Kolkata : A young girl is reading out a poem she has written. Next up is a middle-aged man. It’s a session of the Calcutta chapter of the poetry-lovers’ group, Poetry Couture in the cafe inside Yoga Mystic Studio on Camac Street also having banana-walnut cake and canapes.
Some distance away, in the cramped basement of Gariahat market, another group has gathered over bharer cha, sitting on two rickety benches to discuss Calcutta’s history, art, food and writers. The flavour of the adda is very Bengali.
Poetry Couture and Ahanayan might be a study in contrast but they are united by a common cause – a love and passion for the written word. But Calcutta’s old-world book addas seem to be making way for curated literary gatherings. Even College Street, the traditional haunt of the bookworm, has no adda left.
During the addas, prized books, periodicals and magazines on art, history and politics as well as old and rare prints are passed around by the 10-odd members.