Why are men scared of vaginas?


Let me tell you something, men are scared of vaginas. True fact. Ask any man about vaginas and they’ll tell you how many they have been in. Put them in front of one, and a thousand thoughts come into their head.

Here are three scenarios based on just one parameter – Hair. Down there.

Too much hair

Does that mean she is not hygienic? Will she have germs? Should I eat pussy? Maybe not. But does she want me to eat pussy? Let’s not get into that, no eating pussy. Is she wet yet? What if she is not wet yet? Do I need to eat pussy then? Thik hai, chalo, thoda sa. But wait. What if it is one of those days? Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. No pussy eating. Decided. Why on earth could she not shave, man? I have to use a condom…do I have a condom?

Too little or no hair

How does she shave that close? That is quite a clean shave. I want a shave like that. What razor does she use? Can I ask her that? Maybe later. But this is too clean a shave. Looks like a little girl’s pussy. A little more hair would have been better. Wait…how old did she say she was? What if she is young? What if she hasn’t been, you know, de-flowered yet? Am I her first? Can I ask her? But she’ll lie. They always lie. I am her first time. I have to be really really good then. What if I am not that good? What if she doesn’t like it? What if I hurt her? But what if I am very good? What if she gets emotionally attached to me? What if she wants to date me? Marry me? Have babies?

Just the right kind of hair AND/OR a professionally trimmed landing strip

Ooh la la. That looks perfect. But wait, does she watch porn? Women watch porn? Look at that, she must watch porn. She’ll have ‘big’ expectations then. Am I big enough? Yeah, I’m big enough. Am I? I have never compared it to anyone. And she watches porn. She looks all experienced and stuff. She must be fucking around a lot. Slut. She’ll compare me to all the guys she has been with. Am I good in bed? What if I am not good enough? What if I can’t make her cum? What if I cum too early? What if she gets bored? What if she falls asleep? What if I can’t get it up? What if she wants to do a position I don’t know about? Wait, is it up yet?

See what I was talking about? The thing is, men don’t understand what a vagina is thinking. It is not like the penis. When a penis likes something, it finds it hard to hide its approval. It is like a switch. You know when it is on and when it is off. The vagina is a socket. The switch is nowhere to be seen. We have no bloody idea what is going on inside.

I have spoken to men who tell me that the vagina’s ability to multi-task is a turn off. So, you have sex with it, which is all hot and fine and stuff, but babies also come out of it. And being men, we have absolutely no clue what getting a baby out of a vagina is all about. But after the baby is out, we are expected to pull our pants down and get back to having sex with it. AND, to top it all, that happens from there too. Now, babies are fine. But men are absolutely, most definitely, earth-shatteringly confused about periods. They find it gross, disgusting, don’t-want-to-talk-about-it-during-meals, wrap-the-packet-of-Stayfree-in-newspaper-so-that-they-don’t-see-it…What is this aversion to periods? I have no idea.

I spoke to a few women recently and asked them to describe their monthly girl time to me. As a woman, how would you describe your periods to a guy? Here are some valiant (and colourful) efforts:

“Imagine a bunch of fat gnomes hanging from your nuts. For five days straight.”

“I could kickbox your crotch for a few days.  First hand experience.”

“Imagine pain. Now multiply that by a 1000.”

“It’s like having oatmeal porridge stuffed in you knickers. Even at night, while you sleep.”

I don’t think it is possible for men to understand what it is all about, but if you have a vivid imagination, you might have a picture by now.

Honestly, straight men have an almost homosexual aversion for the vagina. It is not as well-loved as the breasts or the ass. How many times have you come across guys discussing “she has such an amazing pussy”? Boobs? Yes. Ass? Yes. Legs? Yes. Vagina? No. It is hidden away, covered in hair mostly, not a pretty thing; there is absolutely nothing sexy about a vagina.

But, even after all this dislike, disgust, disconnect with it, men believe they have a sense of ownership over the vagina. As if, it belonged to them. What does a woman have to do with a vagina, anyway? We want to “believe” that Indian women don’t touch themselves. We also “believe” that after a few children, mothers are too busy to bother about their vaginas. What use does a working mother of two have of a vagina? Men have to use them, right?

