8.12.06

The great Bengali bogs

I just have to plan to visit Kolkata early next year since I don’t think I can manage a trip to the Sydney Opera. The connection is simple.

As a report says, “Kolkata’s public loos will never be the same after a designer toilet with its facade emulating the Sydney Opera comes up at Southern Avenue…"

Please don’t be such killjoys and scream, “Tchhah, raabish, chara…”

Given the penchant of the residents for kaalchur (culture), I envisage the stuff operas are made of. Purists they are, so they might stick to authentic music, a Cavally crescendo and a Debussy dip orchestrating the blabber of the bladder. There may be the occasional deliberate lapse into Robindro shongeet on special days like Durga poojo or on one more sudden reappearance of Subhas Chandra Bose.

They will celebrate his being alive by synchronised flushing. Frantic invitations will be sent out to each one’s bari (home) for maccher jhol and mishti doi.

The men may decide to hold their evening addas within the hallowed precincts and, the inauguration being in still-nippy weather, they will enter wearing their monkey caps and rubber chappals and discuss weighty issues like the doctoral work of Binod babu on ‘Darwin and the theory of excretion’. They’ll carry little packets of jhal moodi to maanch (munch).

The ladies will have their special soirées here to prepare for the next poojo; marriages may be made here as match-making boudis and pishimas smile at the young lass sitting with her legs crossed. “Shusheel konya,” they will tell each other not realising what she is holding back is a little more basic than waywardness.

I can’t wait to get there. Who knows how they will herald this event. Perhaps take out a rally with the cries of “Joi mutra” renting the air?

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