Creative minds at work beating lockdown blues at Temple City


Bhubaneswar: It started with the watercolour strokes of artist Shyam Kumar on April 16, when the ‘Lockdown Squad’ started its live sessions.

But the efforts of the team reached its pinnacle to engage the followers on the social media when celebrated chef and Master Chef 2020 winner Abinas added his traditional Odia twists to his creations and set the saga rolling into a huge success, last evening.

Lockdown Squad campaign by the Bhubaneswar Development Authority and Bhubaneswar.Me, a Smart City initiative, began as a popular platform where the love for this wonderful heritage city is shared with others through curated pictures and stories. This campaign will continue till May 3.

In its final leg, the campaign has been gaining momentum and bringing in a large amount of viewers through its live sessions on Facebook and Instagram.

Yesterday’s highlight was MasterChef 2020 winner, Abinas Nayak and he came with his modern twists on traditional Odia food, while keeping the nostalgia intact. In the MasterChef 2020 Edition, he proved that Odisha is the India’s best kept secret not only in tourism and cultural field, but equally vibrant with its culinary delights for their distinct aroma and natural flavours.

The much-awaited session started with Abinas talking about how the lockdown can be used by everyone to explore their creative self and new talents. Through the interactive session, he also gave a brief insight into what turned him towards cooking and how it became a way of expression as an art form.

He also answered questions regarding plating techniques, his fitness routine, hobbies and lot more.

Stressing the importance of how plating a dish is similar to storytelling, he also demonstrated a preparation of `paga’- a traditional Odia delicacy of spicy and tangy mix. The `ambula’ tomato `paga’ had a beautiful floral rendition in it in terms of presentation and many more nostalgic elements.

Following the session of the MasterChef winner #TheLockdownSquad geared up for a star studded lineup in the coming few days.

Lockdown Squad

A perfect conclusion to the joyride that this campaign was, the week has literal superstars like Rapper Big Deal, a well-known rapper in the Indian hip-hop scene, introducing us to the world of rap and the art of using rap as a form of expression, Akshita Bhanj Deo, a royal member of the Bhanj dynasty, taking us through a virtual tour of the Belgadia Palace in Baripada and showcasing the legacy of Mayurbhanj that is preserved till date.

This week also has more creative activities lined up including a session on Sustainable Livelihoods through Solar Energy with Palak Aggarwal, a session on digital art and its significance as a form of expressing social causes by Swayam Mohanty, popularly known as Digital Defacer on social media. Another session will be held on animal welfare with Kusal Biswas. An animal lover ever since childhood, Kusal has been working tirelessly in the field of animal welfare, care and rescue.

Following its launch April 16, the campaign has witnessed a phenomenal journey for the artists as well as the community. After a colourful start with the brush work of painter Shyam Kumar, diving into the depth of the world of watercolours, popular home cook Avinash Patnaik created a colourful twist on tea.

The first week had a variety of sessions on a broad range of topics ranging from sustainability to fitness to music with standup comedian and singer Samar Pratap Nayak serenading the viewers with on-demand songs and finally culminating into producing “badi’’ (an Odia delicacy with black gram paste) at home with professional chef Rachit Keertiman.

The second leg of the campaign also saw many well-known Odia icons through the week conversing about topics ranging from Odia heritage and the craftspeople of Odisha to a brief journey into the history of pandemics to cooking with kids and even had Padma Shri Ileana Citaristi doing a session on the intricacies of Odissi.

This thoughtfully planned campaign by Bhubaneswar.Me and BDA is far from over and this week’s star studded schedule is a tell tale of that. So, don’t miss out on the opportunity to create from Home with #TheLockdownSquad LIVE Sessions on its social media pages.