AMAZING ASSAM Part 1 | Bhogali Bihu Dance | Assamese Jolpan | Rice Beer | HomeMade In India Series
After a long journey of 1900 KMs and 28 Hours… I reached Guwahati from Delhi. And then from Guwahati… to a small town of Sapekhati, in Upper Assam. I traveled so far so as to celebrate Bihu with my friend Ankur, at his village. [Neeru greets Ankur] Neeru: How are you?
Ankur: I am alright. My quest for eating local Assamese Cuisine… …and meeting his lovely family, took me straight to his village, Haw Faw. Some moments in your life are difficult to express in words. Meeting Ankur’s family was one such moment. They were so warm, friendly and such lovely simple people that the moment I met them I felt like I belong. Ankur’s granny was talking to me in Assamese, but naturally I don’t know that language. But because she was talking so affectionately, I felt I could communicate with her. Sometimes, you just need to connect heart to heart. The first meal was Bhogali Bihu special, comprising of dishes made from Rice. Each dish was homemade. For the first time, I had Puffed Rice (Hurum) with curd. I don’t think, I’ve ever had food like this. Although I know, all of these items individually but I never knew you can club them like this and eat it. This is new..this is sticky rice..black sticky rice. [Ankur]: Give her milk
Neeru: I like them this way only. And for the first time in my life, I had Black Sticky Rice with Milk and Jaggery. Just like how we make sweet rice with jaggery on Lohri or Baisakhi, it tastes like that. Ours is yellow in colour, but this [sweet sticky rice] is black. And here I found a different version of ‘Punjabi Gogle’ called Tel Peetha. Made with saunf [fennel seeds], jaggery and rice flour instead of wheat flour. And this Peetha was made with black sticky rice and til [sesame].
Neeru: This is really nice. And as you can see, these were my favourite. Neeru: These are really nice. And then I met my adorable Mumon, my crazy little love from Haw Faw. He is the reason why I left my heart in Haw Faw village. Mumon: Namaskar, my name is Purnangaraj Saikia Neeru: And do you stay here?
Mumon: eh? Neeru: Do you stay here?
Mumon: Yes Neeru: Where is your house?
Mumon: Over there. Aunty: Which class do you study in? Mumon: Class 2
Neeru: Class 2 Gurjas: Yeah! It’s done. Mumon: That’s mine
Neeru: No it’s mine. Neeru: That’s my car
Mumon: That’s my car Neeru: That’s my chicken
Mumon: That’s my chicken Neeru: That’s my duck
Mumon: That’s my duck Neeru: That’s my house
Mumon: That’s my house Neeru: They’re my parents
Mumon: They’re my parents Neeru: No
Mumon : [confused] Neeru: Namaskar
Mumon: Namaskar [Both laugh] Neeru: Come with me to Delhi.
Mumon: Come with me to Delhi. Neeru: [repeats]: With me, to Delhi
Mumon: With me, to Delhi [Chuckles] Neeru: Why are you imitating me? Mumon: [laughs] Neeru: Namaskar Mumon: Namaskar Neeru: Who’s that behind you?
Mumon: Who’s that behind you? [Breaks into laughter] And then, Ankur was taking me to some place, after almost kidnapping me. And, I had no idea about the treasure, which was in the offing. I was already acquainted with the rice dishes one could eat here. But now was the time to find out how they drink rice. Assamese Rice Beer, locally called Laupani… …in order to make it, first you need to dry some herbs… …then you mix them with dry rice flour and make balls out of it… ..when these balls dry up, you pound them and mix them with sticky rice before storing it in a vessel. Then after some time, it gets fermented on its own… …and the water that comes out of it is – Rice Beer. [Chatter] Neeru: Ankur, I won’t be able to finish it entirely, I will just have one sip. Man: This is very healthy, don’t worry try it. Neeru: Cheers!
Crowd: Happy Bhogali Bihu [Locals affectionately feeding Neeru] Neeru: [takes a bite] Wow, this is very nice. Neeru: No, thank you! I have already eaten a lot. Neeru: Man, this fish is so delicious. It’s very tasty. Man: Let me also feed you. Neeru: [laughs] These people are feeding me. Before I could register anything, these locals from Rohan village had already started partying. Look at that boy in gray hoodie or that girl in the red jacket. Aren’t they too cool and adorable? Even in the cities I don’t go out for dancing that often. I enjoy dancing with my friends in small gatherings. But this place had an energetic vibe, I didn’t feel like I was with strangers. All these locals seemed just as fun as my friends. My heart was beaming with joy to see… …women dance so freely without any restrictions or inhibitions… …which I haven’t seen often enough in other parts of the country. We were dancing non-stop, as we just couldn’t get enough of it. We danced inside a Belaghar [maze hut] too. I spotted many Belaghars in Assam during Bihu… …as this is where every celebration took place. And then it was time for the most funny and awkward interview of my life. Neeru: People here are very nice, who have so affectionately fed me great food and drinks. I never felt I have come here for the first time. Neeru: It’s only been 5-10 minutes since I have come here but I have done everything one needs to do in order to enjoy life. Man: Many thanks for coming here, next year we’ll call you with so much love, you won’t be able to refuse. Neeru: If I had my way, I would come back here in April, may be then the fields would also look green. Thankfully, we were back to dancing, singing and celebrating. For months these people have worked day in day out on these fields… …and I had only heard of the joy one feels during harvest season… …but over here, I got to experience that happiness. Neeru: I have just experienced a crazy crazy moment and a crazy Bihu celebration. All thanks to this boy. This video is happening all because of him… …and I can’t be more thankful and grateful for him being so gracious and loving. Ankur – Neeru: Cheers! Ankur to Gurjas: You should also taste this.