Friday, March 02, 2007

Bengalis A-Z

As if the heart wasn't already nostalgic enough, my friend Bamz sends me a forwarded e-mail on Bongs (no, I don't think it is disrespectful to call Bengalis as Bongs...after all, I too am more often than not thought of as a Bong). I'm just reproducing the parts which made me cackle as I sat in my chair, threatening to make the good ol' won't-laugh-won't-smile serious faced me look like a 5 year old who has just discovered the joys of watching Tom and Jerry.

For those of you who've stayed a considerable period of time in the city, go ahead and laugh through the mail and heave a sigh at the end. For those of who've not been to the City of Joy, here's a short and humorous description of the most lovable city I know, the place I call home.

Bengalis A-Z

C is for Chappell. This is the Bengali word for the Devil, for the worst form of evil. In the night mothers put their kids to sleep saying 'go to bed, or Chappell will come and take you away.'

D is for Debashish. By an ancient law every fourth Bengali Child has to be named Debashish. So you have a Debashish everywhere and trying to get creative they are also called Deb, Debu, Deba with variations like Debnath and Deboprotim thrown in.

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 such strong smells, with one sniff a Bengali knows if a fish is all right. If not he will say 'eeesh what feeesh is theesh!'

G is for Good name. Every Bengali Boy will have a good name like Debashish or Deboprotim and a pet name like Shontuda, Chonti, and Dinku. While every Bengali Girl will be Paromita or Protima as well as Shampa, Champa and Tuki.

Basically your nickname is there to kiil 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!

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 Minibus. These are dangerous half buses whose antics would effortlessly frighten the living daylights out of Formula 1 race drivers.

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

V is for 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 underwater and every year for the last 200 years the authorities are taken by surprise by this!

X is for X mas. It's very big in Kolkata, with Park Street fully lit up.

Z is for Jeebra, Joo, Jip and Jylophone.


ani said...

Totally luvd F is for Feesh and the bheatles!!!! :))

Shekhar said...

ani: :D

hyacinthgirl said...

Stumbled across your blog! Can't wait to look at more of it---you're funny! Love your mention that Bengalis haven't resorted to violence since 1979! Funny.

I'm just learning Bengali (in NYC, from my Bengali friends) and hope I can keep up with your posts! Best from Manhattan!