To walk into KUMARS, survey the books on display.... was to enter a new world of bibliograph.

To walk into KUMARS, survey the books on display and ask Kumar's advice was to enter a new world of bibliograph. The shop became the haunt of an unlikely mixture of luminaries, from Radha Prasad Gupta, the famous Anglophile to Satyajit Ray, the famous film-maker, Kamal Majumder, the well-known writer to Mulk Raj Anand the famous art historian; Nirmalendu Chowdhury, the folk singer to Santi.P.Chowdhury, the first Documentary film maker of India, Asok Mitra, the father of Indian Census and Professor of Art JNU to Subho Tagore , the founder of Cubismn in India and a host of others.

Thanks to Kumar, and his friends, the place in the 1950s became a kind of counter-cultural nexus: a place where you could drift from paintings to graphics to early prints and thence to the maps. You could visit Somerset, then walk down the Hoogly and then take a ride up the Nile. There you would find Kumar at the heart of a group of autodidacts, film makers, musicians, writers, lowlifes and just plain booklovers whose cultural heroes were Jean Renoir, Jamini Roy, Richard Burton (not the film actor, the great 20th.century traveler) Ananda Coomarswamy, Sir Auriel Stein, and many more Not only food for thoughts, Kumar was a gourmet and loved food. He organized the very best of fine cooking to be presented to his friends. Sometimes, such delicacies that you would only find in the pages of some rare palm leaf document. R.P.Gupta recollecting the same comments, that it reminded him of the fabled stories of the Arabian Nights where the food was served fit for royalty.

Images : Subho Tagore. Map of Calcutta, Battle Plan 1756 . Ashok Mitra,ICS