So I have been really sick lately: sick enough to take a sick leave which is actually for BEING.SICK! Yes, usually my sick leaves are carefully planned to avail discretionary holidays when I want to go shopping, read a book or simply avoid a meeting.
But for better part of this week, I was reduced to this coughing, pill-popping person who could well be a poster girl for the falling rupee. At a time like this you would expect supportive friends/colleagues to stand by you, bring you medicine and water and agree to whatever you say, including “you remind me of an ugly Katrina Kaif”. But no, as luck would have it, they found this an excellent opportunity to make fun of me AND my strong Bengali roots which are apparently responsible for making me fall sick at the drop of a hat.
Over the years, I have been subjected to enough stereotypical Bong ‘jokes’, and I would like to address these once and for all:
Not ALL of us love fish nor do we have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fish is not synonymous to a Bengali staple diet. We do have a lot of variety in our food, and by variety I DO NOT mean different kinds of fish! Believe it or not, there IS more to a Bengali man than his unhealthy attachment to fish. For instance, there is the Bengali man and his unhealthy attachment to sweets. Or Sourav Ganguly.
Which brings me to the next stereotype. Not ALL of us are crazy about him. Yes, he is a popular figure in Bengal, but we do not worship him with the rest of our idols. Nor do we declare a state holiday every time he comes out to bat. There are plenty of OTHER reasons why Bengal has as many holidays as it does. Blame it on the Communist culture.
But no, not ALL of us are communists, who go about holding strikes left right and centre, who avoid working and sit around discussing politics/sports/literature at Coffee House, while our kids are being brainwashed by SFI camps at prominent colleges like Presidency/JU. Our kids have better things to do: like smoke the brains out of himself. With tea. I am told it gives the best high. EVER.
However, not ALL Bongs smoke or drink tea or both. We don’t need to. We get enough high just by switching on a local news channel. The sight of Mamata Banerjee has a more potent effect especially when combined with her speech.
And finally, not ALL Bongs have terrible accents with strong local overtones. We may mix up our genders, but we do not speak Hindi like we just spat out Deepika Padukone in Chennai Express.
Now that I have set the record straight, if you will excuse me, I shall go finish my mishti doi, read my Tagore and take my afternoon siesta.