My office moved to a new building a few months back. Bright and shiny, it’s awesome.
It has a library. How cool is that!
Being in India, the last time I walked into a library was ……Meh, I can’t even recall. We have very few libraries here, But then, this is India. It has a thousand others way to tell stories.
Back to today, to my new bright and shiny office.
I was curious, On the first day, when I had visited the space defined as the library, it was bare-shelf, cartons lying around oozing books! Today books were on the shelf.
And I peeked. I looked. I turned pages. I scrolled through. I smelled 😍
And there it was, a tad bit old with rough edges and a dark cover, petite, surrounded by thick IT books, a name, a familiar name. Jhumpa Lahiri.
What? Are you kidding me? My eyes were out of my socket.
You mean, all this time, Jhumpa Lahiri and I were on the same floor, separated by few steps. And, not just any book, her PULITZER PRIZE WINNER Interpreter of Maladies
I was floored, muttered- “Tonight baby after Adi goes to sleep, I will have the soft light and you!”. Jhumpa is waiting to speak her words. She wants to start a conversation with me. Tonight!
I had just finished reading Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari. Sapiens is about the evolution of human-kind, of how we evolved from being hunter-gatherer-forgerer who roamed-traveled- moved every season, lived off berry, fruit, honey, and occasionally small animals, worked 3 days a week, 5-6 hours a day, polytheist-polygamous to being God.
Is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don’t know what they want?
I know a few things now.
Yuval Noah Harari hates humans 😉
I wanna be a hunter-gatherer. And they work fewer hours than me has got nothing to do with this decision.
I wanna read more of Yuval Noah Harari.
Guess what else was on the shelf?
Home Deus; A History of Tomorrow. By Yuval Noah Harari!
By this time, my eyes were out and I was drooling. My head vibrating “Am booking tickets to Israel and then a hop to Italy”. I was tip-toeing , jumping in excitement. What is the chance that I will find two of my dream books, free of cost!
I love this library. Am so glad I joined here.
It has Books. Old, new, bounded, paperback, hardcover, faded , bright, red/black white and dark. The place is all white. The ink will probably fade but the conversations, the life in the book will remain even after centuries have passed. And that is what draws me to reading.
I was in a chocolate factory ❤
I could not get the book issued, but tomorrow is gonna be my day.
Tonight am gonna sleep with a smile and thoughts of Lahiri and Harari.
Whoa, that rhymes! How cool is that !
Click on one of these and receive a plate full of fish fry. I promise.
This , sakhi of very beautiful blog presented me with this award. Check her out her blog and do not give her creep. Sakshi , you are my favorite person now.
So here I come . To take my award.
ME in a beautiful red gown , sitting next to superstar wife.
And then ME again , “act” surprised and all smiles when my name is announced by Sakshi as one of 15 ! My heart has already orbited moon several times from the joy , while I maintain formalities with my mortal body with a camera friendly smile.
I know I will do good coz I have practiced (seriously , literally!) receiving award many times in front of bathroom mirror. I cannot practice outside bathroom ..can I , these days?
I also have prepared my acceptance speech , Here it goes.
I would like to thank (checking notes) Ooopsie doopsie ! (Grinning )My bad .. , this one is when I win best singer. hmm , it goes like I sing few lines from my hit song. Audience is spell bound. Screaming Once more. I become the talk of the night , the moment of the night. Pity I cannot use it here , cannot sing on WP. But please act spellbound , let’s create the atmosphere right. right?
I have also decided , whom I am gonna hug first , you know when I stand up to go to stage to receive my trophy. The superstar wife , so I could prove we are BFF and I hang out with her always.
Again , pity … am already missing my BFF.
Oh yeah , I also practiced the “air kiss”. You know , the kiss of hi-society, in-air-not actually on cheek kiss. That do-not-spoil-my-lipstick and be-careful-of-my-hairdo kiss. It is actually easier than kissing , pout -kiss -other cheek kiss and done!
Here are the rules of the Blogger Recognition Award:
Rule 1: Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog. check!
Rule 2: Provide a link to the award creator. Now who is that? Wait , does this means I cannot be…I better rush to get it.
Rule 3: Attach the award to your post. Aha, Will do … Am still thinking where to place it. Perhaps About Me. Blog page is all cluttered.
