Monday, 30 June 2008

It does matter

Sonika Rajkumari, the writer of the blog, has got selection both in the engineering and architecture examination held this year in the AIEEE 2008, the All India Engineering Entrance Examination. She wrote It happens here in this blog.

She secured 119 rank in architecture and 3159 in engineering. Having set her aim in pursuing architecture; however she would he applying for the counseling in engineering as well. Counseling for the allocation for the seat would take place in National Institute of Technology, Silchar on July 11 and 12.

It is requested, please come out with information of those students who have cleared class 10, 12 or any competitive examination. Thanks.

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Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Kang Yatra in New Delhi on July 6, 2008


In a meeting held at Manglapuri, the Bishnupriya Manipuri Nagarik Samity Delhi/NCR, took a decision to hold the first Rath Yatra (Kang) Mohotsav in Delhi on July 6, 2008. The meeting, presided by Mr. Kajal Kanti Sinha in consultation with the invited members decided to organize the Kang Yatra falling on July 4, 2008 to be extended for one day.

In the meeting, after zeroing scores of venues, the Samity ultimately concluded to hold the Rath Yatra Mohotsav at Arya Samaj Mandir, Mahipalpur Manglapuri, New Delhi from 2 p.m onwards.

The Samity called upon all Bishnupriya Manipuri people residing in New Delhi and NCR region to participate and make it successful. It is to be mentioned it is happening first time that Bishnupriya Manipuri people living in the national capital have come forward to celebrate the Rath Yatra.

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Saturday, 21 June 2008

Bishnupriya Manipuri community to be included in Delhi OBC list

The Delhi Commission for Other Backward Classes (OBCs)to include Bishnupriya Manipuri community in the OBC category.

New Delhi, June 20 You have not heard the last about quotas this election season. Already worried about the BSP cutting into its votebank, the Congress government in Delhi is now looking at expanding the OBC list before the Assembly elections later this year.

The Delhi Commission for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) is set to carry out a survey of 13 more castes that have sent their representations for inclusion in the OBC category over the last eight years.

These groups include Gorkha (Darjeeling) and other communities of converted Christians and Muslims that have not been included in the OBC category so far.

The commission, headless for eight years, has a new chairperson. While the last chairperson of the commission was former Justice G M Lodha in 2001, the government appointed Chattar Singh as the chairperson in January 2008.

“We have got representations from these communities for inclusion in the OBC category. We have already floated tenders to carry out a survey of these communities to verify their status,” Singh said.

Singh said that once the study is done, a proposal would be sent to the Delhi government for inclusion of these castes into the OBC category.

The commission is also considering a proposal to raise the current ceiling in terms of income/wealth to determine the ‘creamy layer' from Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 5 lakh, Singh said.

Commission sources said a notification to include the Tanwar sub-caste Raya has been sent to Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna for approval.

The 13 other castes and communities that have sent their representations to the Commission for OBC status include Nonia (UP), Charag Mahabrahmin (Haryana), Bishnupriya Manipuri (Manipur), Gorkha (Darjeeling), Realhalwai (Muslim tribes from UP), Godee (Bihar), Barujibi (West Bengal), Sudi (Bihar), Gada Biradari (Vaishnavas), Devangar/Sedar (Tamil Nadu), Ezhuthachan/Kaduppattan (Kerala) and Raya (sub-caste of Tanwar).

Delhi BJP chief Dr Harsh Vardhan, meanwhile, criticised the exercise as a vote-pulling measure ahead of the Assembly elections. “They tried a similar ploy — of announcing regularisation of illegal colonies — before the municipal elections (last April) but still lost badly,” he said.

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Friday, 20 June 2008

Objectives and Comment -Deletion Framework

By Rajkumar Rishikesh Sinha

I feel sorry when I delete comments from the blog. It is really painful on my part to trample upon the thought process visible in the form of comments from the readers.

But I do delete. To be frank, I find myself in a catch-22 situation when I push the delete button.

We had earlier seen scathing attack on person’s personal life. This time we have seen something that cannot be incorporated even in main media. Forget allowing such comments to remain in a blog like this which is coming in the first page of Google search engine and is being closely watched, read all across the world. Its impact is tremendous and very much visible. In keeping in view, I have deleted some comments in the Jonaki Sinha Plesniak’s post.

