What is there to do in West Bengal? The state, which hordes of its residents leave every day to make a living in 'faster', unfamiliar cities? What does one do while visiting Kolkata, the city so many Bengalis abandoned to work in Delhi, Bombay, Bangalore and even Pune? Why does every non-resident Kolkatan end his/her weekend lunch at fancy 'Bengali' restaurants with a loud sigh -- 'nah, nothing like home,' or 'machh ta fresh noi (the fish isn't as fresh)'. That's because while they were home, they were spoiled rotten by the spectacular food, its sheer variety and mind-blowing taste. And when they needed to take a short trip -- they had the foothills of the Himalayas, the Bay of Bengal, forested floodplains and tribal villages among zillion other options. And in all these places, there were a few constants -- how their beauty took a person's breath away and how delicious the simplest food tasted.
So when the West Bengal government's department of tourism came up with a commercial that captured all of this, the video went viral within hours of posting it. The department shared the video on their Facebook page on Friday and in less than a day, it had got over 13,000 shares.
It shows Bengal through the eyes of a White tourist who roams the book shops lining College Street and digs into a plate of 'ilish paturi' (hilsa steamed in banana leaf). She also visits everything from the tea gardens in north Bengal to the tribal villages in Purulia. The video ends with Shah Rukh Khan in a tram -- something some of the commenters seemed miffed about. They questioned why it couldn't be an actor from West Bengal in the ad, instead of Khan, who is chief minister Mamata Banerjee's chosen brand ambassador for Bengal tourism.
You can watch the video here: