You have excessive facial hair, a scruffy unshaven look, enough to make any Bangali mother cringe in disgust. You believe it makes you look more serious. Even if that’s not it, you like it anyway.
You discuss politics and philosophy (aka ‘antlami’). A group of people having an animated discussion on the current political party in power and coming up with the most exaggerated ‘conspiracy theories’ is a hipster thing to do. If you wish to join, make up your own theory. You don’t want people saying that they came up with it first!
The ‘Original Hipster’ was the jhola-carrying, kurta-wearing intellectual. And a fashionable goatee, for him!
You probably puff a cigar or a pipe. Or bidis and rollies — hipsters will forever roll their own cigarettes. Even though this works out cheaper, it’s really more about the principle than the money. You are what you smoke.
You condemn TV-watching. You condemn big brands like Starbucks. However, you’ll spend the same amount of money buying special filter coffee (since it’s not that mainstream… yet!).
You don’t wear Converse anymore because everyone wears it. You find other vintage shoes.
You carry an analog or vintage Polaroid camera. You collect LP records. At the same time, you own cool tools and will take out a MacBook from your satchel (not backpack) and in all probability will possess the most expensive sound headset.
You stand out with your Woody Allen glasses or large black-framed glasses.
You focus on upcoming indie bands, not bands that are currently popular. It could be The Antlers, m83, St. Vincent or Snowmine. The first thing you’ll tell others is, “You probably haven’t heard of them yet....” You need to use Spotify for these.
Hipsters are never happy. That’s why they love Twitter.
You think it’s cool to cycle. You cycle to college (sometimes, even nightclubs).
You probably like Taiwanese New Wave filmmakers like Edward Yang and Hou Hsiao-Hsien. You watched Ship of Theseus months before anyone here had even heard of it.
You eat organic food and attend farmers’ markets. You drink chamomile tea.
“Any stupid Indian man wearing skinny jeans and glasses calls himself a hipster today. It’s more a state of mind. If I had to choose someone, Bob Dylan was a hipster. But a true hipster doesn’t call himself one. The word was probably coined by someone who didn’t fall into the category. A hipster is also an age thing and you could cease to be one when you’re older.”
— KALLOL DATTA, fashion designer
“I don’t think people deliberately shifting from the mainstream to come across more as hipster is something wrong. For me, hipsterism is all about being committed to certain aesthetics — the music I listen to or my choice of clothes, food, way of life... it’s very subliminal.”
— JIVRAJ SINGH, drummer, Skinny Alley
“What is a hipster is such a hipster question! So far, it has been scientifically observed that they gravitate towards things like wine, frozen yogurt, moustaches, waistcoats and talking about how the book was better than the movie. A hipster is everything we want to be but will never be so we should all just stop trying and save ourselves the trouble.” — ADITI MITTAL, Mumbai-based stand-up comic
Inputs from Sanjana Ray
Define a hipster in your own words and mail firstname.lastname@example.org