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  Bangali Adda
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Adda in Calcutta

'Adda' is explained by the Bengali linguist Sunitikumar Chattopadhyay as "a place to talk freely with right companions" or "chatting up with intimate friends". Generally, it is a practice friends love; gathering for an extended, relaxed and unlimited exchange of views.

 
 

Adda, the Bengali term for relaxed exchange about anything under the sun, still remains a favourite amusement for the people of Bengal. Adda may have originated during the time of ‘zamindars’ or the landlords who were surrounded by their 'moshabes' or flatterers, whiling away time in useless talks. Or the renowned Bengali adda might have its origins in the villages, where elders conversed about affairs of the state at a common place.

 
 

With time things changed and the literati sessions came into being that were made popular by the Tagores and later by Sukumar Roy’s ‘Monday Club’ and then by Derozio and Keshab Chandra Sen. These sessions of Bengali Adda were generally rounded off with snacks and cups of tea.

 
 

Many literary magazines and works took birth out of these sessions of addas. This practice sustained in the College Street area, the colloquial Boi Para, where well-known as well as budding authors gathered in the evenings. Hours of exciting adda followed. Reputed authors inspired young aspirants and at the end it was not just the participants but the spectators too went back richer in mind.

 
 

Often you will find elders acting as mediators in family or neighbourhood arguments. Marriages have prearranged female addas. College students can be seen on green lawns within college premises enjoying sessions of long discussions and often breaking into spurts of laughter.

 
 

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