The late 80s and early 90s were the age of Jibonmukhi Gaan (roughly translated as songs from our lives) in Kolkata. Kabir Suman was definitely the pioneer but nobody took it to the masses as Nachiketa did. My parents remember visiting Kolkata boimela (book fair) and seeing Nachiketa sprawled with his guitar with his fans thronging him. And suddenly an entire generation grew up to “Laal phite sada moja school uniform… ” to nurse their pangs of teenage love. If you pass by Jadavpur University you will find a stall called “Cha o Nachiketa” just beside the 8B bus stop. Intriguing? Isn’t it? We thought so too. So, here’s what we found out….
Gourab babu was just an ordinary tea stall owner in Jadavpur. He had a passion for music. His favorite singer was the iconic Nachiketa and he used to play the songs of his hero in his shop. He was managing to carve out a living rather happily till the civic construction work forced him to evacuate.
When things were looking all doom and gloom, Nachiketa intervened like a true super hero. With his help, the stall relocated successfully in its current avatar in the name of Cha o Nachiketa.
The man himself magnanimously inaugurated the humble stall in a formal ceremony.
Ever since this stall has been running successfully for the last 4 years under the patronisation of Nachiketa who still visits regularly( he was here just 3 days prior to our visit). The stall is decorated by posters of the man himself and even today they play Nachiketa songs all day giving even the humble cha er dokan a sort of ambiance that the college crowd amongst others has definitely taken to.
Moreover the shop sells a chunk of the tickets for all of Nachiketa’s shows. The shopkeeper (who in fact refers to Nachiketa as Dada) boasts that they even have access to Nachiketa songs that are yet to be released. So this unoestentatious little place might be where you get to hear the next big hit for the first time. Who knows?
Disclaimer: We did not get to meet Gourab Babu himself. The information shared is as obtained from Gourab Babu’s brother.