This displaced sense of ownership over vaginas is what gives men a delusional sense of power. The vagina is nothing but a representation of all that is woman. And the belief that the most important part of your body belongs to me more than you is the foundation of sexual abuse. I, the MAN, have the right to judge a vagina and decide how I would like it to be. You will trim if I do not like hair. You will go through surgery if I don’t think you are tight enough. Or, you will buy and use vaginal tightening creams to feel “like a virgin” again, because, even though I make it seem like it is for your pleasure, all along, I need to feel like I am fucking one. Even if you are horny, I will not fuck you during your periods. I proclaim you ‘Dirty’, ‘Unclean’, ‘Not in the state to perform religious rituals’ even though you are going through a natural, physiological process in preparation of bearing my offspring.

Let’s stop telling women what to do with their vaginas. If the vagina approves of you, it will come to you, embrace you, let you inside its heart and soul.

Also, by the way, cunt is a beautiful word. Stop using it as an abuse. Just like pussy. It means cat and cats are not exactly weak or stupid.

Here’s to all your vaginas, you beautiful gorgeous women. Salud!


The Best Indian Film at MAMI 2014: Nirbashito (Banished)


Every MAMI I diligently make it a point to watch all the Indian films being screened during the festival. Most of the good international films are available for download by the time MAMI is held (having travelled major international film festivals already) and it makes more sense to watch regional Indian films, mostly debuts of young hard working film makers, whose films, unfortunately, do not see the light of day due to the lack of distributors and financiers. So, yes, while people get into long queues to catch Boyhood, you will find my watching a Malayali film with just 5-6 people in the theatre for company.

Every year, one film shines the brightest for me. Last year, it was Devashish Makhija’s Oonga, an absolutely delightful cinematic experience. Anyone who has known me for more than a day, will have heard me gushing about that film. Unfortunately, Oonga will never be released. These independent films do not find interest, money or publicity even if they have well-known indie actors in their cast. Oonga holds a special place in my heart and the film maker – an engaging and extremely talented storyteller – is a dear friend today.

This year, the standout film for me is Nirbashito (Banished) by Churni Ganguly. I sat for the film’s premiere this evening, not expecting to be blown away two hours later. Sitting right next to film maker-artist mother-daughter duo, Lalita and Kalpana Lajmi and listening to them chatter about renowned film veterans, I watched a demure Churni Ganguly walk down the aisle and take a seat in the row right in front of me. I have watched all of Churni’s performances as an actor – mostly in Kaushik Ganguly’s films – and I must add that I am not a fan of hers. I have always felt that she lacks variety as an actor and often falls into the rut of set mannerisms. Therefore, while I did not know what to expect from her film, I was definitely curious to see what she had made.

Nirbashito tells the story of a poetess unceremoniously deported from her country for angering religious extremists with her writings. She pines for her country, friends and family in a far off land, living amongst people who speak an alien language and grapple to understand her angst. Most importantly, her only companion, a Persian cat, is all alone at home. The idiosyncrasies surrounding the cat and how everyone – from the Police Commissioner to the Embassies – try to pack the cat, aptly named Baaghini or Tigress, off to her owner forms the metaphor for a feisty woman’s indomitable spirit in a society that finds it easier to cower than stand by its beliefs. The poetess’s name is never mentioned in the film. The film is dedicated to MF Husain. Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children is used in a shot to make a pivotal point. So, who is this poetess on whom the film is based? Her books have been banned, she has been abused and maligned for years, every time you utter her name, an uncomfortable silence descends…It has been 20 years since she was forced to leave her own country. Who is this poetess?

The film is based on true events from the lives of Taslima Nasreen and her cat, Minu.

The storyline is quite simple and Ganguly masterfully maneuvers the film away from the common pitfalls of drummed up sympathy and over-exaggerated melodrama. She does not force you to feel sorry for the poetess, but ensures that you are emotionally affected by the narrative. The hero of the film is the script – beautifully written, crisply edited, the dialogues are smart and steer clear of unnecessary sob fests, intelligent comic timing and witty repartee make the film’s screenplay an absolute treat. Exquisitely shot, the cinematography drives home a sense of loss, helplessness and fatigue. The commotion of Calcutta contrasts the Spartan monochromatic settings of Stockholm. Well-tailored and snipped of unnecessary flab, a tip of my hat to the editing department too. The background score supports the visual narrative, being a balancing act and not an overbearing presence.

