Three things you will always get to hear if you are a Bengali — 'Jol khaabi?', 'Aami tomake bhalobasi' and the most popular one, 'Rosogolla bhishon meetha'. Arghh!
Ask a Bong and you will know how annoying it can get.
I know the rasogolla is a part of some of our special occasions, but who said we can't live without it? Agreed, we love our traditional cuisines and are at times emotional about it too, but it's not fair to associate rasogollas with Bengalis all the time.
Different varieties of ‘rosogolla’ displayed inside a sweet shop in Kolkata. (Reuters file photo)
I'm a Bengali and I equally enjoy my ladoos, jalebis and other Indian desserts. Whatever happened to the kheer mohans, chennar jilipis and Joynagarer moas of the world?
The moment there is a mention of the rosogolla, the Bengalis are dragged into it. I don't ask a Gujarati "oh you love dhokla and fafda, na?" or anybody else for that matter.
But then, the bugle has been blown and war declared.
An entire debate is raging on — to whom does it belong?
There is more to life than rosogolla. Joynagarer Moa. (Credit: YouTube)
Both Bengal and Odisha have claimed ownership. Bengal is showing historical documents clearly stating that they were prepared for the first time in 1868 by Nabin Chandra Das.
In 2015, the West Bengal government asked for a GI tag for 'Banglar Rosogolla'. Odisha clamied that have been preparing Pahala rasgulla for the past 600 years and is offered to deities during Rath Yatra.
Although Bengal eventually got the GI tag, it was clarified that the status was given to them only for the Bengali version of rasogolla.
But why are we even being territorial about it? It is to be savoured by all (of course, those who enjoy it, unlike me).
Recently, the Odisha Police arrested defence analyst Abhijit Iyer-Mitra in "a case related to a conversation on Twitter involving several people about the origin of [rosogollas] and Odisha more than a year ago".
There is no such thing as a Odia roshogolla— Abhijit Iyer-Mitra (@Iyervval) November 16, 2017
And with that the rosogolla is back in everyone's lips.
But seriously, what's in a rosogolla to fight so much over?
I have seen people squeezing out the syrup before putting those much-loved rosogollas in their mouths (to feel less guilty, I guess), but what is left in it then? Nothing but chhena. And it takes nothing to prepare it (just round portions of chhena boiled in sugar syrup).
What about Bengali desserts like 'shor bhaja' and 'Sita bhog', 'meehi daana' that take more patience and time to prepare.
Stop giving rosogollas all the attention.
Also, please stop stereotyping Bongs.