Saga of the Pot Bellied Bengali

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hl-pot-belly01Wiki calls Pot Belly as Abdominal Obesity and defines it as “colloquially known as belly fat or clinically as central obesity, is the accumulation of visceral fat resulting in an increase in waist size. Visceral fat, also known as organ fat or intra-abdominal fat, is located inside the peritoneal cavity, packed in between internal organs and torso, as opposed to subcutaneous fat which is found underneath the skin, and intramuscular fat which is found interspersed in skeletal muscle. Visceral fat is composed of several adipose depots including mesenteric, epididymal white adipose tissue (EWAT) and perirenal depots. An excess of visceral fat is known as central obesity, the “pot belly” or “beer belly” effect, in which the abdomen protrudes excessively. This body type is also known as “apple shaped”, as opposed to “pear” shape, in which fat is deposited on the hips and buttocks”.

Indian male is more prone to this phenomenon of pot belly even more if he is a Bengali. Actually Bhuri(pot belly) is synonymous with the bengalis. And why should it not be as you see we like to have Bhuri Bhoj (Grand meal) for any occasion small or big. Its also true that the Bengalis have most affinity for anything sweet(remember we invented the ‘Rosogolla’) adds to a Bengali’s bhuri(pot belly).

touchymomentAnother class of Indians famous for Pot belly is the Indian Cop and this is pan India feature. You can spot them manning the outposts or doing a “VIP” duty with huge belly , U see them at traffic signals everywhere. What to do they need some place to store those calories(read bribe) they acquire in the line of duty.

The latest class to join the Pot Bellied bandwagon is the senior software professionals. You walk into any software company you’ll see managers or seniors moving around with a belly. Actually its a sign of their prosperity, what will they with those astronomical amounts they take home yet recession and global meltdown seems to have a little effect on that front.
Partly the credit goes to the Indian moms as well because they don’t see the pot belly of their children and dare you say any word you’ll be scorned for hell and the child will pe put through a series of “Nazar utaro” measures (ward off the evil eye).
Actually pot belly is very much part of our mythology look at our God of Prosperity, Lord Ganesh, incidentaly he loves laddoos(a calorie laden sweet).

The latest class to join the Pot Bellied bandwagon is the senior software professionals. You walk into any software company you’ll see managers or seniors moving around with a belly. Actually its a sign of their prosperity, what will they with those astronomical amounts they take home yet recession and global meltdown seems to have a little effect on that front.

Partly the credit goes to the Indian moms as well because they don’t see the pot belly of their children and dare you say any word you’ll be scorned for hell and the child will pe put through a series of “Nazar utaro” measures (ward off the evil eye).

Actually pot belly is very much part of our mythology look at our God of Prosperity, Lord Ganesh, incidentaly he loves laddoos(a calorie laden sweet).

zc28s

Hence yours truly being a Bengali software professional how could he escape. With 88 Kgs on board (well the scale was trying for more but finally felt shy and settled for 88) is well on the way to fulfill the tradition which is deep rooted in his genes(except my dad rest of my lineage sported one).

Some Interesting links :

Ganesh utsav brings Kolkatas pot-bellied onto the football field

What Causes Pot Belly?

Say Bye Bye To Pot Belly in 12 Hours — OMG !!!

How To Get Rid Of Pot Belly

Flatten Your Pot Belly Workout Video

PS: Images are taken from various Internet sources If it voilates any copyrights Please Do drop me a comment they’ll be immediately removed.

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Lunch with the CEO

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power lunch

Actually our India CEO has become more visible at the cafeteria now-a-days, maybe due to recession/cost cutting he’s forced to have ‘low-cost’ lunch @ office canteen or maybe he’s trying to get pulse of the fellow employees as he recently declared that there’ll be no pay revision this year.

