The Indian diaspora in Russia, although relatively small in number when compared to other nations, has long made its presence felt. With people from around the world converging in Russia since the football World Cup began, a couple from Kolkata is making news for their eateries in Moscow.
Prodyut and Suman Mukherjee have been running two eateries—Talk of the Town and Fusion Plaza—that has been serving traditional Indian cuisine in Moscow for the last 27 years.
Not only are they expanding the appeal of Indian cuisine in Moscow, but also serving butter chicken, kebabs and a rich vegetarian spread at a 25% discount for customers with Fan IDs, which are required to watch World Cup matches. The kicker, however, comes with news that these restaurants will serve free dinner for Indians in Moscow if the Argentinian team lifts the trophy on July 15.
Even during World Cup matches, the restaurants will distribute gifts and conduct contests to celebrate this landmark event in Russian sporting history.
Like many of their fellow countrymen from Kolkata, the Mukherjee couple are long-suffering Argentina fans. Despite the team’s slow start to the tournament with a 1-1 draw versus Iceland, both Pradyot and Sumana are confident that Messi and co can go all the way.
Prodyut tells IANS, “I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semi-final and of course, the final. If Argentina goes on to lift the trophy, I will invite all Indians who have come here to watch the World Cup for free dinner at both my restaurants.”
In a recent study published by Cutting Edge Events, which is FIFA’s official sales agency, India is among the top 10 nations where most match tickets were bought.
“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.
Before getting into the restaurant business, Prodyut had come to Russia for his engineering degree and subsequently began working for a local pharmaceutical company. After starting two restaurants with his wife Sumana, Prodyut distributed pharma products for a brief time.
With Moscow expecting one million fans to throng its city during the World Cup, the couple’s business prospects also look good. “After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the foot-fall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut told the publication.
For Sumana, meanwhile, it’s also about creating a feeling of home away from home for Indian fans.
She signs off, “We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are Bengali, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal.”
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)