Meet Amit Ranjan Karmakar, the radio man of Kumartulihttps://indianexpress.com/photos/india-news/meet-amit-ranjan-karmakar-the-radio-man-of-kumartuli-6001972/

Meet Amit Ranjan Karmakar, the radio man of Kumartuli

Set against the unlikely backdrop of Kumartuli, Amit Ranjan Karmakar's little shop is easy to miss. In his mid-60s, the 'radio man' of Kumartuli sits surrounded by radio sets of all sizes and vintages. (Text written by Yajnaseni Chakraborty)

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A narrow by lane in an old Kolkata neighbourhood seems an otherwise appropriate setting for an antique radio repair shop. However, it is the neighbourhood itself that forms the surprise element. Because for most Kolkatans, leave alone the rest of India, Kumortuli has long been associated with one thing, and one thing only. (Express photo: Shashi Ghosh)

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Quite naturally, therefore, Kumortuli is inextricably linked with Durga Puja, Bengal's most popular festival by far. (Express photo: Shashi Ghosh)

radio man of kumartuli, amit ranjan karmakar, kumartuli radio man, durga puja 2019, murphy radio, kolkata news, indian express

Set against this unlikely backdrop, Amit Ranjan Karmakar's little shop is easy to miss. In his mid-60s, the 'radio man' of Kumartuli sits surrounded by radio sets of all sizes and vintages. (Express photo: Shashi Ghosh)

radio man of kumartuli, amit ranjan karmakar, kumartuli radio man, durga puja 2019, murphy radio, kolkata news, indian express

The old brand names roll off his tongue - Bush, Murphy, Phillips, Telefunken...once household names in India as far as radios went. By his own estimation, the oldest set in his shop dates back to 1944, brought in by a customer and never reclaimed. (Express photo: Shashi Ghosh)

radio man of kumartuli, amit ranjan karmakar, kumartuli radio man, durga puja 2019, murphy radio, kolkata news, indian express

Today, business has nosedived, he admits, though he is still sought after by those wishing to preserve family heirlooms. "People come to me with radio sets belonging to their parents or grandparents, and ask if I can repair them, at any cost," says Karmakar. (Express photo: Shashi Ghosh)

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His eyes shine as he points out a 1952 Phillips Holland model, and a 1962 Murphy radio, both in working order, once again unclaimed by their owners. (Express photo: Shashi Ghosh)

radio man of kumartuli, amit ranjan karmakar, kumartuli radio man, durga puja 2019, murphy radio, kolkata news, indian express

Unsurprisingly, his son has not followed him into the profession, and Karmakar himself thinks he's probably the last of his breed left in Kolkata. That said, he knows radio sets will never come back in fashion, but he also knows that he will do nothing else for as long as he lives. (Express photo: Shashi Ghosh)