Remember the carnival of ghosts that Goopy Gyne and Bagha Byne witnessed the night they received the three boons from the King of Ghosts? Every office scene is a reminder of such an ongoing circus of bhoots. And every character at work is a reminder of the Bengali ghosts. Including you. They come in different shapes, sizes, and characteristics.
Here are the Bengali ghosts lurking in every office.
See if you can find your colleagues on this list. And yourself.
The one who feeds on everyone’s flesh and blood. The one who sucks all joy out of our lives. The one who will haunt us in our sleep or death to inquire about work. The one who has the power to alter your thoughts and plans about taking a leave and finding peace during a trip. The one who can lead you to insanity, anger issues, and other mental abnormalities. In the first month, they are sweet and kind, but then their ugly reality comes out. You know who we’re talking about.
2. Besho Bhoot
“Besho” comes from Bnash, i.e. Bamboo. No, we are not talking about the beloved stoner who knows where to find the best bamboo, i.e. weed. This is the bhoot who is always ready to hurt you with a shoving of the bamboo, targetting your weakest spot – if you know what we mean. Do you see the similarity with the Besho Bhoot who spreads bamboos on the path, and waits for an unsuspecting passerby to step on it, so that he can pull the poor being into the Baash Jhaar?
This sad being, a personification of the headless ghosts of Bengal, is the soul twin of almost every person. He is the one who has lost his face – in front of the seniors, the team lead, or just the colleagues. He is often the victim of either the Besho Bhoot or the Pishaach, and is often seen sulking, claiming that he would soon leave the job. He also keeps requesting others to help him find it, failing which he might or might not seek his face in THEIR disappointing performances.
This one who functional and productive after sunset. He arrives late almost every day, watches Youtube and Hoichoi, and has a headphone on. He grows more active as the day passes. He takes work home and prefers to work at night, alone. That’s when he prove he’s efficient. He might leave a message or two for help. But if you don’t respond, he continues on his own. He usually works in creative departments like graphics or copy, or in tech fields.
Is he there? Is he not there? Does he work or has he left the job? Is he alive? Nobody really knows. He is the one who is always on a leave. Everyone aspires for a long leave and go far away from the network zone, but Aleyaa is the one who makes it happen for himself. Nobody can explain how. No one sees him at the office on a daily basis, and the phenomenon of his sudden presence is usually seen as unnatural – or even supernatural, since many believe him dead.
The Jokhho is the proud guardian of wealth. His wealth. From the first week of the month till the last, you’ll find it impossible to convince this kipte to eat out. He’ll smoothly skip Friday night parties. He carries just enough change to travel from his house to work and back. Not a buck extra. He arrives at a fixed time every day, because he has picked the cheapest bus; there’s probably only one of them every hour. You’ll notice he has a fixed time for leaving, too – for the same reason.
“Hau, Mau, Kau… Manusher Gondho Pau…” That might have been the punchline of the traditional Rakkhosh, but the one at the office is all about “Hau, Mau, Kau… Khabarer Gondho Pau…” Whenever you see him, it’s always the same scene – one hand on the computer as he works, the other hand in the box of snacks on his table, his jaws moving. The benevolent kind likes feeding others. Whether or not he is the sharing kind, he is interested in what the others’ food.
8. Mechho Bhoot
Unlike the Rakkhosh, the Mechho Bhoot has a simple, Bangali taste – he likes to bring Machher Jhol and Bhaat for lunch. Every day. And every day, he opens his lunch box to spread the Mechho smell all around the office; this generates different kinds of reactions from everyone, depending on their love for fish. There’s something very Bangali about him and his daily joy of diving into his rice and fish curry, hand first, and filling every corner with machher gondho.
What’s cooking? Every office has that one person who’s always bugged by this question. He is the office snoop, gliding around silently, collecting dirt. Who had a breakup? Who threw up during a party? Who has been called by the Pishach? He thrives on other’s deadly pains. His knowledge cause death by embarrassment. He is the death-rider. Much like the ghost in Shutter, you’ll never know when he’s sitting on your shoulder, looking at your screen reading your messages.
A team of Beshos and Skondhokatas, Aleyaas and Nishis, needs a Brahmodayitto. He is the Taar-kata team lead who everyone loves to drive mad. He is on the verge of running around on the streets, pulling his own hair and tearing his own clothes. He is always shouting. You’ll find a permanent scowl on his face. Yet, pays for the Jokkho who forgets to carry a wallet to the team lunch. He is the one saves your derriere from the Pishaach. He maintains balance and harmony.
Every Bhoot and Kimbhoot, a weirdo or a crazy in his own right, makes work fun. It’s funny how you almost never meet them out of office, and yet, you know all about each other. Love them or hate them, you can’t ignore your colleagues who turn the office into a zoo of Bengali ghosts. But who’s your favourite?