7 min read.Updated: 03 Jul 2020, 08:00 AM ISTSandip Roy
Mamata Banerjee’s invocation of the Bengalis’ beloved ‘side pillow’ is an example of a cultural metaphor well chosen for political ends
In the middle of a raging pandemic, we suddenly stopped short. For a moment we got a respite from testing rates, recovery numbers and mathematical models about flattening curves. Instead, we were fixated on a most unlikely object—the humble paash baalish, translated wholly inadequately as “side pillow" or bolster. Neither word has the emotional heft of paash baalish or captures its singular cultural significance in Bengali cultural life.