Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Where the bell goes Bong Bong

When TM is bored:

Snippet #1: So some Joe Stalin in the Indian government has decided to go ahead and ask Indian ISP providers to ban a bunch of websites, ostensibly for their anti-India propoganda. My guess is that they'll get rid of this a week or two week's time. Otherwise someone can haul their ass in court and they'd end up with egg on their face. Not that Indian politicians are much deterred by the prospect of public humiliation from their hare-brained ideas.

Snippet #2: I take the free tram provided by our university for the ride home from campus. It's a bright summer day, hot but not blazing hot. There's a slight breeze blowing, and it's pleasant. As the bus approaches a stop midway to my house, I notice the waiting passenger through the window. Waiting patiently for the bus, with a huge black umbrella over his head.

I make a mental bet with myself. Bong, Bong, has to be Bong. He enters the bus, sits near the exit and says to the driver: "you bhaar sapposed to stop obhaar theaar. Baat you only stopped heaar." Score! After that, it was a foregone conclusion that the umbrella has to be the KC Pal brand.

You see, we Bengalis are from a land of gentle seasonal transition. So the barest extra glint of heat in the sunshine sends us scurrying under our umbrellas. And the slightest winter morning chill has us reaching for our sturdiest monkey caps. The black umbrella and the monkey cap are a Bengali's proudest possessions. My dad has a black umbrella he's owned for nearly 35 years now (touchwood). We once forgot it in a taxi in Delhi. And were distraught enough to hunt the taxi down from among the thousands plying in the city (it helped that I remembered part of his license plate number). Yes it is KC Pal as well.

Snippet #3: Speaking of Bengalis, time to check on one of our very own Bong lasses in Bollywood. The poor dear has, oh, shock, horror, been accused of plastic surgery to enhance her looks! Here's an excerpt from a report speculating about Koena Mitra's "facelift" (I think they mean plastic surgery and are using the two terms interchangeably):

What about reports that Koena herself has undergone cosmetic surgery? Is that the reason she’s looking so pretty these days? “I take it as a compliment if people think I have gone under the knife to look good, when actually, it’s “natural”. People don’t use their brains before asking such ridiculous questions — I am not at an age where I need a facelift.


Poor, misunderstood Koena. Except there is the small matter of the hundreds of pictures from photoshoots of Koena Mitra in Calcutta-based magazines from her pre-Bollywood days. Including many photoshoots in a magazine my mom was an ardent subscriber to - Sananda. Why are these pictures relevant?

Because if that Koena has the same nose as this Koena, then I'm Bill Clinton. Someone should put Koena out of the misery of having to lie once too often and do a side by side comparison of her current nose with the pictures from the past. If I had access to my mom's old Sananda issues, I would have done just that. That would be a fun project for when I visit home. The strange matter of Koena Mitra's nose job.

Snippet #4: Today's my Bong day, and I just randomly found the most interesting Bengali singer I've heard in ages. Well, in my defence I havent' been listening to a lot of contemporary Bengali music, so if there are some gems I've been neglecting, do buzz me on them. But I did discover this gem all on my own, because magic happens when champion time waster meets Youtube.

The reason why I didn't know about him was because he's based in Bangladesh, and I'm terribly ignorant about the Bangladeshi music scene. His name is Tahsan, he's a very gifted musician with an amazing voice who writes his own songs. No big deal in Bengali music, right, where singer-songwriters pop out in all directions. But trust me, there's something quite special about this fellow, about his voice, music and lyrics. And even if you don't understand Bengali, his voice still makes for very pleasant listening. Here are a bunch of his songs, from his first and now latest album.

http://tahsan.net/

I'd highly recommend the songs Shoshta Khobh and Irsha.

12 Comments:

Blogger Szerelem said...

Sorry, but you're not Bill Clinton....and side by side before after comparisons are the best! =P
oh and thanks for brightening my day., after reading this - "you bhaar sapposed to stop obhaar theaar. Baat you only stopped heaar." - i laughed for 10 minutes flat and have been chuckling since...