It is indeed painful to read such comments in a closely-knit community like us. Someway or the other way, we all share a “relationship” that, unfortunately cannot be seen in any other community. This is our greatness. We must be united whenever any untoward incident befalls to any of our brothers and sisters, and at the same time feel proud when any of us kiss success in his personal or professional life. We must rejoice and celebrate and at the same time be united at the testing time. This must be the objective for all of us. But preaching is different than actually following it.

Coming to the point of allowing “objectionable” comments in the blog, I have my own view. First, in this new, emerging online media like this blog, it allows readers a chance to mature: how to conduct themselves. Second, identifying the users and their “online” profile, which if I delete instantly, many of the readers might not know?

The objective of this blog has been to:

  • Empower the community
  • Make an interactive platform
  • Share personal stories/ views
  • Not becoming mouthpiece of any person or organization

However, as much I owe to this blog, being in the public domain, readers and contributors have equal ownership to this blog. So, I request all; please share their priceless views in the framing of the objectives. [Use the Discussion Forum of this blog]

Secondly, come out with their views on comment’s deletion. When a comment has to be deleted? [Use the Discussion Forum of this blog]

Sunday, 15 June 2008

In a small village


Myself Jyotirmoy Sinha, I hail from village Baromuni and at present I stay in New Delhi. Sometimes, amidst my hectic work schedule i try to jot down a few words in the form of poetry. But how people use words and make their articles alive, amuses me. Of late, I too tried to write something and came up with a fictional story.

The story is regarding the life of a village boy named Alok who had dreams of his own and how he overcame all obstacles to fulfill his dreams. Here, the boy's character will describe the four stages of human life i.e. Childhood, Adolescence , Middle Age and Old Age. The story of Alok goes as below:

'Mayor Basi' is a small and beautiful village in Assam. The village is surrounded by vast paddy fields and is full of greenery. The main occupation of the villagers is agriculture, though there are some govt. employees, teachers, army personal etc. also. The people of this village are very simple and lovable. Their dreams and ideas are also very limited.

During the winter season when most of the paddy fields are dry the village children and the youths turn them into cricket and soccer play grounds. During this season, inter village cricket and soccer tournaments are organized where everyone participates with great enthusiasm. In short the people of Mayor Basi are happy with their simple way of life.

In this vary village, on 3rd November 1968, Alok was born in a middle class family in a small village. He was shy, polite and innocence, calm. He considered himself ugly, people used to call him “bear haired”. His aim in life at that stage, wanted to learn English, as others have their aim in life something else.

May be because of this, he made himself aloof from all and his sole companions were books. Alok loved to read books very much. When he used to start reading he used to forget everything in and around him.

But it is not that there were only children who used to tease him, and whom Alok disliked very much but also there were few good students among whom there were competitions, and since Alok was sharp in studies he used to give them healthy competitions.

Alok had a fascination to learn English from his childhood. He loved to spell and read each and every English alphabetical words like A for Apple, B for Ball etc. He did not have dreams to be a doctor or an engineer like most of the children of his age. His dream was to be able to read and write English properly.

For that he had to get admission in a English Medium school which was 25 kms away from his village, since at that time there were no English Medium schools in the village. But Alok was not allowed to go to the town by his parents, may be because of the distance or may be financial problem, he had to study in a Bengali medium school in the village. Alok used to wonder in his tender mind how the village children were unknown of the outer world, how they did not want to know anything else than what their and parents and neighbours taught. But Alok wanted to explore the world outside his village.

Alok was very stubborn in nature. He made up his mind that whatever the circumstances may be he will learn to read and write in English. He started to study more harder and in class IV he passed out in flying colors. His dream of learning English was at last going to be fulfilled, because in Bengali medium schools English was taught from class V.

But Alok's dream was shattered. One day the head master of his school came to his house and convinced his parents to keep Alok in the same class for one more year and attempt for scholarship the next year which was not planned earlier. Alok was unaware of all this. But when he heard about it................

I will come up with the remaining of the story in the next session.

