Category: Bongs

A Bong & his Bitchings…

Many of the readers out here have pointed out my apparent proclivity to comment on the Bong & his idiosyncracies…I am not refuting that, but then their idiosyncracies have a strange way of getting at me. I am not complaining either…as long as they warrant a blog action.

     The Bong & his inquisitiveness towards a colleague’s pay-check & material wealth is not new to many of us.  Well, on these lines, the most recent that I have been party to, also happens to be (quite annoyingly) one where I have been at the receiving end.

    A colleague-friend of mine, a die-hard Bong (one who swears & lives by his umbrella on any given day of the year) happens to be amongst those one-in-a-zillion mortals who gave up a fully funded post-grad course abroad & came back coz he was missing his room & home ambience out here in Kolkata. I remember gaping at this individual when he first told me of his trysts out there. You wouldn’t miss him in a crowd….a smooth talker, one who quite literally has the gift of the gab & quite a pleasing personality..well, not always!

      At work it so often happens that batchmates & peers do have a significant salary differential…I guess it’s nothing untoward in this age where compensation is quite directly proportional to performance. Now, it happened to be that we are not at par vis-a-vis our official remuneration! This friend of mine quite jittery at the fact & having felt let down…decides to vent his ire on me. Now, the term ire in this context should not be taken literatim. For quite some time now, I am having to put up with ridiculous queries as to how much I am saving & why I should not be saving so much by doing this(read ENJOYING LIFE)..that & GOD knows what! My dear friend even thinks that I am on the verge of a geriatric breakdown – something which according to him octogenarians experience! Get a life, dude! And to add to that, there are quite a few of his tribe who have added to my misery!! I keep wondering what is it that they want….is this the Bong’s way of expressing envy or going green with jealousy?
   Wish I knew….the old & time-proven adage of “A Bengali is one who thinks he is the smartest & poorest at the same time” just couldn’t be more apt…talk of a regressive society that is thriving in the “cultural capital” of India.


The Bong Saga continues…..

Dont know the reason, but I never fail to come across interesting snippets on the Bong! Serendipity, one might say…..!! Here is one I came across while archiving my inbox, couldn’t resist the temptation to put it up…enjoy!!

         A – is for office. This is the place where the average Kolkatan goes & spends a day hard(ly) at work. If he is in the Government (read Gor-ment) he will arrive at 10, wipe his forehead till 11, have a teabreak till 12, throw around a few files till 12:30, break for lunch at 1, smoke an unfiltered cigarette at 1:30, break for tea at 2:30, sleep sitting down at 4 & go home at 5. It’s a hard life.

   B – is for Bhision. For some reason most of the bongs do not have good bhision. In Kolkata, most people are wearing spectacles all the time. The effects are pretty much evident in the city.

C – is for Chappell. This is the Bong equivalent of the devil – the worst form of evil. At night, mothers put their impudent children to sleep saying, “Go to sleep, esle Chappell will come & take you away!” 

D – D is for Debashish. By an ancient law every fourth Bengali Child has to be named Debashish. So you have a Debashish everywhere and as an effort at creativity and distinguishing one from another they might also be called Deb, Debu, Deba, Debo with other variations like Debnath and Debprotim thrown in.

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 uses ‘eeesh’ 10,089 times every year. (That’s counting eeesh and other eeesh-ish words).

F – is for Feesh. 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 an overpowering and overwhelming odour, it takes but a sniff for a Bengali to determine if a fish is all right. If not he is liable to say ‘eeesh what feeesh is theesh!’

G – is for Good name. Every Bengali boy will have a good name like Debashish or Debopratim and a pet name like Shontu, Chontu, Dinku while every Bengali Girl will be Paromita or Protima as well as Shampa, Champa and Tuki. Basically your nickname is there to kill your good name.

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

I – is for illeesh. 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 feels 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 it. Even as you read this there are 2 million jholas bobbing around Kolkata- and they all look exactly the same!

K –  is for Kee Kando. It used to be the favourite Bengali exclamation (something like what chaos) till ‘eeesh’ took over because of Aishwarya Rai (now Kee Kando’s agent is trying to hire Bipasha Bosu (nee Basu)).

L – is for Lungi. People in Kolkata manage to play football and cricket wearing it. Now there is talk of a lungi expedition to Mt. Everest.

M – is for Minibash (minibus). These are dangerous half- buses whose antics put those speed-demons on the Formula 1 race track to shame.

N – is for Nangtoe. 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 (football). This is always a phavourite paasshon (favourite passion) of the Kolkattan. Every Bengali is born an expert in this game. The two biggest clubs there are Mohun-Bagan FC and East-Bengal AC and whenever they play, the entire city comes to a grinding halt (of course it also comes to a halt as a result of strikes called by some union or political party which could vary from once-a-week to daily during elections).

Q –  is for Queen. This really has nothing to do with the Bengalis or Kolkata, but it’s the only Q word I could think of at this moment. There’s also Quilt but they never use them in Kolkata.

R – is for Rabindranath Tagore. Many years ago Rabindranath got the Nobel prize. This allows everyone in Kolkata to frame their acceptance speeches and walk with their heads held high and look down at the humbler and less accomplished denizens of Delhi and Mumbai.

S –  is for Sardarjee who the Bengalis are very envious of because sardars are born with a semi-monkey cap on.

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 Umbrella. When a Bengali baby is born they are handed one.

V – is for Violensh (violence). Bengalis are the most non-violent violent people around. When an accident happens they will shout and scream and curse and abuse, but the last time someone actually hit someone was in 1979.

W – is for Water. For three months of the year the city is under water and every year for the last 200 years the authorities have been taken by surprise by this phenomenon!

X – is for Xmas. It’s very big in Kolkata with Park Street fully lit up. Y – is for Yeshtarday (yesterday). Which is always better than today for a Bengali.

Z – is for Jeebra, ..Joo, Jip and Jylophone.