ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Memories of Calcutta Nights

This is with regard to Aishika Chakraborty’s paper as part of the Review of Women’s Studies on Bengali cabaret dancers (“Dancing the Night Away: The Erotic Outlaws of Democracy,” EPW, 28 May 2022)

This is with regard to Aishika Chakraborty’s paper as part of the Review of Women’s Studies on Bengali cabaret dancers (“Dancing the Night Away: The Erotic Outlaws of Democracy,” EPW, 28 May 2022). It brought back memories of my days as a journalist with the Statesman in the early 1960s when I was assigned to write a report on the crooners and cabaret dancers of Calcutta bars. I remember watching Miss Shefali performing at the Lido room at Firpo’s hotel. Much later in 1973, I met her at her flat in an apartment at the crossing of Circus Avenue and Kareya in Park Circus. She was no longer dancing and was dependent on the earnings of her trainees. I was sad to hear about her passing away.

Talking about cabaret dancers, I treasure the scene of Helen dancing in the film Howrah Bridge (made way back in 1958) singing “Mera naam Chin-Chin-Chu ... hello mister how do you do?” while moving from one table to another in a bar.

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Updated On : 20th Jul, 2022
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