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Friday, 13 June 2008

Mobile crazy

By Surajit Sinha, New Delhi

Last year I went to my hometown, New Bhakatpur, to visit my parents. And I was amazed by the new bug called mobile. It was really interesting coz the way we dreamed of a mobile handset when it came to Delhi, I was exactly seeing the same desperation and desire for a handset though I was not so much impressed with this gadget.

The young guns have taken the digital way to impress the opposite sex. They are so busy with the mobile, discussing its features, ring tones, games and endless features. Suddenly they made me feel if you don't have a latest mobile then you are not worth living in this planet. They literally laughed at my mobile coz it was a basic Nokia phone. They even called me "Kanzoos".

I am very worried about the extra burden on the parents who has very limited source of income. It is become a minimum requirement for these superstars to have a motor bike and a high end mobile. The alarming thing is that they are ready to do anything to have a handset. You call it emotional blackmail, siphoning money from the tuition fee the avenues are endless. Those helpless parents actually could have materialized this opportunity to shape up their life (at least a graduation). But I didn't see a single example of parents who has taken this route.

To spice up the story I want to tell you an instance that literally happened in front of me. I was coming on my way home from a friends place. There this guy was waiting for his object of desire, as she approaches he literally took up his phone and started talking left and right. I wasn't aware of this but the poor fellow himself is telling his friend "hey man, here she is I should speak on my mobile now". I felt so bad for him but at the same time he made me laugh through out the day.

There are innumerable stories, expression, and craze behind every single piece of handset. But out of all these I was impressed by a "Bamuni" not by her looks, but the professionalism she showed. And I found her a genuine user who has given a true respect to the mobile. It was Durga Puja and she was on the helm of a monstrous Bandara. Suddenly I heard a phone ring and to my surprise it was 'Bamuni's phone. She was talking to the other fellow on a different site where she has taken the contract for another "Bandara". I want to clear you guys I am surprised not because the "Bamuni" had the phone but by the fact that I never thought of a "Bamuni's" new avatar.

I hope next time when I go home I wish to see more genuine mobile users.

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Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Life is a Accountancy

Life is full of ups and downs with many transition periods in between, economist say life is like the product life cycle. There is continuous change in ones lifestyle and living habits with respect to the state of mind. Even in our daily life we experience various state of mind as day proceeds, sometime somber, sometime sublime.

By BN Sinha, New Delhi

Nevertheless we are all concerned about our duty, duty towards ourselves, to our associates, guardians and also to our peers. There are times we just go blank as if mind is in a vacuum and at that particular moment it becomes difficult to concentrate or contemplate on any specific matter, and we are inclined to do what we often avoid in our daily life like taking out the old garments from the wardrobe, the decade old audio cassettes which are no longer in use, going through the old photo albums etc.

Recently I also had gone through the same state of mind and as I was wandering my eyes got rested in few of my old diaries which I used to write in my college / University days. I took a diary almost a decade old and had experienced a cerebral trance for a moment remembering few old moments of my PG days.

There was one Mr Sunil Aggarwal who happened to be the professor for Business Economics, who had once described the life’s philosophy in a different perspective. He described how an economist or an financial accountant may correlate with his trait. The line were definitely not written by me nonetheless I like to share with my beloved Bishnupriya Manipuri blog readers in order to have a different taste of reading… it says as “Life’s Accountancy….” People who are associated with commerce stream may find it interesting to read

My parents are my opening stock…
What comes I debit … what goes I credit….
My birth is my purchase account .. My ideas are my current assets…
My problems are my liabilities…
Happiness is my profit … sorrow is my loss….
Soul is my good will… heart is my fixed asset…
Duties are my outstanding expenses…
Good working is my prepaid expenses..
Friendship is my hidden adjustments…..
Character is my capital…
Bad things I always depreciate..
Good things I always appreciate..
Knowledge is my investment…patience is my interest…
My mind is cash balance….
Behavior is my journal entry….
Aim is to tally the balance sheet….
God is my closing stock…..
Death is my Sales Account….

Reading these lines after a decade takes us to a trance and ran thro a nostalgia… but life must go on…. and we are back to the present…..

