Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our world

"Remember how we watched three Uttam Kumar classics back to back that Saptami night? which year was it? Remember..Rintu was in college I think, it must be '96. And what about the saree shopping we did together on the gariahat roads? remember the crowd, and the phuchka breaks we kept taking. That year Pujo was the best, we were all together, the pandals, the dhunochi naach, the aaroti..."

It is at such moments when I see mamma go all nostalgic about her past, that I realize what a completely different life we bengali children lead here in Muscat. The set of kids that I mix with and also some others whom I see around have our own little culture, and we follow it to the core. Uttam kumar could be missing, and we might not have fond memories of gariahat road, but this post will give you all a peek into our culture.

When we, pre-teens and teens meet each other at the Bengali parties, that we are dragged to, or at pujas and other such social functions, do we greet each other like our counterparts in Calcutta? do we say, "Ki re kemon achish?" No!! we dont, we usually say "hey" and give a hi5 or just smile and say, "You alright?" The irony is not here, the irony is in the fact that in the same breath we greet our elders in proper unaccented bengali, we continue to eat bengali food without the slightest knowledge of its name or recipe, we continue to respond to the queer pet names we carry, and we continue to live in the little cultural domain that we have created in a faraway shore quite naturally.

We have no idea how great Soumitra Chaterjee was as an actor, or how beautiful Suchitra Sen. We think Mithun is a loser and feel bengali black and white flicks are a bore, we hardly know anything about Tagore, and yet we dance to his songs and even sing a few for social dos, we get the steps right, we get the tunes right, the lyrics, written using the English alphabets are easily memorized, we even manage the expressions, but we remain passionless about his emotions, we remain aloof to his sentiments. His essence is lost in us.

We buy clothes whenever we want or feel like, there is no excitement about new clothes during the festive season, we live typical NRI lives and yet return home on time to report the day's events in Bengali to our parents, our lives are a paradox that even we cannot explain, and yet we live it without any difficulty in this small world of the Bengali kids in Muscat.

This was a break I took between my exam studies. If my brother can become a hit here..why not me?? c'mon guys, I gave you a thought to ponder upon..let the comments flow in.

with love