If you could spend an entire day with any five people who are now living*
- who would they be
- why would you choose each person in the group
- how would you like to spend the day with them
- where would you like to spend the day with them
They are Salman Rushdie , , Chhanulal Maharaj , Dayanita Singh.and Paban Das Baul
Why I would choose them :-
Salman Rushdie - because I have enjoyed his books since I first read Midnight's Children 25 years ago He paints on broad canvases- like very busy medieval paintings , with so much activity going on that one has to very careful not to lose the thread of what he is narrating .
Pandit _Channulal_Mishra- because he is my latest find directed to me by the wise and kind Dipali.His music is so supremely evocative of Benares and he sings of Krishna with such love and devotion it is hard not to fall in love with the Blue God .
Dayanita Singh - She photographs people, objects and situations ,goes into homes and captures the thoughts and expressions of the inmates ,without ever crossing the thin line into voyeurism . She seduces the viewer and she presents works of art around which one can weave endless stories .
Paban Das Baul - a prolific Baul singer. I could die just listening to him sing "Nadi Bhara Dheu "
William Dalrymple- the last of the great adventurers , foraying into foreign lands , chasing ancient routes and writing about them with just that right touch of acerbic wit that saves his books from becoming just tomes .
How and where we would spend the day - Ideally we would spend it in Kolkata - maybe give them a tour of the Ganges in an open boat , settle down for adda in one of the rooms in any of the palaces in old Calcutta . The room would have long shuttered windows , fluted pillars , marble floor and elegant furniture - maybe one of the posher rooms in the Marble Palace.
Salman Rushdie , Dayanita Singh and Dalrymple would regale us with stories and there would be heavenly music from Chhannu ji and Paban.
Since chaa is an important part of adda , there would have to be a selection of fine teas from
Dolly's Tea Boutique, served in small earthen pots . The food which would be authentic Bengali cuisine would be catered by Kewpie's .
To digress a little , Although it is difficult to pin down the exact meaning of adda , for the uinitiated , loosely defined it would indicate a a group bonding over shared anecdotes , music and basically chilling .It is extremely important to bond, toherwise the main purpose of adda would be sadly defeated . In Kolkata before group housing and mulistoreyed apartments took over , houses had verandahs with steps leading upto them. The top step was known as the "roak" where men , young and old sat and whiled away the hours . A few years ago the roak next to our house was enclosed with a grill gate , thereby robbing my father in law and his group a"roak"for adda.
There , Onedia . That's done !