As a director, this is a fantastic debut by Ganguly. And like I most childishly demanded of her after the film, you want film makers like her to make films more often. She has an independent voice, a strong vision and a confident hold of her text. More importantly, she is fearless about what she has to say. Not many directors would be comfortable discussing women’s orgasms on screen. Also, her innate humanity shines through in the film, making her the ideal film maker to deal with a subject like this. In a poignant scene, when her Swedish hosts try to gift a kitten to take her mind off her own pet, she beautifully explains every individual’s – human and animal – birthright to a mother and a home and how no political or religious authority has the right to decide otherwise. Such sensitive artists and such sensitive messages are the need of the day in our country today.

Ganguly brings together a host of talented actors who play their parts well. While the Bengali cast led by Saswata Chatterjee is a wonderful bunch of dim-witted buffoons, the Swedish actors are stoic and controlled, as demanded of their roles. Unfortunately, Raima Sen is increasingly getting reduced to the classically good-looking posh Bengali housewife in every film. I wish she chose films that offered her some variety. The cat is a lead character and if she could understand I’d tell her that she is a gorgeously talented piece of feline. Like Ganguly mentioned, the cat ‘acted’ every shot in the film as no computer graphics was used.

And finally, Ganguly as the poetess was a revelation. For someone who never enjoyed her performances, I was wowed by her controlled angst and burning fury that glowed like embers in the wind, not rising into flames but not beaten out completely either. Strong, expressive and measured – this is Churni Ganguly’s best performance till date. Not to mention her haunting voice reading Nasreen’s poems…When she says, she will be back, you shudder a little, you notice you have goosebumps…As if from a far away land a hot blast of wind suddenly made a prophesy.

My best wishes to Nirbashito and its wonderful cast and crew. May the film travel around the globe and be applauded, lauded and appreciated.


Image courtesy: Google Images

EXCLUSIVE: William Shakespeare discusses Haider and Vishal Bhardwaj


Kaku (noun) – a term of endearment used for your father’s younger brothers AND any close acquaintance who is too young to be a Jethu (another avuncular term used for male members older to your father) but too old to be a Dada (older brother).

“So, did you watch Haider?”

He raised an eyebrow. I knew I was disturbing him. Willy kaku was bent over reams of paper, scribbling away on this new play he is working on these days. He refuses to tell me what it is about, lest I use the plot for my next play. He does not trust me at all. I don’t blame him. These days, people don’t believe he wrote all those plays and sonnets. They don’t believe he is a genius. How does a man feel when his hard work and outstanding creativity is butchered for the sake of just another conspiracy theory? Thus, his secrecy is understandable.

I remember watching Vishal Bhardwaj’s Maqbool with Willy kaku. The man did not say a word, but I remember a smile, an approving smile that lingered on his mouth for hours after the film was over. He wasn’t quite impressed with Omkara, so, when he heard me gush uncontrollably about Bhardwaj’s latest adaptation of Willy kaku’s famous tragedy, Hamlet, he frowned. I urged him to go for the film. He looked pensive.

“To watch or not to watch is the question…” He finally sighed.

“Okay, cut out the drama. Go. Watch.”

“What if I don’t like it?” His cockiness is seething.

“Well, no one cares.” I walked out of the room, leaving him in his high back armchair, sheets of paper strewn everywhere, a never-leaving rusty smell of black ink and a smoky haze of the best cannabis.

So, when I saw him trod out for the film, I was elated. And also a tad scared. What if he did not like Haider?


“So, did you watch Haider?”

He realized I wasn’t going anywhere without an answer.



“And what?”

“And thoughts?” Why was he acting so pricey?

Willy kaku smiled. He peered over his pince-nez and looked straight into my eyes.

“What did you think?” He asked. I breathed in. So he is opening a conversation. That is always a good thing.

“I think it was a fine adaptation. I am glad VB took the story out of an aristocratic setup and narrated a story of common people in the times of pain and despair.”

Willy kaku nodded. “Yes. The socio-political situation of Kashmir was a fantastic foil for the story.”

“And I feel, a contemporary re-telling of Hamlet would require a complex society, a complex background.”

“Why so?” He raised an eyebrow.

“Because, very frankly, the murder of a king, albeit by his brother, is no big deal today.” Okay, I don’t think I put it politely.

“No. Big. Deal.” He looked at me pointedly.

“You know what I am talking about,” I said. I did not want him to think that I was taking his plot lightly. “A regicide AND a fratricide was unthinkable back then, but that is not enough to shock the audience today. So, he killed his brother and married his sis-in-law after wooing her for a long time. Big deal.”

