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jyotirmoy

The Cabins of Kolkata

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jyotirmoy    31
One of the unique features of the mid level eateries of Kolkata was the “Cabins”. Basically these were cubicles along the wall with curtains or swing doors. Some four or five people could sit at a table in these cabins. During the evenings families dined in these and also those would like to have their tipple in privacy would choose these, New Cathay in Esplanade was one such. On the days when the horse races took place you could find great scholars of numerology, astrology, equestrian biology and all such sorts pouring over sacred literature & frantically doing a series of extremely complicated mathematical calculations. In the evening you found the same people most of them drinking to get over some financial misfortune and a very few drinking to celebrate the gains.

During the slack hours of the afternoon courting couples mostly students would enter the scene. The waiter would lead them to a cabin & take the princely order of two cups of tea & a plate of finger chips(French fries were unknown in those days)
After some time of delicious intimacy if by any chance you happened to look at the curtain you found a pair of feet under it. And if you didn’t have the chance & the tea was getting too cold or he was too tired waiting on his feet for you to see it, the waiter would transmit a signal via a very discreet cough. He would deliver the stuff & get away & won’t come back to show his feet for a long time, probably would doze off to a slumber induced by the monotonous sound emitted by the antique ceiling fan.

Basanta Cabin near the Hedua on the Cornwallis street was known for the congenial atmosphere provided by the kind & friendly owner. He had over the years seen some great romances blooming there & attended many a marriages that followed the courtships at his establishment. The cutlets were good and the tea was very good. Edited by jyotirmoy
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vandy    212

Interesting stuff jyoti, Can't wait to get there, just 1 more week.

My Nostalgic moment will be to walk around the Victoria Memorial area and the maidan, where I spent time helping the Goat herders as a kid.


vandy smile.png

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jyotirmoy    31
Dear Vandy,
The maidan is not what it used to be. Do you also remember the chai-wallas that did the rounds with their shining brass vessels? The goat herders sold milk on the sly to these chai-wallas!

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vandy    212

Dear Vandy, The maidan is not what it used to be. Do you also remember the chai-wallas that did the rounds with their shining brass vessels? The goat herders sold milk on the sly to these chai-wallas!



Yes mate, I vaguely remember this, My payment for helping the goat herders was a free drink of Goats milk.

vandy

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nsk    31
Oh yes VM and the Maidan ! College students like me ( Loreto House) took off for a feast of "puchkas" and "Jhal Moori" ----never tasted any like that ever again ----maybe the teenage taste buds contributed also! And the feast was so light on the pockets !

Nighat
(nsk)
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