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  • Category: Creative Writing

    The life of a Bengali bachelor settling in Bombay/Mumbai-(Part-I)

    1991:

    Today is a very special day for me in Bombay. I received the salary in the afternoon. So what? Every month I get the salary. But this month I have got a nice increment which had been kept secret to me. The lady accountant congratulated me while paying me the salary.

    I was happy. After the office, I went to Vashi Sector 9 fish market to purchase some river-water fish. Another pleasant surprise! I got hilsha fish there. To celebrate my surprise increment, I purchased a hilsha fish at an exhorbitant rate and returned to my humble studio apartment.

    Again I had to go out to a STD booth to call my mother in Calcutta. She was surprised. A long-distance call! Generally I write letters twice a week. When I gave her the news of my increment, she was very happy. Then I told her the real reason for calling. How to cook the hilsha? She gave me detailed instruction. The STD booth-owner looted me! No problem, today is a special day.

    While returning, I went to the landlady's flat just opposite to my own flat. She has a mixer-cum-grinder. I need it on loan basis. I rang the bell. The landlady was not there. Her daughter came out. I requested her to lend me their mixer-cum-grinder for a night. Ohhh…. Who says the Bombay-ites don't poke their nose in others' affairs? The college-going girl asked so many questions! I simply told her that I had to grind the mustard seed. She offered to come to my apartment and help me, which I promptly declined. After lot of difficulty, I convinced her. I never told her that today I am going to cook the hilsha. They are Marathi and vegetarian. They may create hell lot of problem.

    Now, returning to my accommodation. I changed. Wearing a comfortable 'lungi', I enter the kitchenette and take out the precious hilsha pieces. Fortunately, I got the fish-merchant cut the fish in pieces. I marinated the pieces with salt and turmeric. Now what to do? Let me put some mustard oil on the gas-oven and wait for some time.

    (.....To be continued)

    [N.B.: This is a real-life funny story of one of my school-friends who has settled in Bombay (now Mumbai). It describes the daily life of a Bengali bachelor in another city where he works. This is not to offend the sentiment of any person or community]
  • #591795
    From this story of your friend, I made some observations which I want to put it here. The Bengalis are fond of fish and here your friend has spotted the same tasty fish which he likes very much. Now having no idea to cook and no sources to cook, what is the use of buying fish and then go begging for mixer and so on. What I mean here that we have to adjust the life as it comes. When we are in other state, we must control our taste buds and should not put inconvenience to others by asking things. If I were there, I simply go to hotel and eat the things I want unless and until I have the full set up of the house to cook and eat.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #591797
    Mr. Mohan: My friend GKB was and is a more or less good cook. But to cook a costly hilsha fish, guidance is necessary. Moreover, very few restaurants of Bombay (now Mumbai) serve preparations of hilsha.
    Caution: Explosive. Handle with care.

  • #591805
    Very interesting story of a employed bachelor in Mumbai.
    The news of increment induced lot of excitement in his life and he started spending money on costly hilsha fish.
    His desire to prepare the hilsha dish himself also shows his enthusiasm.
    I only guess that part-II may be more interesting with new twists and turns.
    I will not be surprised in part-II if the bachelor gives a portion of his hilsha fish to the landlady as a gesture for their help extended to him for preparation of the dish.
    Anyway it was a nice reading and hope that Kansabanik will be regularly posting such interesting posts.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #591815
    Umesh at #591805, I think you missed out the point that the landlady was a vegetarian.
    Coming to the story, I think most of us who had stayed away from home as bachelors must have faced these kind of situations sometime or the other. Events and ingredients might be different but bachelor's life is almost the same irrespective of his region or religion.
    Good narration Partha! Hope you will conclude with the second part so that the connection is not disrupted.

    'Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance'- Confucius

  • #591820
    When someone gets an increment or pay hike, they would first go to a temple and offer prayer, and pay some sum to the Poojari or drop some sum in the Hundi. Strange is your friend who wanted to buy a hilsha fish and eat alone.
    Nice to know that you have a good eating friend.

