Be it food, satire or music, Instagram sensation Shayan Roy loves all things Bengali. The content he creates exudes Bangaliana and he makes sure that his viewers have a good laugh as well. With Durga Puja festivities underway, it’s but natural that we ask him what Puja means to him. In a candid chat with My Kolkata, the funny man spoke all about his favourite dishes, the Mahishasur in his life and more…
What does Durga Puja mean to you?
Durga Puja means spending time with family. I’ve rarely been without my family during Puja. We always try to make our schedules match every year. A close second would be a sudden uptick in everyone's appetite.
What is your most cherished Durga Puja memory?
I grew up in Shillong, where there’s a big Bengali community. Durga Puja was a very important occasion for us. I miss sitting on the backseat of my dad’s Fiat, visiting every pandal and running into my friends from school, except that we all wore fancy clothes.
Who is the Mahisashur in your life?
Honestly, I feel I am my own Mahisashur.
If your last meal was a choice between Daab Chingri and Kosha Mangsho, which one would you pick?
I am highly allergic to prawns! So, Kosha Mangsho wins by default. I love Kosha Mangsho anyway.
Since you are based in Mumbai, do you miss Puja back home?
I think Mumbai has an amazing Puja atmosphere. While Shillong has its own Puja flavour and Kolkata is, of course, the baap of all Pujas, Mumbai too has such amazing pandals and programmes that I’ve always enjoyed. My family enjoys celebrity spotting during Puja, so do I.
Bengalis and their love for antacids after pet pujo is known to all. Who in your life brings antacid-like relief when you’re stressed?
For me, it's got to be my bichhana (bed). I love being lazy and whenever I feel too stressed out, I take the horizontal position. A trustworthy pashbalish also helps in a situation like that.
You’ve made a lot of content that shows how much you despise eating potol and karela. Is there any vegetarian Bengali delicacy that you love to indulge in?
Anything with potato in it works wonders for me. Alu bhaja, aloo posto and even alu potol — I eat around the potol, though!
If you could design a millennial or Gen Z Durga idol, which astras do you think she’ll be holding?
A ring-light, a popsocket and a year’s subscription of YouTube premium.
Do you have any special Durga Puja content planned for your IG family?
I haven’t. Since I was so excited making plans with my family that I forgot to bank some Puja content beforehand. Hopefully, I’ll trick my parents into making some reels for me.
If you could be a Bengali proverb, which one would you be?
Most definitely ‘Manush matroi bhul kore’ (only humans make mistakes) because I’m always making mistakes.
Rapid fire: This or that edition
Pandal hopping or house parties?
Pandal hopping during Puja and house parties all through the year.
Khichuri bhog or Kolkata-style biryani?
The exclusivity of khichuri bhog is definitely more than all other dishes for me.
Playing the dhaak or doing the dhunuchi naach?
I’m not good at either, but I love to watch others perform.
Paayesh or chatni?
Chatni, but it’s got to be tomato.
Luchi-alur dom or pulao-kosha mangsho?
Choosing one of these would be like favouring one parent over the other. I simply can’t.