Abzmitz's Blog

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Welcome to rural India!

West Bengal has been a pleasant surprise for me. Having lived in South, West and North part of India, East seems to have a different charm altogether.
From past few days I have been posted in a village called Rishra, it is in the Hoogly district of WB. My travel to this place was one legendary ride. I took a local metro to Rishra station first, then a shared auto to a place called Joda Hotel. The strange part in WB is the way they pronounce words. Rishra is pronounced as “Risda”, and many similar pronunciations. It was hard time for me when I first came to this place, all the while I was looking for a station named “Risda”, and luckily for me when the station Rishra came I asked someone, “How far is Risda?” And that’s when I got to know “Rishra” was “Risda”. From there I had to take a shared auto rickshaw to Joda Hotel, I think its “Jora Hotel”. A few meter away from the station there was an auto stand and I got into an empty auto. Another strange part in WB is that there are no private auto rickshaws, it’s also shared. Only taxis are private, as in you can take it where ever you want to. Normally in Kolkatta a shared auto accommodates 5 passengers, but to my surprise these auto rickshaws accommodated 10. 5 in the front and 5 at the back. The road is about 2 meters with potholes every meter and I was sitting in the front along with 3 others, 3/4th of my body outside the rickshaw balancing myself and holding tightly to the frame so as to not fall off. It was one legendary ride for almost 7kms. And guess what, it costed me just 8Rs. Well, WB heaven if your underpaid.
Everyday I go for a jog in this village where people look at me as if I am running naked. Still, I just move on looking around the scenic beauty and the village lifestyle. Any domestic locality in WB will have a pond and this village had several ponds, like every house has a pond. I think these guys here say “Hey! I have my private pond”, or “I have pond facing balcony” like saying “I have a private beach”. People do a lot of things in these pond, from fishing to shitting. You have to see the kid’s diving skills here, pretty amazing. Even women take bath in these ponds, some old and young too..:) What is the common sight in villages? Chickens right? In this part of the country you find ducks. I have hardly noticed any chickens actually.
Food!!! Wow!!! Potatoes!!! WB cuisine is bit strange, they eat rice, heaps of rice and potatoes, heaps of potatoes, and fish. My cook tells me he had prepared “Gobi Ka Sabsi”, when he served me I just saw “aloo”. I didn’t say anything that day, but next day he told me he had made Chicken Biryani and to my surprise I got one small piece of chicken and 3 huge potatoes. Now i have stopped asking him what he has made anymore, because I know it’s some form of “aloo”. WB is on Go Green mode I believe. Plastic cups are not used atall, it’s all clay cups and even vessels. They serve especially tea in them, they have different sizes all these clay cups and tea served in each size have different rates. It is a very innovative way of not using plastic and also bringing growth to pottery business.
Life in this part of the country is bliss only if you’re not reminded of the rat race. Having said that I will be out of this place very soon exploring some other unique cultures of our Great India.

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November 11, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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