Kalpana Press

On October 11, 2014 by admin

 

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Avinandan Sthanpati

Chandannagar/Chandernagore is usually slotted as an erstwhile French colony. Though that identity is almost shut out from memory now. It is like any other small town–congested, filthy and sporadically peppered with high-rises. The French butter, if at all relished at a distant past, and its after-taste, seems almost a surreal idea.

The burrabazar area is a goldmine for the promoters. Especially since this area is close to both river Ganges and the Grand Trunk Road. In this burrabazar you will detect a century old letter press. Kalpana Press. The current owner, Swapan Das, inherited the press from his father.  At one  point, the press used to employ compositors and machinemen and binders. The works. The dual blow of advancement in technology and the economic downturn, has forced Swapan-babu to take care of the press. Single-handed.  He is not sure about the future of the press. Perhaps a multi-storied high-rise will replace this quaint place. Who knows whether his legal claims would be honoured if such an eventuality is to befall Kalpana Press !

Here are a few snaps of a toiling, lonesome fighter of a printer, whose future remains stark and uncertain.

 

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[This photo-essay was first published in Agamikaal, No. 3, 2014]

 

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