Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Bengalis don't trust boxes.
Or even packages, rolled up posters, bundles, etc.
Basically if something can fall apart, we're pretty sure it will.

I don't know if this is an all-India trend, but I can vouch for the fact that Bengali mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and grandaunts prefer to secure everything twice over.

Especially lunchboxes. They don't trust Radha aluminiums, Milton plastics, or even Tupperware tuppers. They treat all 'tiffin boxes' with equal suspicion. They're all prone to leaks and suddenly springing apart and bathing the insides of your bag in whatever oily delight maternal hands packed for you that day.

And this brings us to a small wonder that all these ladies trust blindly. Something the world knows as a 'rubber band', a tiny, tubular elastic band in a loop, nothing more. But to the Indian woman, it is nothing short of a miracle.
Air-tight packaging, sellotape, even cement can crumble, but a rubber band is forever. Except they don't call it a rubber band, they refer to it with a peculiar bastardization of an unidentifiable term.

Have you ever heard of a 'garder'?
yes, that's what we call it. With absolute confidence that it's a real word.
I'm not at all sure if the word originates from the term 'garter' or something completely different, but 'garder' sure isn't an acknowledged synonym for rubber band, as far as I can tell.

But then again, it's only poetic justice that it has come to sound like 'guarder'.
So true.