Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Bengaliness!!

So I'm a pure Bangalee, which means both my Parents are Bangalee. Well, at least more or less..... So Bongs are supposed to be a smart lot- literary inclined, extremely artistic, culturally sensitive, amazing analytical abilities, & are also known for their 'Sense of humor'. True. Perfectly true. BUT. Did you know that Bangalees are a crazy bunch of people? I'm serious!! Ok let me prove it.....


So, when a Bangalee from West Bengal goes on a holiday to, say Hyderabad- where vendors usually speak in Telugu & sometimes in Hindi(definitely not Bangla though)- and end up going to Charminar for a shopping trip. And she's buying a Wooden spoon. This is how the conversation shapes up.......

Crazy Bangalee:(to the Vendor) "Kawtho te dicchein?" [How much are you giving this for?]

Vendor(who doesn't know bengali): "Thees rupiye ka ek"

Crazy Bangalee: "Oh maa go! Ektaar jonne tireesh taaka! Kolkata te eitaar jonne aami pondro taaka di" [OMG! Rs. 3o for one! In Kolkata, I give Rs. 15 for one]

Vendor: "Chalo aapke liye mein pacchees may dedeta. Pack kardoon?"

Crazy Bangalee: "Theek acche...aami pocheesh ey dooto nebo. Bhaalo kore pack kore deen. Suitcase ey dhokate hobey kintu, bhaangbe na tho?" [Ok fine...I'll take 2 for Rs. 25. Pack it properly. I have to stuff it in the suitcase, it wont break right?]

Vendor: "Kya madam....aisa loot lete to kaisa madam! Aapko mein paitees may do dedeta hoon. Yeh ekdam zabardast quality ka hain. Bhhoth saal tak chalte. Final madam"

Crazy Bangalee: " Theek aache, aami dooto tireesh taaka-ey nebo. Final" [Ok fine, I'll take 2 for Rs.30/-]

Finally, with that last sentence of "negotiation", the sale was made for 2 Wooden spoons for Rs. 30/- !


When a huge Bangalee family of 10 walks into a movie theater for a late night show of "Bunty aur Bubli", pretty much the entire theater knows of their presence. And to enhance the effect, Bangalees are ALWAYS late! So for instance, this is how the scene unfolds......

Movie begins at 10:30 p.m. They arrive at the multiplex at 10:40 p.m. As they walk into the corridor & head towards the Screen, their attention is drawn towards a lil argument at one of the Screens' door. Due to their concentration being diverted, they walk into a Screen where a Telugu movie is playing, and on the screen is Sameera Reddy doing an item number!

Aunty #1(screams): "Ohmaago! Puchki, Bunty aur Bobli te eita ke re? Eita ki Rani Mukherji?" [OMG! Puchki(daughter), who's that in Bunty aur Babli? Is that Rani Mukherji?]

Aunty #2: " Rani Mukherji kotho mota hoeygachhe" [Rani Mukherji's become so fat]

Uncle #1: "Arre eita thho telugoo te!" [This is in Telugu!]

{By now the entire theater's attention is on them}

Daughter #1: "Arre chillachho kano??!! Aasthe kotha bolo!" [Why are you screaming??!! Speak softly!]

Uncle #2(to a gentleman sitting): "Excuse me. You are sitting in our seat."

Gentleman: (confused, looks around & realizes he's sitting in the correct seat) "Umm....This is my seat."

Son #1: "We're in the wrong Screen!!"

Aunty #3: (after enlightenment dawns upon her) "Taaee aami bhaabi Bunty aur Bobli telugoo te kano!" [That's what I was wondering, why is Bunty aur Babli in Telugu!]

.......Finally they enter the correct theater, but laugh about their foolishness(pretty loudly) for the next 5 minutes!

Case 3:

You know how Indians get all brotherly & familial when they spot another Indian on a foreign land? Well, multiply that into 1000 & that's how bad it is for Bongs! So, there's a family of 4 holidaying in Malaysia[Family #1]. While walking around in a shopping mall they happen to overhear another Indian family.....and guess what? They were speaking Bangla! [Family #2] The wife was wearing a red & a white bangle on both hands, so this was definitely a Bong family. This is what happens next.......

Wife #1: (to her husband) "Oi daekho......Ora bangalee!" [Look, they're Bongs!]
Husband #1: (slightly enthused) "Hmmm....."

{Conscious of this fact, Wife #1 inches closer to Family #2. Finally they're standing next to each other}

Wife #1: (to her husband, a lil too loudly) "Ei shono. Aami bhaabchilaam eita Rumjhum-er jonne nieni" [Listen, I was thinking, let's take this for Rumjhum(some relative back home)]

Wife #2(overhears this convo, feels the need to participate, says to Wife #1): " Aapnara Bangalee??" [Are you'll Bongs?]

