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]