Let’s be honest. ‘Bengali aliens’ are a non-starter. There will be too much debate to even land at a consensus on the destination, much less actually getting there. One can imagine a Bengali alien finally huffing and puffing his way to the moon in an interstellar tram. To be fair, thanks to Burrabazar, navigating an asteroid field should be a piece of cake (sandesh) for the average Bengali Alien. But I really cannot see much hope for any aliens that may choose to visit Kolkata. They might conclude this is a distinct species from the rest of the country. A blackhole where time is frozen like the planets from Interstellar. Where one minute in Mumbai can be 20 years in Kolkata. However, one hopes at least aliens will acquire the unsold houses in Salt Lake.
There must, of course, be furious debate about the UFOs among the Bengali intelligentsia, mainly on whether they are communist or not. Because comrades can be made across cosmic boundaries. Now, immigration of illegal aliens into Bengal has always been a hot button political issue. But this is the first time extra-terrestrials will be a part of the poll manifesto. Now, some insist that the whole UFO phenomenon is a distraction from the real culprits behind the NordStream sabotage — which sounds a lot like the title of a Hardy Boys mystery novel, except that the Americans were supposed to be the good guys. But enough about how the US military uses Hollywood for war propaganda.
Personally, I would love the chance to play tour guide to a visiting alien in Kolkata. I would love to show him/her/amaar the concentric circles of couples in Victoria. Take him on our interstellar flyovers as I explain the difference between potholes and blackholes. And hope we don’t fall into either one and neither does the flyover. I am sure the headless football statue at Salt Lake stadium would give them a great insight into our cultural leanings.
How would you explain this statue to aliens?TT archives
Especially when it comes to disrespecting Tagore. I can expect even the Bengali regiment to turn up armed if an alien was to suggest Tagore can’t hold a candle to Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But one wonders, would the artistic ethos of Pather Panchali been dissolved if it had been shot on a high-gravity planet like Jupiter? But I digress from the main issue which is very typically Kankurgachi of me.
The main issue, of course, is what must we make of it all — if the aliens have indeed landed on our shores? Do we start swiping with them on Bumble? Do we introduce them to Taylor Swift or Elizabeth Taylor? Do we make them taste American Subway or ask them to take a ride in the Kolkata metro? Or is there a quantum reality where we can do both? Which way would they lean politically? Or maybe their bodies just float and are incapable of leaning in any direction? Like a rosogolla without remorse?
Personally, I would just like to add that in the summer of 2002 or ’03, I did see a strange saucer float right past my balcony. But those were days before mobile phone cameras and drones. So I just sort of froze and watched it go past. Like an Adani shareholder watching his stock plunge. If indeed the aliens are the ones behind the fall of Adani, then perhaps we can expect an alien government in majority in 2024. Like a true Marwari boy from South 24 Parganas, I hereby declare my allegiance to our future lords and overlords. I hope you will grace our interstellar pandal on Pujo this year! And if any aliens are enjoying this column, I hope you will like, comment and share with your intergalactic bhadralok.
Jai Pulsar Quasar!