Rule 4: Nominate fifteen other bloggers, excluding yourself and the person who nominated you. Obviously
Rule 5: Write a brief story of how you started your blog.
Rule 6: A piece or two of advice to new bloggers.
Rule 7: Comment on the blogs you have named here to let them know you have nominated them.
How I started my blog:
I think I have summed it up in About Me already. I do , so my husband cannot say I didn’t do. But I have just started and I have NO intention or talent to be writer or even successful blogger. I just write.
My favorite vegetable is capsicum. My husband eats capsicum ..we consume at least a kilo a week. My complete family loves capsicum! We are capsolovers !
Head : Liar ! Husband hates capsicum , your 3 year old boy doesn’t eat any vegetable. Family of capsoooooohaters!
Hey ! careful head , Husband , he eats it..I have prepared for him ..
Head (interrupting) : wait ,I haven’t finished yet .. And capsolovers ??.. is NO word. See spellcheck is screaming !
*continuing in a tone of sophistication * : And by eating , if you mean , trying to thaw it with spoon and murmuring hate for every mouthful before deciding ,”enough I need an omelette” then yes he did eat capsicum.
Alrite (making a mental note of not lying in front of head), 1/3rd of my family loves capsicum. That is the stat. We are three . Including me.
Head : Do the maths lady ..
So , C’on , what’s not to like , I mean its round ,crunchy, even has a butt so can sit and best of it ,can be taken both – raw or cooked.What other veggie can claim all that adjectives?
Head : veggie with butt ? Why am I attached to a heart with no sense of world!
I remember a dish .. all of us likes and its of capsicum.
Head : Eh ? The one where you stuff capsicum with whatever you find in your fridge and put it in microwave and eat it almooost raw?
It is called smart cooking , am a smart cook. Remember this? Don’t spoil it. Am gonna explain how it’s done for only smart readers!
hmm , what should I name the dish?
Capsicum butt stuffed!
So I had few capsicum in my fridge. I bought them green , nurtured in there till turning red and then realized it is not gonna turn into bell pepper , so I might as well finish it before crunch is gone…
Now I need something to stuff up these capsicum. I love stuffed so much!
Head : Eh , and wont you tell your reason for “love stuffed”?
Alrite (making a mental note of trying not to deviate truth in front of head), So I love stuffed capsicum coz that way I can eat capsicum , husband can eat stuffing and I can even make paratha from stuffing for kiddo… .a complete family entertainment!
Phew ! There I said it. This is my family favorite recipe coz everyone get’s to eat their favorite!
Head : I feel so much lighter now!
Ignoring the snob head..So now I need something to stuff up these capsicum.
(1) Open your fridge , look around and see what can you find? Paneer (cottage cheese) , other cheese , peas. Bring it on. Anything can be stuffed into capsicum. I found mushroom.
(2) Nothing in fridge? Alternative .. hmm you got to have potato in your house.. What kind of Indian ( or European?) are you with no potato! Boil it and mash it.
(3) Heat a pan , add butter . Not oil .. Butter is tastier. Add some onion.
(4) Add mushroom to pan , salt , chilli powder and whatever powder spice you can find. Find some special spice like amchur , chaat masala..
Head: Aha! You didn’t tell to wash and cut mushrooms before adding to pan , not whole one,
C’on , Do I need to tell this to humans who knows to cook ?
(5) Add some sauce , it taste good. Open your sauce and soup cabinet and pick one. I had tomato soup. Mix it into the mushroom. It’s better mushroom cooks with sauce.
Head : Aha! lady .. sauce makes it curry .. you are definitely not looking for a curry to fill into capsicum butthole?
Shut-up head , this is my recipe.
Wait , he is right.
Am not making gratin , its stuffed capsicum.. stuffing should be …solid. Think NOW, risk mitigation , crisis aversion, damage control.
(6) Mix a bit of corn flour and add to thicken it. It worked, as you can see in picture. And I also added a bit of white sesame seeds, for the white effect 🙂
It just looked good in pan with other red stuff.
PS: You can skip step 6 , if you have skipped step 5 .
Head (Grinning ): See I was right
Ignoring head who think he is Master Chef! Cover the pan and let it cook. This can’t be eaten raw. You see it has no can-eat-raw super power like my doll , capsi!
(7) Work with capsicum , cut off capsicum’s head , slide off and then empty its belly. remove all the seeds and glaze the capsicum with oil on the inside wall.
