Sunday, October 11, 2009

How to recognize a Bengali?

How do you recognize a Bengali at a formal dinner?

Recently I had the good fortune to see a Bengali scientist who had received an award for excellence in research. He was coming out of his evening reception and going to the formal dinner on his award ceremony day. His attire was like this:
  • Black tuxedo jacket
  • Matching trousers with silk braids
  • White dress shirt with pleated front and wing collars
  • Black silk bow tie
  • Black cummerbund
  • Red rose in lapel
  • Black zippered office-goers' bag hanging from one shoulder
  • Black woolen muffler wrapped Bengali style around the bow tie.
The last two items, of course, announced him as a Bengali from miles away. But whatever he was wearing, he made us Bengalis in New Jersey very proud that day. Especially Bengalis like me who feel naked without their side-bags and monkey caps.


  1. Monkey cap is the most clever protection against cold. We Bengalis get that.......

  2. @Kuntala: I agree whole-heartedly. Only a person who has never cycled to school at 6:00 am in the north Indian winter can mock a monkey cap.