Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fast Forward: Shalom! Bong! Thank you maam!

Bongs are my favourite bunch of people. even if they're from delhi and if they have me believe that the country's capital is CR Park. This is because only a bong could write something of the sort.

The ABC Of Bengalis

A is for Awpheesh (as in Office). This is where the average Kolkakattan goes and spends a day hard at work. And if he works for the ' Bhest Bengal Gawrment' he will arrive at 10, wipe his forehead till 11, have a tea break at 12, throw around a few files at 12.30, break for lunch at 1, smoke an unfiltered cigarette at 2, break for tea at 3, sleep sitting down at 4 and go home at 4:30. It's a hard life!

B is for Bhision. For some reason many Bengalis don't have good bhision. In fact in Kolkata most people are wearing spectacles all the time.

C is for Chappell. Currently, this is the Bengali word for the Devil, for the worst form of evil. In the night mothers put their kids to sleep saying, 'Na ghumaley Chappell eshey dhorey niye jabe.'

D is for Debashish or any other name starting with Deb. By an ancient law every fourth Bengali Child has to be named Debashish. So you have a Debashish everywhere and trying to get creative they are also called Deb, Debu, Deba with variations like Debanik, Deboprotim, Debojyoti, etc. thrown in at times.

E is for Eeesh. This is a very common Bengali exclamation made famous by Aishwarya Rai in the movie Devdas. It is estimated that on an average a Bengali, especially Bengali women, use eeesh 10,089 times every year. 'Ei Morechhey' is a close second to Eeesh.

F is for Feeesh. These are creatures that swim in rivers and seas and are a favourite food of the Bengalis. Despite the fact that a fish market has such strong smells, with one sniff a Bengali knows if a fish is all right. If not he will say 'eeesh what feeesh is theesh!'

G is for Good name. Every Bengali boy will have a good name like Debashish or Deboprotim and a pet name like Motka, Bhombol, Thobla, etc. While every Bengali girls will have pet names like Tia, Tuktuki, Mishti, Khuku, etc.

H is for Harmonium. This the Bengali equivalent of a rock guitar. Take four Bengalis and a Harmonium and you have the successors to The Bheatles!

I is for lleesh. This is a feeesh with 10,000 bones which would kill any ordinary person, but which the Bengalis eat with releeesh!

J is for Jhola. No self respecting Bengali is complete without his Jhola. It is a shapeless cloth bag where he keeps all his belongings and he fits an amazing number of things in. Even as you read this there are 2 million jholas bobbling around Kolkata- and they all look exactly the same! Note that 'Jhol' as in Maachher Jhol is a close second

K is for Kee Kaando !. It used to be the favourite Bengali exclamation till eeesh took over because of Aishwarya Rai (now Kee Kando's agent is trying to hire Bipasha Basu).

L is for Lungi - the dress for all occasions. People in Kolkata manage to play football and cricket wearing it not to mention the daily trip in the morning to the local bajaar. Now there is talk of a lungi expedition to Mt. Everest.

M is for Minibus. These are dangerous half buses whose antics would effortlessly frighten the living daylights out of all James Bond stuntmen as well as Formula 1 race car drivers.

N is for Nangto. This is the Bengali word for Naked. It is the most interesting naked word in any language!

O is for Oil. The Bengalis believe that a touch of mustard oil will cure anything from cold (oil in the nose), to earache (oil in the ear), to cough (oil on the throat) to piles (oil you know where!)

P is for Phootball. This is always a phavourite phassion of the Kolkattan. Every Bengali is born an expert in this game. The two biggest clubs there are Mohunbagan and East Bengal and when they play the city comes to a stop.

Q is for Queen.

R is for Robi Thakur. Many nany years ago Rabindranath got the Nobel Prize. This has given the right to all Bengalis no matter where they are to frame their acceptance speeches as if they were directly related to the great poet and walk with their head held high. This also gives Bengalis the birthright to look down at Delhi and Mumbai and of course 'all non-Bengawlees' ! Note that 'Rawshogolla' comes a close second !

S is for Shourav. Now that they finally produced a genuine cricketer and a captain, Bengalis think that he should be allowed to play until he is 70 years old. Of course they will see to it that he stays in good form by doing a little bit of 'joggo' and 'maanot'.

T is for Trams. Hundred years later there are still trams in Kolkata. Of course if you are in a hurry it's faster to walk.

U is for Aambrela. When a Bengali baby is born he is handed one.

V is for Bhaayolence. Bengalis are the most non-violent violent people around. When an accident happens they will fold up their sleeves, shout and scream and curse and abuse, "Chherey De Bolchhi" but the last time someone actually hit someone was in 1979.

