A Non-Resident Bong in Kolkata experiences the unique Bengali idiosyncrasies for the first time. Here are 6 of those hilarious and confusing things an NRB faces.

Bengalis are enterprising and adventurous. We love experiences and sometimes settle outside Bong lands in India and make it our own. With years, these non-resident Bongs imbibe the local culture, but also try to retain their Bangaliyana. [ NOTE: The Non-Resident Bong (NRB) is not to be confused with the Non-resident Bideshi Bongs (NRBBs).] Sometimes, these probashis come to the City of Joy for jobs or education or just to enjoy Kolkatar jol-bataash. The first few days or weeks can be very confusing for these Bongs who have lived in Bihar or Assam or even the Andaman & Nicobar Islands for a major part of their lives.

So, if you are an NRB (like the writer), here are the first six confusing experiences you will encounter in Kolkata.

1) You try to grasp the Theory of Lyadh (and why does everyone love to eat it)

Lyadh. The unofficial Bong addition to the laws of motion.

Big B's Lyadh in Kolkata. Source ~ india.com
Big B’s Lyadh in Kolkata. Source ~ india.com

2) The proverbs and idioms used frequently by Kolkata peeps confuse you

Because, probably you spoke either Assamese or Hindi for most part of your life.

Enchor e Paka! Dumerer phool! Ghora dingiye ghaas khawa! 

What’s with the fauna and flora, dude? Could we leave the jackfruit alone?

The jackfruit. Source ~ npr.org
The jackfruit. Source ~ npr.org

3) And let’s not talk about the mind boggling number of Bangaali Khistis

Each day is a discovery. Day One: G@#$% -> Day Two: B^K*C%^&A.

Life is Khishtiful!

Khistiful life of a Non-Resident Bong. Source ~mmedia.me
Khistiful life of a Non-Resident Bong. Source ~mmedia.me

4) You don’t get it when people make fun of your accent or choice of words

You: “Come on, I’ve lived in another state for nearly two decades! Of course my Bangla will be influenced by another language.”

Them: “B^K* C%^&^A

That' s not Bangla. Source ~ ibnlive.in
That’s not Bangla. Source ~ ibnlive.in

5) The Ghoti vs Bangal shouting matches irritate you.

You don’t get it because back home everyone in the small Bengali community was after all Bangaali! You tell your Kolkata friends to get over it, but they call you G#$%*. (By this time, you know what G#$%* means.)

Ghoti vs Bangal. Source ~ thehindu.com
Ghoti vs Bangal. Source ~ thehindu.com

6) And….You struggle for an answer when they ask you the dreaded question: “Tui MOHUN BAGAN na EAST BENGAL”.

By this time you have come to know the ways of the Kolkata Bong. So, you ask them instead, “Bangali cinemar DVD kinbo. Ritwik na Satyajit?” You start a civil war but you save your chamra.

Mohun bagan na East Bengal. Source ~ kolktaalive.com
Mohun bagan na East Bengal. Source ~ kolktaalive.com

Bottomline: It’s fun to re-experience your city through the eyes of these NRBs. Now, go, go find the nearest NRB and see what she has to add to this list of experiences.


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Mayuri is a Bengali brought up in Assam. She discovered her entrepreneurial passion for sanitation after a terrible road trip and started Loo Watch in 2015. She loves experimental cooking (whatever that means) and suffers from a serious condition called the 'Eternal Traveller Syndrome'