Come September 27, and it will be yesterday once more in Kolkata’s fashionable Park Street as a legendary singer will return to an iconic stage for live performance to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her first performance at the fine dining hub.
Usha Uthup – India’s pop, jazz and film music diva – had performed live for the first time on October 1, 1969, at Trincas, synonymous with the cultural heritage of the city, she told the media here.
Uthup’s live performances on September 27-28, will mark a 60/50 “the celebrations of Trincas’ completion of 60 years under the Puri family as one of Park Street’s most legendry restaurants, besides the golden jubilee of the singer’s first live gig at the popular joint”.
Trincas was a quiet tea room in the 1920s Calcutta. Legend has it that a couple of Swiss gentlemen – Mr. Flury and Mr. Trinca – opened two tea rooms across the road from each other. They named them – Flury’s and Trinca’s.
Then came July, 1959, when Om Prakash Puri and Ellis Joshua acquired and converted it into a restaurant. To this, they added live ‘floor shows’.
In 1961, they completed renovations to the tea-room – a center-stage backed by a padded velvet wall, large mirrors, ornate lights – and the ambience turned plush. The food offerings were classic Continental and Indian food. Excellent live entertainment established Trincas as one of, not only Kolkata’s, but India’s leading restaurants.
In the 1970s, the eatery attracted superstars of the day like Amitabh Bachchan, Dilip Kumar, Tiger Pataudi and the West Indian cricket team.
It was here that one could rub shoulders with politicians and business tycoons, artistes and entertainers – while listening to world class musicians like Biddu Appaiah (Kung Fu Fighting, Boom Boom), The Trojans, Eve, Ajit Singh, The Cavaliers, Beat Four, Flintstones, Chequered Tricycle, Great Bear and The Savages.
Usha Uthup had added a spectacular new dimension to the restaurant’s already lively music scene with her trademark charisma, Kanjivaram sarees and flowers in her hair.
The fates of the crooner and the musical eating hub were intertwined from the start of their association. As her stardom peaked, so did Trincas’ and two legends were created.
She had and still has, an uncanny ability of reading a room, understanding her audience and capturing hearts and minds.
Usha Uthup calls her coming to Kolkata and performing at the signature restaurant “a dream come true”.
She met her husband Jani Uthup at the popular joint, fell in love with Kolkata and stayed on, even naming her son Sonny after a song she would perform at Trincas – the only remaining stalwart of Park Street that never brought down the curtain on its stage. The music has always played on.