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Magh Bihu 2012 : Fish Catching, Meji And A Sagolir Puwali .

February 17, 2012
a huge tree captured on camera by sobbing Gauri
Magh Bihu / Bhogali bihu of Assam is a harvest festival which marks the end of winter harvesting.The term Bhog means enjoyment,merriment and luxury.Granaries are full and there is lots of feasting and enjoyment all over Assam during this time (mid Jan to mid Feb).The same festival is observed all over India as Makar Sankranti/Pongal/Lohri.My old friends already know that every year during this time, I alongwith my family go to my husband’s ancestral village Naamkhola .This year
too we had similar plan but because of a very bad flu bout I could not accompany my family and had to stay back at Guwahati .This is was the first time that I spent three days alone at home without my kids .
                                                      another shot by her : a guy walking on bamboo sticks
Surprisingly my son who is otherwise very clingy , little shy and mommies around most of the time was least bothered while my daughter who is quite adjustable to any given situation was devastated.I  gave her my camera and requested her to bring some real good pictures for  viewing and my blog post .Given project  helped and she agreed to go without me . In this post I have used some of her clicks and rest of the pictures are  captured  by Chandan.
Prityotama and Ganesh
  They reached Naamkhola in two hours and in those two hours I received three calls and more than ten sms from my concerned daughter.We communicate in Assamese most of the times but her calls were in Hindi .”Apna Khyaal Rakhna (take care of yourself)” said a heavy and concerned voice over the phone. I knew the frequency of calls and messages is going to drop down once she meets her  cousins .And I was right .While refreshments were being arranged for them Bablu ( my nephew ,Chandan’s cousin’s son) took them to show this sagoli (goat) goat Priyotoma and her puwali ( kid) Gonesh.
 On the field nearby village folks were busy preparing meji. Mejis are made particularly by the menfolk,with bamboo sticks,hay and wood pieces. Meji burning is a ritual where fire(Agni) is worshipped on the day of Sankranti. Know more about it here.
 In few minutes my son and sagolir puwali (as he fondly) remembers Ganesh) became good friends and were inseparable. Soon it was time for fish -catching for Uruka feast .Celebration of this bihu is mostly centered around community feast on Uruka i.e. the eve of Sankranti. On this eve people organise Bhoj(feast) either within the family or in groups.We like to keep it as an only family feast.You can know more on Uruka here .
 This is our fish-pond .It is typical of almost most of  Assamese village houesholds to have their own fish pond as fish is an integral part of Assamese cuisine.Soon Kanu da and his staff proceeded towards the pond to catch fish for Uruka bhoj. My brother-in-law Bhaskar (popularly known as Kanu Da amongst family and friends) takes full care of this pond , farm and fields.Brought up and studied  in Shillong he finally opted for farming and transport business .Happily married and father of two kids he and his family love every minute of their village life . Both the kids go to a good school in nearby town.

 I had instructed both my kids to keep a safe distance from pond and they obediently followed that .And also they were under constant observation and excellent care of ma( my mother -in-law) and Jonali their aunt (my sister-in -law).

Bablu was already in the pond trying his hands on fish catching .All the invitations to join him were flatly refused by Gauri telling him ,”Ma ie manaa korisee”( ma said no ).

 The pond is not very deep but because my kids are not good swimmers as yet I am not comfortable in letting them try .This is how our pond looks when emptied for half yearly cleaning.

 The fish  net was already  placed in position .The net used here is called Tana -Zaal ( meaning pulling net) .It was time to pull it out slowly and check the catches.The man in blue shorts is our Kanu da.The different variety of fish found in this pond are Kandhuli(Feather back) ,Chetal(humped feather back),Rau (Rohu),Common carp ,Grass carp,Silver carp and few other small ones.

 The net gets heavy because of too many fishes in it .You can see fishes jumping .

 Each fish is carefully selected depending on it’s size and variety .Immature ones are thrown back to the pond .The one above looks like a great catch.

 They found a snake too in there which was thrown back to the pond.After an hour fish catching session was over .

 Happy people here.Each fish weighed between 2- 3 Kg .More than fifteen fishes were caught that day .Kanu da kept eight and rest were distributed amongst staff and some other close friends.

 Babloo with his catch.

 Saharia men ready for Uruka Bhoj (feast).

 They also collect pumpkin flowers to make fritters.This picture is from one of our previous trips.

an old picture

Kanu da takes them on a short tractor ride if time allows.

pic from our previous trip

 Some cricket is played .

A trip to the smelly pigsty is a must.

Kaustubh and Gauri are very fond of milk so they get their special share .

an old pic

The evening is enjoyed by watching making of sunga peetha and uruka feast later.

Next morning people gather around Meji .

Soon after meji burning ritual we usually go on village round visiting friends and relatives but this time Kanu da had planned a picnic at his newly bought tea garden which is in it’s budding stage.I will take you there in my next post .

A Special  Request : Dear  friend Rachna who blogs at Rachna Says  has started  something very interesting to help everyone here at  Rolodexo.com. It is a simple concept that allows a person to create a virtual business card that looks exactly like a physical business card free of cost.The idea is to help every self-employed person, professional, housewife and student get a unique identity by creating own Biz Card. They can share this card via email, embed on blogs/websites, use on their resumes and even attach as signatures on Gmail or Outlook.Very soon there will be an Android App for those wishing to share this card through cellphones. No paper, no physical card, environment friendly and absolutely free. Try it today, and let us spread the word for the benefit of common people.The website URL ishttp://rolodexo.com .The   FB page of the Application is  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rolodexocom/235758923168750?ref=ts  

                                           Thanks.


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55 Comments
  1. The pictures taken by your daughter are really very good, especially the big tree. Did she also the last fire burning picture too, if so that too is fantastic. You have very obedient and good kids. Get well soon.love,Rama di.

  2. That was a visual treat, Kavita! Your daughter has taken lovely pictures!

  3. I am not sure how i missed this post .. sorry beautiful pictures .. so did the saharia men have a great feast in the evening with all that catch .. I had no clue about this festival Thanks for all that 🙂 Bikram's

  4. A real treat…with wonderful pictures

  5. this was truly superb.you son is super cute 🙂 and that fish in the net – wow – fresh and big – mouth watering 😀

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