Source: Blogchatter Book Review Program
Rating: 4/5 stars
Hawkers of Kolkata is an effort to treasure fond memories of experiences with people who we interact with on a daily basis. Before they are forgotten, before they become a rarer sight, I wanted to re-live those days. Covering many markets across Kolkata, the book will take you back to the pleasant days of childhood. A must read for all the 90s kids.
Kolkata holds a special place in my heart. It is a city that welcomed my paternal grandparents’ displaced family with open arms after the partition. A city that is one of my hometowns. A city that has still retained the culture in the midst of the globalization. I love reading books about Kolkata and I was looking forward to read Isha Doshi’s Hawkers of Kolkata.
Right from the word go, the captivating book cover caught my attention. The image used and the content on the cover piques just the right amount of interest. It is well designed and is a perfect “starter” to what the book entails.
The amount of research that has gone into the book is evident. You can actually visualize the author, notebook in hand and with her friend in tow, toiling hard to bring us a piece of the city she calls home.
A city is its people and Kolkata would not be the same without the hawkers. As you explore the city with the author, you get to meet the individual and read their stories. You are taken by their spirit and the immense pride they take in their work. The book is peppered with pics that add to the charm. The author succeeds in her attempt to bring a human face to it all.
The book makes you introspect too. From time to time, the author questions our changing thought process, our hypocrisies, and our utter lack of apathy towards the dying practices. Baskin Robbins may have 31 flavors but does it really compare with the orange lolly or the kulfis from our childhood?
I enjoyed reading the book and would definitely recommend it. In the author’s own words, it brings a piece of Kolkata alive. The next time you step out for a papri chaat or a knick-knack, try seeing the hawker you interact with and not just look at them. The book definitely made me do that.
This review has been written as part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program.