• Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Purano-Notun chinta bhabna

  • Published at 09:56 am July 23rd, 2019
D2_Chintamoni_Pg 1
Photo: Courtesy

Out with the old, in with the new

Chinta tells me that change is constant, that the definitions and parameters of wealth are flexible, that we immerse ourselves in the distorted and invented annals of socioeconomic and cultural portrayals by commercial movie producers, magazine editors, fashion designers and tour guides, that we become blatantly hysterical about the acquisition of taka poysha, and overdramatic about its loss, and that economic growth generates social mobility. 

Then how can we demarcate old money and nouveau riche?  And where do they intersect? Are these even stable categories? Or are they merely terms we have invented because we are unable to cope with life unless we put people in boxes? 

Chinta again tells me that we are struggling to define and redefine the narratives and counter narratives of affluence (or greater purchasing power) as we maintain, reject, borrow, invent, fuse, and create elements of our history and culture and those of others. 

Following are a few of my personal observations, and instead of ambiguously classifying people, as money transcends the past, present and future, I would say that overall there has been a transformation of social norms and practices. 

The old: would hail from desher bari.

The new: hail from Dhaka shohor, or world fashion capitals.

The old: would speak proper Bangla, and/or English with a Bangla, normal, or English accent. 

The new: speak no Bangla, and/or Bangla with an English accent, and/or English with an American accent. 

The old: would travel to and from bidesh, and proudly preserve their heritage jewellery, clothes, recipes, furniture, and property. 

The new: destroy their heritage, and then fly to bidesh and proudly acquire jewellery, clothes, recipes, furniture, and property.

The old: persevered with emotional connections. 

The new: persist with financial associations. 

The old: would give credence to text.

The new: give credibility to photographs.

The old: would discuss values.

The new: discuss prices.

The old: dissected character.

The new: scrutinise spending.

The old: would look at an attractive young girl and wonder about the boy she is with and investigate how many times she has been seen with him.

The new: look at an attractive young girl and notice which bag she is carrying and investigate how many times she has been seen with that brand.

The old: would judge a boy by his achievements.

The new: judge a boy by his inheritance. 

The old: would discuss marriages.

The new: discuss weddings.

The old: would fly in goods and services for a marriage.

The new: fly out bride, groom, and guests for wedding.

The old: hosted parties.

The new: host events.

The old: conflated sophistication with culture.

The new: conflate sophistication with consumption.

The old: valued education.

The new: value degrees. 

The old: encouraged intellectual or artistic pursuits.

The new: incite shopping.

The old: collected.

The new: hoard.

The old: were tenacious.

The new: are unattached. 

The old: would describe humble as the absence of ostentation.

The new: describe humble as the display of ostentation accompanied by contrived self-deprecation. 

The old: anticipated.

The new: expect.

The old: posed.

The new: posture.

The old: are archaic.

The new: are anachronistic. 

And so on and so forth….

Chintamoni grew up in Dhaka, where she will always belong, but never quite fit in. She is an enthusiastic traveller, a compulsive procrastinator, and a contumelious raconteur. 

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail