Thursday, September 16, 2004

Stereotype # 437

Airports are excellent places to hone one's observation skills - you have a large sample space to spot an interesting subject, you can have a fair amount of time to study the case in point and even if someone spots you, the chances are slim that you will be known to the person. Moreover, you are either feeling the "excitement of returning” or the "blues of leaving" and both these emotions, I feel, help you to focus.

Yanyway, the topic of discussion now is the "visiting US for the first time Bengali couple". They were visible aplenty this trip and they have some very entertaining traits. First of all the first-time-US-going Bengali man will never accept that this is his first trip - Never. He will try to "look" confident, often extend advice to other lost travelers and most importantly - he will always boss around his wife, while staying within the bounds of gentlemanly behavior. Secondly, he will always be in a hurry. There was this couple standing in front of me and the line was moving at its own pace but every time there was a possibility of movement the man would hasten up his wife with the proverbial "Taratari chalo". Another aspect where the Bengali first timer differs from his counterparts is his dressing. He will always be dressed in prim and proper formalwear and shining boots. The South Indian crowd can be caught with the shirt hanging out and/or the rare sandals but the Bengali man will always look all set to enter a business meeting.

Now let's get to the woman aka "boudi". They can be categorized into several categories but the one group which seems to be growing at a fast pace is the otherwise “orthodoxly dressed homely Bengali didi”. She suddenly gets the freedom she had only seen in TV serials and doesn't want to let go of a single drop of it. I am not lying but I seriously have seen a few Bengali ladies dressed in men's shirts and trousers with tonsa ornaments; and that people is a very amusing sight :)

I am pretty sure that none of the people reading this blog fall into any of these categories. So I doubt if I have offended anyone and in case I have ... (the beauty of the ... is that it can mean anything :) ) ...

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