Shubhankar Sen

Shader Melbondhon: Licious gives ode to Bengali regional diversity in joyful Pujo ad

The ad dishes out a delectable celebration of Bengali traditions, uniting 'Ghotis' and 'Bangals' in a Pujo extravaganza of diverse flavours.

In anticipation of the upcoming Durga Pujo season, Licious, the Bengaluru-based D2C meat and seafood e-commerce brand, has unveiled a heartwarming spot that captures the spirit of Bengali unity through the joy of shared meals.

The ad, accompanied by the tagline Fresh meats & seafood for your Pujor Mahabhoj, delves deep into the cultural tapestry of Bengal, highlighting the age-old traditions and culinary delights associated with the festival.

In West Bengal, Durga Pujo and Kali Pujo have long been marked by traditions of offering meat as bhog—a practice deeply rooted in ancient customs and dedicated to the goddesses Durga and Kali. Licious’ latest ad beautifully aligns itself with these cultural nuances, portraying the essence of Pujor Mahabhoj—a grand feast during the Pujo season (September–October) where families come together to enjoy non-vegetarian dishes.

The ad's narrative unfolds in a bustling Bengali household during the Durga Pujo festivities. It centres around the playful rivalry between two popular Bengali communities - the Ghotis, originating in West Bengal and the Bangals, who migrated from East Bengal (now Bangladesh) pre-partition.

Featuring a Dhakai (Bangal) daughter-in-law married into a Ghoti family, the ad sparks a light-hearted banter between her and a male Ghoti relative about the Ghoti and Bangal diversity of the spread of dishes on the dining table.

The feast, laden with the choicest dishes and meaty delights, showcases an array of culinary treasures like Padma Ilish Macher Tel (cooked with Hilsa fish from the Padma River), Muitha (a signature dish of Dhaka cuisine, presenting fish-based meatballs made from Chital fish), Pabdar Jhal, Rui Macher Kalia, Kosha Mangsho, Kochi Patha Curry, Aloo-Chingri Posto, and the iconic Bhapa Ilish. The brand's cinematic endeavour not only ignites festive fervour but also effectively highlights its extensive range of meaty offerings.

The ad cleverly weaves in the rich regional diversity of Bengali cooking styles and palates. The family members engage in a rhythmic exchange of light-hearted banter, accompanied by the resonating beats of the Dhak—integral drums during Durga Pujo, symbolising the arrival of the Goddess and embodying the festive spirit.

What lends authenticity to the lighthearted exchange between the Ghoti and Bangal characters is their use of the Epar Bangala (Bengali commonly spoken in West Bengal) and Opar Bangala (Bengali dialect from East Bengal) dialects, characteristic of the two distinct communities.

This linguistic inclusion genuinely captures the essence of a Bangal-Ghoti spat, and the rhythmic and sing-song nature mirrors the stylistic elements of a Kobir Lorai—a form of poetic banter where the parties aim to cleverly outsmart each other.

As the two family members continue to playfully poke fun at each other's cooking styles and culinary preferences, echoing the long-standing intra-community rivalry, the younger family members step in. They intervene, urging the two to cease their Bangal-Ghoti banter, as everyone is eager to savour the delectable array of Hilsa, prawns, and mutton dishes laid out before them.

Despite the differences between Ghotis, and Bangals, Epar Bangala and Opar Bangala, the ad beautifully illustrates that Bengalis are united by their love for good food.

As the family rejoices with the delicious Pujor Mahabhoj made with Licious’ offerings for the season, the ad concludes with a shot of the sumptuous feast and a narrator inviting viewers, "To celebrate the spirit of Pujo, Enjoy all bangal and ghoti delicacies… Perfectly cooked with Licious!"

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