This Fissured Land
It is a time when hidden creases in Bengali consciousness come to the fore. A preppy lad declares on a billboard on the EM bypass that this is first pujo after having a started a ‘live-in’ relationship. A range of such faces of the hip Bengali peep put of the precarious geography alongside the EM Bypass that has been included into the cityscape only recently. An anxious public is cited in these billboards, that speak of a hip new tabloid, a cellphone, an adventure holiday and mother worship. We are on the ball, they say. Look at us in our trekking gear and with our ‘live-in’ partners. We’ve crossed some more hoops in the modernist training manual. Glory to our fathers who taught us to jump hoops in the nineteenth century. And we wear red and white saris, and let our tresses down in the autumn air. For the mother returns now. To address our fears and fantasies. We like this manufactured sentimentality. So we don’t have to scratch our bruises and reflect. Times are a’changin. As we make a choc-a-bloc schedule for the five-day festivity, replete with saris and halters and friends and lovers and compassion and compradorness. We will feel a little more alive when the mother comes. We hope. We must. We hang in there, in the muggy air.