Bengali’s have a love hate relationship with our rashtriya bhasha “hindi”. Lets explore this phenomenon thru the eyes of a true blue “Kolkatar lok” and a brief look at unique culture of Kolkata.


 Bongs-they are a species in themselves and here i am going to explain how they are willfully unable to speak Hindi-the national language of India!  It’s like ‘I can’, but I won’t! No wonder, the Bhasha Andolan happened only for Bengali Language and no other language!  As a token of heartfelt respect for the Bong Clan, this article is dedicated to all nationalist Bongs who are the potential speakers in Hindi (blame it to globalization) or refuses to speak India’s official language-Hindi!

Here are some interesting observations about Bong Hindi.

Bong Hindi can make a taxi driver retreat to his native place:

This is nothing but the truth! When a bong opens his motor mouth to speak Hindi, the environmental peace gets disturbed and catastrophe becomes the watchword!  One of my friends is an avid bong. Like South Indians, who are the crusaders of their mother tongue, she prefers to keep it simple: No Hindi! Hence the resultant factor is that the Hindi speaking crowd is but, at her mercy! Once she guided a Bihari taxi walla so efficiently through the lanes and by lanes of Kolkata, that with all my humble knowledge of human behaviour, I can guarantee that by now, he has packed his bags and with a heavy heart, cursing the Bong language; fled to Bihar!

taxi driver bengali hindi .jpg Facts About Bongs and Hindi The National language


Quarrels become funny and a mode of entertainment:

Bongs are famous for ‘jhogra’(quarrels). You should once in a lifetime watch a live telecast of a bong(bangal or ghoti) vs Marwari jhogra for any petty issue! Even the crows in my neighbourhood who attempt to arrange for some peaceful and harmonious ‘Sabha’ every morning below my neighbor’s window Ac; gets baffled! A typical Bong-Marwari feud may be best termed or defined as-  using a stone to lift a feather! A small issue is raised to great heights and neither can understand the others point! So it’s endless… The bong man would say “Hum tumko bola tha amar area te dustbin nahi phekneka” (I had told you not to throw dustbin at my area) and the ‘bechara’ Marwari ; in his vain fruitless attempt to understand the bong accented Hindi places his point and it goes on and on!

bengali hindi jhogda.jpg Facts About Bongs and Hindi The National language

Non Bengali’s become proud of their accent suddenly:  

Linguistics is a complex zone, you see! And when Bongs attempt to have some innocent ‘ batela’ (read ramblings) with one of their new found neighbours, the Marwari housewife (after a hard day’s work), suddenly becomes proud of her accent and her Hindi grammar! And quite suddenly, like a bolt from the blue, she even nurtures her dream of teaching Hindi to para bongs and thinks of earning her economic freedom!

Bong Hindi can create Hybrid Love letters:

Love crosses all boundaries, we all know (thanks to Cindrella and fairy tale genres!) Did you know it can even cross the boundaries of a ‘Khatarnak’ language like Hindi? When quintessential Bongs ‘fall’ in love with any gujju, sindhi, Punjabi woman or vice versa, a new love letter of a Hybrid language is born! Neither the sender or the receiver is able to decipher the matter, style, but that ambiguity makes them ponder :Ahh! What a letter! My love’s creativity instigated by me! Do I need to say that even a lyrical Muse is produced every other day because of a Bong’s innocent attempt to write love letters in Hindi?

bengali couple hindi .jpg Facts About Bongs and Hindi The National language

Hindi Films get new Interpretations:  

When Bhojua and Nera dadu ( who belongs to the Dinosaur age)  get involved in a typical bong ‘adda’ over Cha, muri (puffed rice), you are sure to come across new ‘observations’ and ‘interpretations of a Masala flick like Chennai Express!  Even, if you can arrange for an ‘invisibility cloak’, and catch them off guard, you can see, the audio has been muted, and it is they  who are providing dialogues to the silent film! (I guess it is for such reasons, Discovery Channel is available in Bengali nowadays for all those die hard Bongs)

It leads to the incorrigible communication problem:

Whole of India seems to be a village for the Bong clan (who are intoxicated by a smoke and travelling in a similar ratio!) Bongs love to travel, and here, I am not talking about those frogs like Bongs who would fantacise about distant lands (in Bhromon Kahini’s) and shelf themselves in  a cocoon! Yeah, so when Bongs travel, they kind of make sure, that they are avidly spreading their Bhendi (Bengali +Hindi) and there starts the fun! If you can get footage of the communication, it will seem like, two apparently deaf people are shouting at B Flat tone to make themselves understood! That’s when you feel like a philosopher and murmur to yourself: Why was Language ever created?  Was the purpose of language actually to express oneself?

However, Hindi is our official language and not our national language; I was informed by one of my para jethus. I guess that serves every purpose and all alleged excuses by bongs for not speaking in Hindi! And with a ‘dushtu’ smile, let me inform, both our National Anthem and National Song are in Bengali! Though it kind of clarifies Bong love for bangla, here’s hoping that in the next two hundred years, the bong clan would surely learn Hindi!


 By Adrita Dey Ghatak


Picture Source:

taxidriver keepclam couple 

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