Friday, April 3, 2009

Kolkatans - Who Are These People?

This post was inspired by Chirag's post on Indians...I'm a Bengali although not a Kolkatan and I've always found 'my people' a bit quirky...Here are some observations:
  1. We all know that Bengalis are obsessed with food...What we may not know is that this obsession has reached such a point that nearly half their income is spent on fish, chicken and vegetables...As a result, there's no money left to paint the facade of their houses which adds to the shabbiness of Kolkata...When asked, many Kolkatans say, "Who cares about aesthetics...Anyway, old shabby houses add to the character of the city"
  2. According to Bengalis, there are only three kinds Indians - Bengalis/Oriyas, Hindustanis (North Indians) and Madrasis (South Indians)
  3. Someone should tell Bengali Kolkatans not to speak in Hindi with Bihari and Sikh taxiwallahs...Bengalis will never get the hang of the language no matter how much they try
  4. Bengalis for some reason pronounce 'would'/'wood' as 'ood' (the 'w' is silent)...Even the ones who have attended St.Xaviers College, Kolkata
  5. Bengali babus always eat fish curry-rice before leaving for work...Their work day starts at 11 am and ends promptly at 5 pm with a one hour lunch break in the middle...No wonder nothing gets done in Kolkata
  6. The typical Bengali man always does the vegetable and fish/chicken/mutton shopping...This job is rarely entrusted to a woman or a servant...It is common to see unbathed men with uncombed hair in crushed pajama-kurtas at vegetable and fish shops haggling with vendors early in the morning...Bengalis haven't adapted to the fridge very well as yet...They still feel that all food items should to be bought fresh everyday including butter
  7. Women from Bengal love wearing their sarees six inches above their ankles so that they don't get dirty
  8. Bengali women are dominant and Bengali men are wimps...If you don't believe me, watch Parineeta and Devdas...Devdas, who drank himself to death because his mother forbade him to marry his true love, is idolised by Bengalis...For them, he's the epitome of a true lover...The same is true of Shekhar the hero of Parineeta...Although he does marry his love, he doesn't have the guts to make it public...There are many other stories like these in Bengali literature
  9. Children especially girls have to learn singing preferably Rabindro Sangeet
  10. Never take decorating tips from Bengali women...They have a fetish for doilies and stuffed animals and love decorating their homes with these items...Some even go to the extent of covering their dressing table mirrors with a lace sheet
  11. Bengalis have a fixation for white foreigners (sada chamra)...Blacks are looked down upon except for Barack Obama
  12. Bongs in Kolkata don't have a social life...Kids spend all their free time studying for the Nobel Prize or practicing to be the next Maharaja of Kolkata...Adults spend their time discussing phootball, rabindro sangeet and CPM/Mamatadidi over cups and cups of tea
  13. When Bengalis go out to eat, they will necessarily order a chicken dish...The problem arises when the chicken dish arrives...If all the pieces are not thangs (legs) they start fuming and arguing with the waiter...Why? Their reasoning is: if we order two plates of chicken, we expect 2 legs per plate...They can't seem to understand that a chicken doesn't have only legs
  14. Beware of the Bengali interior decorator/architect...He/She will insist on putting a wash basin in the dining area