So Long, Chum

India Today - - LEISURE -

The for­mer Post and Tele­graph ‘chummery’ on Delhi’s sleepy Atul Grove Road is now home to fam­i­lies with chil­dren who will grow up in a world with­out the tele­graph—or the chummery. For their en­light­en­ment, if not yours: a ‘chummery’ is a type of ac­com­mo­da­tion to be dis­tin­guished from those of the bun­ga­low, club or ho­tel. In its orig­i­nal use, it was also a cul­tural or racial cat­e­gory, in that it was for Euro­peans (and not In­di­ans), a cat­e­gory of gen­der (in that it was for males and not fe­males), of mar­i­tal sta­tus (only for un­mar­ried males) and of so­cial class (for those mem­bers of the met­ro­pol­i­tan so­ci­ety prac­tis­ing ‘chum­ming’ or the ‘shar­ing of cham­bers’)”— from Colonial Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment, by An­thony D. King, Rout­ledge 2007. Other re­pur­posed chum­meries in the cap­i­tal may be glimpsed ad­join­ing Gole Dak Khana (once known as Alexan­dra Place).

THE FOR­MER POST AND TELE­GRAPH ‘CHUMMERY’ ON DELHI’S SLEEPY ATUL GROVE ROAD

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