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North-east Nostalgia...Part-IV......Rural Assam

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by knbg, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. knbg

    knbg Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Friends,

    Following my
    http://www.indusladies.com/forums/snippets-of-life-non-fiction/154449-tryst-with-tusker.html
    http://www.indusladies.com/forums/s...ction/162049-north-east-nostalgia-part-i.html
    http://www.indusladies.com/forums/s...tion/164318-north-east-nostalgia-part-ii.html
    http://www.indusladies.com/forums/s...ion/168040-north-east-nostalgia-part-iii.html

    I am here with North-east Nostalgia...Part-IV......Rural Assam.....:)

    From Tripura, we had to move to Rural Assam........and we happily moved with bag and baggage............

    We were welcomed with.....

    Lush green paddy fields and trees....... 'clean green' after recent showers.........
    Thin and tall Betal nut trees with betal vines twining around them..............
    A pond with fish and ducks in front of almost all houses......'Assam type houses'......
    A variety of colorful birds and and rare reptiles.......and 'Xorai'......

    'Xorai'...?!?......
    Xorai.JPG
    This is 'Xorai'.....A Brass tray with unique traditional design in which roasted fennel seeds, betal nuts and betal leaves are offered to guests along with 'Gamosa'....a White hand woven cotton/ silk shawl with intricate design in bright red.....

    We lived there for almost three years......bonding with nature and people......

    Our day would begin early......with an early rising sun......
    To the hymns of the roosters, bulbuls, mynahs and..... sparrows.......lot of them.....
    There were nearly 50 sparrows roosting at the inner side of the staircase of our home.....safe from prowling cats and reptiles.......
    Talking of reptiles , we got to hear the loud "Gekke" of an elusive species of Gecko there.....but never got to see one though....


    We lived in a duplex kind of house....
    One of the few of that type in the village......with our landlord's family at the other side.....a nice couple in their fifties.....
    After getting fresh, we mostly had our morning tea ( famous Assam tea which we got from tea manufacturers' outlets) together with them.....in the front yard....overseeing green paddy fields......
    Then I would join our land lady and would collect fresh greens and veggies from the garden at the back yard......
    We grew spinach, onions, cauliflowers, broad beans , tomatoes......as, the other source of vegetables would be from the 'twice a week' subzi bazaar.......
    Yes, Sundays and Wednesdays are the most active days in the village.......vendors from surrounding villages would gather there with their fresh produce.....it is then that we would get carrots and other veggies......

    After breakfast DH would leave for work and me and my toddler DS had the whole day ahead of us........
    But we were never alone or bored........
    A slow stroll along the fields enjoying the birds and occasional snakes......
    Petting little goats and calves.......
    Watching people pulling hand drawn carts called as 'Tela gaadi's........
    Visiting the workshop of the carpenter......and slowly getting acquainted with the people and picking a few assamese words.......
    'Shoo'ing mynahs who were regularly bullying the roosting sparrows......
    Watching a dark sky that looked like a large dome around us....studded with millions of stars........
    Listening to crickets, water foul,owls, shrews and the "gekke" of the geckos at night....( after 7 PM is night there)
    Catching up with the local news with the land lord's around a small fire after dinner during winters and after downing glasses of juices in summer.......

    And bonding with people and animals.......
    Yes, we bonded with lovely animals ......very closely........and I must mention those lovely friends here......

    Shibu......
    A roaming red bull with a white spot on his fore head , curved horns and a large hump......scary to see....but a friendly being......
    He used to visit all the shops everyday....and the shop keepers would feed him with biscuits, bread and Alu......
    He was a regular visitor at home too....so we kept a feeding basket for him...with all the scraps and peels ready to eat......
    Shibu usually was friendly......but brilliant and witty too......
    We watched him chase a young man who tried playing prank with him with amazement and amusement.......:spin

    Gowri.....A white goat......soft and friendly.....

    Goru....An old cow.....of the landlord.....
    She would take the liberty of 'dropping in' in the kitchen and feasting on bazar bought veggies, if we forget to lock the door......:bonk
    Roxy ...the friendly dog.....

    Sparrows....they were a friendly nuisance......:rant
    Every morning , they ensured that the 'house keeping' was done on time....by their......:drowning

    mmmm......lovely years......:coffee

    Assam has the tradition of celebrating 'Bihu' festivals.......
    'Bihu' festival is celebrated at the first day of a season / assamese month....

    There are three 'Bihu's......

    Kongali Bihu.......In winter....to lift the spirits and reinforce austerity.....
    Bhogali Bihu........After Harvest.......celebrated with a 'bhog'...feast.....
    Rongali Bihu.......To welcome the spring.....that brings 'rong'...color to the landscape....

    Bihu is celebrated in rural Assam in a traditional manner and we had the chance to be a part of it.....
    Groups of dancers wearing traditional Assamese attire would play the flute accompanied by a horn ( made of buffalo's horns) and reverberating percussion instruments.....
    They would visit each house hold and would be given the traditional welcome of 'Xorai-Gamusa' and would perform Bihu dance.......wearing traditional Assam silk sarees / Mekhla Chador ( worn like the South Indian half saree )in raw silk with red thread work......

    Here's 'Bihu dance' for you.......

    Hi Oii Seni Jabi Keni - Jaan Moni - Assamese Bihu Song - YouTube

    After the spirited dance, there would be a grand feast with traditional Assamese sweets called 'Pita's.......sweet stuff wrapped on a thin crispy rice wrapper.....laddus....chira-doi ( poha and sweet yoghurt).....pan tambool.........
    pita.jpg
    Then, there would be a prayer by the group for the well-being of the host.....and there we witnessed one troupe entering after the other leaves .....continuously........
    We had a lot of lovely friends there and gelled with the Assamese culture.....