3:12 AM  
Blogger Vijayeta said...

LOL! Most actresses forget that one can do a "before and after" check any time and catch their bluff. I also heard of Koena's surgery...but it was not on the face...a little lower though ;)

12:04 AM  
Blogger GhostOfTomJoad said...

Over from TR's...

Love your Bong description :-) A true Bong and his umbrella shall never be parted :-)

3:55 AM  
Blogger Vijayeta said...

Forgot to tell you earlier...You've been tagged!
:D

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About your first snippet: Please make responsible statements even though it is your blog and you may argue that you can write what you please.

"The govt will have their asses hauled in court for banning web sites with anti-India propaganda" ?!!

By who? Indians? Mumbaikars perhaps? Please understand: The govt is trying to do its job here in curtailing further violence incitement and it recognizes the web as a tool with such power, which is to its credit.

The ISPs faulting here and inconveniencing the Indian blogger community is not to be equated to a policy statement of the govt or any individual comprising the govt or to Joe Stalin. And perhaps you have a better solution than the one proposed by GoI?

It is a good thing that blogs are not yet a major player in main stream media, which is why bloggers can get away by making pretentious statements about a non-issue and not get sued themselves.

And oh, access to blogspot has been restored and the govt has asked the faulting ISPs to explain the glitch.

10:19 AM  
Blogger hutumthumo said...

LA teo KC Pal! eta darun spot korechhen. northeast-e monkey cap-er byabsa korle to hullat hoye jaabe.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Soumyadip said...

Well I do own a black umbrella, but that's back home and it's Mohendra Dutt & Sons, another iconic umbrella maker. But, a monkey cap - I don't.

Bangladesh does have a lot of good musicians coming up. It's hard to keep track of them sitting here in Delhi. Thanks for the link.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Rimi said...

Uff, ei chhata! Ever since I lost four umbrellas between April and July one year (the SAME year), I've stopped carrying one around. BUT. Does it spey-aar mee tha traoo-maa? No. Dozens of Bong men and women trying to shut their dripping ancient umbrellas and drenching me in the process, dumping a soaked umbrella on my lap with a perfunctory "ektu dhorun na"...and that's not counting the nudges and minor bruises from the sharp butts. Of the umbrellas, that is.

Yes. I don't like umbrellas. Now you know. By the way, I read you post and dug out an ancient Tenida collection. Polishing up the old Bongness!

8:34 AM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Szerelem, good thing I'm not Bill Clinton, imagine Clinton with a Bong accent - "Aai deed not habh seksuaal relashaans bhith that bhoman"!

Vij, I think Koena got a package deal. I happened to see an episode of the Great Indian Laughter Challenge with Koena as the Chief Guest and I honestly could not recognize her. I cannot believe that she can say "I did not have plastic surgery" with a straight face.

And I'll do the tag soon, promise.

Ghost, welcome. Bongs and their idiosyncracies are never parted.

2:38 PM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Anonymous, I don't think the argument emerging from the government of India is that the websites were banned for incitement to violence. The directive was put together before the Mumbai blasts.

Again, incitement is a relative term. I think banning something is an extreme measure that should be done with a lot of transparency and taking people into confidence, not surreptiously like the government has done.

And oh, given the flimsy grounds for banning, they would certainly end up with egg on their face if sued.

That bit about "glitch" is just some damage control statement issued by a diplomat in the Indian consulate in NY. The Indian government is yet to say if this was indeed a glitch.

2:42 PM  
Blogger thalassa_mikra said...

Hutum, LA te ki na paoa jaai. Gawa ghee, murir tin, moa, emonki chanachur o. KC Pal hobey ete ashchoryo aar ki.

Soumyadip, I too don't have a monkey cap, but many members of the family do. Do check Tahsan out, I'm sure you'd like him.

Rimi, in Cal there is really no escape from the chhata. But how do you manage with the rains and no umbrella?

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well its koenas nose breast and butt and good you like it i was there when it was done

3:53 PM  

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