Thanda lege jaabe or you will catch cold is a Bengali‘s biggest warning when winter hits.
Thanda lege jaabe? How so?
Friends let me tell you right away that the current temperature in Dubai is not even below 20°C. Yet yesterday before stepping out for my evening walk hoomans tried to cover my ears. Then they told me in Bengali (yes, I follow my native language) thanda lege jaabe – you will catch a cold (in English). My question is, just how?
True it is a little windy these days and my ears keep flapping. But that’s no reason for hoomans to cover my ears with the hideous looking bandana, which reads Wiggly Butt. Can you beat that? With the bandana on, I looked eerily like one of my hooman’s photos where she was wearing an unusual cap. Bengalis call it the monkey tupi. It covers the head and neck with only some space open to breathe and see. That cap can easily put eskimos to shame.
I wasn’t convinced
Seeing that I wasn’t too convinced with their thanda lege jaabey warning and refused to step out for my walk wearing the bandana converted scarf, my hoomans attempted to explain. They said apparently when cold wind blows, my ears (kaan as they call it) will trap it, and then transfer it to my head and heart (buuk and peeth). Really!!!
It is an impending warning
What I gathered is, to Bengalis thanda lege jaabey must be like a warning of impending doom. That’s a bad space you really don’t want to be in. No wonder, when my hoomans’ hoomans visit us – my grandpawrents – usually in winter, they are constantly invoking fear by chanting thanda lege jaabe. Then my hoomans zip up their jackets when we step out only to unzip it in the elevator 😉
Here’s another thing, when my hooman sister was born a couple of years ago, the elders in the house went on a romanticising rant about how if they were is Calcutta, they would buy a kantha. It is a traditional quilt usually hand-stitched to keep babies warm. By the way, my sister is a June born, when it is sweltering summer here and people can hardly breathe.
Our Paw-in-Chief Mr. Popo contributes opawnion pieces for the blog.