    As my DH was with bank, we visited many farms in the surrounding villages......
    Fisheries......
    Shrimp farms........
    Apiculture farms......
    Poultry and Piggery......
    Silk farming......
    Tea gardens........

    We visited and participated in many events of the Self help groups there and were welcomed and felicitated....with warm affection.......

    We used to visit 'Deopani'...
    'Devi mandir' that was 15 mins drive from our place during non-rainy days......
    On rainy days....the swinging bamboo bridge across the small rivulet we had to cross would be submerged...and one had to take a boat..( we never did venture out...with my 'Munjakradhai Muthanna ' DH :bonk)
    The temple.....
    Wow...serene at the banks of a rivulet........facing green tea gardens.......
    Ancient......with awesome divine vibrations.........
    I never missed a chance to visit there and chant 'Lalitha Sahasranamam' in front of the Goddess.......
    Devi ....a graceful "varaprashadhi"......
    She fulfills the prayers of her devotees who tie a red ribbon around the divine 'Sthala Vruksha'....:bowdown
    DEOPANI.jpg

    It was here that my DS started school......
    We put him in a Catholic school and he was blossoming into a sweet little boy......making his parents proud.....

    I got acquainted with the sisters at the school.....
    Sweet and affectionate they were......and started volunteering at the school.......
    Coaching students for their board exams........
    It was a boarding school with kids from surrounding villages staying there......and I had a great time and satisfaction spending time with them........
    Started with maths and science...then expanded to other subjects, presentation skills and personal counseling........
    A sweet bunch of high energy teenagers....
    I am in touch with them now.....some are in their final year engineering now........:thumbsup

    Though there were infrastructure problems....( roads,electricity, medical.....we had to travel to the nearest town to get an X-ray when I had broken my arm and had to go to Chennai to get my DS treated for a health issue)....
    Though we didn't have any 'hi-fi' places to hang out......
    We picnicked at the river banks.......
    We visited divine temples......
    We bonded with people.....a colorful kaleidoscope of people at that.....Assamese, Adhi vaasis, Bengalis, Nagas........and found a precious treasure of true friends.........
    We lived close to nature......

    Almost three years flew........and we had to move to another destination......

    We parted with tears.......
    And a tons of sweet memories to our next destination..........Shall join you from there soon.....

    Till then.......It's Bhargavi.......signing off from Rural Assam.........:hiya
     
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  2. Saisakthi

    Saisakthi IL Hall of Fame

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    Oh!!! Yeah Bhargavi sisters North Eastern trip continues...

    We are travelling with you with the Narration, so Real it is:thumbsup

    Relshing the Yummy food served.

    Great Enjoying... Glad it could be first FB
     
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  3. suryakala

    suryakala IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Bhargavi,

    What a rich experience and memories you have! You made a tough rural posting of a Bank Manager so sweet, and wonderful! Your write up shows the Tamil saying: Adapt any place as own, adopt any people as kin.

    And you spent your time doing voluntary teaching service in Assam! Great!

    Share, since you have got a lot to share, in a beautiful way of your own.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. cutemonster

    cutemonster Platinum IL'ite

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    Lovely post bhargavi!
    I have not stayed as such in Assam but we used to go for shopping to dibrugarh by crossing the mighty Brahmaputra. It was around 2 hours journey by boat , and in those big boats called ferries we would load our gypsy and car too:)
    And they served yummy sweet patties with coconut and sugar filling, how much we loved those journeys:)
    Overall , I was just awed by the beauty of Assam , but not to hurt anyone I felt the people over there were kind of laid back:) most of the work was done by women.

    Oh bhargavi, I must stop , I can go on on about my beloved north east:)
     
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  5. knbg

    knbg Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Saisakthi akka,

    So glad to see you here......:)

    It was late night when I posted the thread and had to log off soon after posting it...Your quick and affectionate feedback made my day..........:bowdown

    Thank you.........:)
     
  6. knbg

    knbg Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear SK akka,
    Wow....Baba's lovely way to motivate me through Saisakthi akka and yourself..............:bowdown
    Thanks a lot for the sweet words and wishes akka......:)
     
  7. BHAVNAM6

    BHAVNAM6 Platinum IL'ite

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    [​IMG]This Assam tea is you for giving us a splendid virtual tour to Assam....

    My dear Bhargavi,

    I did drink Assam tea harvested fresh from the farm with you in the morning....

    It was so much fun dancing with you followed by the feast of delicious pita.....

    The experience of blissfulness to visit the divine temple with you was incredible where I prayed to have a friend like you.....

    Love,
    Bhavna
     
    3 people like this.
  8. knbg

    knbg Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Cutemonster.....

    How are you..:).?

    Sorry for the delayed reply...

    As you rightly said, tea and silk are so good there......along with bamboo, cane and wooden artifacts......:cheers

    Upper Assam and ferry rides....wow.......haven't been there.....but heard a lot about that.......

    Thanks for the sweet FB that adds luster to the thread......:thumbsup

    Take care.............:)
     
  9. knbg

    knbg Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Bhavna.......
    Wow.....the warmth of the tea......and your affection.........made me....:banana
    Thanks a bunch dear.........for the warm tea and for the warm affection......:cheers
     
  10. prettydevil

    prettydevil Platinum IL'ite

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    Bhargavi.... lovely post....

    Your narration was so real that it was like... I could see it while reading.... :)

    Thanks for the refreshing virtual trip..... will visit your 1st 3 parts as well :thumbsup
     
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