(8) Now am bore and I assume you get the drift. Fill the stuffing into capsicum, prepare your micro-wave plate.
Add plenty of oil, place the capsicum on plate and put it inside.
(9) Cook it as much as you want it .. I mean I like a bit raw ,as you can see in the pic.. try different options of microwave – Grill , convection , Grill + convection , power heat , or just plain.. sky is your limit (and the options of your microwave).
stuff it , place it
caosicum stuffed and ready for microware oven
Here is the best part !
My husband likes the mushroom stuffing , I finished off the capsicum.
All in one and one in all .
Isn’t this the smartest capsicum butt stuffed ever !
Click on one of these and receive a plate full of fish fry. I promise.
So on a whim , I “registered” for Blogging 101 , which is like a learning program for whoever wants to learn better in doing blog . Eh , Sounds nice. Lemme try.
So I register , got few email and now am feeling like am school again with assignment , madam , teacher , (virtual) classroom . OMG!
This is first assignment is to write a post about “Who am I and Why do I blog” .
Well , you want to read more on this topic , by all means! Pls read more! Be my guest.
After a while,
If you are still reading this line , that means you wanna read more about first assignment. You didn’t go away! You are a wise man , my boy.
Imagine Tom Cruise on Oprah , jumping on couch and declaring his love for his lady love. Now replace him in your thoughts with me , jumping on couch and declaring my love for YOU Reader! Thank You , Thank You , Thank You .. (for reading such boring topic , I swear I would have turned away.)
Assignment is to answer few questions:
Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
What topics do you think you’ll write about?
Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?
I will try to pass this test. My experience in college taught me to cover only relevent topics to get passing marks, not to cover all questions.. Answer any 3 , I will pass.My time starts now.
Because I want to remember stuffs/events in my life and access it easily when I forget password to my personal journal.
What do I write mostly?
Whatever comes to mind , but I stay away from serious topics ..the political ones. I love humor , comics . I think everyone should be comedian. Imagine a world full of good humor . The rest will prevail 🙂
I write about my travel time , but cannot write touristy , general stuff . I write about how I “felt” there , like Scandinavians are tall , Napoleon was rich and Assam is greatest places on earth.
I like my adventures with my son. I write about how bad I cook. I try to be comic , funny coz (as I already said) I love humor. My Reader list is humor. I have these crazy talks in my heart which my head denies , so I write down talk so head knows there are many more “heart” like mine.
In short , Food , Travel , Mummy and Crazy Talks.
I think I should pass now and hence I rest my case.
Thanking for reading till end 🙂
PS : I love fish. If you want more “likes” on your post , blog .. just send me a kilo of fried fish twice a week and I guarantee service.
Click on one of these and receive a plate full of fish fry. I promise.
Whenever I tell any one that am from Assam , I always get a good response – It’s a beautiful place , Isn’t it ? Well , the truth is its not only beautiful because of its natural beauty but it’s truly awesome ! and am not saying this coz its my home town , but it really is.
Assam is a state in North East India . Guwahati is the pseudo capital . Now what are the best places to visit in Assam , how to reach there blah blah – You can google. This post is about my personal favorite place at Assam , which is hard to find on map – Fulguri.
Fulguri is a small village about 40Km from Guwahati , where I would spend my summer vacation every year . I once tried to find it on google map , and my husband claims to be successful in doing it Here. Never mind goggle , I can find it , spends there the best 15 days of every year and enjoy its beauty.
So whats so great about this place? I have a list…
Green grass goes around around !
Literally , The place has shit load of green. God has special routine for this place .. it never goes out of green view- as far as I can see! There are 50 different shades of green. Now , Do you know why trees /leaves are green – coz it is the most pleasant color to eyes. Just look out of window your window, spot a tree and imagine it being in a color other than green? Nah , Isn’t it?!
Now to this green canvas –
add mountains at far far far away distance .
Fill the space between you here and far far away mountain with trees , cocunut , supari (Betel nut) , Shawl , Sagwan and bloody hell any green trees .
Some small villages – slanting tin roofs , small market place , not so good road , muddy place, kitchen garden and many many small-big ponds.
Wide open paddy fields.
and you get a picture of what it looks like everyday from my window. It’s a view every city dweller aspire to see.
Peaceful yet noisy!
