Bollywood has always portrayed Kolkata as an overtly friendly city, where women with a king size vermilion Bindi and big eyes don the traditional ‘aatpoure Saree’ 24*7 even to work, while the men who struggle with the English and Hindi languages are always eager to be helpful and ever so well tempered. Everyone in this city seems to love fishes and football and lives in the vicinity of the Howrah Bridge.
Well, the reality as it stands is, we live with a tremendous extent of preconceived notions in this country! BECAUSE:
1. Every Bengali in the world does not invariably hail from Bengal
We are a pan-national ethnicity. A large number of us also hail from Bangladesh and the northeastern states such as Tripura, Silchar and Guwahati. And they are as Bengali as their counterparts from Bengal!
2. And, thus, all of us do not speak in the trademark Bangla
Different places of origin have bequeathed different dialects of the same Bengali language.
3. And hence all of us do not conform to the stereotyped standards of appearances either.
So it is high time that you give up the notion of ‘EVERY Bengali girl having big eyes’!
4. Nor are all our tastes the same.
The global Bengali whom professional demands and better standards of education has dragged to other states and abroad is likely to be more fond of chocolate tart and roasted pork than mishti doi and Macher jhol and not uncommonly a lot of Kolkata dwelling Bongs can also be born fish haters. It’s a matter of personal choices you see.
5. And speaking of personal choices, there is more to know.
Do you have identical choices as that of your friend who belongs to the same community in every case? And thus just because one of your Bong friends was more fond of reading than partying, does not mean it is the case with everyone. If you do not believe visit any pub of Kolkata, which is likely to be as full and crazy as any Delhi pub. The same story goes about music and Rabindrasangeet.
6. ‘Jis Bangali ko football pasand nahi, uska bharosa kabhi nahi karna chahiye’, like really?
While to some of us east Bengal and Mohun Bagan are life and death, a lot of us couldn’t care less about it.
7. And in case of the quintessential Sachin v/s Sourav debate, answers are not always predictable.
And having alternative choices or recognition of talent beyond ethnic sentiments does not make someone an odd one out. P.S: there is no denying that most of us are a bit extra over reactively emotional about Ganguly though!
8. Every student of Jadavpur, Presidency or Calcutta University is not a jhola-carrying elite.
The master of all stereotypes! Come visit these campuses if you doubt!
9. There is much beyond the city of Kolkata than Victoria Memorial or the Howrah Bridge.
10. And ultimately Bengalis do not speak Hindi/English with a typical Bengali accent.
Sushmita Sen, Bipasha Basu, Pranoy Roy, Amartya Sen all these people were born and brought up in Kolkata for the initial years of their lives.
11. Every Bengali does not carry a tube of boroline in his/her satchel all the time (specially after the invention of modern non stick moisturizers).
12. Every Bengali girl does love to wear a sari as much as she loves to wear western dresses and salwar kameez.
And she might as well look her best in the latter.
13. Every Bengali in Delhi does not invariably settle down at CR park.
14. Unlike as generally portrayed about our food habits, a lot of us watch what we eat though we do not often make a fuss about dieting regimens.
15. While Most bong dads are cool as Ashima’s father from Vicky Donor, some can also be Baldev Singh from DDLJ.
16. And ultimately reading and writing poetry is not our hobby in every case. Some of us might as well find poetry to be boring.
We are the 21st century people. To us, stereotypes must not only be ‘uncool’ but also uncalled for. And there is nothing wrong in embracing yourself the way you are, being different and original does not make you a social pariah. In fact, it’s special and cool to stand out!