There is some merit in just sitting around and chatting with friends on all kinds of stuff. Bengalis have a name for this – Adda. Today’s needull goes down the nostalgia lane.
There’s something casual and ever so slightly illicit about a real adda. It’s time that is stolen from respectable income-inducing activity, stolen for the sheer pleasure of idle conversation that at its best has no purpose, no limit and no definition. To be an adda worth its salt, it must not be designed to have any redeeming quality at all. It is the long meandering road to the meaning of life.
In Kolkata, adda was inescapable. Our house had a front porch, just a few concrete steps, a rowak as we called it. Across the street was a tea shop, a shabby one but a local legend. Raj Kapoor, we were told, liked its tea. As did Uttam Kumar. The tea was brewed strong, the toast thick and crusty and in the evening it sold mutton stew and chicken roast by the quarter plate. But its greatest draw was always the adda that buzzed around it.