Sons of Bengal

Read this earlier, but still fun !


To Chhoton, Bulbul, Khoka, Laltu, Gogol, Babu, Buro, Tutu, Bubu, Ghoton,
Bhutan, Chhotka, Shanto, Bubai, Tubul . . . et al.

Here is an attempt to alert people to a great injustice that is being
perpetrated upon the sons of Bengal .

So you thought they were wimpy to begin with. Far from it, my friend.
Their current state is a result of years of conditioning by the
oppressors, namely, the women. By using a panoply of psychological
weapons, they have reduced these fine men to what you mostly see today.

Let us focus on the first weapon in their hands – the nickname.

When a son is born into a Bengali household, he is gifted with a resonant,
sonorous name. Bengali names are wonderful things. They convey majesty and

A man with a name like Shushmito, Shamrat, Samudro, Rudro, Prokash,
Indrojeet, Shurojit, Proshenjit, Bishshodip, etc, is a man who will
walk with his head held high, knowing that the world expects great deeds
from him, which was why they bestowed the title that is his name upon him.

But it simply will not do for these men to get ahead of themselves. Their
swelling confidence needs to be shattered. How can one go about it?

This task is left to the mothers of these lads and is accomplished by the
simple act of referring to the boy, not by his rather-great-sounding real
name, but by a nickname which even Shakti Kapoor would feel ashamed to
answer to.

Their are five rules for creating nicknames, which need to be followed.
They are:

1. Nicknames must have no connection to the real name. Orunabho cannot
be called Orun. No, for that would be logical, and such things are
anathema in the world of women. Instead he shall be called BHOMBOL. If
possible, the nickname and real name must have no letters in common, but
an ancient alphabet proves to be the constraining factor there.

3. Nicknames must be humiliating to the power infinity.. If you are a
tall strapping boy, with a flair for soccer, an easy charm and an
endearing personality, then you shall be nicknamed – Khoka. And every
time, you have set your sights on a girl, and are on the verge of having
the aforementioned lass eat out of your hand – your mother will arrive and
pronounce loudly – "Khokon, chalo". The ensuing sea of giggles will drown
out whatever confidence you had earned from that last winning free-kick.

3. A nickname must refer in some way to a suitably embarrassing
incident in your childhood that you would give your arm and leg to forget.
If it took you a little too long to shed your baby fat, then years of
gymming will not rid you of the nomenclature Motka. If your face turned
crimson when you cried as a toddler, you will be called Laltu. When you
turn 40, your friends’ children will call you Laltu Uncle. Even age will
not earn you the right to be taken seriously thereafter.

4. Different members of the family will make up different nicknames
each more embarrassing than the preceding one. If one member of the family
calls you Piklu, then another will call you Pocha, and another will call
you Ghoton. The humiliation multiplies.

5. You will always be introduced by your nickname until people forget
you had a real name. Ranajoy might have taken on a gang of armed men
single-handedly, but Tatai really didn’t have a chance. After a point,
Tatai will completely take over the beaten body of Ranajoy, weighed down
by the pressure of a thousand taunts.

This strategy is surprisingly effective. Ask yourself – would you take
Professor Boltu seriously? Or put much weight by the opinion of Dr Bubai?
Or march into battle under the command of General Topa? The power of the
nickname has scarred the psyche of Bengali men everywhere. It follows them
like a monkey on their backs. That too, a monkey with a flair for
slapstick, that was gifted to them by their own mothers, aunts and


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About Gautam

Gautam is a HR professional interested in how emerging technologies are impacting work, careers and organizations.

Posted on April 6, 2010, in blogging. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Sons of Bengal.

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