भूख हरताल

The worst thing in India after you have returned from a foreign land is the constant stream of relatives and friends who want to feed you. I have been back for about 10 days now and every other day there is an invitation for some party or get-together or as they say here in bengali, nemontonno.

All my sweet dreams of khati (authentic) Bengali khana have been dashed by the relentless overexposure to it. These people (including my mother) are behaving as if for the last one year I have lived on nothing but peanuts and water. Com’on…

Even the elderly neighbors who live next door to my parents house and whom I have never seen before in my entire life want to invite me to a lunch‘er nemontonno. How odd is that? I know, we have a saying, “अतिथि  देवो  भव” (The guest is God), but when you are force feeding the अतिथि (guest) at literally gun point, he no longer remains the देव (God) he is supposed to be.

God knows, I am fed up of eating now. My friends know that I hate trade unions and anything and everything related to socialism, communism and all their impractical relatives. Except, one thing… I don’t know who started the भूख हरताल (hunger strike) Movement, but whoever it was, many many thanks to that person.  This trade union tactic is perhaps the only remaining defense against the merciless assault the Aunts and Uncles have started on my lone stomach.

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