Friday, May 08, 2009

Bong Series (III) - The Bong Ultimatum

K in his short life has traveled a fair bit. His parents are in Lucknow; he studied in Mussoorie, moved to Kolkata for graduation, then to Trichy for his Management & has stayed longer stints in Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore & Hyderabad and Goa & shorter stays in Coorg, Kodaikanal & ofcourse Kolkata because of work. He tells me stories from everywhere, some usual & some unusual. But ofcourse, the most fascinating ones are from of bongs across these places or elsewhere.


Bengalis love to trabhel (I said, no ‘bhi’ in our bhocabulary). Infact, they love to travel in large groups. Family outings are always social outings with an intention to have some fun & a lot of rum. In a hill station, even a blind man can tell the arrival of a gang of Dadas & Boudis with their Laltu, Jhontu, Jhilmil & Laddoo, Batuk Mama & Lulu Mami not far behind. Whatever the weather, Boudis, Mamis & Kakimas will have their ears covered with colorful scarfs & Montu, Jhontu, Jhilmil & Laddoo will be made to wear monkey caps. What our Dadas, Mamas & Kakus wear is picture perfect too; a sleeveless sweater over a bright Kurta over loose trousers ending with sandals in their feet.


Back home, at the corner of the colony road called ‘rock’, the pure pleasure of ‘adda’ & stories of their travels & escapades would continue over countless cups of tea. Most would gather around Bapi Da & hear him detailing the exact height of the mountain, exact depth of the valley, exact temperature of the cold water from the tap with the exact expression on his face. It is mesmerizing. Later when Roxy Boudi would pass the club, some young lads would tease her asking if it was so cold, how was Bapi Da helping her keep warm? She would reply with a smile and, to their dismay, displace the pieces of the carom on the carom board which these boys were playing under a hanging bulb. Disturbing the game was annoying, but her naughty smile & the sway in her walk cools them off for a while.


Bengali Ma, living & bringing up her kids in Kolkata, is the best. The way she takes care of her kids, K says, he has not seen or heard anywhere else in the world, err, actually India, as K has never lived out of India. Just like any other mother, Ma would get up before her kids, wake them with a cuddle, get them dressed, prepare breakfast, make them eat, actually make them hog – early morning rice, dal, fish & milk. She would pack some snacks for tiffin too. There are water bottles for students of Class XII too. School bags get heavier with every passing class. On top of it, a kid has the tiffin box, water bottle & spectacles to balance on the nose. Ma has found a way. She does all the above herself. She picks the school bag, the tiffin box & the water bottle & carries it along with the kid till the school gate! Pity, she is not allowed inside.


If one has to visit Kolkata, it should never be in & around Durga Pujo. The city becomes mayhem. The creativity is unparallel, though, with the ever innovative Pujo pandals. The crowd & traffic jams beat your life out. There is love in the air everywhere. The girls are in their best, flowing open long hair, saree clad & innocently flirting with all boys in their new t-shirts, with jeans & sandals. There are new Kurtas flaunted too. The only problem is one cannot make out who is the maid of honor & who is the maid of the house. K tells me stories of his friends falling for the maid more than once in a single day!


Bengalis just cannot seem to have enough of food. Breakfast is over by 1000 hours, comprising of rice, dal, fish curry & curd. By 1300 hours it is lunch time & is the same & in equal amounts. Between 1700-1800 hours, they are hungry again & need a snack which comprises of egg or chicken or fish roll, phuchkas & Mughlai paranthas. Dinner is the heaviest meal with rice, dal, vegetable, fish curry, curd & sweet dish. Sweet dish reminds me of K telling me how there are sweet dish eating competitions at weddings in Kolkata where people hold records of eating over 50 shondeshs & 70 rosogullas all at one go, after the usual feasting on delicacies at the wedding!


All above was nonsense by a bong at heart….

7 comments:

Abyss said...

Seriously funny!!!!

nupur said...

hi kanishk, i've been following ur blog since long. really like it. the bong series were hilarious. keep up this bhery good work :)

Jerry said...

Thank you Abyss & Nupur... it is highly encouraging to receive good comments from people you don't know !!! Thanks & thanks a ton for following my blog...!!!

cheers
K

Ankita Sen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ankita Sen said...

just awesome....

Shy said...

lovely!!! i simply adored d Bong facts of Bong Mommy..absolutely true..

Som said...

I found it funny but also very lovely......It is a practical piece coated with love and humor.....Some lines made me laugh and some made me very nostalgic......

BTW, even if you are my big bro, I am completely unbiased in my comments.....Keep it up dada!