The fact that Bengalis are pretty awesome is a no-brainer. You don’t meet bongs, they happen to you. But sometimes, the burden of all that awesomeness becomes a bit much to bear, and we tend to come off a little too strong.So, despite the fact that Bengalis are well loved across the nation, here’s a list of things that maybe we need to tone down on.
1. Yes, we’re opinionated. But all that wisdom isn’t always welcome.
One thing that even a true blue Bengali would admit to is that we’re incredibly loud. We’re conversationalists and have a point to make about literally everything. Basically, if you hand us a bhaar of cha and a cigarette, we’ll rattle off on autopilot, discussing and debating on anything and everything under the sky. In our jest however, we often fail to realize that our brutal honesty isn’t always welcome.
2. That accent, though.
Irrespective of how long we’ve been settled away from Bong-land, the quintessentially Bengali accent refuses to leave us. But hey, it’s not that we’re not making an effort. We’re just very hellbent on not being too estranged from our roots. Don’t judge us.
3. All that ‘kalchaar’ sometimes gets to our heads.
Don’t fight it, fellow Bangalees, we think we’re a superior lot sometimes (always). No point denying any of it. Of course we’re well rounded, educated individuals. But more often than not, you will find a beedi-smoking aantel uncle making a declaration that Rabindra Sangeet is the only ‘real music’ and no literature can surpass what Bangali literary stalwarts have graced us with. All that unabashed dissing of other cultures is a tad bit uncool, no? Tsk.
4. Cannot help but speak in Bangla around another Bong in a sea of non-bengali friends.
Nobody takes community camaraderie as seriously as we Bengalis do. There is an unmistakable spark of glee in every Bengali’s face when the response to ‘Tumi Bangalee?’ is in the affirmative. And then there’s the tendency to rattle off in Bangla with a fellow bong, while a whole lot of non-bengali speaking friends look on. Bangali’r uttejona control kora mushkil. Oops.
5. One word. Dada.
Bengalis are a whole other brand of crazy when it comes to sports. And cricket, for us, is synonymous with Sourav Ganguly. Remember that time Dada stripped off his shirt and waved it around his head in excitement? Thousands of Bengalis across the nation followed suit and probably cried a bucket full of tears in that emotional moment. The only downside to this obsession is that we sometimes get unreasonably and aggressively defensive about Ganguly. I’m certain you’ll find Bongs religiously following ‘Dadagiri’ rather than watch Virat Kohli kicking ass on the cricket pitch.
6. Too many talents. Too much snooty-ness.
The reason why we’re so damn cultured is that every Bengali kid has gone through an initiation ritual involving being put (forcibly, more often than not) in classes for basically EVERYTHING. Painting, singing, dancing, cricket, football, theatre, guitar- you name it, and every Bong kid has gone through those years of reluctant training in each of these. What then seemed like training to be a part of a circus company, is something we’ve all grown up to cherish quite a bit. And while we’re basking in the glory of our skills, we’re unconsciously (mostly) giving a tonne of shade to a whole lot of people.
7. There’s no ignoring the maachh-bhaat-biryani obsession.
The fact that Bengalis take their food very very seriously is not exactly news. Speaking on behalf of every single Bong on planet Earth, I need my fucking plate of bhaat every single day (sometimes for every meal). And please, don’t even try to pass off that weird spicy pulao WITHOUT any aloo or egg as Biryani. It’s not real. Now, this staunch stance on food obviously means that we garner a lot of hate from every non-bengali around us. It’s impossible to handle a Bengali who hasn’t had a satisfactory meal. Ask my flatmates.
8. We’re lazy AF.
Yes, we Bengalis are famous for being lazy, pot-bellied couch potatoes. But the rest of you guys will never get the sheer pleasure derived from that perfect nap with your beloved pashbaalish after a sumptuous meal of aloo-posto-mangsho-bhaat. Hey, it’s not just that we’re lazy bums. When sabzi consists of a delicious concoction of aloo and poppy seeds cooked to perfection, it’s a high that even the best variety of cream will fall short of.
9. We tend to go overboard with our political discussions
Bengalis have an acumen for everything politics (or we like to think we do). When a bunch of Bongs sit around with cha and cigarettes, it’s inevitable that adda would veer towards an adrenaline fuelled debate about political ideologies and the state of affairs in the nation. While we totally dig these incredibly enriching and stimulating conversations, the problem arises when we tend to go a little overboard with the aggression. It’s all cool as long as we don’t go to the extent of almost tearing at each other’s throats.
10. We’re famous for being a tad too stingy.
We Bengalis are so preoccupied with literature and culture and spending money on food and books, nobody gives two hoots about fancy attire and jewellery, or anything even remotely fashionable. The amount of gratification we derive from good adda and exploring the byzantine lanes of College Street in the search for vintage obscure editions of literary gems, is something that material possessions can never match up to. However, we never shy away from passing our judgements on the better groomed lot, calling them flashy. Not cool.