GUWAHATI: The tantalizing aroma of freshly prepared indigenous Assamese snacks has made the air flavoursome in Assam, so does in Guwahati. The indigenous cuisine, among other things, does make Assam different from other States in the country.
When one happens to stroll in any area in the city, he/she gets the aroma of Assamese munchies and nibbles these days here are there. Bhogali melas are seen in almost every area in the city. Such melas are seen at Lakhidhar Bora Khetra, Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra, Brindabon Garden, Ulubari, Babunimaidam, Ganeshguri, Ambari, Maligaon, Jalukbari etc. Most of the indigenous snacks are prepared freshly at the mela sites that have husking pedals, mortars and pistles and other instruments installed. This is a movement in the State spearheaded by a number of self-help groups which have been flocking Guwahati from Sivasagar, Tinsukia, Lakhimpur, Ramdiya, Sorbhog, Guwahati etc. Some of the mostly sought-after munchies are teel pitha/narikol pithas that cost Rs 60 a packet containing ten pieces, narokol ladu costing Rs 50 a packet containing ten pieces, joha chira (beaten rice) costing Rs 100 a kg, Ronga Bora Chira Rs 100 a kg, Basmati Chira costing Rs 100 a kg, baodhan chira consting Rs 80 a kg, teelor ladu costing Rs 80 a packet containing 60 pieces, chunga pitha costing Rs 100 per piece, komal choul costing Rs 120 a kg, xandoguri (podered rice) costing Rs 80 a kg, hurum costing Rs 80 per 200 gm, liquid jaggery costing Rs 80 a kg, curd from Ramdiya and Sorbhog cost Rs 100-150 a litre, cream costing Rs 500-600 a kg, etc.
People keep thronging such melas. What is significant is that the Bhogali Bihu is one the festivals in Assam where edibles from other State fail to beat local ones in the market. Unlike the Rongali Bihu when evil twins (power loom made) gamosas from other States thoroughly beat the indigenous gamosas on the price line in Assam even as the products from outside the States are far more inferior in quality and durability to the local ones.
Away from edibles, mejis that are seen at various areas in the city bear testimony of the Assamese culture still thriving in the city and the State in the face of the Western onslaught that is glaringly visible in other spheres of life in Assam and elsewhere in the country.
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