March 11, 2009

Bura Na Mano Holi Hain

Tagore sat at his desk extremely worried. He was thinking about his last trip to Kanpur. It was just before Holi. He was a good man - a sensible Bong, or so he liked to think. Kanpur at Holi rattled him. He could not figure out why all his friends went completely crazy and put colours on each other and cut down tree branches to burn them. He was wondering how he could escape this year even though he was in Shantiniketan. The effect of the North was slowly descending on his beloved Bengal.

Suddenly a portal opened in front of him. A well nourished young man stood before him dressed in strange and shabby clothes. Tagore freaked out. But the guy looked harmless and was smiling. He got courage and asked, “Who are you?” What followed was a conversation in Bong, but for your sake, let me put it down in English.

Hi. You are Tagore right?

Well, my name is Rabindranath.

Yeah, yeah. To the 1 odd million people who will refer to you in English years after your death, you are Tagore. By the way, I’m Banjo.

Banjo?

Yeah, strange name right? Actually it’s Madhurjya Bandyopadhyay. But you know, from where I come from, people like short names.

Ahhh. Like Tagore.

Exactly. You are a smart dude Tagore, just like I thought.

But Banjo, where are you from? You are a Bengali right?

Ahh yes. Sorry dude. I forgot to introduce myself. I come from the future. I need your help.

Future????

Yeah. Look I don’t have time to explain myself. I need your help.

Ok! Tell me.

Look, I know from trusted sources, you don’t like Holi much.

How did you know?

Is that important?

Sorry, please continue.

So Tagore. I’m going to tell you some secrets. You are going to be the greatest Bong ever. Bongs all over the world will do exactly as you ask them to do. What’s more, they will speak the way you write. So let’s make a deal.

Come on. You must be kidding.

Well, Sarat’s novel will be made into more films, but you dude will be the God to Bongs. But listen what I really want your help is in making sure The North does not move into Bengal with its Holi culture.

You know what Banjo, I was thinking of the same thing. The Holi’s too scary.

Well, Tagore, great men think alike.

So what do you want me to do?

Look, from where I come, I sell soaps.

Like Sunlight?

Yes, like Sunlight.

Oh you must be smart.

Not really.

But, please continue Banjo.

Yeah, right. So I want you to re brand Holi for the Bongs.

Interesting. Carry on.

Look. At your university, start something like a festival celebrating Holi. There, make everyone dance so that they are tired when the actual ceremony of the smearing of colours on faces comes into play. You will ensure everyone wears costly Kurtas and Sarees, preferably in one colour, so that people will not like getting colours on themselves or their clothes. And then, you must ensure that only organic colours are used.

But they can use sunlight to clean the colours right?

Well everyone can’t afford sunlight.

Can’t I stop it altogether?

Look, I said you’ll be like God. I didn’t say you are God.

Well, it seems tough.

I know, Branding is tough. But you can do it dude.

Well, maybe I’ll try. But why are you so interested?

Well, long story. But let me try to explain. In the next millennium, I’ll be sent to Rajasthan. There people will make mud pools and throw other people in and tear each other’s shirts off. Then I’ll be in Mumbai where, on the day of Holi my maid will take a leave and my house will be a mess because everyone will come over and play holi there. And it’ll go on like that for the rest of my life. But the first 18 years of my life when I am in Calcutta, I want peace. I do not want to see people roaming about streets with bare torsos. I do not want to see women, or for that matter men, squirming from unwarranted physical contact. I really want to see a festival of colours, not a festival of masking your face behind ghastly quagmire of permanent ink.

Well, I pity you.

Thanks,  but I can do without your pity. So we have a deal?

Deal.

Well, just one more thing. Don’t ever write about this visit.

I won’t.

Thanks Tagore. You write well. And a tip. Write a song about Holi please. Else people will sing movie songs all along.

 

5 comments:

WSW said...

Awesome! I know I should have written a profound meaningful comment about holi/tagore/your writing skill but couldnt come up with something smart alecky.So just this one word :)

PS:My word verification is bongsong!

Shuvadeep said...

Still anti-holi ?
I remember my psenti-sem.

Shreya said...

Brilliant.
Brimming with the juices, aren't you? :D Wrong category ;)

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ WSW - (bows)

@Kosom - I remember too. That's when I guess I time traveled.

@ Shreya - :D Stress just unlocked the blabber gates.

Anonymous said...

Awesome is not the word to describe ur writing skills...i enjoyed it....