If you look it up in the dictionary or on the internet- ADDA is defined as:
“A place where people gather for conversation”
“An informal conversation among a group of people”
But if you were to ask me, “Adda” is not a word to be defined, it is an emotion that needs to be felt.
Adda for me is Harur Bagan, it’s the Canteen, it’s the Reading Room, it’s the RF1/RF3 on-call room, its the RSGS/RP room.
In one word, Adda is CNMCH.
For Nationalities Past and Present, CNMCH is an overwhelming dose of nostalgia and a fond walk down memory lane. The only Medical College and Hospital (in West Bengal) where the College is situated on one foot and the Hospital on the other, you quite literally have to graduate to be allowed to cross the road.
CNMCH or Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital was a phoenix that rose from the ashes of the Non-Cooperation Movement.
After the Partition of Bengal in 1905, Bengal was going through a revolution of sorts and in 1920 during the Non-Cooperation Movement, Deshbandhu CR Das formed the National Council for Education.
In 1921, on the auspicious occasion of Poila Baisakh, the Jatiya Ayurbigyan Vidyalaya (National Medical Institute) was started and inaugurated by Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das. Dr Sundari Mohan Das was its first Principal. In 1927, the foundation stone was laid down for a 100 bedded Hospital which came to be known as Chittaranjan Hospital (That’s where we’ve got our nickname from and no wonder CNMCH is more famously and affectionately known as Chittaranjan)
In 1931, the Medical School (now College) was shifted to Gorachand Road- across the road from the Hospital. On 4th October 1948, Calcutta National Medical College and Hospital was formed by the amalgamation of Calcutta Medical School and National Medical Institute. It became fully nationalized in 1976.
Now let’s get back to the future, 2019- CNMCH is bang in the thick of things, over 8,000 patients visit the OPDs every day and numerous overworked, understaffed departments somehow make it all work, day in day out.
A melody amid the madness.
And somehow, somewhere, we find ways to de-stress, catch up with friends and colleagues and make the ordeal bearable-because of Adda!
CNMCH might be small but it’s cosy and welcoming to everyone, that rubs off on not just its students and teachers but also on its staff. We’ve got numerous spots for Adda and make full use of it.
Harur Bagan- the one and only. Its a field of sorts that’s found bang in the centre of the College and has hosted numerous activities over the years- Football, Cricket, Badminton, a convenient place to get lost in instead of a lecture to now being the venue for the Reunion and Fest related events. Harur Bagan has evolved over the years but it’s still one of the most popular places to lounge in and look at the stars after Sunset.
Next up we have the most knowledge-filled place for Adda- the Canteen! Move over Lecture Halls, this the place where subjects are discussed, doubts cleared, pending assignments completed and last-minute exam revisions done.
You can’t help but bump into friends and familiar faces like the Professors (whose lectures are missed as a result)
Adda Sessions require that quintessential cup of tea or caffeine and the Canteen has a wide variety on offer and more.
The Reading Room/Library comes next- its one of those places where even though pin drop silence and decorum are maintained, yet Addas happen.
Perhaps its in the eyes, how some “ankahi, ansuni baatein aankhon hi aankhon mein ho Jati Hain”. A popular place where students come across their first crushes and fall in love (yes, I’m guilty too !)
The RSGS or RF1/RF3 on-call rooms are a popular place in the Hospital where Addas commonly take place on Admission and Post-Admission days. Interns, PGTs, SRs descend upon these rooms and nothing makes a tedious, tiresome long Work Day more tolerable than indulging in a heart to heart with people around you.
But what makes Adda, Adda are not the locations but the people. CNMCH has had a long tradition where seniors and juniors have a healthy, safe and extremely friendly rapport with each other, so much so that they act as each other’s Agony Aunts! So be it while moving from one lecture hall to the other or from one ward to the other, people find nooks and crannies where they can indulge in Adda even if it’s quite brief or momentary.
College life is incomplete without these moments or Adda Sessions and CNMCH is no different.
Adda is CNMCH, CNMCH is Adda.
Dr Shahrukh Raza