Less Culture, More Vulture and a Whole Lot of Bong
"TM, we Bengalis are very cultured people. Everyone looks up to us because of our culture"
TM nodded her head, and then thought:
Ma, if we are so cultured, how do you explain the metaphysical paradox that is Bappi Lahiri?
How do you explain the cultured boys in your village who aspire to the hairstyle of a Disco Dancer Mithun and the moves of a Street Dancer Govinda?
And so began a lifetime of contrarianism, starting with the resolve to take the piss out of Bong pomposity.
Of course Mithun-da is culture and so is Bappi-da (Kreeeeeshna euuu aaaaar thaaaa gretesst musiciaaaaaaan obh theeeeees bhaarld). But that's not what the average Bong middle class person thinks when they think culture. They think Tagore, Shantiniketan, and perhaps Uday and Ravi Shankar.
My Ma, when faced with Bappi-da's crooning away with unmitigated joy on TV with all his jiggly bits and a king's ransom worth of bling on his body would make a face and say - "Bangalir Bodnaam" (a disgrace to Bengalis). Since I take especial perverse pleasure in the discomfiture of prudish, self-righteous middle class Bengalis over anything that they perceive as an embarrassment to Bengali culture, I decided to assemble an entire rogues gallery of such characters.
So let's go forth and revel in the glory of these assorted Bangalir Bodnaam -
Exhibit A: Bappi-da
Image Courtesy: TheHindiMusic.com
Bappi-da is cool (shut up - any resemblance between "Karma Chameleon" and "Tera Mera Pehla Yaraana" is purely coincidental). The man's probably single-handedly responsible for the recent upswing in gold prices - Bappi-da is updating his wardrobe.
His chashma may be Versace, his gold may be haggled from the souks of Dubai, but you know Bappi-da is a true-blue Bong because his "roshogolla" accent has never changed one bit since the day he landed in "Bombaaai nogoria" (his lateshht song).
Exhibit B: Sahara-Shri
Image Courtesy: BombayBitch.com
Ah, how the mighty have fallen. Yukta Mookhey? O Tempora, O Mores. Sahara Shri, we did not expect this from you. Where are those days of glory when you were danced with our Ms. Plastic Fantastic at your son's wedding? When all of Bollywood was at your beck and call?
When you wouldn't have had to suffer the ignominy of being fed burfi by the most has been of all has beens. You sir, were a role model for countless Bong men - now do you think any of them would consider a career in wheeling-dealing knowing that there's a Yukta Mookhey waiting at the end of it all?
Exhibit C: Ponytail
Image Courtesy: arindamchaudhuri.com
What can I possibly say about Ponytail that has not been said already in hundreds of blog posts over the last couple of years?
Well, his suits are hideous (Arindam baby, you spend so much money on PR, perhaps a splurge on a couple of Savile Row suits may not be a bad idea).
He probably wasn't a very imaginative kid, otherwise he wouldn't have named his film "Rok Sako to Rok Lo" - Stop Me if You Dare (renamed instantly by the punters as "Thok Sako to Thok Lo" - Fuck if You Can)
Exhibit D: Koena Mitra
Image Courtesy: TheBollywoodZone.com
O my fucking goodness! She still denies she's had plastic surgery! (even after featuring on the Awful Plastic Surgery blog) When will she admit to it - when she morphs into Jocelyn Wildenstein? Look honey, my Ma probably still has a few old issues of Sananda lying about. Now do you really want me to pull out one of those magazines, do a side by side comparison and have you looking like a complete idiot denying the extensive modifications you've done to your nose? And no, this is not pre-plastic surgery Koena, not even close, because this is after she had the first of her many surgeries.