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29th November, 2016


Amsterdam Girl summons up childhood memories of visiting exciting new places with Bengali friends, relatives or family friends, only to find ourselves going around in frustrating circles in search of the good old familiar Bengali meal or at least fish in some form, kitted out in the unmistakeable Monkey Cap which makes a Bengali tourist stand out in any crowd. 

And so, since CB had a conference in Amsterdam, I tagged along with my brand new Amazon-ordered monkey cap, shawl, and a bottle of freshly acquired Nupro Shorsher Tel, to try and imagine what Bengali Aunty might have experienced on her first ever trip there. I experimented with dousing a plate of traditional raw Dutch herring in pickled onions, with a good measure of raw mustard oil, before eating it Dutch style, by lowering it into my mouth by its tail - and it wasn't bad at all! 

I also expanded upon the uses I could put that bottle of mustard oil to, by using it as a moisturiser, remembering summer holidays spent in Kolkata when all of us kids would be marinated in mustard oil from head to toe by our moms, before heading to a shower. 

Shooting in this particular get up came with its own set of unexpected hitches, which made the whole experience all the more fun and memorable! I got gawked at, laughed at, avoided, evaded, and once, even stopped from entering without a passport! Had it not been around Halloween, I suspect I might have had a tougher time :) 


Song written, composed, produced, performed by Sawan Dutta

Video : Concept, camera, editing, post, VFX by CB Arun Kumar and Sawan Dutta


Walking in Amsterdam looking for fish
So many canals, but where is Ilish? 
I'm in a country I don't know so well
But I have brought with me my own shorsher tel
Everything is expensive, cost is too much
But I'm in Netherlands, I will go dutch! 

Amsterdam girl, Amsterdam girl, I want to be Amsterdam girl
I stand at the window, I pose and I twirl, 
And I feel like Amsterdam girl

I go for the boating, I go for the jog
I weep for Anne Frank, I lech at Van Gogh
I love the hotels, but I don't like the cooking
So I add mustard oil, when noone is looking
Windmill is turning against the blue sky
My skin and my hair have both become dry
But I have protection from weather extreme
My shorsher tel is purer than cream

Amsterdam girl, Amsterdam girl, I want to be Amsterdam girl
The magic of fall, I watch it unfurl, 
And I feel like Amsterdam girl

In Amsterdam I can do whatever I want
There is no restriction
But drinking is a bad habit, and drug is a danger
Shorsher tel is my addiction

Amsterdam girl, Amsterdam girl, I want to be Amsterdam girl
The lights all around me are shining like pearl, 
And I feel like Amsterdam girl 



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