New Market in a starring role

Tags: Films

Jayant Kripalani and Padatik Theatre come together to stage a play on Kolkata’s most famous market

New Market in a starring role
Legend has it that from a pin to an elephant, you get just about everything in Kolkata’s New Market. Now, an elephant’s a bit much but guess you get the drift. You name it, New Market has it. That’s the firm belief most Kolkattans have grown up with. And that’s the way it has been for much of the market’s existence.

Ever since it came into being back in 1874, there have been umpteen stories and anecdotes around its shops, its shopkeepers and its shoppers. Stage and film actor-director Jayant Kripalani, whose father owned a dyeing and laundry shop on Lindsay Street, connecting Chowringhee Road with New Market, has penned some of these characters and their stories in his first book — New Market Tales. And now, the stories will be staged in the New Market area itself — at a park just outside the market premises.

So, expect some fascinating acts surrounding the cakes from Nahoums, trinkets from Chamba Lama, yeast from Baber Ali and rolls from Nizam’s through these plays. Kripalani who himself has taken up the task of converting his short stories into a play, is excited about this experiment.

Camping in Kolkata to work on the project in association with Padatik Theatre, Kripalani recalls that as a child he used to spend long hours at his father’s shop and came across many of the characters he has written about. These are very close to his heart and it’s a great feeling to translate them into theatrical characters.

The New Market in its present avatar may not be the same as it used to be but New Market Tales, which will be staged on January 24 during the Kolkata Literary Meet, certainly promises to bring back memories of the good old days.

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