Rajarshi Guha Roy
During the course of those late-night group chats, thanks to Google, me and my two old buddies, Nipon and Chandradeep were discussing on the aforesaid motion on a highly intellectual note. We ultimately decided to write this on Bong Buzz and poke others to gather opinions and ideas. Maddox Square aka Ballygunge Durga Puja Samiti, placed for the last 75 years on Erstwhile Ritchie Road, now known as Pramathesh Barua Sarani, doesn’t hold the quintessential charm anymore to us. This is very baffling in the sense that this very place used to be the only destination during the earlier festivals. With the grand ‘Zamindaar-Baari’-type pandal and the traditional deity, Maddox has always held a place in the hearts of thousands of Bengalis, transcending the barriers of age and culture. But the major USP of the place, still lies in its being the place of gala reunions, planned or unplanned, of old school buddies, college buddies and so on and so forth. Then why is this sudden disinterest?
Have we become too old at heart? Are we burdened by our professions and careers? Or, don’t the Bengali women look beautiful anymore? In my signature style, I hereby will appreciate ample support from all the ‘moral police’ as far as the last interrogative sentence is concerned. Maddox has always been famous for being the place of assembly of beautiful belles of varied style and signature statements. I am pretty sure that Bengali belles are still beautiful and they can, take this from me, bring charm to any occasion. In my opinion, the disinterest lies in our change of outlook. We have become loners in our own islands, so even during festivals and public merry-making affairs, we prefer cozy corners of high-end bars, restaurants and cafeterias (I hate CCDs though) to treading on footpath with thousands of commoners, expressing a ‘don’t care’ attitude to the makeshift puja-time ‘Rain-Gods’. Our priorities and choices have become very distinct and they have got their own sealed numbers. I mean to say, we have become very cardinal in making our choices. Yes, we love merry-making, we love the sheer joy enthused in the festival, but we want to share it in our preferred ways and in our own islands. Whether it’s high on reason and logic or not, I don’t know. That’s up to the readers.
One more thing I opined while giving this a thought, that a group of men, meeting at Maddox Square and intending to spend some quality time in the park needs at least a woman along with them to approximately balance the testosterone-estrogen ratio. No people, I am not in the lines of Shobha Dey or Chetan Bhagat, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to write this. Please support me again (This is to the ‘moral police’ again. Human Rights Activists are so stronger these days!!). And it becomes a tad difficult when you are in a large group of boys and girls pass by you!! But for all those happily-single people, follow my line. Light up a cigarette and pose as if you don’t care, but never miss a chance to bump upon. Because, this comes from my practical experiences, you get to meet beautiful women often through your common friends, so don’t lose out to any such opportunity.
But I guess, with time and greater agonies, we have, yes, let me empathize on this, become complete loners. Hence, Maddox Square is not the same ‘mad’ place anymore for us. Here on, I leave it to others for greater insight into the matter.
P.S. All the opinions are extremely private in nature and don’t bear a general character. Readers are requested to read them with open eyes and more so, with an open mind.