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What happens in a Bengali and Punjabi wedding? Do the Mishtis and Tadkas blend? A Bengali bride happily married to a Punjabi Munda writes her experience!
As we say variety is the spice of life. My curiosity or indulgence in blending and fusing elements keeps me happy so I chose to mash my fish and rice with dollops of butter. A Bengali and Punjabi knot decoded all the knots of at least two cultures for me. Here I jot the dots from the knots of the two tugs each flushed with colours of their own. The puns and fun – I loved diluting my astute decorum which was a part of Bong upbringing with splurge of impetuous hues from the other half. The Bong bride stumbles over the Punjabi Munda! I somehow found my heart admiring the variance.The jotted lines did not converge but marriage, yes that surely did.
The two cultures resembled uniqueness in each way, in every way- ideas, ideologies, reaction time, expression code, expression mode, verbal intonation, verbal inflection, rhetorical layouts, pitch sound, frequency, body language and definitely the slang lingo- harmoniously diverse yet so interesting.
My way of pertaining to a certain idea or a thought had a different shade. However when, a few years ago but after my marriage I entered a completely new zone. Observations piled up with cognizance of new shades and that undoubtedly had an attractive quotient. Let me take out those little threads with all its shades. How diverse are we as a nation, as a human race, as civilization and as cultures I know it better now.
The very first shade which had a contrasting existence was taking a thought process, the journey of a thought process, twist, turns, zig zags over tea, coffee, again tea.
The very first shade which had a contrasting existence was taking a thought process, the journey of a thought process, twist and turns , zig zags over tea, coffee, again tea. Debates, discussions, interpretations, yes, that’s the Bong way. The gravity of the situation automatically spurs up and you can’t think of an alternate but engage all your grey cells to think- now that’s necessary or not is another story.
Well, coming to another part of my home, where the same idea can actually happen over peals of laughter coupled with lots of vague stories in and around but finest lines of deep reflection would be far flung. The deepest thoughts aren’t meant to make you strong they just give you a can of worries. Welcome to the practical world, just puff away your thought bubbles into the air. Welcome to the real world! That’s a Punjabi world.
Enter a Bong home and definitely a person who has not ever been to one or who has no idea would undoubtedly have his brows angled in different degrees. Maybe eyes too cannot find the ultimate galore of luxury or brand clatter around. The big purchase surely snared itself exhibiting every inch from the book shelf which was arrayed at a position to hook your eyes (This year it had crossed the last limits; well last year too it spoke the same tale). The over pompous things found a safe altar at the treasure chest inside the closet though.
And then here another world where brands sparkled from every corner, the little kitchen knife which made its way in the last shelf or that corner smiled with grin and showed its “label”. Yes that’s life, that’s punch, that’s fun. Brands showed their own names here with a glitter.
Display of affection comes in a different mode all together in both the cultures, you can be pampered by a downpour of incessant mound of love and “Pyaar” through dollops of ghee in every bowl or each portion of your food, even the slightest corners would aptly display a ghee soaked emotion dripping, drooling. That’s a “Punjabi Istyle” of showering the so-called phenomena of affection and “Dulaar”
And there it is, the innumerable bowls howling from here and there with a sweet medley of sweet nothings, yes, you are at a Bong home.
And there it is, the innumerable bowls howling from here and there with a sweet medley of sweet nothings, yes, you are at a Bong home. You are served with separate plates and bowls for all the eastern delicacies. Well, if you are pampered with those extra “Fish” or “Mishti’s” you surely have banged a “Bong” heart. And if you say no, it’s not at all considered “Sweet”.
Life may be an illogical variant with lot of puns, practical strings are attached with a smoke of air that surely speaks of a real world but fantasy and utopian reality, that‘s illusion, that’s delusion. Go and do it with a twist of rhythmic sway on “Bhangra” beats
But there the world is all about a thick fog or air with lots of fancies, fantasies, galore of logic infested words right from politics to soccer, or may be Keats to economic theories arousing storms in the coffee house over tea but the real world is a bit slow paced- a languid air swaying. Let it take its own sweet time.
That’s how the colours vary and each colour wraps a unique tale. And yes I love it that way both my ghee soaked “Parantha” and my extra sugar coated “Mishti” “Rosogullas”. The blend with the extra “Tadka” is surely what the two cultures unfold. Marriages are blending the “Tadka” in the right proportion.
Bengali wedding image via Shutterstock
Ronita- Maitra Bhandari is a Creative Writer/Blogger. Her passion for written words have always
For some strange reasons, “liberal” Bengali women seem to be falling over themselves to marry non Bengalis from patently patriarchal and misogynistic cultures (think Karwa Chauth) and who are also known for female foeticide. As I see it, for self confessedly feminist Bengali women, it seems feminism is the right to choose a life with LESS freedom (diet, change in religious festivals and observances, finance, language) post marriage with a non Bengali. Even Bengali Muslims don’t intermarry with non Bengali Muslims nevermind the fact that they have similar religious background. For the Bengali Hindu families it’s a triple whammy. In a way by educating and schooling their girls they are subsidizing the dominant North + West culture of this country (Bollywood and Hindi serials being the soft power of this culture). Then their earning daughters contribute their financial muscle to the non Bengali kitty. Finally for whatever reason, Bengali girls married to non Bengalis seem to be overly aggressively in claiming paternal property during probate proceedings.
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