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Back to the Roots...

By Banani

18 January, 2015

I was shivering in cold. It was January, 4.30 a.m. in a January morning. The sky was very clear but it was foggy all around. The view of our neighbor’s house was not clear. I was waiting for my brother to come out from shower. Unlike me, my brother is very active and always full of fun to be with. Both my parents were done with their shower. My mother was busy in kitchen holding an aluminium vessel consisting of hot water. Those days we didn't had the luxury of geysers at our home. I could hardly open my eyes. Wrapped myself into a woolen shawl I somehow managed to open my eyes. I was still into the feast that we had the previous night.Mutton curry, Chicken masala, fish delicacies, pulao add a divine sense to both my body and soul. This feast is known as “Uruka” in Assamese.

Our house was filled with my maternal and paternal uncle and aunts. All the people seemed to be in great zeal. My mom and aunts were busy in cutting the veggies since afternoon. On the other hand, dad and my uncles were busy in getting the raw materials from the markets. Some uncles were busy in preparing a tent in our garden under which the cooking will take place that night. Some were helping the ladies in peeling potatoes and peas. Me and my brother were busy in playing hide and seek with our cousins.


Everyone was waiting eagerly for the feast to begin. The clock struck six and the temple bells were heard with my mom lighting candles and diyas in front of Lord Shiva. I don’t want to forget to mention that apart from Lord Shiva, we have Goddess Lakshmi, Lord Ganesha too in our temple. Our temple was blessed by other Gods and Goddess too. Everyone was served lime tea in that chilled weather with hot, yummy samosas. Finally by 7 O’clock, all set to cook. The Earthen stoves were lit and the tent was sparkling in Dark Red color. The smell of onions, garlic, and star anise is all over. The aroma of Garam Masala spread into the air as saffron blends with milk.

After few hours, we children were called for dinner..My mouth was watering after seeing delicacies in front of me. I just wanted to grab everything as I am a voracious eater.


Suddenly, my eyes got opened as my brother wake me up by shaking my frozen body. He asked in a soft tone, “Ba, please go for a shower, I am done. It’s your turn now”. In Assamese, “Ba” addresses to elder sister as “Didi” in Hindi. My father arranged a small mejhi (small hut made out of straw) and we all were supposed to stand in front of it and burn it. One by one we were offering the sesame seeds and the new harvested rice to Lord Agni (God of Fire). Me and my brother took the blessings of our parents and started our day with an enthusiastic manner.

Our house encountered many unexpected guests. My mom prepared different delicacies such as rice cakes, rice pudding, sweet pudding balls dipped in kheer and many more different laddoos. Arrival of each guest gave me a reason to eat more and more. By the end of the day, we had an authentic family dinner which was the best part I enjoy. This symbolizes love, togetherness and bonding among us and I think this will be there forever.  Suddenly, my phone rang, realized to finish my tea. I took my bag and keys and head towards the main gate to start a new day with faith, fresh dreams and new aspirations.

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