Raima Sen, one of Moonmoon Sen’s contribution to the tired-world, gives us an interesting insight into a modern “Bengali” upbringing.
However, Raima identifies more with the spunky, modern Sheila of The Bong Connection. “We’ve had a very modern upbringing. We didn’t do pujas at home. We speak in English at home, not Bengali. Most of my friends have been Anglo-Indians.”
There is a lot to be said here — about self-loathing, about the perceived downmarket-ness of speaking in one’s vernacular or of participating in religious ceremonies, about the sense of shame felt by certain elements of the Bengali “high society” in “not being English”, the association between faux-Westernism and “modernity” and finally the connection between a “modern” upbringing and the au naturale look in a naughty MMS (yes I know that was the other baby Sen—but they all had the same upbringing).
But then again, why bother ?
Instead all I shall do, while keeping in the spirit of the “Partner” season, is to quote Govinda from David Dhawan’s Banarasi Babu where he defines modernity in a way Raima Sen would definitely approve.
Govinda (in chaste Bihari accent):
Ab tumhare pyar ke khatir dekhna hum kaisa “maadern” ho jayenge. Tumhare mummy ke saath baithke puff marenge, patte khelenge, tumko disco main le jayenge, jeans ke pant pahenenge tight aur inko aise phaar dalenge aur unke andar likh denge “Take it easy” aur kaan ke andar baali pahenlenge aur chuha cut baal kaatke pura sahar mein ghumenge tum bhi kahogi kya chuha pai hoon..”
[Rough translation: Now see how “modern” I become for the sake of your love. I will sit and smoke with your mother while playing cards, I will take you to the disco, I will wear really tight jeans and then rip them and write “Take it easy”, I will wear ear-rings and get a “mouse”-type haircut and even you will realize what a mouse you have….]