Things That Make A Bong Happy
We Bengalis are steeped in Nostalgia. From road names to buildings, we cannot help name dropping Tagore, Ray, Subhash Chandra Bose and Ram Mohan Roy at any opportunity get. True we were the first to let widows marry, have a lot of Nobel Prize winners and have the Indian version of the Renaissance but it has not done much for us lately.
Misti Doi and Other Stuff:
Misti Doi (sweet yoghurt) has been imported to secret pharmacy labs in the US to induce Type 2 diabetes in rats to test diabetes medicine. By 40 we all develop diabetes thanks to all the Bengali food and sweets and end up with a body with skinny hands and bulging belly like a malnourished child from sub-Saharan Africa.
Getting a PhD:
While North Indians make great businessmen and South Indians are very successful at working in the service industry, every dreamy eyed Bengali boy wants to get a PhD in a field of study which has no economic prospects. From Russian Literature to Quantum Chemistry, thousands of Bengalis are slaving in labs and universities around the world trying to covet the enviable PhD which makes him more sexy in Bengal than George Clooney.
Durga Pujo (That’s how you spell it):
Durga Pujo is the Calcutta’s equivalent of the Rio Carnival with way more clothes on. During the Talibanistic days of the 80s and 90s where it was easier to see an Yeti than the member of the opposite sex, Durga Pujo was the only time when girls came out with full colors in venues like Maddox Square and Ballygunge Cultural (not that I was meeting any) and guys thronged to stare at them. This is the best explanation I can get for the sensationalism of Durga Pujo in a state which is the least religious of entire India.
Bengalis love politics. The reason is perhaps that it does not take much effort to sit and criticize the state of the nation and even easier not to do anything about it. Colleges are rife with hunger strikes and non-cooperation movements (can there be any better way to protest that not to work for a community of extremely lazy people). Then with growing up seeing the hammer and sickle in every wall on the city and final change of government after 35 years it’s not hard to get politically conscious.
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