Monday, October 22, 2007

Purono sei diner katha

here is my nephew. very smart.
(turns her head away from devi and faces nephew)
she is very smart too. from iit, going to grad school now.
oh, hi

(one week later)
email: shubho bijoya. sorry for not replying to your email. have been totally swamped with mid-terms. before coming to us, my parents told me to focus on studies and not waste time on internet and emails, so please do not send me any further emails. (translation: (you are not hot) or (i have a boyfriend) or both. altavista me to find out.)


local bengali club is organizing a cultural program on pujo weekend.
yeah, i know.
what are you going to do?
what, eagles?
no, a nazrulgeeti.
i am impressed.


wow, i did not expect so many people.
still it's not quite the same.
girls are prettier.
but the spirit is not there.
whatever, i am hungry. what are we going to eat? phuchkas sucked.
only fish. only fish.
yeah, you have been talking about it for months, but where is it?
somewhere in shivaji park, but i don't remember the number. let's walk.
(after an hour)
wish we could look it up on our cellphone.


what would marx say about pujo? just another opiate?

the religious aspect of it, yes, most certainly. rest is just circus.

but for five days at least, ordinary poor people look genuinely happy, don't they?

i am not sure how many of them are really happy and how many are just going through the motions. they have no reasons to be happy. pujo is merely a diversion that entrenches brahmin-bourgeois power structure by sublimating pent-up anger and frustration of the proletariat.

but public pujos are sarbojonin, universal. doesn't that help to bridge class and caste differences?
not in our current societal framework and it's not truly sarbojonin either. if you look at paras and clubs carefully, they have clear socio-economic and caste alignments.

but within each para, there is variation,too, and they do celebrate together -- socially, culturally.
not muslims. and that culture you are talking about is bankrupt. what to celebrate - hindi film songs? anyways, you are coming to the party stall on main road, right? we have a large book collection this time and we are going to show battleship potemkin on ashTomi morning at gano bhabon.

not the stall, too many old people. will drop by for the film though.


what's our strategy?

well, we can just park our asses here at shibaji sporting mandap and wait all night.

but they may not come.

are you crazy? free khichuri, bose-a(N)ko results, jalsa. ashtomi is the big night. everyone will be here.

what if they go to one of the pandals on main road first and then get stuck?

hmmm... let's split then. you wait here. I'll take my cycle and go north. As soon as I see them, I will be back.

don't take the main road on your way back.

are you crazy? only shortcuts.

it would be so cool if we could carry phones with us.

get real. for two years we have been waiting for a home line and you are dreaming of mobile phones.


how many new dresses this year?

eleven! for five nights? and your ma was saying she may not even let you go out on shashThi night.

yeah, she thinks the real pujo starts only on saptomi. but silly, what about mornings and I always save two. one for lokkhipujo. another for kalipujo.


what about you?

let's see, we are going to kolkata on saptomi, on ashTomi, we are cycling all the way to ...

i was asking about new clothes.

oh, three shirts, two full pants. no more half pants.

only two?

yeah, but six possible combinations should take care of five nights.

geek! so you are coming to our place for bhaiph(N)oTa, right?

why? i am not your brother.

but you don't have a sister.

who needs a sister?

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