“Big. Deal.”

“I thought you agreed that the Kashmiri problem was a good backdrop?”

“Yes, but did it become more powerful than the plot? Was it too overbearing?” He was smiling again.

I nodded. Now that is a valid point. In Haider, VB simplifies all the sub-plots so that the political situation of Kashmir in 1995 and Haider’s bloodlust takes precedence. His relationship with Arshi (Ophelia) and its unfortunate deterioration is not dealt with. The role Ophelia’s father and brother (Polonius and Laertes) play in the downfall of Hamlet is non-existent. Ophelia’s death and its disastrous effect on Hamlet is not given enough screen time. Like VB mentions in an interview, Kashmir was his Hamlet. The dilemma that the people of the valley faced back then and even today is akin to the dilemma of Hamlet – whom do I trust? Should I take up arms and fight my own battle? Claudius or his father, whom should Hamlet believe? Years of confusion and broken promises make Kashmir an apt metaphor for Hamlet. But, is that a sufficient excuse to boil the narrative down to a one-plot one-mean one-end storyline?

I look up at Willy kaku. He is busy smoking. He finally notices me staring at him, helplessly.

“There, there. Do not be so disappointed. I know you love this Vishal fellow.”

I smiled.

“What else?” I asked.

“The girl who played Ophelia was hopeless.”

“So was Kay Kay. The actor who played Claudius, the brother.” I added.

Willy kaku nodded. “Yes, it seemed as if he was trying too hard…to act. And who is that charming fellow who played Roohdar?”

“Irrfan!” I gushed. “He was Macbeth in Maqbool, remember?”

“Ah yes! And I must commend Vishal. Roohdar! I am sure you young people would not find a ghost believable.”

The strength of VB’s adaptation lies in his ability to interpret the play’s dramatic and creative elements in a modern setting. No one would believe Haider’s resolution to kill his uncle if his father’s ghost appeared, telling him to avenge his death (like it happens in the original play). Therefore, Roohdar, a mysterious figure, who is supposed to have been in the same detention centre as Haider’s father becomes the bearer of his father’s will. Do we believe Roohdar? Is Roohdar trying to fulfill some ulterior motive of his own? Does Haider eventually become a pawn in a larger ploy? Instead of being supernatural, Roohdar remains a mystery who is introduced and shot delectably like a rockstar, but is never completely revealed to the audience. Like Willy kaku’s earlier commentators, even today’s audience asks that crucial question – Should Haider have trusted Roohdar?


Similarly, the way VB treats the characters of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern is pure genius. They are die-hard Salman Khan fans who, even before killing a man, find pleasure in doing a pelvic thrust and mouthing bhai’s dialogue. They bring in the right amount of comic relief and tomfoolery that all Shakespearean tragedies have.

While I would have loved Arshi to have jumped into the river to kill herself (remember how Rishi Kapoor’s body was found in Fanaa, floating in the river, under a transparent sheet of ice? I wish that is how Arshi’s body was found by her brother Liyaqat. Maybe this has to do with my obsession with Millais’s painting “Ophelia”) rather than shooting her head, her psychological breakdown after her father’s murder was beautifully portrayed by the unraveling of the red muffler she had gifted him.

The scene where Haider chances upon Khurram confessing to his brother’s arrest during dua and then decides to not kill him because those killed during prayer go straight to heaven, is an adaptation masterclass. It is a crucial scene which emphasizes on Hamlet’s innate goodness and principles. He could have stabbed Claudius right then but chooses not to. Haider holds the gun squarely on the back of Khurram’s head and is prepared to pull the trigger but chooses not to. The power and palpable energy of the scene make it so memorable.

“The film looked like a painting, didn’t it?” I shake myself back to reality. Willy kaku takes a long drag of his joint and looks at me.

“The cinematography, yes. It was magnificent.” I said. “It was stark and yet, engaging. But again, you can never go wrong with blood on snow. It is a time-tested combination.”

Willy kaku laughed out loud. “You are right. There is a kind of romance in the way a bleeding dead body looks when it lays on show. You feel sorrow, but you also appreciate the beauty of the contrasting colours.”

“Like washing your blood stained hands in a pool of water and watching it turn red?” I mischievously grinned. He knew I was referring to that famous monologue from Macbeth. He knows how besotted I am with that play.

