Posted in Nomad's Diary

Saga of Shillong (6.1)

This was the final day of our Shillong tour. It was the shampoo day. A creature who had lived in a hostel doesn’t take bath regularly during winter. For me, I don’t bath for 7 days during winter. On that chilly morning, I dared to wash my hair so that I could take nice selfies.
After having a nice breakfast, I asked Moon, “What’s the itinerary for today?”
With a smiling face, he replied, “At first, we will head towards Tagore’s house followed by Elephant falls, Shillong viewpoint, Umium lake and then back to the hotel.”
I said, “And what about the cherry blossom festival?” He replied, “After completing the trip, you should freshen up yourself and then I will take you there.”

The day was shiny
Tagore’s Abode

Rabindranath Tagore, the first Nobel laureate of Asia is an icon for Bengali community. Mention any genre, any celebration, any season, any human emotion, you can find a song regarding that. He hailed from a very rich family. The Tagore family had a vacation house here in Shillong. Rabindranath wrote his famous novel ‘Shesher Kabita’, here in Shillong at that vacation house. To my uncle, that novel was the epitome of romance. So he was the most excited to see that house. Surprisingly he didn’t doze off a little bit this time.
Upon reaching the house, I found out there was signboard stating ‘Beware of Dogs’. I was hoping a fierce German Shepherd will come out; instead, some local people came out asking what was our purpose for intruding into private property.

We were shocked to have such welcome. Dad asked, “This is the home of Rabindranath Tagore. We came from Kolkata to visit this place.” They replied, “We know that, but recently a businessman has bought this house. So please leave.” I was stunned. We quickly took some pictures and left. Before leaving I saw the name of the house is ‘Jitbhumi’. Literally means ‘A land of Victory’. But the Bengalis lost a gem to some businessman.
With a heavy heart, we headed to Elephant Falls. There’s nothing special happened. We just trekked down the falls to take some pictures. It was a crowded area. So if you are going down, please mind the moist weather and wet stairs. It’s dangerous.

The Elephant Falls
The Honeymoon Couple
The Final Blueprint
Posted in Poetry

Icarus

For one last time,
Icarus flapped his wings.
He thought this fight will
Liberate him from Labyrinth.

For one last time,
Icarus dared to cross the sea.
He was warned neither be
Too low nor to be too high.

For one last time,
Icarus trusted his father.
Who made the wings
For his flight to be smoother.

For one last time,
Icarus cried for help.
Daedalus watched him falling
As those wax wings melted.

Poor Icarus flew too high.
He wanted to touch the Sun.
Poor Icarus wanted to cross his father.
He forgot those wings were not his own.
Poor Icarus hoped too much
He didn’t know that the creator
Doesn’t like such
Audacity to surpass.

Did Daedalus lament for his son?
Or did Icarus saw the rage in his father?
The myth says that
The abyss gulped him forever.


Posted in Scribbled Thought

Axone : A Recipe from North-East India

So, this Thursday I just watched this film. I got a suggestion from Scoopwhoop. And it was not a bad decision. Axone is a food product of Nagaland. I searched about it on the internet and Wikipedia showed that the word Axone is made of two words. Axo means aroma and Ne means deep. So the word Axone means deep smell. This is fermented soybean. I thought, “Okay, I might learn a new recipe.” And guess what!! This movie really made a nice dish. North-east India consists of 7 states.

But there are hundreds of ethnic groups are coexisting among the 7 states. They have different languages, cultures, food habits and of course physical appearance than the rest of India. Whenever I think about that region, I can’t help but think about the beautiful nature, colourful dresses, people with warm smiles and tasty foods. But in the mindset of mainland India, their mongoloid look makes them less Indian and ‘Axone’ tells that story.

Story Outline

The movie starts with a scene of a few young people collecting some ingredient and utensils to cook for their friend. They live in Delhi, capital of India. They are the north-eastern Indian, living in Delhi. Some of them are looking for a job. Some of them are preparing for Govt. exam. Some of them are running a shop. But together, they are like a family. As the story goes on, it is revealed that one of them, Minam is getting married in a small ceremony.

To surprise her, Chanbi and Upasana, her two roommates are making axone as it is a very important dish for the wedding. Though they managed to gather the ingredients, the real problem arose when they started to cook. As they put the Axone, the fermented smell irritated the neighbours and they protested (obviously powered by their stigma against the North-Eastern people). The story revolves around their problem to find a place so that Axone can be cooked.

Scribbled Thought

In this movie, if I think the hot pot resembled India then the ingredient Axone is the northeast. Without it, the dish is not complete. Actors in this movie have been cast properly. But I think the director has not used Adil Hussain properly. In the whole movie, he just kept watching others. I don’t know what does it meant. Was he representing the common attitude of Indians of watching everything without getting involved? The character Shiv is a perfect portrayal of next-generation Indians. He jokes about everything. He constantly asks for a northeastern girlfriend to show himself edgy. He felt shocked when Bangdong cursed him saying ‘Indian’. I think this is a powerful scene. Bangdong is a traumatized person. His backstory is something we are habituated to watch in the news. Often they are branded as ‘Chinese’ due to their appearance. This scene was a slap on this mentality.

I liked the story of Zorem also. This movie beautifully portrayed the emotional evolution of a man to let go of the past and accepting the present. The character Chanbi is the thread holder of the story. She is the mother figure of the group and a fierce woman. But at some point, she also breaks down when the neighbours threaten them to throw them out. But in this movie, we got to see the harmonious side also. Many northeastern people have settled in Delhi. They got married in another community. They are having their own family. Dolly Ahluwalia and Vinay Pathak, both of them are the comic relief and these characters supported the team whenever it was necessary. The end scene was beautiful. The dresses they wore were so colourful and beautiful, I said, “Mom, I need to buy few Mekhlas.” In the end, I would like to say that this movie is a nice short story which will keep lingering into your minds days after watching it.