aḍḍā is a Sanskrit word (আড্ডা) which broadly refers to a ‘meeting place’. The Hindi etymology of the word means ‘perching place for birds’, whereas in Bengali, the word is also often associated with a common social activity of long, informal intellectual conversations among a group of people. In Bengali culture, aḍḍā could thus either refer to the meeting place (as a noun), or the act of having a thoughtful discussion (as a verb).
Imaginatively, this piece embodies an aḍḍā. It is a meeting place for texts of different languages (English, Latin, Italian, Greek, Bengali) by various authors (T. S. Eliot, Socrates, Rocco Emanuele Pagliara, Rabindranath Tagore). Poetically, the Eliot sets up a framework (a ‘decayed house’) for dialogues to develop amongst the other texts, which ‘speak’ in turn as the piece is performed. From a listener’s point of view, however, the two performers could seem to be lost in thoughts, wondering and wandering from one text to the next, which manifests what the texts are collectively about, and what an aḍḍā is all about! In an abstract metaphysical sense, then, the very performance of this piece is itself an aḍḍā — the performers become the ‘meeting place’ (or locale) within which the texts (and their poetic substance) are temporally being realised, and connections made among them.