A humid evening, a few strums in the guitar chords and a shadowy haze in the ill-lit chamber! Who could have ever thought this, to create a buzz in the town and inspire two absolutely contrasting groups of people – A bunch of youngsters and a handful of septuagenarians? Well it did. On 12th April 2019, Café Kabira, Jadavpur, witnessed something incredible and almost unthinkable in the world of digital face ups and tweeting togetherness. TriBeCa Care, the most sought after and trusted name of the city in organized elder care, joined hands with Scrapbook, a band cum event organizer team, to bring together these two apparently diametrical opposites.
Avik Gupta, the founder of the Scrapbook, made sure that this event brings out the essence of friendship even among these different age groups. “Friendship is bond that is shared not only among same age group of people, but can bond the two opposite types of people of different age groups. And what binds this friendship together is poetry and music”, say Avik Gupta.
It was an evening of harmony, companionship and bonding for people who have lived their lives to assemble experiences and know-hows. It was an evening of celebrating friendship through poetry and music. It was an organic assimilation of seniority and youth over a piping hot cup of freshly brewed coffee and camaraderie.
The event was attended by quite a few members of TriBeCa Care from across the southern fringes of the city. They were all assisted by their respective care-givers from the organization. They picked them up from their respective homes and dropped them back after the event, just as their sons or daughters would have done, if they were present. All of the senior members thoroughly enjoyed themselves with beaming faces, the music and mirth created by generation Z!
The evening began with a brief introduction of Scrapbook and their activities by young thespian Prasenjit Chakraborty who owns a theatre group called “Theatre café”. He hosted the show all along with constant interactions from the audience. Along with him, there was poetess Kripa Basu who shared her views on friendship goals. The performers – Rimita Mukherjee, Souryadip Sanyal and Swarup Das – were all young and energetic, waiting to enchant the senior citizens with their melody.
Rimita is a well-known vocalist, composer and voice trainer (trained under eminent gurus like Pandit Jagdish Prasad, Shri Ravi Shankar Sharma, Shri Jotileshwar Mukherjee and Shri Kalyanji bhai of Kalyanji Anandji fame) who has worked with Rajesh Roshan, in his movie “Na Tum Jano Na Hum”, and with Sanjay Leela Bhansali in “Devdas” as a Musical Assistant. She has also sung for some telefilms directed by Tanuja Chandra under the music direction of Dabbu Malik.
Souryadip is a song writer, composer, singer and guitarist from Kolkata. Swarup is another young guitarist who took lessons in blues and rock from renowned guitarist Amyt Dutta and had played consistently in Zee Bangla Sa Re Ga Ma Pa. On behalf of TriBeCa Care there were COO Mr Jayanta Sen and Marketing Manager Alka Gupta. The session was briefly attended by one of the NRI founder members Elina Dutta.
Mr Sen informed the audience about the history of TriBeCa’s foundation and its objectives. In his words, “In 2013, a few NRIs returned to their homeland with an idea which was novel and unheard of, in India till then. It was, taking care of senior citizens who are alone, since the children had already emptied the nest for work.
What do we mean by taking care? In most cases, elder care still means major healthcare support. But TriBeCa spells difference by offering emotional and mental support to the seniors through their trained Care Managers. They visit the solitary households to talk to these elderly people who feel lonely, unattended and helpless. Care Managers find out what they need – whether it’s a banking issue, or visiting a marriage reception, requirement of a plumber at home or some shopping… They arrange for an all-round assistance round the clock. Even in case of medical emergencies, it is not merely a doctor-on-call service or an ayah providing centre. We do the same that their children would have done with utmost care and empathy – right from calling the doctor, ambulance, admission in hospital or nursing homes, visiting them during visiting hours, regular liaison with the doctor and kins staying away, arranging payment, releasing them from the hospital and settling back at home. This touch of empathy and emotion for seniors has made TriBeCa stand out among many other organizations offering similar services in the city.”
Mr Sen also mentioned that TriBeCa Care is now trying to arrange for some entertainment for the otherwise lonely senior citizens, taking them to such concerts where they can participate and interact with a young brigade as TriBeCa wants their members to remain in the mainstream of life and not in the margins. He thanked Scrapbook for taking active part in the initiative and hoping to continue such endeavours in future.
Café Kabira rejoiced to this idea and broke into delightful melodies right from Salil Chowdhury to Kabir Suman, Bengali folk to Anjan Dutta. Everyone clapped, hummed and nipped along with the performers. It concluded on a perfect note with an important member of TriBeCa sharing his personal anecdote on how TriBeCa came to his rescue when his wife had an accident, while they were new to the city and the NRI children could not come instantly. The evening, that started off to celebrate friendship and camaraderie found a new vision from his words – “Whether it’s a doctor’s appointment or an arrangement for a physiotherapist for my wife, one phone call to TriBeCa solves all our problems. It is another name of trust and empathy for us who live on their own. No one other than TriBeCa is a greater friend and confidante for us in the city. And it is due to TriBeCa we have got the opportunity to come and be a part of this youthful celebration of amity.”