Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Cool Adda
Then and Now

By Osama Rahman

Over the years, the whole concept of Adda has changed. The topic, the tools and especially the locations. So what has changed over the years since 'Cool Adda' began? The 'coolness' of the adda for one. Let's begin.

The Lake vs The Cake -
Whatever happened to the good old days when you could take your girlfriend or a couple of friends and just hang out at Gulshan Lake or Dhanmondi Lake? No one thought you were poor back then when you could have romantic dates at the lakeside. Fact is, everyone thought that was the idyllic spot. Getting splashed by water once in a while didn't hurt either. Granted people still do it, but don't pretend you don't hate the people dating at lakes. We all do. We also hate the people who hang out there. The cool crowd quickly lodged out and hit up the Kings and The CFCs, for cake and a good time. And apparently if the cake is expensive, it's worth dating over. Who ever thought you could go on a date and just have cake? Well, everyone did when each slice began costing 10000 taka. “I'd rather have a gold-plated cake than eat peanuts at the lake,' informed one typical female. ' The lake may create an ambience for romance, but a chocolate cake is what stimulates the passion,' adds a typical hormone-raging male. Promptly, we threw up.

Over-the-Bridge vs Fly-the-Over -
Remember when teenagers would hang out on over-bridges and gape at the traffic speeding through. It was a pretty neat sight, spitting on bikers and chatting with friends, while littering the street beneath as if it wasn't part of your city. Well, gone are those days. Now it's all about the flyovers. Mostly for the loser types. You know those bumbling idiots that sit on the railings of the flyover and take pictures? Those people that assume seeing traffic zoom by is apparently romantic? Well, those are the exact same people who have deserted the faithful over-bridges for these Flyovers. People nowadays use the flyover just for the sake of laughing at the people who hang out there. It's the dumbest idea that human beings can ever come across. It's almost like hanging out at the Brooklyn Bridge except that at least Brooklyn has a view. There's nothing to see beneath Mohakhali. Nothing. If casually strolling down the flyover isn't bad enough people actually park their vehicles on the SIDE of the flyover to take pictures and have snacks, like its a freakin' picnic spot. It's an accident waiting to happen. Deal with it.

And Another Bridge vs Fast Food-
Almost everyone has been to Banani 11. It has almost more traffic than the ones DC Hills attract. Previously, Banani 11 was trademarked for finding all kinds of food items, from fast food to Indian to even Thai. Then came the rest of the shops and Banani 11 was becoming Time-Pass heaven. Ice-cream parlours only added to the attraction. It was therefore no surprise when the young Dhakaites went crazy up there sometimes even risking curfew orders just to get a slice of the fast life. And Banani 11 had a party that never stopped. Until after 11pm that is. That too until the government formally completed the construction of the Bideshi Bridge. This bridge is apparently the coolest place to hang out since Privilege closed down. And allegedly offers the same services at times. Well, now people crowd this so called Bideshi Bridge and granted that its beautiful, it certainly is no place to have a cool adda. Not in this sweltering weather even more. But does that deter people? Certainly not, people are seen sitting next to other people's urinal centre, basking in the glory of the Bideshi Bridge, while chewing peanuts observing all sorts of nose-crinkling objects floating about in the lake. Ever heard of Jamuna Bridge morons?

Rooftops vs Lounges-
Remember the 1960's when people would all hang out at rooftops; smoke, fly kites and fool around? Yes, well that doesn't happen anymore. Rooftops have fallen quickly out of the best place for having cool addas. Now we have Lounges. These lounges have possibly the most desperate names and worst environments. So what happens in these lounges? Well, almost everything your parents wouldn't allow you to do at home. Granted, not all of them are this bad, but hey, most of them offer what your momma won't, so they can't be all good right? So, kids of all ages go to lounges, talk about nothing, spend everything and then just leave, having done absolutely nothing fruitful with their lives.

On the rooftops at least they could knock a ball around, but at Lounges, you can do no such thing. In fact, any sort of healthy activity goes against the norms of lounges. It's the only place where Salad gets you frowns and skimpy chicks get the thumbs up. Wasn't rooftop flirting just so much better?

Roadside vs Facebook-
'Wherever there is a Tong, there will be Cool Adda'. This used to be a famous saying. The Tong, or the Teastall by the road was what began the whole Cool Adda concept. It was a coaching-goers tradition to idly kick it after classes with some tea and refreshments. This was where all the discussions took place ranging from exams to genjams to politics. Some claim that the Micro-Banking concept came about while Cool Adda-ing at one of these awesome places. Now however, this tradition too is about to hit the dust. Not because of the government's mulled over directives to remove all such Tongs, but because kids these days are too lazy. If they want to have a constant Cool Adda, they open threads in Facebook or wall each other. Even the term 'wall each other' is stupid. Now, all sorts of conversations take place through Facebook. Or Skype. Never near the inspiring Roadside Tong. Even eve teasing takes place via Facebook these days, which is just even dumber.

It seems the Cool Adda of yesteryears were the greatest thing that ever happened. From Sangsad Bhaban to chilling out at Mirpur Zoo, the whole system has seemed to change. Now all we see are Pool Places (read cancer corner), Lounges and lack of entertainment after 8. Therefore not only has the Cool Adda died but so have cool teenagers in general. It's a pity but it's a fact. Just like Chelsea being cheated in the Champion's League once again. Pitiful but its a fact.




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