Pics: Kolkata BHPians have a mega meet & a family picnic

The venue chosen for the picnic this year was a bit different from a typical picnic spot or even one of the many resorts in and around Calcutta

BHPian NormadicLife recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

So the first Team BHP mega meet of 2024 finally happened!

So at about 8:25 am on a balmy March Sunday morning, my better half and I landed up at our designated meeting point just after Sreerampore toll plaza to find BHPian ask99 along with his wife and BHPian OpenRoads already waiting there.

After a quick round of introductions and some chitchat while we waited for the local tea-shop to open, we were shortly joined by other BHPians and had a mini meet over chai before proceeding to our final destination - the venue for our picnic.

The venue chosen for the picnic this year was a bit different from a typical picnic spot or even one of the many resorts in and around Calcutta, in that it truly lived up to its name, "The Farmhouse". As can be seen in the photos in NomadicLife's post, a lot of the open space was taken up by farms of all kinds of vegetables including tomato, cabbage and even broccoli!

Adjacent to the rear gate near which we had parked our cars there was a field that could be used for activities and on the other side of the farms there was a mango orchard and various common areas for eating and chatting within the orchard, with cottages that resembled huts just after. The rooms in each cottage were furnished with beds, a seating area and clean toilets. One even had a kitchenette. Also, as the place for parking was a field in between the highway and the rear gate of the venue, and it was below the level of the highway, one had to negotiate a makeshift path made on a gravel incline with undulations and lots of loose soil, so in that sense we also got to do a teeny weeny bit of off-roading while parking.

There were walkways all around the farm along with a beautifully manicured garden showcasing some of the best blooms of the outgoing winter. A wooden sculpture of Goddess Durga carved from a single block of wood welcomed us, not to mention the resident feline of the farmhouse, who took a fancy to everyone, especially the kids, and made it a point to be petted by everyone.

The Farmhouse is a hidden gem as of today as it is not listed anywhere and they depend on word of mouth for bookings. It is a perfect venue for a day out for a group of 50 people or so. The place is owned by a couple who have a polymer business and do this more as a hobby. They use vegetables from the same farm for preparing the meals, so in that sense this is also a farm-to-table place. We would have never found about this unique place had it not been for DBHPian ABHI_1512. He not only recommended the place but also arranged everything for us, including coordinating with the venue on the food, the parking, the charges, et al. In fact, without his amazing organizational skills, the picnic would have been a non-starter.

To get back to our day, the weather gods cooperated with us and though it was warm, it was not unbearably so and the cool shade of the mango orchard also did its bit to keep the temperature pleasant. We started our day with a sumptuos breakfast of "koraishutir kochuri" (peas kachori) which is a particular Bengali favourite of most BHPians and their families, coupled with divine tasting Kashmiri aloo dum.

We enjoyed exploring the huge grounds and the owners were happy to show us around and also explain to us all about the different vegetables they were growing. The property even has a pond with fish in it.

With some BHPians and their families being first time attendees, it was a great meet and greet event too, as we got to both renew old bonds and also create new ones.

The entire day was marked by fun and camaraderie and there was never a dull moment! The best part was when someone put a shuttlecock up in the mango tree at least 20 feet above the ground and ABHI_1512 displayed Arjuna like aiming skills to bring it down using a badminton racket. (I believe BHPian mi2n made a video and I hope he will post it). We also played cricket using a broken section of bamboo as a bat. "Jugaar" (improvisation) at its best!

It would be remiss of me to not mention the food, at this point. As anyone who has ever attended a TeamBHP meet in and around Calcutta or even elsewhere will know, we BHPians really take our food seriously. In fact the quality of a meet is mostly defined by the quality of the food served, such is the importance of good food in our lives. We were happy to find kindred spirits in the form of the owners of the property, who pulled out all stops when it came to serving delicious and mouth watering food.

Breakfast done, mid morning snacks was again a sumptuous affair with fish fingers (proper bhetki) and chicken pakoras (with very little coating) and fried pumpkin flowers with the highlight of the show - the star fruit chat.

More than the fact that the food selection was excellent, was the fact that every item was delicious and the staff provided service that matched or even bettered that provided in some of the best hotels.

On the whole it was a day well spent and one of the best picnics I've attended anywhere. Unfortunately I did not take or get the chance to take photos of many of the key moments, so I would request everyone else to add their thoughts and photos to this thread.

Signing off with a photo that captures our feelings towards the man who worked indefatigably to make this meet happen - the one and only ABHI_1512!

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