Usually my Pahela Boishakh morning starts with the harmonious (or is it!) vocal of my dad singing along with the broadcasted singers from TV. The song is famous symbolizing song of the occasion from Nobel winning poet Rabindranath Tagore: “Esho he Boishakh esho esho” inviting the first month of Bengali calender ‘Boishakh’. Unlike other days, most Bengali people wake up simultaneously with the sun. So do I after bit of yawning, rubbing eyes and crawling around bed for a while of course. As I proceed to the washroom, crossing the dining hall I see mom already arranged our breakfast that includes Hilsa fish fry, soaked rice, onion, green chili and at least 5 types of ‘vorta’ recipe. This is called traditional Bengali breakfast: ‘Panta Elish’. Rest of the days of the year we prefer effortless American or continental breakfast Hahaha!
At the morning, people gather at Ramna Batamul (The great banyan tree) where performers from Chayanat (music school) sit on the stage beneath the tree and perform Bangla songs written praising the arrival of the summer through this month. You can have Panta Elish over there too. But I prefer the one my mom prepares. Then we head out to celebrate the day.
But hey! Appearance is very important factor to celebrate the day. This day is all about turning yourself into a true Bangali for a day. Forget about faded jeans and T-shirts for this day. I prefer the red Punjabi, white trouser, flat-laced sandal and a sunglass. Girls wear Sari with combination of the red and white color (mostly), a garland of flowers laced around their head and red bangles in wrists, which I think multiplies their beauty at least hundred times. Nothing can beat the beauty of a ‘Deshi girl’ right? Now it’s time for the grand parade. This colorful parade is arranged by the students of Faculty of fine arts, University of Dhaka (my Uni 😀 ) where thousands of people including hundreds of foreign tourists join every year. This parade is called ‘Mangal Sovajatra’ a parade that welcomes the good and scares away the evil. A Month of preparation, planning and making of festoons, banners, symbolic cartoon icons and idols finally gives shape to this grand parade.
Colors in the air, colors everywhere. You can see the nature bursting into beauty thus submerging you into her. This is the perfect day to hangout with friends and take photographs. We gossip till the afternoon and then head out to the band concerts arranged in several places. I guess that’s not a Bengali tradition. But hey! It’s all about enjoying the day till I get exhausted and then bump on my pillow.