Anyway it happened like this today my friend lets call him Mr. M, was waiting at one of the tables with his lunch box and we were in ‘Q’ for food when the CEO approached the table with the plate in his hand and asked whether anybody is expected in that table. Well this perplexed Mr. M as he didn’t want to refuse the CEO but the table was only for 4 and including Mr. M we were 4 and getting a place for 4 in the peak hour was very difficult. He reluctantly said “Yes we have 3 more people coming”, CEO not minding at all(well atleast he looked like that) moved to a different table. This is a common sight in the cafeteria at peak lunch time when you hover around with a plate-full of food from table to table to learn that people are expected there(unless you have Mr. M in your “Group” to pre-confirm your seats) but a CEO moving around with his plate for a space to eat….. well isn’t he an employee too??

As soon as we got to the table with our food plates , we  started praising his ‘courage‘ that he refused “THE CEO” that too in these times of job cuts and downsizing. We also chided him for missing the opportunity to have a lunch with CEO who could have provided a more profound view of the state of affairs at the helm as it’s the CEO‘s habit of starting a conversation with people on the table with him. To this Mr.M said that nothing to worry CEO‘s  pretty regular now-a-days so we can catch up with him any day :D…hope we have our power lunch someday soon.

Image credit : http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/p/power_lunch.asp

Can I speak with Dhiman

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phone

Yesterday while I was getting ready to leave, my colleague who mans the support desk called out for me and said “Dhiman a call for you”. My manager who sits in the cube next to me looked up in awe and said “a caall for you on support linea ??”, well I myself was surprised as I donot support any applications. I replied to my friend “Are you sure its for me”  he got angry and retorted “Ya man she’s asking for you. Do you think I am joking?” I knew he cannot joke with support calls, so I started walking towards his desk wondering who could “she” be asking for me directly ?
Hesitatingly I picked the receiver and spoke “Yes Dhiman here, How  may I help you?” trying to sound like a support desk personnel, the caller responded “can you be little clear I can’t understand you” I repeated the same this time a bit louder and slower as I had seen the support guys speak slowly while on call. The line was crackling with lot of disturbance and I couldn’t listen anything but thought she said “Can I speak with Dhiman” I said “Yes ma’am Dhiman here, How can I help you” then she said “No no I am looking for Dhiman”, I was getting irritated it was already late and I am stuck here with somebody who’s playing pranks or what anyway I controlled myself and politely said “Ma’am you ARE speaking to Dhimaaan” to which she replied “I am asking for Dhiman i mean D-A-I-M-Y-N, a lady does she work there ?” I was stunned for a moment and didn’t know what to say or do and quickly said “Oh ma’am I am sorry I think you got to a wrong line, there’s nobody by that name here” hearing it she promptly apologized and disconnected. I kept receiver and scolded my colleague “Hey this call was for someone else and you called me” He smiled and said “Man you spoke to her yourself tell me how do I figure out who she means”. Then he  laughed and said “Just see what we have to deal with everyday”.

call-center-agent

Well he was right I myself had spoken with her. I smiled back to him and said “yeah I understand” and returned to my seat. Then started thinking about the plight of thousands of “call center agents” who have to deal with this kind of accents whole night yet provide great service. No doubt they are trained but still its really difficult. At the same time I felt bad for the caller as she had to waste so much of time just to know that she had got to wrong number. I was told by my collegues in US, UK about the hard time they have talking to Indian counterparts but they never faced any difficulty with me.
Anyways this was a freak incident and the caller was patient enough and didn’t get annoyed but with the ‘agents’ sometimes it does get worse.Thank God that I don’t need to take calls directly but kudos to these ‘agents’ who do it day in out and yet are able to chill out.

An open letter to the Baazigar

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Baazigar: Kabhi kabhi kuch jeetne ke liye kuch harna bhi padta hai. Aur har kar jeetne walon ko Baazigar kehte hain, kya kehte hain?

