Aaddaabaajee …Posted: June 5, 2008
Aaddaabaajee … a term not very familiar to lots of people. To the inhabitants of Kolkata (or Calcutta, if you may), an integral part of their lives. Though, surely aaddaabaajee is not the preserve of the city. There were the days … rather, evenings … the vanue? Atlas Radio! Not an address known to many, but to the boys of Darya Ganj, or at least the folks i grew up with, this is an address which is closely linked with our growing up years, through school and college.
No matter how, come evening, and we would gather there. If we werent playing cricket, of course … though, cricket playing took a back-seat sometime during school. At the risk of having our parents read this, i would admit that this is where cigarettes were smoked (surreptitiously, of course). This is where we graduated from smoking Navy Cut to Wills Kings (dont see them around anymore), to Gold Flake, to the ubiquituous Prince Henry (and no, we are not the only ones to prefer this brand … read this). As Avinashjee writes …
From the next day it started. Ashish brought an assortment of four pipes for the supervisor to select one from. He kept all the four. “You tend to get tired of smoking the same pipe day after day,” he said. Impeccable logic, that. We bought cigarette paper. Ashish had brought “Capstan” brand tobacco. The supervisor told him to buy “Prince Henry” brand next time. “The flavor is rich,” he said. The valuations were rich too – Prince Henry was retailed at a price almost one and a half times that of Capstan.
And this is where we discussed … we discussed almost everything. The discussion ranged from politics, to social issues, to philosophy, to movies, literature, and the occasional mention of girls. And no, i have not covered all the topics we discussed. Then there was the time when, influenced by the pipe-smoking charm of Sherlock Holmes, we took to smoking a pipe. It made you look so elegant, though of course we all shared one pipe (hey … who had the money to buy so any pipes).
And even when it went to college, to study at BHU, holidays were times when i could meet all my friends … and guess where i would find them?