Identity and Fish-markets

Mine is not the Gogol (of Namesake fame) brand of jitteriness of identity. Rather Ashima's. Which pushes me a generation behind, in the world of genres of identity battles. A yearning for the mustard-pungent, smoke smelling of rotting glowers and burning coconut fibre, of narrow alleys, florally-bent second-storey railings, of a language in which I used to dream. A script I used to write on long sheets, taking time convoluting the loops and swirls, and admiring it in winter sun.

Like the Gujju businessman in Kaneida, I think if and when I go back, it will all fit into my pristine memory, mornings will be muggy, crossroads will be bustling, men will buy fish and women will buy masala. And there will be no broad roads connecting the airport and Rajarhat, no farmers evicted on the way to VIP Road, no malls with sliding doors, no cosmopolitan pubs, no neoliberal communism.

And CR Park brightened me up. Its not like being back, but you assume the guy selling you bori and paanch phoron speaks Bangla. And the fish-section (it's not really a fish market, the way Bongs know it) stinks, of stale ice more than fish, flies hover around ice slabs, and you chit-chat with the maach guy.

So I took the identity-bull by the horns, and cooked maach, and it turned out okay!!! Cheers to the jingoistic Bengali....

Comments

I like your brand of nostalgia. You're bloglined.

J.A.P.
John said…
Yeah, it actually tasted of fish. Three cheers.
There's a nice-looking, short Bengali accountant I know. You want?
anglophilicbong said…
you're just jealous, I stole your thunder, john!
Anonymous said…
...and Annie once quipped: "Chuck a stone in CR Park and you'll hear a ;bong'."

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