A legacy of musical instruments
The 109-year-old instrument shop has its own history. The shop owners had to suffer the consequences of 1947, 1971 and 1992
If you have an old harmonium at home, you will surely find a never-fading sticker of 'Jatin and Co' on it.
Our musical history is deeply rooted to the musical instrument's shop Jatin and Co. The business was founded by Jatin Mohan Mandal in 1910. He had sharp knowledge about music and instruments.
Jatin Mohan Mandal was very famous for playing violin in the British society. He used to get invitations for playing a violin for different occasions at Neel Kuthi.
Though he was famous for his tune in violin, he had a taste for classical instruments of the Indian subcontinent.
Jatin and Co sailed off their journey by selling harmonium, tabla, dhol, dotara, bian, sitar and many other classical instruments. They even started selling imported violins.
They used to manufacture all the instruments in their own factory by a team of special manufacturers, whom Jatin used to call "instrument artistes".
But over time, some artistes died and some other migrated from the country.
Jatin and Co after losing them, could not hold on the quality of their instruments. Hence, they stopped manufacturing many instruments from their product line.
Yet, they continued manufacturing only those instruments that they were confident about giving the best quality. Those were - harmonium, tabla, dotara.
Now, Jatin Mandal's third generation is running the shop.
The current owner of the shop Shurojit Mandal, a grandson of Jatin Mohan Mandal, claimed that they produce the best harmonium and tabla in the country.
The 109-year-old instrument shop has its own history. The shop owners had to suffer the consequences of 1947, 1971 and 1992.
Jatin and Co was first established in Islampur of Old Dhaka with their own factory. But they had to abandon their shop and were forced to leave the county during the partition in 1947. But the Mandal family could not accept the fact that they had to leave everything just because of their religion. So, they came back to East Pakistan right after the post-partition resettlement.
In 1971, Pakistani army forced them to shut their shop and they had to flee to India once again. But just after some day, they again came back to Dhaka.
After the Liberation War, they restarted their business in Dhaka.
Jatin and Co suffered from religious extremism once again in 1992, following the Babri Masjid incident. Some local extremists had torched their shop and factory. During then, the historical musical instrument shop had lost many important documents and pictures.
But they did not lose hope and stop. They rebuilt their shop at Shakharibazar in Old Dhaka and set up their factory in Patuatuli.
Shurojit Mandal said: "I have learnt from my grandfather that whatever happens, we are Bangali and we belong to this county. So, nothing and no one can displace us from this country. Holding our grandfather's values in heart, we carried on his legacy."
Jatin and Co had a great demand for guitar. To meet the demand, they used to make guitars as well. But they had to discontinue when their head manufacturer of guitar had passed away.
They do not want to compromise with the quality, hence, instead, they began importing the instruments.
They import, guitar, ukulele, Hawaiian guitar, violin from China and India. The shop takes pre-order of the imported instruments.
Different kinds of tabla, dhol and drums are their most demandable items.
The shop has a separate factory for the items but their iconic instrument is harmonium. They are the first and oldest harmonium manufacturer in the country.
Jatin and Co has expanded their business also beyond the border. One of their branches -- Jatin and Grandsons is located at Kakrail area in Dhaka, and the other two branches are in India. One in Kolkata and another in West Bangal. These shops are managed by their relatives living in India.
The shop played a very special role in Bangladesh's musical industry. Glimpses of any kind of classical instruments appear before the eyes right after hearing the name of the shop "Jatin and Co.
It is not just a musical instrument shop; it is a legacy that we must cherish on!
There was a time every family had to have a harmonium and a set of tabla. And those used to come straight from Jatin and Co. Now, the tradition has changed but those who love music, know the value of Jatin and Co!
Highlight: The 109-year-old instrument shop has its own history. The shop owners had to suffer the consequences of 1947, 1971 and 1992.