Dugga Dugga

Dugga Dugga

The festive season felt ominous for some reason. He hadn’t called. And he hadn’t let her know when he’d be home.

She’d been dolled up for hours: she’d had her hair, nails and makeup done, and she’d put on the new saree he’d got her for Pujo. But he was supposed to be home a few hours back and he wasn’t. And she couldn’t get through to him on the phone either. It kept saying that his number was unavailable.

An expert at overthinking, she’d paced ten times around the room and scolded herself for not having said the customary Dugga Dugga when he left. Bengalis do that a lot and it had been their thing too, and she was scared something must have happened to him because she’d forgotten to say it. But she hadn’t called either set of parents yet because she knew they’d worry. And they were all super old. At the same time she’d contemplated asking her father-in-law how much time it took to buy a few haadis of roshogolla and some boxes of sondesh in Kolkata on a Saptami evening, but that would have given the whole thing away and they’d have asked questions about their son anyway.

She was about to give up, when the doorbell rang, revealing a very haggard man in a now-wrinkled set of panjabi-pajama, who was panting and out of breath.

He looked annoyed and exhausted and sweaty as heck but she smiled and smothered him with kisses and hugs.

“Ah, Anu, never send me to buy mishti for baba-ma on any day of the pujo. My phone died, and the shop was crowded and I had to wait in line. Now let me go shower.”

On Bengali Mommies

On Bengali Mommies

Every Bengali family has a Mommy who’s a bit of a Dominatrix. Not the leather sporting, sexed up  kinds. More like the emotional butt whupping kinds. The “my-kid-better-be-perfect-or-imma-slap-him-crapless-kind”. You get the drift.

The second you start losing weight, the Mommy pounces – she stuffs you with roshogolla and maach and tries to poof you up till you’ve successfully reached the size of the Biswa Bangla globe. No amount of crying will suffice because she wants you to be “healthy.”

And God forbid if you’re a guy.

You’ll be forced into becoming a Mommy’s boy that requires your Mommy’s permission to even pee in your own loo. And if she says no to something, going to the Daddies won’t help. Because her word is law.

The Banshee is supposed to have the worst screech ever. Well, whoever said that never met a Bengali Mommy. If you want to pick a career outside of medicine or engineering, the Banshee Mommy comes out of her shell. And the screaming, my dear friends, will be the death of your dreams.

This post was inspired by my own Mommy, who once fed me so much I threw up like crazy. Did that bother her? No.

Who Comes UP With These?

Who Comes UP With These?

If there’s a death in the paternal side of the family, you’re not allowed to participate in anjali*?! And miss out on all the fun? My Dad’s batty older brother died last year (excuse me for being so b*tchy but that guy was a pain in the butt.**)

Who the major and actual and true-blue f*ck came up with customs like this one?

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Like, really.

Now I’m not saying that this guy should have picked some other time to die. I’m just really astounded as to why, following a death in the family, one must follow a certain set of rules including:

1. Refraining from eating any kind of non vegetarian food, including onion and garlic – which basically happen to be the catalysts that hold Indian cuisine togetherfor a whole entire fortnight.

2. Widow remarriage didn’t really leave the Bengali community now, did it? This employee of my dad’s passed away earlier this year, and his widow showed up one day sporting bright red lipstick, and guess what happened? She got called a whore. Why is widow remarriage STILL a taboo?

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*insert this dramatic expression*

3. Why are kids required to shave their heads once a parent passes away?

I just found out about this, and you can imagine how mad I am right now. Just because I lost one of my uncles, does this mean I’m virtually like, this untouchable, that won’t be allowed to even offer my prayers to Ma Durga? I’m pretty sure my batty uncle wouldn’t have wanted the kids to be missing out on all the fun.

So why does everyone else have a say in this?

I’m not gonna lie, I’m upset about having to cancel all my plans. But then you never know. I’m a bit of a rebel and I’m probably going to offer anjali anyway. Because that’s something I’ve always done, and no, it’s not about me being religious; it’s just something I do because it makes me focus a bit. On life, myself, everything else in general. It’s a Bengali thing, that one thing I really am proud of, how it brings people together, and I won’t let one crappy custom take it away from me.

Right?

(**Said Uncle was a pain in the butt because he was one of those people that would just come over, and never, ever, ever, leave.)

(*Anjali is the integral part of the eighth day of Durga Pooja.)

WTF Wednesday – #7

WTF Wednesday – #7

Seen at Kolkata airport:

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This is actually for real.

No rosogolla? What the major eff? People COME to Kolkata to get rosogollas, bro. This is like, the dumbest rule in the history of dumbest rules!

Needless to say, I glowered at the stupid man till he visibly bristled. Not that it did me any good.

The airport people took away my jar of rosogollas. Despite me insisting I couldn’t leave home without them. And now, I’ve to rot in PigSty without them. So annoying.

For those of you who are wondering what the giant fuss about rosogollas is all about, I suggest you take some time out to Google it. And maybe come to Kolkata and bite into one.

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Rosogollar haari (the earthen pot is called haari)

And no, canned spongy ones don’t count.

I am a racist when it comes to food, okay? I ABSOLUTELY REFUSE TO EAT THE FOLLOWING:

1. Aforementioned canned rosogolla – I don’t eat any other mishti (Bengali word for sweets) so I might as well eat the authentic ones from Kolkata.

2. Fries/ pakode that have been overcooked and thoroughly browned. Which I take as a personal insult.

3. Pork, because I loathe pigs. They barge into my territory. And they are the first citizens of the Hell hole I currently reside in. *sigh*

(I however, eat tons of chicken. I would even eat this:

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)

…anyway back to the point. I’m still fuming. They didn’t let me carry my rosogollas back!!!!!!! How could they!? I’m assuming they’ve traded in their humanity for the brand spanking new air conditioning at the stupid Kolkata airport. Erm, okay it’s not stupid. I was exaggerating.

And when you’re sad and missing one kinda food, you (over)compensate with another kind, right?

(Everyone nod your heads, please. Pretend to be enthusiastic, too. Ah, thank you.)

So I had this.

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Apparently this is called Sizzling Garlic Chicken.

The eyeball-y looking things are just onions, relax. And S ate one cabbagey leaf which she thought was lettuce. Don’t ask me why. Hahaha.

And this.

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Mocktail. I don't do cocktails. Dadadda.

This was the lamest post I’ve ever done. I know, I know. It’s okay to be lame on the blogosphere.

Have any airport rules annoyed you?