Saturday, 17 December 2016

College Street Coffee House

Coffee parlours are to be found in many places  in Kolkata, They offer a variety of flavours to match most tastes. But for the "regulars" - and   I mean regulars who would go to the same place day in and day out - it is the College Street Coffee House that stands out leagues ahead. Housed in what was once the Albert Hall (named after the Prince Consort to Queen Victoria) right in the middle of academia with the Sanskrit College on one side and the Presidency College on the other, with the Calcutta University and the Calcutta Medical College a short distance away, it was here that the students of all hues and interests thronged in their spare time away from the classes and library work.
Approached by an ancient winding staircase, the Coffee House became a focal point for informal debate, discussions, assignments for generations of students for the last eighty or ninety years. Completely unprepossessing, the drab and dingy place provided that essential ingredient for a vibrant student life - freedom: freedom to say what you like, as you like, feel what you like - provided you don't really hurt the feelings of some one else.

A bit of the Coffee House remains with one all the time, once one has sat at a table there, whether one is now working in Australia or in Canada, whether one is forty or seventy. For it is part of one's growing up.


  1. Hello Prosenjit Da,
    Your blog is such a refreshing take on all things Bengali. Would you be open to reading a collection of short stories on travel, history and romance?
    I'm a part of a street team promoting this super septuagenarian author Sharat Kumar. He's coming out with a collection of short stories called 'The White Marble Burzi and Other Stories'. I'd love to hear your take on them. One of the stories is based in post-Independence 'Calcutta', and I'm sure you'll like it.
    I can send a teaser of the book so you can see if the book is to your liking. Just email me back at hritvick.dv(at)gmail dot com

    Cheers and keep blogging,

    1. Many thanks. There are things both very Bengali and those that are non-Bengali. Basically they are both quite human. I think we both share an interest in reading.Let us fix up something - please mail at