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Cafe Alap with a cause

Kolkata is a city that practiced and preserved its long-standing heritage of ‘Adda’ and to follow the legacy Pronoy Dasgupta and Subhabrata Maity with their fellow comrades have come up with an idea of building a place where Bengalis can perform this unique ritual and promote ‘Adda’. Amidst this pandemic, Dasgupta with the help of his friends started Cafe Alap in Sree Colony, Bijoygarh, an initiative that is not only unique but very helpful for covid patients. According to him, there are six letterboxes in his cafe that were basically set up for people to get to know each other. The process of letting one’s details in the letterbox stays the same but the reason changed, instead of people knowing each other out of interest, now people leave their details with blood groups in it, so if one needs blood they can contact Cafe Alap for donors.

In a brief interview with The Optimist News Pronoy Dasgupta opened up about how his initiative in helping Covid patients.

Journey and footprint

The journey started by thinking that a place should be built for art lovers with a pocket friendly environment, where people can come and interact with each other on various topics. “The name Alap was decided accordingly,” says Dasgupta. To reach the competitive market Cafe Alap focuses on the quality of the food and the surroundings, even if they keep the price of cuisine less, compromising with the quality is not what they believe.

Pronoy Dasgupta and Subhabrata Maity owners of Cafe Alap.

Initiative

‘Adda’ will always be a quintessential Bengali ritual, since coronavirus demands social distancing, for now it is on hold. “Everyone is doing something or other to help people in this situation, so we too wanted to be of help,” he shares.

Crisis

According to Pronoy the meeting between blood donors and the people who are in need of blood is more important nowadays. “It will help mitigate the crisis. There are people who need blood immediately but have no source, this initiative is for helping them as much as possible,” he adds.

Retro Interior of Cafe Alap

Flag bearer

“Adda cannot be expunged, especially from the heart of Bengalis,” highlights Pronoy. “People are going to give priority to ‘Adda’, maybe they will be busy looking into their phones but sitting together, having tea and talking about different things, clicking pictures will always be there,” he affirms.

Pronoy is thinking of expanding the idea, as blood donors are always on demand. They are glad that they have started this drive and tend to continue it even after we defeat covid19.

The letterboxes that hold the names of the blood donors.

“We are not protecting rich art, culture rather we are promoting it. There is a wall in the cafe where one can exhibit their art pieces,” reiterates Pronoy Dasgupta and adds, “We have heard elders saying that in the 90s when ‘addas’ were particularly ubiquitous, things were different to what they are now. To keep this nostalgia untouched the interior of Cafe Alap has been given a retro look, where people can feel the vibe of ‘good old days’.

About the author

Srinjeeta Chattopadhyay

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