The ABC of Bengali Indigestion


The ABC of Bengali Indigestion

Illustration: Shruti Yatam


e, the big-eyed, gentle-faced, afternoon nap-loving species nestled in the bylanes of Calcutta, are well known for our varied anomalous penchants. Like vehemently believing that potatoes belong in biryanis or that our homes are incomplete if they don’t possess tubes of Boroline. We are also inevitably drawn to monkey caps in November irrespective of global warming, sincerely practice the art of embarrassment known as “daak naams”, and believe that the sole purpose of watching any film is surmising that “Satyajit Ray could have done it better.”

But amid this intense and all-consuming layer of Bengali snobbery that our identities are often intertwined with, lies a grim tale of suffering that not many are privy to. For, our bhodro existence is also marred by a potent shadow of the world’s most deadly dose of ABC – ambol (acidity), bodhojom (indigestion), and constipation. It’s no wonder then that while the rest of the world lauded Shoojit Sircar’s Piku as a romantic comedy ahead of its time, for us Bengalis, its contents was straight out of a reality-based horror film.