Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Wedding Card

Received this 'Biya -Chithi '(wedding card) two days back .Chandra Master's son is getting married .Chandra master(he is a teacher) is one of the many 'village cousins' of my husband.Though my husband's family lived in Shillong for three generations ,they originally hail from this tiny village named Namkhola in Assam. Every third person of this village is a Saharia and most of us are related to each other in one way or another.
The card is  printed in Assamese script and is very simple as per the choice and budget of the family .Like any other Hindu wedding card the invitation provides the names of the bride's and groom's parents and their respective places of residence.It is a common practice in villages to mention the name of every possible close relative in the card along with the name of the host.This card mentions nineteen names altogether .Most of them are brothers,sisters,aunts,uncles ,brother-in-laws,sister-in-laws and even nephew and niece of the groom.We try our best to attend any

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Discussing Bhut Jolokia With Jay Cheshes

Bhut Jolokia (King Chilly)
I completed two years of blogging on 21st April (last month).Blogging has been a wonderful experience.I met wonderful people through it.I just never thought that i would have so many friends across the world .I take this oppurtunity to thank all my blogger friends for their constant support and encouragement.The time i was away from blogger i discovered a whole new world of non-bloggers who are interested in what my room tells about North East India.Jay Cheshes is one such person.This post is not about me ,Jay or Indian hospitality ,it is like one of my closest friend said " is the glimpse to the bigger things great blogging can lead to ,a good example of what social networking is all about.'
Few weeks back i received a mail from him which said "I found your post online about Bhut Jolokia (written in 2009). I am an

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Fun Evening With Labu Senapati And His Bonsai Collection

There are really three types of people :those who make things happen ,those who watch things happen and those who say "'What Happened " ?
Labu Da as we fondly call him has been a close  family friend for many years .Our families share a common 'Shillong Background'.A former AIR( All India Radio ) announcer Labu Da is a man of many interests  and talents .It is his love for the nature and environment that brings out an outstanding artist , designer ,craftsman,painter ,photographer in him. He designed pavilion for NEDFi which bagged special commendation prize in International Trade Fare . He is also an avid Bonsai collector .This living art form has interested him since his childhood  days .Over past fifty years he has amassed a huge individual collection of over seven hundred Bonsai .All the plants in his collection are his own creations.

.We always meet  each other in various functions ,festivals and social gatherings.On one such occasion he invited us to his house for a chit chat .Last Thursday we visited his house .His beautiful house looks like a mini Botanical Garden.His living room wall is adorned by this eye catching art work (the second picture ).He made it with the cross sections in  different sizes of a  dried  tree branch .After a brief chat he took us to the terrace  of  this double floored  building which stands just  few metres away from his house .

This beautiful forty eight year Bonsai welcomes you as you step into the  terrace . Labu Da explained us a lot about Bonsai -like how they are created ,developed and maintained .It was enlightening as well as amazing .Taking care of such huge collection without any help  is not an easy task.

Here is another one of the oldest from his collection  - if i remember right ,this too is nearly forty eight years old.His collection represents most styles of Bonsai .

This one with pretty pink flowers  .
I thought of counting all of them but after few hundreds i gave up . 
My son found a way to entertain himself  while we talked .
Here are more and some more ...........................................
This particular style is known as Landscape Bonsai.After spending more than an hour we came back to his living room .Aunty (his wife ) arranged   true Assamese style evening tea snacks for us .
Just before we sat for  tea ,Labu Da showed us this beautiful calendar titled 'Dreamz -2011 " which he made by himself .It contained twelve pictures of faces of tea tribe youngsters  of Assam working in various fields like agriculture ,medicine ,sports etc .He made only three copies of which two he gifted to his friends.
We talked a lot about different hand work .When my mother -in-law told him that she learnt American Quilting art during her four year long stay in USA , Labu Da brought out this attractive  hand stitched stole -do i need to tell that he did it himself.
The dining table had this very innovative plant arrangement -- it had mint leaves ,curry leaves ,masundari leaves ----all these plants are frequently  used in Assamese cuisine.
We had such a good time - one evening that i will never forget .