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Sweet Shop - Owners of Calcutta and Other Ideas: Taste the universe

Posted October 13th, 2023, 11:27 AM IST

Sweet Shop - Owners of Calcutta and Other Ideas: Taste the universe

Amit Chaudhuri’s Sweet Shop – Owners of Calcutta and Other Ideas tickles the taste buds with the names of Bengali treats – the sandesh, the cham cham, the petha, the chhana. He discovers Kolkata’s sweet tooth in his new collection of poems. The new collection of his poems takes the themes from the sweets consumed and food remembered and matches these with meditations on culture, people and time that slowly unfold and evolve as much in the mouth as in the mind. Sweet Shop is all about the taste of living.

This collection has the description of ‘hiatus’ about Chaudhuri’s parents’ move to Bandra and his beginnings as a poet. Filled with warmth and intimacy, the lines, "Every shape as well as minute flourishes created in the prehistory of each sandesh by precise pinches," collected in the book explores the playfulness and nostalgia of sweets from Chaudhuri’s heydays in the by-lanes of Calcutta (now Kolkata).

The book is the second take of the award winning author and musician on the age-old, iconic confectionery stores in the City Of Joy. Through his collection, Amit, who happens to be quite sentimental about Calcutta and the edibles, attempts to put the ignored things on display to conjure a larger existence, especially ‘unnoticed’ things such as the old portraits, stale oil, the frames put in the sweet shops of Kolkata described as "in the harmony shielded by the glass is an unnoticed balance of gravity and play."

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