Pseudo-Intellectuals Or The Aantels: The New Social Group Of Kolkata

5:00 am 5 Jan, 2014

After having read so many articles on Kolkata, you must be thinking it to be a very traditional, fond of art and culture and kind of timid. Well, if that’s really it, then you’re in for a brilliant surprise! Like every other city, Kolkata too has a set of people who have higher and more refined the rest. However, I don’t know whether this is the case in all other cities or not, in Kolkata, of late, you’d notice the emergence of a third group who lies, well, in between these two groups. The group consists mostly of the know-all youngsters, “fondly” referred to as the pseudo intellectuals or the “aantels”. Let’s have a look at a few pointers of an aantel—

6. You should wear a loose handloom kurta over really loose jeans

If you’re an aantel, you have to shout it loud to the world. Wearing the regular jeans-tee combo is just not for you. You’ve to stick to the uniform—faded, worn-out blue denims and loose handloom kurtas. You can never afford to have a clean shaven look and well groomed hair.  Actually, the idea is to wear an unkempt look—no matter how consciously drawn it is!

You should wear a loose handloom kurta over really loose jeans

5. You’re not really an intellectual enough if you hadn’t studied Literature

Whether or not you’re fond of literature, you have to have a fair idea of most of Literature. At least, you should be well versed with a few poems—particularly that of Rabindra Nath Tagore, Pablo Neruda, Joy Goswami and the likes. In other words, you should “know” high literature—whether or not you can understand them or appreciate them, isn’t much asked for. But, then again, you should be able to formulate your points and brag about them during adda sessions.

Literature - Pseudo-Intellectuals Or The Aantels: The New Social Group Of Kolkata

4. You should know the worth of money and hence, must smoke the cheapest of cigarettes


You may be the son or the daughter of a millionaire, you may be quite frequent to the 5 star restaurants and resorts (when with your boy/girl friend or with your family) but, when among fellow aantels, you can never go on splurging! You may have the option of buying the best cigarette brands quite easily, but you have to settle for the Charminar at best. What? You don’t smoke? Well, then, we’re sorry, but you’re not fit to be an “intellectual” dear!

cigarette packs - Pseudo-Intellectuals Or The Aantels: The New Social Group Of Kolkata

3. You have to be fond of weed and Ganja

Smoking, for this category, doesn’t end with cigarettes; you have to smoke weed and ganja as well, and be quite a frequent smoker. No, you don’t have to shove yourself in some queer corner of the street, the university campuses provide enough space to you to smoke these, without any calling for any disturbance from any unknown, not-so-superior person.

weed smoke - Pseudo-Intellectuals Or The Aantels: The New Social Group Of Kolkata

2. Be a part of all the contemporary political debates

According to the general belief, intellectuals must have a fair knowledge of all that’s happening around the world, and must stand up united against all the wrongs. Well, the people of the “pseudo-intellectual” category feel the same, no matter whether they know what it is all about or not. They would invariably walk in the Rainbow walk, shout out loud against rapes but would also laugh at the transgendered people. They would keep an eye on what’s Rahul Gandhi’s doing or what Modi’s saying, but ask them about the basic problems faced by the slum dwellers in their own locality, and they would immediately deflate. One word of advice to them, don’t just sit back and complain; if you want some change, learn about it and be the one to usher in changes.

political debates - Pseudo-Intellectuals Or The Aantels: The New Social Group Of Kolkata

1. Always carry a DSLR

Yes, you have to act like a miser; you have to carry out that I-am-so-simple kind of an attitude but you have to shell out some extra bucks and buy the latest DSLR, whether or not you can handle it, or love photography for that matter. However, having a fair idea about the lights and angles is mandatory. Carrying a DSLR is like having a license to speak freely on discourses of art and photography to your heart’s content. It’s like a status-quo which you have to maintain in order to stay in this world.

Always carry a DSLR - Pseudo-Intellectuals Or The Aantels: The New Social Group Of Kolkata

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