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The real Bengali wife

IF all of our parents decided on wives for us then imagine how difficult it would be for most men to get married. It's not as if our parents are very picky. It's just that the concept of a typical Bangladeshi bride borders on the fantastical. The requirements are so high and increase so much every year; Bill Gates must already be contemplating getting in on this business. So what is it that people look for when it comes to selecting the perfect bride?

Who Is The Fairest of us all? - This is the question mothers ask other mothers. Being fair is a key requirement. In fact it is much more important than all requirements put together. In fact it is considered so important that it should probably be given a place in our constitution. 'By the order of the state all women must be fair in order to get married.' And when we say fair, we don't mean just fair. We mean milky white without a trace off off-white and no blemishes whatsoever. If there's even a pimple or one black mark, then you know that the girl's place is somewhere next to devil's minions.

Education - Go above class 9 and you are automatically disqualified. Ok, call it exaggeration but we are talking majority right? Always, look for the majority. Never the minority. If minority mattered, there'd be a new Muslim country neighbouring us. *snicker* College degrees and all A's in A' Levels means the wife is too intelligent. GPA Gold and you know she'll want to go to work and we can't have that, no indeedy. But, hey below Grade 9 and then the girl would seem too uneducated, not that classy or sophisticated and crass in a way. So that's a Double DQ right there.

Health - Too skinny, too bad. Too fat, that's worse. Now, the bride has to be medium healthy. A little on the bulky side, that's what's the preference, Bengali movies don't lie. And it's more attractive when the bride claims to be on a diet, but between you and me, we know she is never going to lose any weight. The statement is a clincher, to seal the deal.

Cheap Chef - Every in-law wants a delicious meal. 16 varieties of fish, 3 ways of cooked beef, 4 recipes of chicken, pulse, rice, soup, vegetables, brinjals, the purple coloured thing etc etc. That's impressive right? Wrong. The meal is only impressive if it is managed under 400 tk, caviar/veal included. Impossible? Go figure. Bengali Wives make it happen.

A Happy Son - Don't go shopping too much, don't hit the parlour unless you want to make your husband happy and let the damn in-laws live with you for the rest of their lives. Be an exceptionally good mother, do all the housework, make sure the children complete their homework, take care of your father in law, watch serials with your mother in law, cook five different sorts of meals everyday, keep the house tidy, make sure your husband comes back to warm greetings and then fight crime when it's night. Never ever complain and don't go to work. Supposedly, all this is done to keep the son happy, but really? Sons, wouldn't you rather eat out and let your girl go to work so she can contribute to the family? Hell yeah. Well, why a typical Bengali wife is supposed to be a super-model cum super-human cum super-everything, beats me, but we all know it's true. Next up, The Real Bengali Husband. Ain't me.

By Osama Rahman
Photo: Star Weddings Archive

Beware, wedding-pairs !

AH, after all those years of bittersweet hide and seek, numerous sleepless nights tormenting the cell phone and the earth-shaking 'jhari's of the parents- it's finally THE biggest day of your lives. Congratulations! But don't loosen up in joy yet, for no matter how much you have planned through ages for a perfect wedding ceremony, there are vicious elements constantly at work to ruin that very special day of yours. Who are they, you ask? Read on.

The 'Pakna' Playboy:
Holding his mom's hand, the pampered prince approaches the stage where you, the proud groom, sit on your throne beside your beautiful bride. He stares at the pretty queen of the night, his dreamy eyes sparkling as his mother coos in his ear, “Babu, dekho ki shundor bou!” Babu nods, gives you a naughty look of challenge and suddenly bursts into fits of tantrum, “I wanna sit beside the bride! I wanna I wanna I wanna…” In the end, for sheer maturity's sake, you are requested to leave your precious throne to the bratty playboy and stand at the sidelines with an awkward 'polite' smile on your face. The big day pretty much ruined? Oh yes.

