If you ask us to name one important event in each and every Calcuttan’s life, then without wasting a single moment, we could let you know the answer—that’s bandh or strikes. Err, yes, you’ve heard us right. We know what you must be feeling like if you’re alien to Calcutta’s work culture, but for us, there’s nothing more splendid than spending one whole day of “extra” happiness—no office hour rush, no running behind buses, trams, metros and taxis, and, more specifically, no sleeping over office desks. After all, it’s for no reason that Bandhs are Bengal’s best friend—
7. Bazaar Calling
A strict Bengali’s daily ritual starts not with doing Puja or going for morning walks, but, simply taking a round at the nearest local markets bargaining veggies and fish! Although Bengali babus could spend hours doing roaming about these markets, the call for “duty” poses serious problems, and sometimes, they even have to skip this whole elaborate episode. So, you can well imagine what sort of an antagonist job is to these babus, and hence one day of extra “freedom” is always welcome!
6. Lazy Bums
We do not mean to hurt anyone’s sentiments, but one thing is for sure, the work culture in Bengal is totally different from the other cities of India. No matter what political party we support, during bandhs we all dip ourselves in the color of the party calling the bandh! After all, who will say NO to hours of extra sleep topped with an elaborate afternoon lunch followed by a sound nap? Oh yes, add a sumptuous evening of adda with friends of Cha and ta!
5. We Don’t Run After Money
Generally, in case the bandh’s being called by the opposition party, in Government companies you’re going to lose a whole day’s salary. But, who cares! Surely we “Bongs” don’t do! For us, laziness, fun and gaiety matter much more than pondering over chores that we don’t care about!
4. Gully Cricket—What Fun!
During the weekdays, playing gully cricket in broad daylight becomes quite a task, thanks to the cars, rickshaws and autos hustling over in the lanes and by-lanes. But, these are the days when you can actually go out into the (not-so) busy streets and play, not gully, but street cricket and football! It is indeed a sight to behold and one of the reasons why bandhs are so eagerly waited for by the children.
3. No Sleep Over Office Desk
Okay, let’s get one thing straight. We simply love to sleep—and any day without a sound afternoon nap would be a bad day. Needless to say, all the working days are bad day to us. However, somehow we manage to get things straight by stealing a power nap amidst work. But when you have the option of having an extra day of comfortable afternoon nap in your darkened room, upon your own bed, ah! Who’s going to leave that opportunity! Not us, mind you!
2. A Day to Literature and Coffee House Debates
Bandhs give the nostalgic Bengalis a chance to indulge in our most favorite love—literature, followed by debating over myriad issues, from politics and literature to films and art, in the coffee houses sprinkled all over Kolkata. After all, these profound jobs cannot be done in any other working day—and, we strictly believe, Sundays must be dedicated to families. So….!
1. We Have a Reason to Bunk
Well, after going through the whole list, you must be wondering why we don’t take casual leaves and holidays. Well, firstly, we got to save up on those CLs to make a solid vacation plan during Durga Puja and the summers. Secondly, we have good reasons to bunk! Ermm….yes. If there isn’t any transportation available, and if those few available are so crowded that it can choke anyone to death, then how are we going to reach our offices? Duh! It’s this simple! And, mind you, we’re not cooking up stories!