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!!!


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