101 Traces: The last Anglo-Indian Jockeys of Kolkata
101 India

101 Traces: The last Anglo-Indian Jockeys of Kolkata

The Anglo-Indian community has been upholding the legacy of horse racing in Kolkata. But many members of the younger generation have moved on to other careers in other countries, following better prospects. Will the next generation of Anglo-Indians in Kolkata continue the family tradition? Only time will tell.

101 Traces: Bow Barracks is home To Kolkata's dwindling Anglo-Indian community
101 India

101 Traces: Bow Barracks is home To Kolkata's dwindling Anglo-Indian community

Rejected by American soldiers in WW1, it's now home to this dwindling community in the city. The Bow Barracks was a garrison's mess built for the American army soldiers posted in India during World War I. Back then, the US army soldiers thought it beneath them to stay in such housing. The apartments were handed over instead to the thriving Anglo-Indian community, who have held onto them ever since. Located in central Kolkata, just behind the Bowbazaar police station, it is currently home to over 80 Anglo-Indian families, along with several Anglo-Chinese families too. Over the course of the last 50 years, members of the community have been moving out from Kolkata to places like Australia and the United States. Today, Bow Barracks is a community trying to hold on to its identity as the world moves on.

101 Dinner With Dons: Ramesh Singh Sikarwar, don of Chambal, talks about the secret lives of dacoits over a meal
101 India

101 Dinner With Dons: Ramesh Singh Sikarwar, don of Chambal, talks about the secret lives of dacoits over a meal

The Chambal Valley, located in the northern part of Madhya Pradesh, on the border of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh is infamous for gangs of dacoits. In the 70s and 80s, one of the most dreaded of those dacoits was Ramesh Singh Sikarwar. With a band of dacoits, he held sway over the region for years, before surrendering to the authorities. After serving his time, he now lives the life of a farmer, raising a family. A very sick Doctor VC pays Sikarwar a visit in his village, to learn about the secret life of the bandits, while joining them for a meal in their old jungle hideout. Loaded onto a tractor and taken deep into the dense jungle, with no mobile network or way to let people know where he is, Doctor VC learns not just about the eating habits of the daakus, but also comes home with moral lessons from the gang's leader.

101 Traces: Kolkata's fading Chinatown is down to just a few families
101 India

101 Traces: Kolkata's fading Chinatown is down to just a few families

Kolkata's Chinatown was once home to a thriving community of over 20,000 ethnically Chinese Indian nationals. That number is now estimated to be as low as 2,000. Most of the inhabitants' ancestors moved to Kolkata in the early 20th century, setting up shops and businesses for families of Chinese origin. But of late, the younger generation of the community has been looking to move out of Chinatown, looking for better prospects and standards of living in countries like USA, UK, Australia and Canada. Does this spell the end for the once-bustling Chinatown in Kolkata?

101 Traces: Sarah Aunty's Embroidery Shop in Kochi sells specialty Jewish items
101 India

101 Traces: Sarah Aunty's Embroidery Shop in Kochi sells specialty Jewish items

Sarah Aunty is one of the last 'Malabar Jews', as the Jewish people from Kochi are also known. The 95-year-old's world famous store, Sarah Cohen's Hand Embroidery, sells Jewish specialty items in 'Jew Town', Mattancherry in Kerala. Her Muslim caretaker, Thaha Ibrahim, shares a touching relationship with her. He fondly remembers the glory days of Jew Town, when both sides of the street were home to members of the Jewish community.

101 Dinner with Dons: A meal with Dindigul's MK Tevar is like an episode of Breaking Bad, the Biryani edition
101 India

101 Dinner with Dons: A meal with Dindigul's MK Tevar is like an episode of Breaking Bad, the Biryani edition

Some say Dindigul is the murder capital of Tamil Nadu. It's no wonder it's home to people like MK Tevar — a local don who has played many roles in his life. From selling lottery tickets, to working at hotels, and even working as an electrician, Mr. Tevar talks about how going to jail actually exposed him to more criminals and 'rowdies'. This is what made him join a life of crime. But like most people in his line of work, what the don really has a passion for, is food.

101 Traces: The owner of the Great Golden Circus talks about its glory days and the bleak future of the circus
101 India

101 Traces: The owner of the Great Golden Circus talks about its glory days and the bleak future of the circus

Anwar Khan of the Great Golden Circus talks about its glory days, and the bleak future of the circus. His circus has a massive set up, spanning multiple tents and acts. While it used to boast of crowds of almost 2000 people per show, and four shows per day, it's facing a bleak future now. With his better shows seeing an audience of only around 100 people, Anwar fears that the days of the circus are numbered.

101 Traces: The last of Kolkata's singing Fakirs
101 India

101 Traces: The last of Kolkata's singing Fakirs

The era of the singing fakir announcing the 'sehri' during Ramzan may be over. Where a decade ago, there were over 100 fakirs in Kolkata, today, Mohammed Sabbir is just one of the handful left. Waking at 1 AM every day during Ramzan, he wanders the streets, singing to wake people up for the sehri or morning prayer. These days, mosques also announce the morning prayer, rendering the fakir's job defunct. For generations, Mohammed Sabbir's family has performed this duty, not for money, but as a good deed.

101 Traces: Monica Liu, the restaurant-owning 'Don' of Chinatown
101 India

101 Traces: Monica Liu, the restaurant-owning 'Don' of Chinatown

When most people look at Monica Liu, they see a smiling restaurant owner in Tangra, Kolkata. But this unassuming grandmother of nine is also known as the Don of Chinatown. Thanks to her, Calcuttans know what Chinese food made by Chinese people tastes like. But Kolkata's woman of steel comes from humble beginnings. During the Indo-China war in 1962, when Monica was just a child, her entire family was arrested and taken to Deoli Camp, Rajasthan. Finally, it was when Monica and another young boy in the camp wrote a letter to the Home Minister, that their release orders were processed. Starting a new life, Monica's mother would make momos to sell to make ends meet. It was from helping her mother every evening that Monica's journey began. Finally, in 1991, she opened Kim Ling, the family's first restaurant. When goons tried to intimidate the family into giving them free food, Monica responded in kind, eventually earning her the title 'Don of Tangra'.