W is for Water. For three months of the year the city is underwater and every year for the last 200 years the authorities are taken by surprise by this!

X is for X'mas. It's very big in Kolkata, with Park Street fully lit up and all Bengalis agreeing that they must eat cake that day.

Y is for Yesshtaarday. Which is always better than today for a Bengali.

Z is for Jebra, Joo, Jipper and Jylophone.


Prasad said...

Lol!! You know what the bongs would say when they shee theej post?

cholbe na, ye na cholbe!

Amit said...

durdaanto dada! daarun!!

Anonymous said...

eesh! eta ki?

Ankit said...

Hilarious dude!!!!
I living with a bong friend, could identify with a lot of them...
"F is for Feeesh. If not he will say 'eeesh what feeesh is theesh!' " is awesome....

Sandeep said...

Besht frigghing posht I have come acrosh in a long taime!!!!!

Sudhir Pai said...

@prasad,amit,sam,ankit,sandeep: As every JU graduate worth his jhola and his thesis in rabindro sangeet would say,
" friends, As the famous economist from LSE, Mr.Mick Jagger once said
" Thank You!"

kyra said...

classic, i say.

ileesh maach is delicious. and no boned-fish can intimidate me. it's taken me years of practice, but
now i can safely say that i can eat fish in the dark. no ordinary feat, that.

i was brought up in cal.
and now that i'm away from the city, i spend half my time missing it (the other half spent missing delhi).

i loved this post. :)

Anonymous said...

Haha!The horrors we have survived!

The Darjee has to be directed here, even if he will close the window halfway through 'a pal of mine on the phone' and even if he will dismiss it with a 'yeh tho mood ila ho gya.'

Sudhir Pai said...

Maach, obliged!
With a lil more practice I'm sure you'll devour Hilsas in your sleep![:)]

Well I loved the bong food I had at this place called Babu Moshai in CR Park, Delhi. Haven't had too much besides that...But i'd love to live in Cal if my career takes me there [:)]

Sudhir Pai said...

@Narcotic: Ha ha ha! I'm sure Darji would refute all these charges and the rest his "case"!

Descorpio said...

he he...good one..i ve got my fair share of bong friends and know one who ll be quite irritated by this post..wait..lemme send him the link..
reminds me of what my good friend, bhatia said in jest once,'bhagwaan ne diya gaali, pehdha hua bengaali'.. ha then or hate them, you cant live without them..

brmallya said...

Dude, awesome write up ! Made my day

swatilekha said...

Pai ! i congratulate you on your thesis on bengalis !

ekdom phata-phati likhecho guru :) kintu Q ta incomplete roye gelo je...

swatilekha said...

and yes, W might be 'Oatar', no true bong worth his/her salt says water ! or even the letter W is 'dobolu'...

Gargi said...

Its hilarious, had a good laugh while reading it. Though I cannot say I love it, but must appreciate your observation.
Sudhir, I think you missed onething, the coffee house adda in college street where in all 'jukti-tokko' sessions, every statement is refuted by saying "dhur moshai, oshob baaje kotha..." and "momota-Buddha babu" discussion which is the topping the chart of their favorite topics.

Sudhir Pai said...

well I wouldn't generalize your statement but then again, ha ha ha!

@brmallaya: Good to see you here dude! welcome to my world!

@Swati: Kind words those! well I've missed out on a lot actually , may be should start with the letters of the hindi alphabet too...

@gargi: Oh my! I missed that sacrosanct venue that's hosted several diatribes of marxism over many more cups of chai and even more plates of biscoot! My my...
Hon-bongs or non-bongs like me will never get it,huh? [:)]

Rambling Man said...

I just burst out laughing at "eeesh" and "feeesh" (..with the exact same number of es too!! :p) U've captured the essence of these strange creatures perfectly mate!!!

Sudhir Pai said...

ha ha ha, you give me too much credit!

Anonymous said...

awesome dude!!!....if u don mind a suggestion for next blog ..Mallus - the simbly muSigal peeblle

Sudhir Pai said...

@anon: Are you a mallu brether from anether maather?

Priyanka said...

Your best post, methinks... Reminds you of all the bongs you have known and can identify all this with..

Sudhir Pai said...

ha ha ha!
They're a fun bunch aren't they?

Anonymous said...

A paarfect n phaantaastic post.

Anonymous said...

BTW where/when did you peek theesh paarfect Bengali bhaasa?
Me Cudious?

#r!$#!k@ said...

Nowe that I ham mobing bhack to Kolkata, I maast relarn the bhol blaady langbage again. Bhat iph I need any rephrances I bhill come bhack to dhis blag. Good jab Pai!