[Baazigar(Gambler) : sometimes to win something you need to lose some. And one who loses some to WIN is called BAAZIGAR. What is he called ?]

baazigar

Dear Baazigar,

We all know your famous dialogue from that film. Sir our question to you is that, is this the reason that you are owning a cricket team. The team which only knows harna (losing).  Your team stats till date :6 matches played 4 lost, 1 abandoned, 1 won(courtesy rain gods) and ranking in IPL 2.0 is #8. Mr. Baazigar are you asking your Mr. coach when is he going to  apply his multiple captain theory ? Does he have a “strategy”  for changing captains in his Laptop? BTW do you know your captain said today that he’ll step down if the team does not reach semi-finals (giggles 😛 )  and now the team is struggling to hold on to its last year’s position.

Sir your team’s Mr. Big hitter will leave soon then what’ll you do ? Is not time that you understand that controversy and negative publicity works in your profession, this is cricket, please leave it to the experts. We hear people  saying “Bhaisahab Is bar IPL mein sab ki jeet pakki siway aap ke team ki” (Sir this time everybody’s going to win in IPL is confirmed expect your teams).

We know its your team and your money(or sponsor’s), we understand your pain but we write you this letter because you had used our beloved city’s name for your team. It hurts us Kolkatans when people mock us saying “korbo lorbo jitbo re(will do will fight will win)”. Please show your magic and do(koro), fight(loro) and win (jeto). Lastly but certainly not the least what happened to your “Angels” maybe if they give “jadu ki jhappi” (nice little hug) to your Knights then things might work.

We think you are taking a cue from Deccan Chargers that you finish last this season and end at top next season that is if you don’t sell off this team to someone by next season. Good we will wait n watch “kyunki Thakur Karan Arjun jetenge jaroor jeetenge”(Because Karan {your coach} Arjun{your captain} will certainly win).

Thanking You,
Yours Sincerely
ardent fans of  KKRkkr_badge1_200

Image credits :

http://alterculture.free.fr/Hindi%20Movie%20Reviews/Baazigar.htm

http://ipladda.blogspot.com/2009/02/knights-and-angels-hot-sexy-girls-of.html
http://www.kkr.in/

The Sunday morning fishy affair

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Statutory Warning : This post is purely for the Non-vegetarians, so vegans, PFA, PETA, Green Peace and all other animal right’s supporters please excuse, I respect your views and if this article hurts your feelings I don’t mean to do it. 

 gariahatmarket

One of the true Bong(Bengali- as the people from West Bengal a state in the eastern part of India are called) identity is bajar kora(going to market for vegetables and fish). This is a daily morning affair for a Bong in Bongo(West Bengal), its generally done by the male member of the family who goes to the nearby bajar (market) with tholi(bag) for daily supply of vegetables and fish. I think every male bongo sontan(son of bengal) has been to bajar at least once in his lifetime. The traditional bajar kora(marketing) has got two major parts one being vegetables and essential other one being the fish and another optional third part being khoborer kagoj(News paper), misti (sweets), ful(flowers) etc. We cherish this bajar kora lots of funny stories are associated with it like one man is going to bajar with tholi another asks “ki dada, kothay cholen ? bajarey naki?” (what sir, where are you going to ? market?) and the answer might be “na football khelte”(no going to play football). Now I said fish being essential because its world famous that bongs are very mecho (fishy literally, i mean fish lovers). A meal for bong without ek tukro maach(a morsel of fish) is not a meal at all.

