A family friend gifted us marshmallows the other day. In a flash of blinding clarity that followed, I realised the true purpose of marshmallows. The small non-toastable ones at any rate. They are boredom food (Note: Food you eat when you are bored.) There is a certain category of food that wears this title with grace. They don't taste Goooood. Because gooooood food deserves a little more involvement than boredom allows. But they definitely don't taste bad, 'cos that would be off-putting. In fact they don't taste like much at all.
And they have a very satisfying texture. Generally the kind you need to chew.
Finally, they are not heavy so you can go on, and ON, AND on eating.
That, is boredom food. That is marshmallows.
I realise I've been affected a lot by the commodities that have entered the house recently.My mother bought this toothpaste a couple of days back. It's cover says-
The toothpaste for bleeding, inflamed gums and sensitive teeth.
Please tell me I'm not the only one who finds it funny. It is rather despicable to be The Sole Person under influence of American Social Steretotyping.
Oh Oh, speaking of American. This is nothing to do with those starred and stripy people. Basically the whole cultural issue reminded me of the new change in the CISCE structure. English is getting renewed emphasis. Which is ok. EVE's gonna get the sack. Which is Better than ok. But if I read correctly, IT ISN'T COMPULSORY TO PASS SECOND LANGUAGE ANYMORE. And this genuinely upsets me. Vernacular is going to become obsolete!
Bengali classes were a farce anyway. A bunch of smart-asses (us) who didn't give the syllabus a chance. A syllabus SO unbelievably outdated and dreary that it didn't deserve a chance. And a cluster of old teachers who saw themselves as valiant martyrs, championing their cause against us piddling little culture-deficient snobs.
I don't blame the teachers, honestly I don't. If I had to teach for YEARS, a subject no one cared for, I'd be bilious too. And I do blame us for being so unenthusiastic but honestly, the root of all trouble was the syllabus.
EVERYTHING was in shadhu bhasha. Hello Mr. ISC, I don't want to disturb you, but I dropped by to say that OCCASIONALLY, it would be nice to read things written the way we talk. Just to remind us that what we speak at home is Bengali too. And it was so fucking morbid! It was tough to keep track of whether more people died or cried. Actually, the latter wins because half the people who died Also cried. If only, if ONLY they'd plan out the syllabus better, the classes could be so inspiring. I've had my dad read out some Bengali short stories to me. I've had my Elective English tutor read out Bengali modern poetry to me. And I remember being enchanted, dazzled, mystified! No mild admiration, that.
In fact, sometimes, some things in our syllabus would Really get us.
'Bonolota Sen' was more poetic and Romantic than half the stuff I've read by British Romantics.
There was this one day when we completed a very depressing but beautifully written chhoto golpo. For a while there was an awkward pause. Then people suddenly start giggling and making idiotic jokes. The teacher could have been a bitch if she wanted to (it's not like she'd never been) but she just said- 'Either you guys didn't get it at all, or you're really moved.' And we were moved.
Then we LOVED the one by Parashuram. Mr. Rajshekhar Basu. Who translated the Mahabharat. Wrote a dictionary. Allegedly helped Aurobindo make bombs (yes through scientific procedures, not by reading aloud to gunpowder.) And produced the most UPROARIOUSLY funny satires I've ever read. We should have had more stuff by this guy. Instead of bloody essays telling us how our generation is doomed.
Well, I think I've exhausted my energy for now. But I needed to say this. I feel that as someone who loves Literature, I'd be a different person if my school had inspired me to go back home and pick up a Bengali book. Of course there were people who still did. And it's not like my parents didn't try. But in my defence, my reactions to literature tend to be quite strong. And after discovering Saki and Keats, when I had to go and bury my nose in specimens of archaic morality, and LEARN lists of adjectives-I developed a minor revulsion towards 2nd language. Not Bengali. Just 2nd language. But it was enough of a hurdle.