Indubala Bhater Hotel is a feast for all the senses
By Salman Sakib Jishan
Memories hold a special place in our lives, often reminding us of happier times while leaving behind the hardships. For Indubala, a young girl from Khulna who later became a struggling widow in a foreign land, the memories that lingered were tied to the taste and aroma of her grandmother’s Bengali cooking. This connection to her culinary heritage became the foundation of her life.
Director Debaloy Bhattacharya has transformed Kallol Lahiri’s famous novel Indubala Bhater Hotel into an exciting web series. You can now watch this captivating story on the Hoichoi platform.
Bengali food has a unique and irresistible flavor. Dishes like kumro bora, sonamug dal, kumror chokka, aam koi, and murighanta are incredibly delicious. Indubala’s hotel offers a different menu every day, attracting people from all walks of life who crave the authentic taste of her cooking.
Yet, behind the delectable dishes lies a profound tale of a woman’s search for her place in the world. Indubala’s story unfolds across three chapters: Her cherished memories of Kalapota village, the challenges she faced in Kolkata as a widow dealing with a critical mother-in-law and an abusive drunk husband, and her later years as the matriarch of the iconic Indubala Bhater Hotel.
The talented Subhasree Ganguly brings Indubala’s character to life, captivating the audience with her performance. The series also features a talented cast, including Sneha Chatterjee, Rahul Banerjee, Prateek Dutta, Suhotra Mukhopadhyay, Angana Roy, Debpratim Dasgupta, Mithu Chakraborty, Parijat Chowdhury, Devdatta Raha, and many others.
Beyond its culinary allure, the series delves into the resilience and strength of a woman who ventured into unfamiliar territory – enduring countless hardships as a widow and single-handedly raising her children. Indubala transformed her kitchen, once seen as a mundane domain for societal misfits, into a revered institution, elevating the art of cooking to new heights. Against the backdrop of significant historical events like partition, the Liberation War, and the Nakshal movement of 1970, the two-storied house on Chenu Mittir Lane in Old Calcutta emerges as a living testament to those times.
Indubala Bhater Hotel skilfully portrays a range of emotions, with the music adding to the enchanting experience. It plays a significant role, contributing immensely to its impact. Even if you weren’t aware of it until you immerse yourself in their enchanting melodies. Also, the cinematography, makeup, and set design are beautifully done, creating a visually stunning series. Even if the series is not completely similar to the book, it must be said that there has been a very good adaptation. Usually, if you want to adapt a story from a book, you have to change its sequence a bit.
While the series excels in many ways, there are moments where certain characters can be a bit distracting. However, overall, the series tells a powerful story of strength, delicious food, and cherished memories.