101 Dinner with Dons: An Iftar-style food walk with Salim Chopper, Don of Mumbai's Dongri
101 India

101 Dinner with Dons: An Iftar-style food walk with Salim Chopper, Don of Mumbai's Dongri

Inspired by Bollywood superstar Sanjay Dutt, Salim 'Chopper' became Salim Bhai, when the violence and strife he grew up in left him no choice but to become a don. Taking us to his favourite restaurants, Salim Bhai shows us local foods that tickle his taste buds on 101 Dinner With The Dons, India's edgiest food show.

101 Oddly: These skincare products are made out of cow urine and dung
101 India

101 Oddly: These skincare products are made out of cow urine and dung

101 India introduces us to Umesh Soni, the founder of the brand Cowpathy. Cowpathy manufactures skincare products from cowdung and cow urine.

101 Dinner With The Cops: Encounter Specialist Ashok Bhadoriya strikes fear in the hearts of Chambal's daakus
101 India

101 Dinner With The Cops: Encounter Specialist Ashok Bhadoriya strikes fear in the hearts of Chambal's daakus

Ashok Bhadoriya is the encounter specialist that strikes fear in the hearts of Chambal's daakus. With 116 encounters in his name, Bhadoriya is largely responsible for clearing the valley of its dacoit population. 101 India ventures into the deep, daaku territory to learn how an encounter specialist sees the world of his targets.

101 Heartland: The Muslim gatekeepers of Kolkata's Jewish synagogues who have been doing this work for generations
101 India

101 Heartland: The Muslim gatekeepers of Kolkata's Jewish synagogues who have been doing this work for generations

Muslim caretakers have maintained the three main Jewish synagogues of Kolkata for generations, displaying a shining testament to communal harmony in times of discord.

101 Food: Travel to the bylanes of Calicut for the best beef, tapioca, fish, and of course, kaapi
101 India

101 Food: Travel to the bylanes of Calicut for the best beef, tapioca, fish, and of course, kaapi

A trip to Kerala is a foodie's delight! Our host Harman scours the bylanes of Calicut for the best beef, tapioca, fish, and kaapi he can get his hands on.

101 Hip Hop Homeland: Go around Mumbai’s streets at night with graffiti artist Zake
101 India

101 Hip Hop Homeland: Go around Mumbai’s streets at night with graffiti artist Zake

101 Hip-Hop Homeland takes a street level look at a new trend — the culture of Hip-Hop. From Mumbai to Kashmir, Calcutta to Shillong, Hip-Hop Homeland portrays this new movement and understands its power as an important voice for young Indians.

101 Dinner with Dons: Over Hyderabadi Biryani Ijaz Bhai explains the difference between being a Don in Hyderabad and one in Mumbai
101 India

101 Dinner with Dons: Over Hyderabadi Biryani Ijaz Bhai explains the difference between being a Don in Hyderabad and one in Mumbai

Ijaz Bhai has been out of the underworld for over 25 years now. Back in the day, he's seen murders and jail time. But the love of a good woman turned his life around, and brought him back to the right path. Over some quintessential Hyderabadi Biryani, the full time bangle shop owner and part-time couples counsellor takes host Doctor VC over the finer points of difference between being a Don's life in Hyderabad and one in Mumbai.

101 Traces: Rain or shine, Kolkata's Naresh Yadav is out on the street operating his hand-pulled rickshaw, as he has for the past 45 years
101 India

101 Traces: Rain or shine, Kolkata's Naresh Yadav is out on the street operating his hand-pulled rickshaw, as he has for the past 45 years

With the passing of the Calcutta Hackney-Carriage (Amendment) Bill, 2006, hand pulled rickshaws were banned in Kolkata. However, a High court order decreed a stay on the legislation. How much longer can this arrangement last without new licenses being issued for rickshaw pullers?

101 Movietown: The Rajinikanth fan and lookalike who has done everything in his power to emulate the superstar
101 India

101 Movietown: The Rajinikanth fan and lookalike who has done everything in his power to emulate the superstar

There's fans, there's fanatics, and then there's Rajini Somu. Rajinikanth fans are known to be some of the most devoted followers of celebrity in the world. But even among them, one man stands out. Our host Doctor VC travelled to the district of Dindigul to meet Somusundaram — The Man Who Would Be Rajini.

101 Underground: Silicone spray, coloured dye and injections — what farmers are doing to make stale veggies look fresh
101 India

101 Underground: Silicone spray, coloured dye and injections — what farmers are doing to make stale veggies look fresh

Next time you reach for the biggest, shiniest or freshest looking vegetable on the cart, think about what may have been added to it. The shocking revelations of a vegetable farmer just outside New Delhi show us the additives, injections and sprays used to make old vegetables look fresh.

101 Hip Hop Homeland: Dee MC a.k.a Deepa Unnikrishnan lays out what it takes for a female rapper to make it to the top in India
101 India

101 Hip Hop Homeland: Dee MC a.k.a Deepa Unnikrishnan lays out what it takes for a female rapper to make it to the top in India

101 Hip-Hop Homeland takes a street level look at a new trend — the culture of Hip-Hop. From Mumbai to Kashmir, Calcutta to Shillong, Hip-Hop Homeland portrays this new movement and understands its power as an important voice for young Indians.