Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Selling Nostalgia: Mud cafe and Bengal's Ghosts

What is the most conspicuous sound of Bengali nostalgia? Surely, the sound of Tagore's song would be among the tops. Whose voice? In the Manish lifeworld it's undoubtedly Debabrata Biswas's firm voice. Yes we do have the package ready. It's the world of startups and Kolkata has it's unique form of culturally packed startup known as Mud Clay Coffee and More. You go there to find a heterotopic ambiance of a sepia frame, traditional mats, cane chairs, good food and of course an endless loop of Debabrata Biswas's songs.

The place is out of the world package giving you an interesting sandwich of past and present, tradition and infusion. You can see books by Ranjan Bandyopadhyay - otherwise cosidered trash by many. It is there as it markets supposedly scandalous past of Tagore and his family. Perhaps also questions the saintisation tendency of Bengalees which Tagore himself was opposing throughout his life (as Chatterjee mentioned in , “On Civil and Political Society in Postcolonial Democracies,” in Civil Society: History and Possibilities, ed. Sudipta Kaviraj and Sunil Khilnani, 165-178. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).

It's an inconclusive fleeting late capital consumerist end of another busy day. Perhaps an excellent end with your lovely friend with a cup of Darjeeling tea.
Ranjan Bandyopadhyay, the word Mud, sepia and of course Debabrata Biswas's songs...
Who cares for a conclusion.

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