gift for my grandfather who was a captain in the british army (this part is true. but my grandfather was a non-smoker and died three years ago).

Anyways we chatted about stuff and he ended up giving me a 30% discount on two briar pipes and two pouches of tobacco.

All in all that was the highlight of my stay at calcutta this time. I do feel a tad guilty about ripping Mr. Dutt with the cock and bull story about my grandpa, but I think it was worth it.

First Cheque

I received my first cheque as a writer 🙂 I mean I have been “paid” before but that usually was via paypal, but yesterday i received my first cheque from DNA-Me for my story ” PLACE OF MANY DOORS “.

What can I say! It is a great feeling. Whatever people might say abotu e-Money etc., there is no rush greater than holding a physical, tangible thing in your hand.

But the flip side is that I got to go to the bank and deposit it 🙂


KIOSKO #1 ALBATROSS is out 😀 You can view/buy it at

Julio Molina-Muscara writes:

Hello all! I wanted to let you know the good news that Albatross #1 is finally out!

Let me thank you all again for participating with your VERY good creations.

Albatross, the premiere 100-page eAnthology by Kiosko Web eComics, is available for purchase from for only $2.49 using a Paypal account, a bank account or a debit/credit card.

To give our stories the chance to be known by the world, I placed ads in several websites and will continue promoting it. I invite you to help spread the word about Albatross.

Tell your friends, family and work colleagues about it. Mention it in the forums you visit and your own websites. Use common sense to help promote this comic and of course, NO spam techniques.

Check out these ads you can add to your website You may want to create similar ads yourself. It’s up to you.

Let’s hope that Albatross #1 sells very well. If so, there will be more issues.

I take this chance to repeat my good holiday wishes for all. Thanks, and talk to you later,



I have finished the final draft of issue #001 of INDIA AUTHENTIC for Virgin Comics and it has been approved. Will post the expected release date when I get to know of it.

I am hard at work on the issue #002 (3rd draft) and #004 (plot),

In other news I am also going to be doing a 56 page one shot graphic novel for Virgin Comics.

Watch this space for details 🙂

ICARUS online on HeavyGlow (

My two page short ICARUS is online on HeavyGlow. Click here to view it.

ICARUS is based on an Australian folk song called “The Exile’s Lament”.

This is the penultimate issue of HeavyGlow and it really hurts to think that HG is going on hiatus. Laurie and Stacy, the editors of HG were the first ones to accept a story of mine and I am thankful to them for that.

Here is wishing a quick return to HG.

EDIT : Fixed the links

Welcome to 3.0 powered by Simple PHP Blog

I finally managed to give the website a full overhaul using the most excellent Simple PHP Blog and some TLC with the colors/themes.

I must say I was very impressed by the ease of install and rich feature set of the software. I managed to get my site up and running and looking like it does now within half an hour (most of the time spent in uploading files)

This is the third incarnation of the site and hopefully this site shall be the dynamic site I always wished for. 🙂

Now begins the arduous task of collating and getting over the information I have scattered over the web into my current site.

I have till now managed to migrate my writing portfolio and related links to this site. Shall probably do my old blogspot blog tomorrow night.

I have decided to use my old blog at as a Blook (Blog + Blook) to post stories and poems from now onwards.