As Devi Paksha Kicks In, Kolkata Toast To Calcutta’s Old World Charm | Calcutta News

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Calcutta: Hours before Mahalaya, the city radio man – Amit Ranjan Karmakar – was praised for his unique contribution to Calcutta’s cultural landscape. Karmakar has been repairing radios of all brands, including Bush, Murphy, Philips and Telefunken, since 1976 at its unnamed store Kumartuli.
Purono Kolkatar Golpo (PKG) – a Facebook group with 1,80,000 members chronicling old Kolkata – congratulated him on Tuesday with a wristwatch, souvenir, certificate of honor and 5,000 rupees. On Mahalaya, the group will also honor Lucky Cafeteria’s contributions to the Maniktala Hawkers’ Market, New Bangolokkhi Pice Hotel of Koley Market and Café-de-luxe at Hazra.
PKG administrator Jayanta Sen said the congratulation was specially scheduled a day before Mahalaya. “On Wednesday, he will open his store at four in the morning and set up his old Sansui radio so that everyone in the community can listen to Mahishashura Mardini. Aside from a hiatus last year, Karmakar has followed this tradition since he joined this store in 1976. His father started this store in 1967, ”Sen said.
The possession of Karmakar pride is a set dating back to 1944. “The owner gladly got rid of it in my store,” he said. Every day, the 63-year-old opens his shop, which has some 150 stations, at seven o’clock and listens to the radio news before going for a swim. “I’ve been listening to the news on the radio since 1964,” he said, before repeating the names of news readers including Nilima Sanyal, Prashanta Mukhopadhyay and Debdulal Bandopadhyay, sports commentators from Pushpen Sarkar and Kamal Bhattacharya and programs like Binaca Geetmala and Joymala. “The days before the Mahalayas were very busy earlier as everyone wanted their sets fixed to listen to Bani Kumar, Pankaj Mullick and Birendrakrishna Bhadra. In 1981, I won the highest – Rs 7330 – during the Mahalaya. From 2004 to 2011, the number of customers decreased. Once photography was authorized in Kumartuli from 2012, the young people recovered their old sets for repair. The pandal jumpers are also falling now and giving me work. This year the work has increased, ”he said.
According to another PKG administrator, Swarnali Chattopadhya, “Karmakar has a treasure trove of spare parts. Members of our group based on board also contacted him for spare parts. However, his next generation is unwilling to follow in his footsteps. However, his next generation is unwilling to follow in his footsteps. All these four small establishments that we have chosen are important landmarks in the cultural identity of Kolkata. That is why we congratulate them.
In 1941, Bhabgrahi Bahru had migrated from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata to create the New Bangolokkhi Pice Hotel. Many revolutionaries used the premises for hiding. The Covid has significantly impacted the business. Lunch is served to only 20 people. “We have no staff. My wife, although a heart patient, cooks. We have a house in Patuli. After lunch is over, we use the room for their personal use. The cheapest fish meal is for Rs 50 while the most expensive is priced at Rs 90, ”72-year-old owner Bishwanath Bahru said.
Subhas Saha’s grandfather, Satyaranjan Saha, had migrated from Dhaka to Shantipur before settling in Maniktala. “At the end of the 1950s, he had created Lucky Cafetaria for tea and toast. My mother named this booth Lucky. She had contributed Rs 10 to set it up. That aside, we also serve ghuni, alurdum, and egg curry. Sheep singara, introduced in the mid-1970s, is so popular that it sells out at 6 pm, ”Saha said.
Café-de-luxe was created in 1952 by Sukhamoy Aich next to Basusree. “People would come to Basusree and then drop by our cafe. Ritwik Ghatak had come to our cafe. Chuni Goswami, Ram Bahadur, Chandan Banerjee and Sukamar Samajpati would also pass. Just like Anil Chatterjee, Bhanu Bandopadhyay and Jwahar Roy. We were the first to introduce sheep singara to southern Calcutta, ”said Sukhamoy’s son Samir Kumar Aich. The pandemic and the restrictions have the deal. “Fortunately, our elders always come here,” he added.


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