Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bihari Bong

An old Agarwal friend of mine left a comment on my blog pointing out how even he of the A clan knows that bhaapa is steamed, not baked as I had so heretically mentioned. I look back and think of the Khemkas, Guptas, Jhunjhunwallas, et al with whom I have had the pleasure of sharing my schoolhood with and realize that some of them are far more bong than I ever will be.

I grew up reading Hardy Boys, MacLean, Sudden and brown paper wrapped James H Chases. I have never ever read a page of Sukumar Ray. I have read Pheluda in English (does that count?). I listened to the Beatles, Doors, Dire Straits and made fun of my sister’s Robindrasangeet and harmonium.

I have no interest in sweets and only recently discovering the pleasures of STEAMED Ilish . Was never a fervent worshipper of the great Cal Puchka. Or for that matter Nizam’s beef roll. I liked the Park Circus Biryani and that too as it had lots of aloo and meat. What I really looked forward to was my mom’s Sunday mutton. That was the peak of my gastric cravings.

My friends call me a Bihari, alluding to my five years in Bokaro Steel City. Where the game I came to love was hockey. Hockey! Imagine a Bengali hockey player. I tried my hand at chess and carrom. Was a disaster. Tried table tennis and stopped when a nine year old thrashed me. And I suspect he was being respectful. I was no good at quizzing and all I did was sip beer at DI and eye the pyts.

All through college I wore blue jeans and fake Lacostes. Admittedly, I sometimes brought out my heritage by matching them with blue bathroom slippers. But that was about it. And as recently as last Saturday at a party at the castle, a Gourisaria walked in wearing kurta, jeans and chappals. A bong if you have ever met one.

I hear Bong rock groups are reviving Rabindranath’s lyrics. I have heard a few strains. Could recognize the lead and the bass. Sounded like the Rolling Stones.

Maybe there’s hope for me yet!


Anonymous said...

How did you discover Bhapa ilish recently? Would love to hear that story? :-)

And at DI, did you eye or were u eyed?

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