The moment you enter the market you’ll come across a lot of din with the maachwalas/maachwollis(fish seller male/female) shouting at top of their voices announcing their varieties and prices. The typical conversation in mach bajar(fish market) is “kire shyamal aaj chingri koto kore ?”(“hey shyamal(the fish seller) what’s the price of prawn[chingri] today”) though you may have heard the price from the shouting Shaymal but you want know your special price. Answer generally is the same price. you say “koto kore dibi bol”(“In what price you’ll give me”), Shyamal may say “arey Sona da asun apni nin na…ei 1 kg tol to”(“Oh sona da[thats ur name followed by respectful “da”] come take” then shyamal instructs to his assistant give 1 kg”), then Sona da(you) jumps and will say “ore dara agey koto kore dibi bol tarpor aar ek kg ki korbo gusti shudhu ke khawabo naki”(“hey wait first tell the price and what will I do with 1 kg shall I feed my forefathers from 14 generations”). In this way bargain goes on and finally the price, quantity etc is agreed and the transaction is done. You return home satisfied with the deal u got and happy that one more day your family can have their favorite item on their paat(meal). On they way back you meet your acquaintances and the conversations can be “sona da bajar korlen naki ? ki maach nilen ? koto kore porlo ?”(sona da coming from market ? what fish you bought? what was the price you paid?” ). You answer everything except you don’t disclose the real price if the person is not any one close as you have got an exclusive deal which obvisiouly can’t be made public. BTW Shymal above can be replaced by Nantu, Pintu, Pocha etc Sona da can be Amiyo da, Bachhu da, Bapi da or Chingri can be one of the innumerable fishes in that fish infested state 😉 

Now if you have read thus far and thinking bong’s bajar kora is fine but where’s the “Sunday morning fishy affair”, well friends have patience every story has a bhumika(back drop) thats what I was doing till now.

photo_hal

 So being a true bong it was my daily ritual when I was in bongo(West Bengal) to do bajar a tradition passed down the generations to me. But now that I am a bong not residing in Bongo and as they say you can take a Bong of Bengal but cannot take fish out of a bong, I have found out a bajar(market) rather a macher bajar(fish market) in Bangalore. Though in this silicon valley of India you have fish stall and vegetable sellers selling vegetables on hand cart right at your door step nothing can compare a bajar and bajar kora. But the hectic schedule and distance has made the daily affair to a weekly affair or rather a weekend affair mostly on Sundays. 

If you visit the macher bajar on Sunday here you get to see the neo rich bongs in full colors there get ek tukro maach(a morsel of fish) to their paat(meal). What is predominantly a male affair in bongo here we see it as full family outing with husband, wife, in-laws, kids, siblings who come packed in Santros, Altos, Maruti 800s i mean at times you feel they are in for a picnic. Bongs being garrulous you can imagine the decibel levels in the market. You need to go early otherwise you’ll see stylized bong women in all shapes and sizes dressed in sleevless and skirts or tight jeans/T-shirts blocking your way and almost screaming “Shiekh[fish seller] ek achha sa bora sa Katla nikalo, dim nahi hona”(Shiekh bring out one big and nice katla[a fish variety] should not have eggs) while their men watch timidly from a distance who are only called at the time of payment. Hats off to these liberated, independent women who share everything equally with the men. Also if you look at the quantity of fish they procure… ahem it can feed several dozens for a gala dinner. So after these self proclaimed Divas let you some space you tell “Sheikh ek der kilo ka Rohu ya katla do”(Shiekh give one 1.5 kg size Rohu or Katla[fish variety]) which you get and also you have to specify “bengali cutting” for the fish to be cut and cleaned as per the standards of Bengal, this is a bonus as nowadays in Kolkata u need to pay extra to specialized cutters doing the job for you. After ensuring the week long supply of maach(fish) you move on to sobji bajar(vegetables market-well you can’t only eat maach whole week), which I avoid as I prefer the home-delivering hand-carts for vegetables .After sobji(vegetables) you fill yourself gorom singara, kochuri and misti(hot samosas, kachoori and sweets) and finally you head home feeling happy that one more week you can be a true Bong and successfully concluded the bajar kora expedition of the Sunday. 

So till next Sunday “Benche thak Bangali, dhoodhey bhaatey aare maachey”(Long Live Bengali with milk, rice and fish[staple food]).

Bonus :  Those of you want to get fishy, Bong way. Check out the Recipe of Bengali Macher Jhol(Fish Curry) –   http://bharatbhoj.com/2008/09/rui-macher-jhol/

Image credits :

http://www.shunya.net/Pictures/NorthIndia/Calcutta/GariahatMarket3.jpg
http://tinyurl.com/co4am7