This place is peaceful , quite and relaxing – the kind where creative juices flows out of grey cells. Well ,for some . The part of my brain which makes me lazy and sleepy overflow 🙂 It’s so quite , yet its full of sounds. Sound of bird chirping , sound of Koel , sound of firefly , toad and the best sound of rain during monsoons.
Birds – Boy! They are easily busier than Mark Z ! Always in meeting together- chirping louder and louder.
Koel – Have you heard this bird ? A singer I tell you , better than Ms Dion. Kids just follow her cooing and koel sings back louder , as if to teach them . We used to repeat after koel as kids and now I try to teach my toddler son [but he is more interested in woooo -the howl of wolf !]
Barish = Rain , Pukuri=pond !
I have seen rain everywhere , but it’s most romantic at Fulguri! A walk in the rain with your partner under an umbrella activates the most romantic grey cells ❤ , activated by the continuous non stop rain and I never get enough of it.Everything cools down and the air becomes so fresh , wet and moist. Its freshness everywhere like someone has sprayed a giant room freshener!
People have adjusted to rain and its continuous presence during monsoons. House are built with slanting roof , not cemented but made of tin.Our main house have a huge courtyard surrounded by rooms on all 4 sides , leaving some place at one corner for entrance. My father has a small pond next to his house and breeds fish there. Every house has pukhuri =pond and breeds fish.
Sometimes water overflows all ponds and then all small-big water holes unite to create a big water entity . Many people go fishing on the road side and kids jump around proudly showing the fish they caught… every where is a fish market :-*
The best is when rains hit hard on the tin roof , Voila !- Home becomes a pub house! Its so noisy that we cant hear each other . I remember as a kid screaming from across the courtyard to each other. The sound is so loud but such music ! Every nite is a thunderstorm. It’s scary but its definitely something to experience.
Open door policy
At Fulguri , no one keeps door closed. It’s wide open all day long and anybody , absolutely anybody can come in , without knocking straight to where ever you are .. GASP ! Breach of privacy ? No I say . it’s so welcoming !
There is no boundary wall to separate us from our neighbor.
Where is my sugar ?
Assam is famous for tea (c) . So that should make us expert in tea ? Well our cup of tea is not everyone’s cup of tea!
Morning begins with tea prepared by my father and delivered straight to my bed – now that’s is something I wish he would pass on to his son-in-law..asap! But hold on, where is my sugar? Tea , here is prepared in minimal sugar and sometimes no milk -lal chai. It’s completely opposite to my in-laws [who are not from Assam ] where tea is close to sugar syrup!
In fact when someone from outside visit my home , drinks tea , they are absolutely sure that we haven’t added sugar and how is that every home they visit here forgets to add sugar :-0
So I have to instruct the host in advance : Please add at least 3 times more than usual.
Now , I take my son there once a year , it’s a paradise for any toddler – free huge space to run around , can play with grass , dirt , mud , mitti anytime , Gets to chase kabutor ( pigeon) , duck , dog ,cat , firefly . Bell a cow , checks out the mud pool. It cannot get better than that!
Here is my son looking for his missing duck!
Yay! we are having a picnic !
My earliest memories of Fulguri is it’s kitchen – the common kitchen , when all my uncle and cousin were still a large single joint family. There were abut 50 people. Morning roti [Indian bread] making session was so fun like a picnic. All ladies of house gets together , makes roti on a single chulaha – a cook stove heated by burning wood. Lunch and dinner was prepared in those big big kadai , using spatula as long as 3feet over burning wood !Dal, Chicken curry or fish curry had more water and less meat – but even the top chef cant beat the taste – absolute divine.
Everyday is a picnic 🙂
The natural beauty of Fulguri promotes the photography juice of my husband’s brain -especially with macro lenses. He is seen always with a camera , up early in morning , puts on whatever slipper/shoes he could slip on and then trying to check out that one small flower bud or strange bug . At city apartment, I have hard time waking him up in the morning and at Fulguri I have hard time finding him on bed when I wake up!
I have to turn into a macro flower to get his camera attention ! When we check out photo’s of our trip , 7 out of 10 doesn’t have any human presence !
Dinning table gossip
We have plenty of wood around , so every home has furniture -wooden bed , sofa , dinning etc . Solid Shesham wood , the kind of wood which furniture wala will proudly give you with guarantee for 100 years . So every home has a dinning and that piece of furniture should be renamed as gossip table.
