Friday, July 30, 2004

Ami Tumake Bhalobhashi……………….

...................is the only sentence I can say and understand in Bengali.

I find the Bengali language very soothing to the ears. They use a lot of soft sounds and to hear two Bongs bongs speak is like hearing a melodious song.

Why am I yapping about Bengalis suddenly? Special thanks to SG and SR, who I have been spending a lot of time with these days. We have been doing assignments together and studying together. But that’s not all. Malini and I have become experts in flicking the chappals of the poor chaps from right under their nose, even during class sessions. :)
Sorry guys, but it is too much fun!

SR and SG are just 2 of the huge 22 junta of Bongs in our batch……the famous PGP08 as we are called! 22 is a huge number in a batch of size 134! So I guess I should know a little bit of Bengalis and their language. I tried digging deeper into my Bengali friends and here’s what I found out!


They love fish! (who doesn’t know this!)
I am sure my dear Bong friends would feel at home in Kerala.

According to my friend KK, bengali women are very promiscuous. And according to SG, they have the highest libido among other Indian women! Well do we have a fish connection here!? :P
(My dear female bengali friends, please note that I am just an interpreter, putting up facts I gathered from the sources mentioned above. I’d be glad to provide you with their contacts in case you want to get in touch (read ‘even’) with them! )

They are a finicky lot when it comes to food! Hmm….but who doesn’t when you stay in a hostel? People who would agree that the mess food is actually good ( well I think so. Guys, I wasn’t spoiled at home! And unlike some people I eat to live!) is a very rare community. So can't blame the Bongs there for that!

Cleanliness! I don’t want to comment about it cause though their city is the dirtiest city in India, their hostel rooms are pretty clean! But lets wait and see…..this is just the beginning.
An interesting point to note here is that, my friend says that Calcutta is dirty not because of the Bongs who reside there, but solely because of the Biharis who have invaded their city and made it their residential city cum garbage dumping ground.
(My dear bihari friends, in case you want to get in touch with my friend who was brave enough to make this comment, do drop me a line! It’d be a pleasure! Heh heh!)

Straight from the horse’s mouth: They think they are the greatest people on earth.

What do I think? I personally find them cute except when they start blabbering about culture and agriculture and don’t stop even when I give them the don’t-bore-me-to-death-dude looks.

Who is a talkative Bengali? Bulbul Chatterjee :)

A mad Bengali? In Sen


Arent they a riot? :P

Lets have something good thing about them. Most of them sing well.....I just heard a sample right here (impromptu when I was least expecting it) and it was pretty nice! Great voice modulation SG!
For a moment I really thought that Bongs were the greatest people on earth! :D

A recent discovery: They have an amazing kurti collection. They are always seen in the campus in one of those! And SR you looked really cute and innocent in that white one with the pink teddy bears! Cho chweeeet!
Would you dare to wear it to class one day?

Bongs say they are empathetic and warm to others.
Yup, pretty nice chaps. But SR don’t you think you get a little too hot under the collar when someone tells something bad about Bongs! Hope you are sitting in the A/C while reading this! :)
(yeah I am really bad at it!)


Bongs say they are very romantic. No….not the lovey dovey kinds…but as in belonging to the Romantic school of thought! (or would that be a little too much?!)
Of course they all write (or try to write) poetry!

ALL bongs smoke. (Did Rabindranath Tagore smoke?) And they proudly connect this to their intellectual abilities!
Well SR, I didn’t exactly understand this connection unlike the fish one.

An interesting Bong fact: Bengalis, when in Bengal, talk in English/Hindi and when outside Bengal talk in Bengali.
????! Confused?!

What is so much difficult about saying a ‘V’ sound?
For a Bong, Devi is Debi, When is Ben, Wood is ood! And SR says they have a flexible tongue!

What is a Bengali marriage? Bedding

When does a Bengali sound like a dog? When he says wow. (Bow)

:D

How can I not talk about the strange or rather beautiful or imaginative pronunciations they have for their names! English language fails to capture the poetic sounds of their names!
I was introduced to this aspect by my friend and colleague in Wipro Anindaji. Its not pronounced as a-nin-da but as O-nin-do!
And my friend Sandipan’s name is pronounced as ‘Show-n-de-pon’. Doesn’t it sound like “Show me the p***” :P
If it pronounced in such a different way, the why dont they try to write it in the same way!? Trying to confuse the rest of the world huh?

How can I forget all those rings and amulets they lovewearing!
Once in Wipro, during an informal session, an impromtu prize was announced for the gal/guy among the audience who is wearing the most number of rings! And guess who got the booty? Yup….a Bong with rings in all the 10 fingers!
But then, I like the moonstone ring they all seem to have. It has a very ‘artistic’ look to it!

Trivia: Bengali is the highest spoken Indian language in the world.
hmmmmmmmmmmmm
SR/SG, care to teach me a few words? I promise I'll try to pronounce it properly!

Tagore!
When I think of Bengal…I first think of Tagore (don’t we all!?)…….and then one of my fav poems which gives me a lot of patriotic josh everytime I read it right from my 5th std.
Here is it. The sentences in bold are my fav lines in the poem. Beautiful piece of work!

Rabidranath Tagore : Mind Without Fear
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up
into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action---
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.



PS: SR and SG, Thank you for giving me so much ‘gyan’ about the bongs! And do keep up the sportive spirit! We have two years more of Marginal Utility and Indifference Curve analysis to be done!

15 comments:

Aslan said...

that means "I LOVE YOU", does it not?! Taaliyaan! Clap!Clap! Clap! Why? 'cuz I'm not a Bong.. I'm a Mallu! :) Are you??? Btw some common traits of Bongs n' Mallus, which aren't shared by other Indians:
1) Both eat fish
2) Both play football
3) Both are communist!

