You have grown up watching Hindi serials and Sanjay Leela Bhansali getting it all wrong. I mean, those Dola-Dola moves? You laughed about them with your Bong friends for nearly two years straight. And then there was " nikaaaaa!" Komolika on T.V.
You know that those representations were not even close to the real experience. This is how it really was for us Bongs:
1. You are more used to people calling you by your daaknaam than your bhalonaam.
2. You have at least one weird nickname that you'd rather die than make public.
3. Mosha and tiktiki are your life long enemies.
4. You have mastered the art of hanging and tucking a moshari (mosquito net).
5. You can't even imagine a Sunday breakfast that doesn't involve luchi and aloor torkari.
6. You can separate your fish from its bones faster than some people can say " isme kaante hain!"
7. The smell of Boroline makes you yearn for home.
8. You judge people who say they don't read books.
9. At some point in your life, you had to deal with your family's ambition of shaping you into an artist of some kind.
10. You know that the secret to enjoying a meal of hot rice with ghee/jhol/daal lies in eating with your hand and not with spoons.
11. A meal is incomplete for you unless it's followed by some kind of mishti.
12. You know that the right time to eat mishti is all the time.
13. People think Bengali food is all about fish and sondesh, but you know better.
14. Every January, you start the year by charting out the Durga Puja dates on your calendar.
15. Saraswati Pujas were your favourite festival because it was the only time you were actually not allowed to study.
16. You can carry Indian clothes with complete ease thanks to years of training at the Puja celebrations.
17. Birthdays and anniversaries are always made special with payesh.
18. " Thanda lege jaabe!" is your theme song for four months of your life every year.
19. You feel an instant surge of love every time you see a Bengali in a public place - even if it is a stranger.
20. You can't not speak to other Bongs in Bangla, even if other non-Bengalis are involved in the conversation.
21. You are oddly fond of all the Bengali serials your mum watches and are secretly addicted to the dramatic plot twists.
22. Books were and continue to be your favourite birthday present.
23. Every year, you go all out and dhunuchi dance like a pro - even if you have two left feet.
24. You wholeheartedly believe in the magic of an afternoon siesta.
25. Comfort food = bread dipped in mangshor jhol (mutton curry).
26. Your paash balish is your favourite bed fellow.
27. You knew it's that time of the year when everyone around you starts greeting you with " kota jama kena holo?" (how many clothes have you bought so far?)
28. Not just your own family but your entire para adopts you as their own child. You thought you could keep secrets? You naive person, you!
29. Unless they are related to you, assume that all "uncles" are " kakus" and all "aunties" are " mashis". Even if they are married to each other.
30. Nyaka is possibly the worst insult anyone could hurl at you.
31. There are two ways to say your name. The way everyone else says it, and the Bong way.
"Hello, Aupoorbo! Nice to meet you!"
32. You have had hours of laughter at the expense of relatives who can't speak proper Hindi.
"Tum bus mein karke aaya na gaadi mein?"
33. Owing to your naughtiness, you've earned yourself titles like "oshobyo!" "apodbalai!" "hotochchada!" and "bandor!" as a child.
34. You understand what ulu is, and you're actually quite good at it.
35. You believe that a strong opinionated debate is good for your digestion.
36. Apart from of course, Gelusil. That stuff is the best.
37. For the longest time, you were convinced that the thing you love eating with your cha is called "beeskoooot".
38. No real Bong can pronouce the words 'sachet', 'sea shore' and " rokda" without slurring.
39. Unlike your non-Bong friends, you can enjoy the beauty that is Bengali music. Suman, Chandrabindu, Cactus...it's a goldmine, and just for you!
40. No amount of swearing in Hindi and English can match the relief you feel after saying " nikuchi korechhe!" (to hell with it all!)
Sounds familiar, doesn't it? But you should head now. Onek hoyechhe!