Yesterday was the Bengali new year or what we call Poila Boisakh in bengali. I know that the day has gone by but still Shubo Nobo Borsho to all bengalis out there! (It means Happy New Year.)
If you do not know what a Bengali is then here it goes: Bengalis are the people originating from Bengal in India. And by Bengal I mean both West Bengal, which is still a part of India, and East Bengal, which became Bangladesh after the partition of our country in 1947.
We bengalis thrive on knowledge and have always been known for our talents in literature and arts of all kinds. We love to eat and our cuisine is truly something to die for (sometimes literally since bengalis have the tendency to become fat from all the good food they have at home and all the sweets they consume!). We also love to travel and explore new cultures, which might be the reason behind the saying that you will find a Bengali community in almost every part of the world. And although we are normally mild-mannered we can flare up quicker than a firecracker if our pride is hurt.
That said I am a true bengali in every sense of the word (other than a few idiotic things). But I have never really paid much attention to our New Year when I used to live at home. It has always been “just another occasion” in my eyes. But living in a hostel and being with friends has thawed my indifference and I was surprised when I was actually eager for the day this year.
Usually on Poila Boisakh we wish our family and friends and get blessings from our elders in the morning. After which a huge breakfast is always on the menu, which is indeed rare in our family where people usually skip breakfast or only have a glass of milk. The afternoon lunch is another big affair where every household actively prepares a true bengali feast usually consisting of fish (something associated with bengali food) and meat. And subsequently dinner is either spent in a similar fashion at home or celebrated outside in a good restaurant. Our family usually goes for the latter on New Year’s Day.
But this year was quite different. Neither did I have a huge breakfast (or any breakfast for that matter) nor did I wish my family in the morning (I wished in the evening). And forget about a feast for lunch; it was spent saving pennies and eating vegetarian food, which I think is no better than peasant food. But that was fine since I was eagerly waiting for the night when all the bengalis in our batch were to go for the New Year’s Dinner at a wonderful restaurant named Aloha!
The food was great and the company of my fellow bengalis was truly satisfying. We laughed, we reminiscized and we jabbered away in our mothertongue the entire while. So it was not surprising that my homesickness got kicked away.
I am not in the photo since I took it with my crappy phone 😦
So Shubho Nobo Borsho to all of you. And may the new year bring you nothing but the best! 😀