Girl With Big Eyes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Girl With Big Eyes said...

hey kuts, nice comparison list!

Let me add one more to that list.

Both wear lungis :)

Anonymous said...

Few things about a famous bengali. Mr Satyajit Ray(SR).

CAVEAT: To be taken lightly and not a comment on bong culture , agriculture, horticulture, sericulture....

SR's dads name

BAP RE

SR's grand dads name

BAP RE BAAP

SR's sisters name

RAY BAN

Anonymous said...

You sure like 2 tok/write a lot ^ thankfully tis nice stuff :) Pleez write as often as you do now :)

Girl With Big Eyes said...

thengyu :)

I loooooooooooooooove to talk and write!
I hope they(the profs) let me do that. The way the situation stands right now, i dont seem to have time even to breathe in the next week.

But theres always a loophole somewhere.

And where there's a will there's a way.

"WILL dear.....where are you?" :)

Anonymous said...

Hi GWBE,

Thanks 4 the tip (warning?) about Bong women ;-) will keep that in mind!

Guess that everybody starts off learning a language (they know they'll never learn completely) with the same phrase - after all love is supposed 2 b universal! As is swearing! So maybe it is no coincidence that the few words anybody picks up are connected to either of these!

Don't bother hunting for Will - he is gay ;-)

R.

Anonymous said...

Holy cow, somebody seems to have picked my thots - May i reinforce, u write looong but u write luvvvvly :-)

All i know in Bonglo is Kokhon Khwaabe and Jokhon Khwaabe...N thats all i need to know too :-p Bipasha Basu, Mithun da n Saurav Ganguly rox..

Jupe said...

Long time no post - Long time no post - Long time no post - At this rate, you will lose ur regular readers(read: fan followin') !!

Girl With Big Eyes said...

:)

i'll have to give in to popular demand! GirlWithBigEyes will be back soon!

Watch this space :D
(i hate this phrase!)

Anonymous said...

Just to add to the list of commonalities in Bongs and Mallus:

Both prefer tea over coffee,and yet drink both!!

Both are averse to industries cropping of at "home" ... within the State!

Yet, both are known for their industry in distant foreign lands


And to add further on things about Ray's, here's something that my ex-classmates never tired mentioning about:

What would be my first child's name:
A-ray (as in how did this happen?..weren't you on the pill, darling?)

What happens to yours truly when he pops off?
I get a cenotaph:
X-Ray
R.I.P

This should suffice for now,
Yours truly,
Another of your co-Anzhimals (words here need liberal use of the only Malayalam Alphabet none of us can pronounce!!) called SR

Anonymous said...

Yes, glad to know ur interest in Bengali. Not strange that u consider bengali as a melodious language- it has been officially certified to be the second sweetest language of the world; the national anthem and national song are both in Bengali.
Dont know whether u counted me in the 22(From assam, but nevertheless a bong)

Fish is NOT the only link between Mallus and Bongs. Put football and communists too. But bongs prefer freshwater fish(or sea fishes caught in freshwater like the hilsa- eelish!) whereas mallus crave for the sea variety.

Bengali women r really very attractive and in demand....Only the Punjabi mundis sometimes give immense competition...but for very different reasons. Ask SR and he will elaborate.

Yes, Bongs feel that Bengali food is the best and would like to bet upon it. Can't tell u, just taste it ...Sandipan, bring something for her this time from home and rosogolla for me.

If u read "The City of Joy" by Dominique Lapiere, u wud see the dirt of Kolkata from a very different perspective.

Dont judge the Bong nature with study of only 2 samples(judgment sampling...bcoz of known samples)...u will learn more (if as much interested as u profess here) when u start mingling with the other 20.

Bongs r indeed very romantic and Kolkata is one place on earth which is very liberal and tolerable towards lovers...visit victoria memorial sometimes and u will know what i am trying to stress upon....Again ref SR.

All bongs dont smoke...i dont smoke and i m not an exception.

What is so much difficult about saying a ‘V’ sound? --- well, Thats like the way malyalis pronounce the 8th alphabet of the english language ...(the word thus formed is used to denote the coming out of chicken breaking the egg shell....hatch..ing.....If u cant pronounce it as ach...then why postmortem our tongue???) Try to say (bhai...not bai)...(bhej...not...batch)...as they have different meanings.

Yes for us ... s is pronounced sh. Its the price of literary advancement...
Like in island (s silent)
renaissance (pronounced renesa) etc...
sounds cool?...thats it

When writing about bengali, do not forget Subhash Chandra Bose either...the first man to hoist the national flag in free India(Manipur in 1942...He captured it from the British)

Also Swami Vivekananda....(who went all the way to Chicago without invitation and money to deliver the revolutionary speech that made the World recognise Hinduism as a religion.

And J.C.Bose.... The greatest scientist India ever produced but did not get his due(Nobel)due to political disparity.
U can verify the facts from ur earlier samples. I am sure that they would agree de facto .

It was a really nice write-up. Keep it up.
-Sumit Biswas

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Hey Sumit,

Good to see you in here!

Looks like you have compiled more facts that I could in my blog. Thanks for all the info.
Will approach you or SR to get all the clarifications :)

Cheers,
GWBE

Anonymous said...

hey..u r very true..bongs fume with all their might if someone speaks against them(joke or otherwise)..god save u if u r in such a situation.and the pronounciations are a bit strange esp for mallus..eg:would u imagine a name spelt anasuya said as o-nu-shoo-a? but they are indeed warm and emotional kinds..
and nice blog!!do keep on posting...

Rasid said...

Hey I am a Bengali(Ami Ekjan Bangali).I would like to say two things.
(1)The Bengalis are the most romatic persons in the world.
(2)We are very emotional .