That’s the place where all gossips begins , take shape , analyzed , extrapolated and finally passed on to the next dinning table. All members gather around dinning , pull extra chair , stool whatever fits their butt and join in the conversation. So a 6 chair dinning table can even accommodate 10! The dinning is busy , long after we finish our meal.
I have to poo !
One of the thing I have seen only in Assam is : Poo and Pee place is different. When you go pee , you just pee . No poo. So dont need to bath :-o. But if you go for poo , you have to take bath after it. It’s still followed . So what do I like about it ?. The toilet for poo was about 500meters away from main house ! So we will be scare to go alone and ask cousin to accompany us to there – ” I have to poo”.
So while I poo inside without any fear, someone is guarding outside. Sometimes I tell my cousin to sing loud so I know she is there 😉
What’s your name ? Oooo Hira
How do you call your friend say named Tom ? Tom , come here ..but at fulguri Tom will be addressed Ooooo Tom.It’s just a habit of people to call out as OOOO <name> . Now I really did not realize this until I was married and my non Assamese husband visited Fulguri. His reaction – Why is everyone calling you Oooo Hira ?
I like it though , I call Ma as ” Ma O Ma , Maye” . It’s our way to saying “O” I missed you , Now lets get going 🙂
The O sound is like a song prelude , before the important song .. that is the name. Even if the person is sitting next to you , you call out as O. Crazy habit ? May be for someone who hasn’t lived with it , but for my assami sister , it’s a music that she want’s to hear from her daughter before she would finally respond to her call- “Ma O Ma ,Maye”.
Try it Ooooo Sweetie 🙂
Traditional yet modern!
Now this is something , am not only fond of fulguri , but am very proud too. What’s best is it’s true for Assam , not only fulguri.
Fulguri may be a small remote village in north east india , or Assam may be a small entity in Indian political scene , But I tell you from my experience of living in almost all corners of India – Assam /fulguri is the place which still follows traditions but yet are super liberal and unorthodox , lot less of mumbo jumbo then rest of India.
Assam is far ahead when it comes to giving liberty to women than any other big metro city. Women are given free rein , to choose their own partner , to choose not to get married , to choose to work , to dress as they feel like , to voice opinion , are given equal right to education/work /property and all this is nothing modern . Assam has been like this in its traditions as far as I can remember! Once in my kitty party , the host had a game to write down things you only see in city not in villages and I was silently laughing when some said – women wearing makeup ,skirt , pant in city not in village. Fulguri girls are better dressed , knows better makeup than many of city girls I know , including me !
All this freedom , liberal thoughts yet Assam is traditional . I love to see the traditional brass utensils used , we even have our own towel – Gamsa. Ladies are dressed mostly in Makhela Sadar [most beautiful attire , it needs a place on its own in my list] , even the small knife used is kotori , a special knife. Every house has jhapi or sarai
Am a real proud Asamiya!
Fish , O Fish !
Assamese can go to war for fish 🙂 They absolutely love fish. I remember my uncle will always comment on an Ad featuring a person holding a big fresh water fish as-” if only I could eat that fish”.
The best thing of Fulguri is every home has a pond and every pond has fish and I have my father to catch fish for me , mother to fry it and the fish finally find its resting place in my stomach. The fish fry prepared by Ma is absolutely crunchy , nutty , yummy and addictive ! I don’t know how many fishes I kill during my annual trip.
Guest coming home ? No problemo .. father is out with his fishing rod 🙂 . So fresh water fish straight out of pond>kitchen>plate>stomach .
Specially during winter days when papa will put his chulha of burning wood outside and fry fish. I would sit just next to it and eat my heart out ! Here is a pic of papa cooking on chulha
Fish you are my favorite , you will always be my first love ❤ ❤ <3.
Where is my phone?
I keep loosing my phone when am there ? Why ?
Coz , I don’t need it . There are so many things to do , so much to feel , to enjoy , sounds to hear , scents to take in . There are so many “touch me not” waiting to be touched ! fish waiting to be fished out and eaten 😉 No wonder internet penetration is so low in rural India . It has it’s own network , it’s own social media. It has it’s own charm which you certainly do not get it in other touristy places !
Welcome to Fulguri 🙂
Click on one of these and receive a plate full of fish fry. I promise.