Monthly Archives: January 2014

Things Bong Parents Say

  1. Thanda lege jabe – To the naked or even the many spectacled eye of the Bong parents, you never have enough layers of woollens on. They will not let you out without the muffler or its twin, the monkey cap even in sweltering Kolkata
  2.  Oparaye jas na – If you grew up in a true-blooded Bong household, you were always warned about opara, anything outside 3.14 metres from your house. That is the place infested by dusthu lok. Remember what happened to Mukul
  3. Oma! Ki roga hoye gachis – Everytime you returned after an overnight stay at a friend’s place. And then baba is dutifully dispatched to buy half of the world’s food for you. While mom fusses over how you lost appetite in 8 hours of staying away from home
  4. Amar chele toh kichui khaye na – Who did George Bush blame again for world hunger? He should have been more precise and blamed the Bong maa. So even if you are having a seven course meal, your mom would insist you are under-fed.
  5. Baba, aro duto luchi kha – Even if that means all the luchi on your plate when stacked upwards is taller than Aamir Khan in Dhoom3
  6. Dupur belaye ghumiye por – The bongs take the afternoon siesta more seriously than IMF takes the monetary policies. Your parents will insist you follow that sacred family ritual.
  7. Sondher age fire asis – I have never understood the Bong’s night phobia- maybe the many layers of glasses we wear make us suspicious of the dark. So your curfew hour will be in broad daylight and significantly earlier than that of your Punjabi friends
  8. Kolkataye ki nei – Every time you want to step out of the venerated city. Remember, the world ends at the Hooghly.
  9. Osob dilli Bombay jete hobe na – Dilli, Bombay are the twin capitals of the evil empire all good Bong boys and girls have been tutored to avoid
  10. Amader culture ar oder culture – Everytime they comment on your upstart, Non-Bengali friends. The accompanying hand gestures suggest the relative positions of the cultures and your Bong dad will stretch his hand as much as he can to show the gap. Bongs are not mean but are infamous for turning their nose up
  11. amar chele ja brilliant – Every bong parent thinks that her son or daughter are direct incarnates of Einstein, Da Vinci, Newton all rolled into one. Give or take a few IQ levels. No, give!
  12. Baccha chele – That’s how they always refer to you even if you turned 30 many years ago. Of course they will deduct a few years from your age always. Call it selective memory loss.
  13. PhDta kore fal – Your parent are like cheerleaders. Only they cheer for you to get another degree. Goals and runs are for the bokhate chele.
  14. Amader barite keu bizness-fizness kore na – Business is a dirty word. Remember no capitalism.
  15. Bodo hoye daktar na engineer? And all you want to say – Dad! Let me sleep
  16. Chele amar sonar tukdo – The gold rush may as well have happened in Kolkata. All boys there are carved out of solid gold – that’s what their drooling mommas and papas would have you believe. Never mind the gold prices!
  17. Jattosob – Everytime they have had enough of you. Jottosob is an umbrella term covering their dislike for everything- your friends, your T shirt, your girl friend, your dog. You are supposed to meekly retreat after Jottosob has been said.
  18. Doodh na khele hobe na bhalo chele – Yes, chandrobindu copied it from your parents not the other way round. They have a long list of what good boys do. And you will be brought up exactly to that ‘bhalo chele’ manifesto. Including the doodh.
  19. Ma, babar mukh rakhis – The really emotional moment. And you want to tell them you have been selected in the B team of your school. Not the Olympics squad. But of course they and all your mashis and mamas called to celebrate your selection, will just stop short of giving you a gun salute.
  20. Punjabi ba Madrasio cholbe – Says the liberal Bong parent when they drop the hints about biye. The Bengali parents are fine with ‘Labh’ marriage. And loudly proclaim ‘Caste no bar’.
  21. Amar cheler amake chara cholena – So says the Bong Ma. To the flabbergasted daughter-in-law. Followed by a mark the territory dance. All in slow, cultured steps.