The Park’s unveiling of “Heritage Merchants of Calcutta: 1785 to 1950”

In the event that you have a propensity for history, the 35 short parts wrote by Ashish Sanyal in his assortment, Legacy Retailers of Calcutta, will provoke your curiosity. The book was sent off by G.M. Kapur, state convenor of the West Bengal section of INTACH, the non-benefit beneficent association which supported this book.

“The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has supported this initiative because documentation of heritage is one of our major objectives and Mr Sanyal has done a very painstaking job of documenting something which we see every day but don’t give much cognizance. A lot of such stores have vanished but these have now been documented for posterity,”said Kapur.

Sanyal was six when he visited Calcutta without precedent for 1963. Despite the fact that he spent a couple of days in the city, he was in spectacular display through everything. The experience of setting up at The Astor, driving from Howrah Station and down Red Street, strolling down Park Road and Chowringhee, singed itself in his cherished, lifelong recollections.

“There were Christmas decorations on Park Street, and I remember the sleigh with the reindeer in front of Bombay Photo Stores. India Hobby Centre was amazing for a child and I’ll never forget the sight of the mounted police on Red Road. This book has been in the making since January 3, 1963,” said Sanyal, at the book send off.

Yet, it was exclusively in 2016 that he sent off the task and began exploring the old shops of Kolkata. “It was just after demonetisation had happened and no one really wanted to talk. But I kept going back and they eventually opened up. I spent two winters meeting the proprietors of various shops,” made sense of Sanyal.

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