A tete-a-tete with Bengali Culture aka 'Bangaliaana'

Aumol (yes! you read it right, it's 'Aumol' and not 'Amal' ) is as exhilarated like every year to revisit his hometown&birthland during this time of the year i.e. early Autumn!

He gets to wake up to that enticing aroma of “luchi & aloo-dum " being prepared in their patrimonial kitchen with high-ceilings. A huge heritage building standing tall & old in North Kolkata, Shyambazar. The blue wooden windows, much in need of a re-coat overlooked to the fluttering white Kash grass (“kaash phul”) field and the clouds drifting across the pastel blue sky reminded him of the white cotton candies that Chandan Kaaku used to sell everyday In front of school.

Kaakima i.e. his Aunt rebuked him for being late for the 4AM “Mahishasura Mardini” recitation over FM, which is nothing less than a ritual for Bengalis aka ‘Bongs’ as we are called, with a tinge of swag! 😉 This program has become synonymous as Mahalaya which is celebrated to usher the Devipaksha lunar fortnight and the Durga Puja.

For us ‘Bongs’, I guess the five-day fervor, food and festivities associated with this EMOTION named Durga Puja needs no introduction and yes, the synonymous red and white sari that we all can conjecture! After all, who amongst us weren’t a fan of Anurag Basu, Komolika & Prerna from “Kasauti Zindagi Kay”, 90’s kids ..anyone? 😊

Factually, for Bongs one festival successes another one throughout the year. The capital city being rightfully heralded as the “City of Joy”, the warm-hearted people also don’t fail to brace the festivities of other communities like Christmas and New Year marking the end of each year. Those lit up streets of Park Street and the decked-up bakeries still don’t fail to sojourn in my sweet childhood memories!

We have a colloquial saying... “A Bangali’s kitchen never runs of food at any juncture of the day”. Mouthwatering cuisines range from Malai curry of Prawns to a dozen of Hilsa fish preparations that any fish-lover would reminisce forever! The lip-smacking sweets- rasogolla, sandesh, rasamalai etc. are here to make you keep craving for more forever, no matter how many you have! Those can easily lure any health-freak to betray his diet regime, hands down! …. Yes people, We live to eat!!

Now let’s shift our focus for a bit to the Literature, Art& Architecture of Bengal.

Bengal marks to be the birth land of Stalwart Writers and Poets like Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, to name a few who made whole of India glorious on the world map. Rabindra sangeet’ or folk songs written by Tagore have their exclusory identity which needs no introduction!

Contemporary art of Bengal tiptoed in through our very own Nursery Bengali book Sahaj Path’. Hence goes without saying, Abanindranath Tagore is sometimes referred to as the 'Father of Modern Indian Art'.

“Jatra” or the legacy form of Bengal theatres/drama still continues to breathe deep inside the veteran Actors of the state, even being on the verge of extinction.

Such is the Charm & Enigma of the Bengal, it’s people and the Culture that it entrances many such "Aumol" , including me - to return to our birthplace during The stellar Festival-Durga Puja, no matter where we are stationed!

..Such mammoth & astounding is our Culture that we can be unfaltering, insuppressible & endless if asked to speak about our plush Culture!

…Such is the blooming and prosperous culture of Bengal that it haughtily makes me proclaim that I am a ‘Bong’ ..no matter in which corner of the World I am!!

Hail ‘Bangaliaana’ …! 😊

45 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All