Also, after a long time, a film actually has a commendable literary quality. The dialogues are beautifully written in Hindi and Urdu with strong Pashtu influences. Even segments that have been adapted – Hamlet’s famous ‘to be or not to be’ monologue – acquire an individual quality. This adds another layer to the adaptation, creating individuality and strong cinematic identity in spite of being based on an existing text. And this is achieved even while adapting the characters. While Haider might be a simplistic Hamlet, Ghazala is a wonderful Gertrude. Ghazala is primal, emotional and instinctive. She is a mother who seems to be ruled by a sweet sixteen’s hormones. She is dangerous. It is this characteristic of hers that enriches the sexual tension between her and Haider. VB establishes it early in the film when a young Haider dabs his mother’s neck with ittar and then kisses it. Later, before the film’s climax, a sexually charged moment is created when Ghazala kisses Haider for the last time. When she holds his gaze, the audience holds their breath – Will she kiss him on the mouth? The relationship is emotionally charged with moments of intense love (swinging between maternal and sexual) and fiery hate. A sure shot – and unfortunate – recipe for disaster. None of the other relationships in the film are paid as much attention as Haider-Ghazala’s.

“And what a Gertrude she was! She was a better Gertrude than a Lady Macbeth.” Willy kaku exclaimed. I smiled. Haider might be one of Tabu’s top five performances. The woman allows herself to be engulfed by such animalistic passion and fervour that she scares you. When she holds the revolver to her temple, blackmailing her son to admit to her decision, her eyes express emotions that require a certain depth of human understanding and acting prowess that only the greats can deliver. Tabu is bewitching in Haider and her witch-like evil beauty is haunting. Is she good or bad? Is she the predator or the prey? The criminal or the victim? Tabu’s Ghazala swings between these extremities.

“What do you think about the music?” Willy kaku asked.

“Please, with all due respect and stuff, that’s not your area.” I joked.

“I enjoy music too. I thought Vishal did a fantastic job.”

“The songs had such beautiful Kashmiri and Middle-Eastern influences. Especially Ao Na and Bismil.” I agreed.

“Yes, that gravediggers scene was beautifully executed. I love the way they were introduced. Who knew someone could be so good at dark humour.” He chuckled.

“Are you complimenting VB or yourself, Willy kaku?”

Other than my infatuation with the film’s adept adaptation, I have – yet again – fallen in love with Shahid Kapoor. I have always believed that he is a talented actor who needs a director accomplished and intelligent enough to harness his acting prowess. VB did that successfully with Kaminey. But with Haider, Shahid delivers a performance that should make him proud. It is important for an actor to deliver at least one performance that satisfies him. Haider will do that for Shahid. Shahid creates both method and mania with his madness. He oscillates between suppressed passion bursting at its seams and angry outbursts that lack coherence and pragmatism. He is both thoughtful and careless. Calculative and spontaneous. The prayer scene in which he stands behind Khurram with a revolver in his hand, to shoot or not to shoot, is an example of Shahid’s growth as an actor and his painstaking involvement with the character.

“So, do you like VB?” I asked him.

“He is a brave man, son,” Willy kaku sighs. “He has faith in his content, he does not fall for the usual traps of commerce, he points fingers…He is unafraid to accuse.”

“He changed the ending completely though.”

Willy kaku smiled.

“And that shows how well he understands the need of these times. Like the good ol’ man said, an eye for an eye…”

Poetry in Protest – Lojja kore na? (Are you not ashamed?) #hokkolorob

Protest Against Molestation And Police Crackdown On Students In Jadavpur University

Aaj onekdin pore, khub raag hochhey.

Bhool bujhben na. Ei raag baamponthi noy, Maobaadi noy.

Kothay kothay, rege gele, gaalagaal diley, aapnara bhaben aami Opposition.

Khoma korben, Aami eka!

Shei Satyajit er Gobeshok aami – Aami Eka!

Aamar raag ke aapni ‘enemy of the state’ boley uriye ditey paaren na.

Aami State. Aamar moto haajar haajar manushjon, aamra State.

(Aar bhodrobhaabe kotha bolte paarchi na)

Shon haaraamjada!

Tokey chair tay boshiyechilam aamra. State.

Tokey aamader raasta-ghat sharanor kaaj diyechilam.

Chakri dibi, gram-gonjer dekhashona korbi, lekha-pora shekhabi…

Unnoti bujhish? Unnoti?

Paarli unnoti aantey?

London banabi? Aagey ekta bhodro-shobbho Kolkata bana!

