1. ‘Fishy’ affair:
Your Bengali friend would be flabbergasted and roll his eyes liberally if you haven’t tasted this class of vertebrates. Well, for a clan overfed with “Maacher jhol and bhat” (Fish and steamed rice), that over-the top “What is wrong with your taste buds?” is but understandable. The only way to combat a vulnerable Bengali on a fish fire is to lead the conversation on and give a genuine amazed look at their “I-know-my-fishes-apart” big-talk.
2. Left Right and Wrong:
A Bengali friend is good for your G.K. He will help you know your Cabinet Ministers and what’s wrong with their policies. He will tell you how Communism got incorporated in our system and that Marx and Che aren’t the same person like you always thought. They will hit you hard with political mumbo jumbo over a hot cuppa with so much élan that you would wonder how this same group of people kept the same government for 33 years in their own state. But then you know it is better to zip-up and give in to their delectable intellectual tête-à-tête.
3. Sourav Ganguly:
You would get to hear his chants a lot, if you are friends with a hardcore bong. And you dare not say anything against the God of the Offside or else you are sure to face the wrath and the stats on how the great man got the Indian Cricket team to win matches in Australia.
4. Drilling with Dribbling:
If you don’t know your ‘corners’ and ‘freekicks’ be prepared to get the linguistic kick on your ass. Football is a religion in Bengal. It is a war they indulge themselves in. And they would not hesitate asking you to take that plunge in the muck. They would try to lure you in all possible ways and you would happily get trapped over a mug of cherry beer.
5. Travel Trance:
A Bengali friend would take you places and literally so. He would be bustling with travelling ideas and could be the travelling companion you were looking for all this time. The closeness to the mighty Himalayas and the tranquil Bay of Bengal gives that characteristic travel edge you would love to adore.
6. PS. I Love Sweets:
Be prepared to fall in love with ‘Rasogolla’ and ‘Mishti Doi’. Your Bengali friend would find ways to make you fall head-over heels with sweets and you would no longer find it hard to indulge in the calorie guilt with the perfect partner in crime.
7. Perfect to the ‘Tea’:
How you would be astonished to see your Bengali friend find solutions to every problem over a cup of tea. When you are sad he would say, “Everything will be fine. Let’s have tea”. When you are stressed he would say, “Let’s talk over tea’. When you are sick he would say, “I will make you a cup of tea. You will feel better.” Blame it all on the Darjeeling proximity. A cup of tea can’t be harmful anyways.
8. Bookish knowledge, Filmy gyaan:
Your Bengali friend wouldn’t help your self esteem much when it comes to books and films. He would unknowingly make you realize how less you know about both and you would be left feeling penitent about how Tagore and Ray killed it for you on this one. You make a mental note to read up on Tagore and see at least a couple of Satyajit Ray movies.
9. Science Fiction:
Sometimes your Bengali Friend’s scientific gibberish would get onto your nerves. You would suddenly start wondering if Political Science is really another branch of Science. But sense would soon prevail and you would stumble upon Jagadish Chandra Bose (Radio waves/Marconi controversy) and Satyendra Nath Bose (Higgs Boson) and the ‘Eureka’ moment would soon follow. You would know the source of the mutated scientific gene.
10. Cultural Communion:
You would love to hate your Bengali friend’s cultural soliloquy but you would eventually excuse him keeping in mind the fact that Kolkata indeed is the’ cultural capital’ of the country. If you still can’t, you would definitely forgive your friend over a romantic crooning of Arijit Singh or a poignant novel penned down by Amitava Ghosh.
11. War of Words:
You will be ever grateful to your Bengali friend for teaching you how to kill a mockingbird with words. Your Bengali friend would teach you how to tactfully handle a rough situation without flexing your muscles. He would teach you the importance of a sharpened mouth. He would teach you to bring your enemies to your feet and win the world with words.
12. The ‘O’ word:
Everything that starts with an ‘A’ or has one in the middle, becomes ‘O’. If our name is ‘Amit’ or ‘Aparna’, they would inevitably be pronounced as ‘Omit’ and ‘Oporna’. You can love it, hate it but simply cannot ignore it. Sometimes you feel like banging your head on the wall but stop yourself just in time.
However, you can’t help acknowledging the fact that they are truly awesome!