Move over rest of the world, it’s the time for us Bongs to shine. No, really. What with all the jaak jomok of Pujo, the brilliantly lit streets and the unmistakable euphoria, it’s impossible to miss the glow on every Bengali’s face this time of the year.
And if you’re planning to drop by any of the pandals around you and be a part of the craziness, here’s a handy list of the different kinds of Bengalis you might meet.
1. The Quintessential Mashima
She is an expert of rituals and dishes out culinary delights like a boss. High on the emotional quotient, you don’t want to mess with this big bindi and khopa donning bhodromohila ; she will reduce you to ashes with her glare, or smother you with adulation and good food if you’re in her good books.
2. The Aantel
Strewn all around ‘ Boi Para ‘, the tattered kurta-wearing, jhola- carrying intellectual is generally spotted stroking his abundant beard, and carelessly billowing smoke from his Silk Cut smoked right down to the filter.
3. The Cute Dadu
The omniscient, the one who exudes the most warmth. Dadu , with his unmistakably sweet fragrance of memories and anecdotes, will spoil you with candy and the soft gooey kind of love.
4. The Porua Bachcha
That bespectacled kid. That kid who voluntarily goes without watching cartoon for a week because his best friend scored half a mark more than him in a class test. Will without fail stack all of his books on the boron daala , and spend a good ten minutes offering prayers to Maa Saraswati especially.
5. The Mod Kakima
The jet-setter kakima who rocks cotton handloom sarees and maxi dresses from Fab India with equal elan. Shades propped on the head, kohl laden eyes and her ethnic jewellery, Kakima will put your driving skills to shame.
6. The Khelowar
The para ‘r prodigy, this boy redefines dedication. He is the star batsman and the indispensable defender on the football field. Badminton, volleyball, table tennis, there’s no sport he shies away from. That is also probably the reason why you will find him being chased around by his mother, chappal in hand, from time to time.
7. The Typical Jethu
Jethu knows best is what Jethu believes. Easily offended, Jethu has a tough exterior but recite Joy Goswami’s poetry or belt out a Rabindrasangeet impeccably for him, and he WILL befriend you.
8. The Hot Boudi
Oh dear lord! Where do I even begin. They don’t make boudis like Bengali boudis . These belles somehow manage to be the perfect amalgamation of oomph and demure beauties. And the fact that they’re unattainable makes them all the more desirable.
9. The Band Boy
Now this lot may sometimes coincide with the aantel and the khelowar , and is sometimes a cross between the two. He enjoys his bangla rock as much as death metal, and along with knowing how to play the guitar, he probably also writes poetry. Band tee, unkempt hair, goatee, and some good green stuff – that’s what the band boy swears by.
10. The Nyaka Mamoni
You need to be a true blue bong to be able to grasp the full import of the word ‘ nyaka ‘. These are the touch-me-nots, the damsels-in-distress. But they’re also well aware of the spell they’re capable of casting on unsuspecting souls.
11. The Bhodrolok
This man is the epitome of Bangaliyana and is the perfect representative of the Bengali community. A perfect blend of traditional and contemporary, he knows his Rabindrasangeet and can own any John Mayer song on the guitar. He is the perfect gentleman, with a personality that spells poetry.
12. The Chyangra Chhele
A permanent fixture on the para’r rock, nobody can wolf whistle like the chyangra . While a certain degree of notoriety is always attached to the chyangra, he is one with a heart of gold, and is your go-to person for all needs and emergencies.