Sunday, July 21, 2013

(Almost) Everybody is a Bengali

Now that I have your attention , with the Paati (pure) Bengalis' neck hairs prickling and the Abangalis ( rest of the world) wondering what they did to deserve such exaltation , or demotion, depending on how you view The Bengali.
No. it is not the Hilsa jhol, unreasonable Pujo euphoria, red bordered white saris, white shanka red paula, excruciatingly slow Tagore song singing singers in every family,  and saccharin sweet shandesh that makes a Bengali, though that helps. What defines a Bengali is a poetic mind and a philosophical bent, or poetic bent and philosphic mind. We thinks of words and ideas, lay them out, rearrange them, discuss them, frown over them, pedantically peddle them to our fellow human beings. With furrowed brows and a smirk, from the comfort of our arm-chairs, our self-worth supported by other cha-drinking arm-chaired learned pedants, we pontificate on how things are and how they should be. The arm chaired artistic Bengali  will look in horror at the plebian who gets up and says, okay my cha is finished, my ideas formulated, the rest of my learning shall be in the doing.  Oh no, the  beauty of our thoughts and words should never be soiled by the pedestrian action of reduction to practice.
So are we, the rest of the privileged world, keyboarded and tethered to our electronic armchairs, our self worth propped up by the mirroring of our words and images,  through tweets and retweets, posts and re-posts, a plethora of comfortable online petitions and an occasional feel-good donation, updated statuses of a flock of  bright parrots all perched on a 10 Gbps fiber optic line, chanting Me-too, me-too. Just like this blog post, re-posted and re-linked, waiting for X comments and Y likes. And I, doubly doomed, a Bengali sceptic and a Facebook Filosopher, an air-conditioned American Armchair Activist, so little to say of worth, so little to do of worth, yet so much to Update!

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