The Gossip Girls:
Oooh, BEWARE of this group, dear bride, beware! Because they exist for the sole purpose of turning your special day into a nightmare. From commenting on how the colour of the sari doesn't suit you, the hair-style so not in, the jewellery so insufficient to how their weddings were so much more grand than yours- they will and shall leave no path of ruthlessness unexplored to ruin your day while having sugary fake smiles plastered on their faces. They are a force to be reckoned with, consider yourself warned.

The Disaster 'Daadi':
So what if the god of hair-fall had been too fond of you and bestowed his heavenly gifts on you at a ridiculously early age? How is any of that your fault? And yet when the bride's eighty year old daadi comes to impart blessings, through the haze of her cataract-infested eyes that 'gift' is the only part of you she sees-“Oma, Jamai Babaji's a baldy! My granddaughter's marrying such a 'buira' jamai? And they say their generation's progressive. What a pity…”

Yes, the world isn't fair. And it has just ruined your long-awaited day.

The 'Paaji' Kaaji:
“Eh, kemon maiya, why aren't you crying? It's your WEDDING, you should be crying in grief of leaving your parent's house forever. And you mustn't say 'Kobul' that frivolously fast either. Nauzubillah! Are you shameless? Didn't your mother teach you anything? Blah blah blah…”

Seriously, if you are unlucky enough to be victimized by a Kaaji of this category- you have my sympathies. I will say no more.

The 'Faajil' Friend:
Yes, yes inviting friends and family to one's wedding is an imperative owing to social norms and responsibilities and all that. But who on earth went and invited that particular idiotic friend of yours, because you know you didn't! And sure enough The Faajil One comes to stand beside you, eyes twinkling with mischief as he puts an arm around your shoulder and blabs to your bride, “You know bhaabi, your husband here was such a renowned lady-killer back in our college days. None of us could ever surpass his huge female fan-base with our own, he was so popular hahaha...”

Perspiration trickles down your forehead as you notice the temperature of the room slowly dropping even though your bride appears to be perfectly calm and smiling in amusement. But oh you know what terrible storm brews behind that screen of calm! I wish you good luck.

By Kokoro-chan

Spoof Review

Khida lagse and more:

LADIES and gentlemen, thank you all for being with your favourite show of the month. As Eid is approaching, we are having more and more Eid-special albums coming out everyday. What a time for music lovers! Well, without further ado let's move on to the albums releasing this month. But before that let's have a commercial break. (Rooh shafza music playing)

Hello again and this time I am moving with the show. Our first album is “Khida Lagse' (I am hungry) by the prominent artist and song-producer of modern time Murad featuring Whatshisname. After his initial success from the previous album “Jongly” and some random songs Phuad has moved up the gear this time. Fascinating lyrics, wonderful music and beautiful voices all combine together to give perhaps this year's the best album. The song that has caught our attention is the 2nd one, “Mathar Upor Thutu Pore” (spit drops keep falling on my head). Dear listeners, I am playing the song now, a truly melodious one:

“Spit-drops keep fallin' on my head,
And just like the guy who walks by the bus with a bare head,
Those spit drops are fallin' on my head, they keep fallin'.
So I just did some talking to the man,
And I said I didn't like the way he got things done,
Coughing in the streets,
Those spit-drops are fallin' on my head, they keep fallin'.”

For the rock music lovers, this album has 'em all. A fascinating rock number on this album is “Pete Batha” (It Hurts), which we are playing next:

“Looking back I clearly see
What it is that's paining me,
Through the eyes of one I know,
I had a vision once let go.
I ate it all.
Beguni it burdens me,
Hard to digest and can't breathe.
Lost the faith, lost the love,
When the iftaar's done;
Will you open your eyes
And realize those were gone (To dogs)?”

And it went on.
Oops, looks like the show is reaching its time limit. We are finishing today's edition with one last song from this album,

“One Love”, the one and only romantic one.
“It's kinda funny how life can change
Can flip 180 in a matter of days.
Its time to give me
Some tips and boksis,
I work in the shop,
I do the laundries,
So give us some tip.
(All) One note for the security guards,
One note for the dirt collectors,
Oh we do believe,
One big note is all we need.”

Enjoy, and join us in our next instalment. Until then just eat it. (With due respect to MJ)

By Ero Senin





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