Wife #1: (all excited) "Hain! Aamar naam Mishti Dottho. Eita aamar Shaami, Obhinondon Dottho. Aapnara kotha kaar Bangalee?" [Yes! My name is Mishti Dutta. This is my Husband, Abhinandan Dutta. Which area's Bongs are you'll?]

Wife #2: "Aami Moushumi Banerjee. Aamar Shaami'r naam holo Odittho Banerjee. Aamar Shaami'r baadi holo Kolkata-ey, kintu aamar Maa-er baadi holo Dhakurya te. Ackhon to aamra Salt lake ey thaaki. Aamar Shaami'r office aar cheyle'r school oh kaacha kaachi" [I'm Moushumi Banerjee. My Husband's name is Aditya Banerjee. My hunsband's home is in Kolkata, but my maternal home is in Dhakurya. Right now we live in Salt lake. My husband's office & Son's school are nearby.]

Wife #1: (getting more hyper) "Dhakurya??!!! Aamar mejo Pishi Dhakurya ey thaake! Taar naam holo Konchon Deb Bormon. Aapni cheen bein hoyto?" [Dhakurya??!! My Dad's middle Sister lives in Dhakurya! Her name is Kanchan Deb Burman. I guess you'll know them?]

.............So that's how it goes! And next thing you know, the 2 wives used to play in the same play ground when they were kids, in Dhakurya!! Awww....cho chweet!! :)

So as I began saying, Bangalees are pretty crazy! And believe me, if you find yourself amidst a bunch of them, you might want to hold on to your sanity! Just a thought before I close, if you've noticed, non- bengali boys who marry Bangalee girls, after a few years of marriage, in public, are known to be extremely loud & vociferous people! :P

Sunayana Sen
(Proud to be a part of this craziness :P )

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A caterpillar's transformation into a Butterfly

There was a time when I couldn't wait to grow up, which at that time meant- start working in a really cool Company, shop with my own money, lalala and basically, 'Get a Life'! But feels like age has caught up on me unaware. I mean, ya sure I was aware of my increasing age, thanks to my Birthday parties! And until my 18th, it seemed like I was on the right track. But my 19th!!!! Sheesh!!! The panic attacks that I suffered! :O

A month before 25th December 2009, I felt a sudden rush of emotions, particularly fear. Not just fear, but also anxiety, craziness, weakness & similar emotions, yet they were unknown. I couldn't point at exactly what was the root cause of this state that I was in & that's what made it worse. Then I came up with a hundred reasons for the same! I almost went into depression....Heck, I did go into depression!!

The eve of 25th December 2009. I remember being absolutely pissed off. I DIDN'T WANT A PARTY!! WHY didn't my parents get that!!! I didn't have a b'day dress. The State was in the middle of a bandh. The attention I was entitled to on MY day, was being shared by something I once loved. My extended Family was arriving on my b'day (and trust me, they're crazy!) So all in all, I was dreading the D-day! (And then in a moment of craziness, I switched off my phone. Figured that the people who wanted to reach me, would find a way to....)

D-day!! So phone's been off for about 16 hours now. Been sound asleep for about 6 hours now. And then I wake up & the month- old anxiety hits me in my gut, and it hit hard! Shit.....I was a year older now. Finally I entered the world of 20s! Wow. So the rest of the day was pretty miserable. Had a strange craving for alcohol for some weird reason. Anyway, so the day's finally over. Thank God!

After D-day. The day after my Birthday was just as bad. The realization of growing a year older was driving me nuts. And then it dawned upon me.....

If I was growing older, so was everything around me. If I was going to enter the 'real world', so were my classmates & everyone else. If I was going to live........I might as well enjoy it! Maybe I had been looking at it the wrong way all this time. It really wasn't so much about growing old, it was more about 'growing up'. Ironic, isn't it. 1 second you & your siblings are playing on the merry-go-round. And the next, you're waving good- bye at the International Airplane that just took off with your sister in it. Or maybe 1 second you, your siblings & friends are playing 'house' in the balcony, and the next second, you're dressing up your sister on her Wedding day......There's an odd sense of satisfaction when you hold your Sister's baby in your arms.......

All I wanted was to hold on to everything that I knew so well....just that, my grasp wasn't strong enough. I wanted to enter the 'real world' holding the hand of the past. Only when growing up will you realize that unless you let go of old stuff, there's no room for the new.....If I was going to transform into a Butterfly, I would first have to come out of my cocoon.

That's when it hit me....... I'm finally growing up! :)