Je Kolkatay chele-meyera thaktey chaye. Thakar karon khunje paye.

Kar bhorshay thakbe? Tor?

Chakri nei, porashona’r haal behaal, university tey police dhoke,

Aalo nibhiye chhatro petaye,

Gunda pathiye dholai kore,

Meyeder gaaye haath toley,

Haath toley? Aamader gaaye haath toley?

Eto shaahosh holo ki kore?

Tui jokhon ‘Opposition’ chhili,

Tor haajar natok-meeting-michhil dekhechi.

Tokhon tokeo jodi, gherao kore, police diye maar khaiye jail ey purto,

Tui ki kortish?

Mone kore dekh –

Tui o toh maar kheyechili.

Jail ey gechili.

Onekei toh bolechilo – ‘nongra maiya’

Tor kemon legechilo?

Bhalo legechilo?

Tui raagishni?

Shei raag money porey?

Shei raag kintu komeni tor.

Lorechili, bochhorer por bochhor.

Tarpor aamra – Aamra – tokey jitiyechilam.

Aaj chair tay gordhobder maajhe boshey,

Tui shei shob bhooley geli?

Aamra kintu khub rege gechi.

Tor raag jemon komeni, aamadero kombe na.

Buddho-Biman er gaaye-o jokhon Hitleri rong dhorechilo,

Aamra onek shojjo kore, tarpor ulto-haather chor koshiye,

Ghaar dhakka diye baar kore diyechilam.

Money aachey toh?

Bottirish bochhor koshe boshe chhilo.

Ore idiot, tor kota bochhor hoyeche re?

Aamra ektu olosh, shojjo shokti osheem.

Kintu bhool koreo eta bhebona je khediye door korte jaani na.

Hawa boddo gorom, rokto phutchhey boddo.

Aaj onekdin pore, khub raag hochhey.

Hok kolorob.


Photo courtesy: Google Images

Wassup Cumberbitches: Reasons Why Benedict Cumberbatch is the World’s Favourite Star



His fans call themselves Cumberbitches or Holmesexuals. They camp overnight outside hotels just to catch a glimpse. Even Tokyo airport was brought to a standstill when he landed in Japan. And women and men are equally enamoured by his charisma.

Yeah, that’s what he calls us.

This is what happened in Japan –

This is how he controlled the fans –

He debuted at the age of twelve as Titania Queen of Fairies in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Most kids play camels and sheep in Nativity plays at that age.

Piece of cake, actually.

Besides being a stage, film, television and voice actor, he is an excellent rugby player since his school days and started painting oil canvasses while in Harrow (oh yes, he studied at Harrow).


Benedict Cumberbatch-880204

After finishing school, he taught English at a Buddhist monastery in Tibet for a year before going off to the…

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Sharing the Same Plate: Finding the Beautiful Secret between India and Pakistan



I was indeed intrigued and delighted when I came across this brilliant piece of information. The two countries, torn apart by too many reasons-prejudices-excuses can still find one very strong common ground. I have spent considerable time researching on this subject and nothing makes me happier than finding out what I have.

But, this post must not be misinterpreted as weak or sympathizing. Let us be objective enough in saying that both the countries have been wronged. Also, let us be objective enough to say that both the countries have not always played fair. Who is to be blamed is a fool’s debate we have been debating on for the last seven odd decades.

My love for Musalmans and Islam is no secret in my social circles (This is not the appropriate article to discuss why I have such immense love, warmth, kinship, and respect for Islam). What makes the…

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Of Iftars, Sehris, and Late Night Roadside Dinners



Along with October and December, this is my favourite time of the year. October ushers in the Big Fat Durga Pujo Madness (mostly October – I have to refer to Beni Madhob Shil’s Phool Ponjika for confirmations. The ‘ponjika’ is the Hindu Almanac by the way, and knowing the plurality of Bengali festivals, it is quite essential for Bengali homes) which is almost a month-and-a-half of shopping-hogging-drinking-socializing-hogging some more. December is good ol’ Christmas and is the warmest time of the year for me. Nothing soothes my soul more than Kenny G soulfully playing ‘Silent Night’ while a permanent aroma of cake baking hangs in the air. And then, at midnight, the church bell tolls, rice lights flicker everywhere to their set choreography, and you dream of the magnificent Christmas feast while singing ‘Rudolph’.

That brings us to this month – Ramzan. I fast during this period, something I have…

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