My grandpa says, North Calcutta has its own essence, smell, glamour, charm, that adds up to a cosy feeling. Trust me, being a typical modern Bengali girl raised in Jadavpur, I didn’t believe it. To me, it was always like more of a nostalgic feeling usually portrayed in the old Bengali movies.
Most of the times, I see dadu (grandpa) spending lone time glancing through the old photographs. He’s always enthusiastic to speak of his college days, dalan addas, chayer dokane bheer, mess-bari fun etc. Sometimes I wonder what is so attractive about those days that he keeps on discussing them every time.
Dadu’s 85th birthday was just a week later and I got busy planning a surprise. Suddenly, an idea flashed my mind. I wanted to make him relive the moments that he has immortalized in his memoryscape. To get ideas, I decided to binge watch some old cinematic classics.
Till date, when we try to find a Bengali movie online, especially the old ones, even torrents fail. Hence, one of my friends suggested Hoichoi TV. Oh! I forgot to mention, like most of the population, I’m a Netflix devotee. As soon as I subscribed Hoichoi, I was like – wow! What an extensive collection of movies, songs, series’, shorts, etc. It helped me execute the golden plan for my golden-ager.
I started with Sare Chuattor and ended up watching Basanta Bilap, Chaarmurti, Indrani, Saptapadi, etc., one after the other. It was worth-watching a generation so vibrant and vivacious. Next day, my main job began. I invited all the close friends of dadu, finalised the venue – an old house with dalan or a rock in North Calcutta, arranged for telebhaja, muri, cha, old magazines, pictures, and was eagerly waiting for his birthday.
Finally, the day arrived and as usual, Dadu wasn’t ready to travel. On much request, he agreed but wasn’t interested at all in learning where we were going. Gradually when we crossed Central Calcutta and took a turn towards college street, his eyes brightened. We halted near an old house and he shouted, ‘areh eto Shotyokinkarer dera’. He rushed inside like a 5-year kid to find all his favourites clapping to greet him. Baffled with emotion, dadu started dancing some typical move and everybody joined. I’ve never seen the golden-agers being so cool.
Old memories mixed with emotions, tears, fun was just like #majormissing. No phones required, no guitars to add charm, no play-station games, no alcohol to seep in the mood. All that enlivened the adda was the awe-inspiring bond and love for each other that all of them had within. The open-throat singing, the loud laughs, the romantic stories made me connect to the scenes of the movies that I had watched a week before in Hoichoi.
Everything seemed so real, so fresh, so charming, so cosy. I’m thankful to my dadu to help me be an awesome witness to the bygone era. Did you ever get a glimpse of the past? We’re eager to listen to your story…
Feature Image Courtesy: Outlook India
Follow us on Facebook for more exciting updates!