Sarah Palin in New York

Copyright © 2008 Creators Syndicate

Location: Briefing room of the Republican campaign headquarters one day before Sarah Palin’s meeting with Karzai, Manmohan Singh and Asif Zardari in New York, September 2008

John McCain (JM): Sarah dear, you have very important meetings coming up tomorrow…Have you ever met a head of state before?
Sarah Palin (SP): Of course, I’m the head of the great state of Alaska…
JM: Yes, yes…What I meant was that you don’t have any foreign policy experience…
SP: I do…On a clear Alaskan morning, I can see Russia from my bedroom window and Canada from my living room window…I’ve also signed bills concerning the Aleuts…Oh, I nearly forgot to mention the numerous parties I’ve hosted for hockey players some of who are foreign…
JM: We think these meetings will be great for the campaign…Just make sure you look good, don’t open your mouth and are photographed shaking hands…
SP: But why can’t I speak? After all I am going to be the next VP…
JM: That’s the point… A lot of our voter base is clueless and/or stupid, and these photographs will not only make you look good but also seem ‘worldly’…That’s the whole point of this exercise…
SP: Uh, Uh

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A Bengali Dining Experience

Location: A restaurant in Delhi where I’m dining with my husband

SFX: CLING!!! CLANG!!! CLING!!! CLANG!!!
I look back to see who was making so much noise with a fork and knife…
Me to my husband: Oof! That guy is a total ganwar…I bet he’s a Bong…
The diner calls the waiter: Boy! Boy!
The waiter arrives and asks: Yes sir?
Diner: I ordered 2 plates of chicken curry…Why have you given me only 2 thanghs (legs)?
Waiter: Sir, 2 plates of chicken curry doesn’t mean 2 whole chickens…
Diner interrupting: When I order 2 plates, I want 4 thanghs
Me to my husband: Let’s get out of here quickly and please don’t say another word in Bengali – ONLY ENGLISH!!!

Finally, Gurgaon Roads Have A Name

Attention Friends!!! I have an announcement to make…From now on all roads in DLF City, Gurgaon will be called Uday Shankar Sarani…Yes, only one name will be given as most roads are currently nameless and road names don’t matter anyway in Millennium City…Why Uday Shankar Sarani? Simple…If you venture out onto the so-called roads in a car, the potholes will force you to dance – you will involuntarily start shaking your head, hips and legs…I guarantee that in one week you will not only become a dancer but will also become fitter…Bye Bye dance schools and gyms, welcome Uday Shankar Saranis!!!

Non-Cliched Bengali Imagery

I am a Bengali and I think its high time people got out of the mishti doi-rosogolla-adda-Tagore imagery when talking about us…There is more to a Bengali than just that…

Did you know that Bengalis love decorating? No, I’m sure you didn’t…They have a penchant for beautifying their homes with doilies and cheap stuffed animals…If you don’t believe me, just watch a couple of episodes of Rojker Ginni on Etv Bangla…Some of them even go to the extent of covering their mirrors with lace sheets…The other very common decorating idea is having a sink right next to the dining table…Why make the effort of walking to the bathroom after a satiating meal of chingri maacher maalai kari and aaloo-posto when you can wash your hands right where you eat?

You can spot a saree-clad Bengali woman from a mile away…How? Because she always wears her saree six inches above her ankles. Despite her attire, she oozes confidence and is a go-getter…She is Maa Durga – Shakti.

Then there is the Bengali man…Like the Bengali woman, you can spot him from a distance…If you catch a glimpse of a not-so-tall man covering his mustachioed face with a monkey cap in twenty-degree weather, you know he is a Bhadrolok. Despite his moustache and intellect (some of it over estimated because he feels that since Tagore, Teresa and Sen received Nobels, he too has indirectly received them), he suffers from the ‘doormat syndrome’…He has grown up with a ‘Maa’ fixation and is totally under her thumb…Then when he gets married he is trodden on by his Maa Durga like wife in her six-inch above the ankle saree…Why is this so? Well, a Bengali man has no physically strong, sword wielding, domineering man as a role model…Can you think of any famous Bengali warriors? No, because there are non…In fact, Bengal doesn’t even have a warrior caste like the North Indians do… We are instead bhaktas of Maa Durga and Maa Kaali – women…

I can’t end this post without mentioning the Bengali wanderlust (yes, you read it right…It is WANDERLUST)…I’m sure all of you at some point of time have come across busloads/trainloads/planeloads of screeching Bengali men, women and children with suitcases/hold alls full of snacks and food shouting “Ei Shunchis…” and “Ei dekhli…” It’s a fact that Bengalis have a compulsive love for travel and adventure and go for at least one annual family holiday (mostly during Durga Puja)…They make up 60 percent of India’s domestic tourist traffic…

I hope I have given you enough new material to create a new imagery for Bengalis…All the best!!!