Wednesday, April 13, 2005

bengali new year

The 15th day of April heralds in the Bengali New year. It is better-known as pahela Baishakh or the first day of the month of Baishakh. On this occasion, Bengalis the world over try to relive their glorious pasts; they attempt to recreate an atmosphere that is gradually fading into oblivion. If possible, they coax the elderly ladies of the family to prepare those exotic, long forgotten dishes that conjure up memories of an era gone by – chholar daal with a sprinkling of fried coconut cubes and topped with a spoon of pure ghee for starters accompanied by begun bhaja, followed by dhokar dalna, chingri malai curry, paka pona machher kalia and alu bakhrar chutney. Then comes the sweet dishes – gobindo bhoger payas, rasogolla or, in lieu, rabri. Likely bad effects of increase in cholesterol levels or sugar levels are temporarily forgotten as they first let the flavor knock them out and then surrender in totality to those delightful, unforgettable tastes.

Those who are unable to lay their hands on domestic facilities prefer to go to restaurants and taste real Bengali dishes in typical Bengali surroundings. Taking advantage of this not unnatural mindset of Bengalis, most large hotels in Kolkata offer special dishes so that they can get a taste of dishes that remain just names for the remaining 364 days of the year. Even the older generation joins in because, the hands that once upon a time created magical dishes are faint memories today.

It is said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. That used to be how the ladies of yore would cast magic spells on their men folk. As a result, the men never encouraged thoughts of parting ways, no matter how explosive the situation. When the table is laid and, dishes keep making their appearances, it is extremely difficult for any man to turn a blind eye to their creator.

She just cannot be ignored. She knows it, her man knows it. The real secret of marital bliss lies in such a close knit setup.

A different genre of read –
Pay the Ransom and …