    No life without Sun

  • #591823
    Mr. Sun: A great Bengali Saint Swami Vivekananda once said that a man can't become religious with empty stomach. My friend follows Swami Vivekananda!
    Caution: Explosive. Handle with care.

  • #591831
    Partha,
    A stomach can be fillled with simple rice or roti and dal. We need not go for a costly fish at exhorbitant rate to celebrate a simple and single increment of pay. Should have shared his joy with his Mumbai/Bombay friends and enjoyed it with the costly hilsha or shilpha fish. By being selfish to eat hilsha fish, your friend could have developed stomach pain, you know.

    No life without Sun

  • #591833
    Mr Sun, Partha is sharing an experience of his friend. His friend had already brought Hilsa with his increment and has cooked and consumed it. Why do you want to make an issue out of it? Is there any compulsion that an argument need to be put up in each and every thread, whether required or otherwise? Now, please don't say that it is Sun's fun! Let us put a stop to your doubt on a good note and conclude that Partha's friend did what he liked the best; it was after all, he who got the increment!
    'Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance'- Confucius

  • #591837
    Mr. Saji,
    What is there to discuss in this Partha's thread. Generally, you delete the threads which are not fit for discussion. Let us know, what is the purpose of raising such thread of this type?

    1.What Mr. Partha expects from ISC members?
    2.What should be my response? Please guide me on the right path, Editor Mr. Saji.

    No life without Sun

  • #591846
    So, Mr Sun, there lies the actual problem, right? Forum is no doubt a place for discussion and we expect members to come up with topics that can generate some discussion. But at the same time , we do and have been, once in a while, keeping alive some threads due to being unique or 'really' creative though they did not exactly fit in the bill .

    Let me make it clear that we won't allow such threads to be posted quite often and we will continue to take action to delete or lock the same. I don't want to dig into the past but you yourself had posted many such threads. We have been time and again requesting members to avoid posting news reports or reported incidents or messages in the social networking sites which does not call for any discussion and despite deleting a few of them in a straight line and giving even negative points, such threads do pop up in between.

    Sun, you very well know that ISC allows maximum freedom to its members and resort to action only when such freedom is misused or when one tries to jump the fence. So, enjoy the freedom but never misuse it so that we are able to maintain a pleasant atmosphere in this site.

    And, for heaven's sake, please do not respond if you have nothing to say on a thread; just avoid it, there is no compulsion as you are aware.

    Partha, apologies for the interruption but there was no other way.

    Members are requested to continue with the main thread.

    'Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance'- Confucius

  • #591851
    Mr. Sun" In Forum section, there is one category called 'About India Study Channel'. Within this category, there is one sub-category called 'Creative Writing'. I have posted this thread in this sub-category. You may start a thread demanding removal of this sub-category.

    Bengalis consider hilsha fish (scientific name: Hilsa ilisha) a gift from Almighty God. They can go to any length to enjoy hilsha fish. One of my friends staying in the USA travelled more than 1800 kilometer (both sides) on a week-end to purchase good-quality hilsha fish imported from Bangladesh.

    Caution: Explosive. Handle with care.

  • #591854
    Saji,
    You are right. Then what should be the members' response to such a creative thread. Should we say"Yes. Good." and rest or be creative with our responses too? My responses too creative like Partha's creative writing. Kindly answer my questions at # 591837 and avoid any lengthy explanation.

    No life without Sun

  • #591858
    Sun at #591854, I have already answered your query at #591837 in my response at #591846. I have nothing more to say.
    'Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance'- Confucius

  • #591865
    Saji,
    An unconvincing response from a responsible editor not able to respond to the points I have raised. In a creative thread, both the thread and responses should be creative. Editors allow such a thread once in a blue moon, but for what? Not to receive any comments or opinion or views from the members. Should a thread be raised to remain as a waste in the ISC forum. Really disappointed with the editor's irrelevant unconvincing response.

    No life without Sun


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