In the humdrum of Calcutta converting to Kolkata we forgot the non-Bengali ‘Kalkatta’, till Supriya Newar reminded us in her recently launched book Kalkatta Chronicles.

A slim paper back of 10 vignettes from the authors personal memories from her childhood in the city Kalkatta Chronicles explores the idiosyncrasies of this metropolis, like ‘load-shedding’, ‘the black dial phone’ ‘trunk calls’ and ‘out of order lifts’ from the perspective of a ‘non Bengali’ as a local Bengali would describe the gamut of populace from Rajasthan, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and other western Indian Sates, streaming into the city over the centuries and who refer to this city as Kalkatta; emphasizing their Hindi undertone.

As one of the Chairs at the discussion that followed the launch, Maestro Bickram Ghosh pointed out the book ‘brings forth the Non Bengali-Bangali connection’ of the city. The book though is partial to the Marwari trading community from Rajasthan whose unfaltering influence on the city is today very much part of the larger Kolkata culture.

Four generations of Newars in the city from Rajasthan give Supriya a rare insight that is evident in the candid tongue-in-cheek style that runs throughout the book and makes it an easy languid read intercepted by delightful sketches by Sayan Chakraborty. For those of us who have lived through that era, the connection is immediate; for those who came later it opens out a myriad of images of a quaint life-style written with affectionate nostalgia.

Published by Redomania, the book was launched by Devi Kar, Director Modern High School, Supriya’s alumnus and Maestro Bickram Ghosh at Starmark, South City earlier this week. A delightful evening exploring the Non Bengali-Bengali connection over Kalkatta’s quintessential jhalmuri and lebo cha (lemon tea). Kalkatta Chronicle is available at all leading stores across the country and online too.