Thursday, February 14, 2008


This word in the local parlance means a world to us, the Bengalis. Though to make it simpler for other non-speakers of the language understand it, it's translated into gupshup or relaxed conversation about anything under the sun, nothing can truly bear the essence of the original word:Adda, one of the favorite pastimes of the young and the old.

Though there are no documented evidences of how adda originated, many believe that it came into existence during the period when zamindari system was present in Bengal. It were these rich zamindars (landlords) who loved to kill time in idle gossip, surrounded by their moshabes or sycophants. Later, the intellectuals patronized adda sessions. In fact, several literary magazines and works were the results of brainstorming sessions at these addas.

Coming to the present age, though spacious malls, multiplexes and restaurants have replaced the roadside tea stall, courtyard or the verandah as the adda-spot, one place in Kolkata still holds its fort and its nostalgic aura: the Coffee House on the College Street.

Before winding up, a small thing or two: For the fairer sex, adda is a no-holds barred session where every moment is lapped up (provided it's a girls only adda coz with boys around, some rules like topics that can and can't be discussed come into play....getting into murkier waters is a strict no-no then). For the males, it's usually 4 things (that's my belief): Cricket, Politics, Work and Women.

So, what's your take on adda? Remember to share it with me.