233/A/4, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road, Kolkata-700092 – sounds familiar? Yes! this place was the scene of Kolkata’s most bizarre tragedy in recent memory- 3 Robinson Street. Now, it is the city’s newest shooting locale.
The house has already hosted the shooting of a music video and makers of a full-length feature film have done a reconnaissance of the property to ascertain its suitability for their project.
The sprawling bungalow on the 23-cottah plot, a few seconds away from Shakespeare Sarani, has been the object of tremendous curiosity ever since June 11, 2015, when Partha De, 44, was found living with the charred body of father, Arabinda De, 77, fully clothed skeleton of his sister, Debjani and skeletons of two pet dogs for 6 months. He was arrested, but later sent to Calcutta Pavlov Hospital for treatment. When released, Partha sold off his house in January 2017 and moved into a flat at Watgunge. On February 21, Partha was found dead in his flat.
The plot was zealously guarded by the estate’s previous owners. But now there are talks of the property being bought by a prominent city-based developer. Dispelling ‘rumours’ that the place was haunted, Sanjay Jaiswal, who presently stays at 3 Robinson Street said- “why is this place called a horror house or a Hitchcock house? I have never felt anything like that. There is no ghost there. At night when I look out of the house, I can see no light in the adjacent buildings. But I am not scared”. Referring to the problem in domestic help not willing to work because of the ‘rumour’ he said- “I order food from outside. Deaths happen in every family. The only issue here is that the skeletons were kept inside the house”.
The property has already visualised the shooting of a music video, the cover version of ‘Aao Huzoor’ by Sumann and Lokesh Bakshi on May 1. Jay Choudhury, proprietor of Panorama Motion Pictures that is making a feature film titled ‘House on Robinson Street’, has also been inside to do a reconnaissance on June 16. Choudhury, whose ancestral home is on 1 Robinson Street, said- “I have already visited the property and will discuss the details this week with Jaiswal. Sixty percent of our film is based on facts related to the De incident. The rest is fictional. Suman Choudhury will play the lead character called Prabir De”.
Sanjay Jaiswal admits the fact that he too was shocked like everybody else in the city at the turn of events at the property. He said “Partha was always willing to dispose of this property. He had given his consent to its sale. The property will be registered in some time, but, eventually, it will be demolished and will get redeveloped. Partha was a very intelligent person but, the family was secretive”.
The ‘God Bless Our Home’ plaque is still there above the door and a layer of dust has accumulated on the costly Yamaha piano that was once used by Debjani, Partha’s sister. Although the house today is almost bereft of any furniture, the walls are a witness to so many happenings. What if the walls could talk?