Other articles by BN Sinha:

Marriage Arithmetic Mars
The Unique Rituals…
Bishnupriya Manipuri Womein making their mark in all spheres
The Urban Bishnupriya Manipuri Village
What are we waiting for?
Bishnupriya Manipuri celebrates Republic Day
Bishnupriya Manipuri Village Unplugged….
Biography of Pandit Motilal Sinha
Bishnupriya Manipuri politics: Dola-doli
Raasleela: The Grand Bishnupriya Manipuri Festival
Bishnupriya Manipuri Vs Bodo
Bishnupriya Manipuri people in Tripura
In the name of change?
Diaspora feelings
Amar Ela: Bishnupriya Manipuri songs and music
Bishnupriya Manipuri: We definitely can...

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Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Bishnupriya Manipuri can not live without `heedol`

By Rebati Mohan Sinha

This time Ranita has impressed us very much. I was expecting a sudden thunder after a long silence from her side.I knew, she would come out with such a wonderful topic, GOLDEN THREAD, where she has poured her full efforts to justify that the majority of Bishnupriya Manipuri community can not live without `heedol`. It was a universal topic where every one of us would like to share our views. And I am a heedol addicted person, in other words, I like paltoi and irolpa very much, for which, my granny used to call me ‘heedolor chungotto jorom osotgo.’

In 2006,while going to Australia, I wanted to carry this ‘matsya churno madhak’, the heedol; but my daughter forbade me to carry any eatable items because of the restriction imposed on.I realized on landing there, that an elderly couple was not allowed to take even a dozen of apples they were carrying, reason, it may have germs.

During our stay in Australia nothing could deter us from having ‘irolpa’ there, as I could find out the heedol-maach compatible to one which is available in Mumbai. Maharastrian also have heedol-maach; but not as paltoi or irolpa. They roast the dry fish and smash it to make chatni with chopped onion & green chillies, of course salt to taste.

So far we have been dwelling on home made heedol and Maharastrian heedol-maach, now let me let you know the research carried out on heedol with indigenous dry sea fish available in the market in Mumbai and found out that it is quite compatible to our home made heedol with lesser bitterness (saruka haan khani kom).The quality of heedol is depending on the combination of dry fish like, Pooti, Moka, Ichaa, Chaaksira and Fetia.

There is a saying, ’there is will there is a way.’ When there was no constant supply of heedol, one has to search for alternate arrangement, which I tried and succeeded about15 years back in Mumbai. Type of sea fish for heedol was available in plenty and the fan-kochu was also an ingredient required; but how could it be found in metro cities like Mumbai? It was a mere luck that I could find the item in a fisher man village; but how to get it? I approached the mukhia and lied him, saying that my daughter having a high fever for which two/three bagua needed .He happily allowed me to take what ever I liked. Later I used to buy fresh sea fish and dry it in the backyard of my house. On drying, it could be machined ground and kept it in a jar and when required, paste could be made out of it with the mixture of fan-kochu. After a year, I started growing the plant in my backyard for making of heedol.

On my retirement,there is no more heedol of Bombay-made. Now, I fully rely on the supply of relatives and friends. And once it so happened, my younger brother sent this ‘matsya churna madhak’in a empty plastic bottle, wrapped with two in number towels(fitur tup).The postman delivered of parcel in the afternoon, saying that the staff inside the container, was spoilt and giving bad smell. My better half had smilingly accepted and kept it on the table. The matter was not ended there, as soon as I entered home, I could smell a nice aroma of heedol all over the house. After a cup of tea, as I was about to open the parcel, and to my utter surprise, I could see two big penetrations, might be the handy work of rats, while on transit. I immediately spread the towels and found, there were plenty of holes in it. With a broken heart I had to throw it in the dustbin along with the bottle.

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Sunday, 8 June 2008

It happens...!

In the journey of life, we come across many nightmarish experiences. Sometimes these experiences are horrible, sometimes embarrassing but at the same time it appears very funny. Read…

By Sonika Rajkumari, New Delhi

Till now, I think my life has been full of embarrassing incidents. But for many it may appears as a laughing stock. They literally laugh listening to such incidents. Well, I also don’t mind. Out of many comical incidents I had experienced, I’m going to share with you one of them.

Every morning between 7 to 7.30 a.m, my house used to get chaotic with full of activities.
“I’m getting late.”
“Mom, are you going to keep ready my Tiffin box now, or not?”
“Or, give me 5-10Rupess; I will get some samosa in recess time.”
“Huh, where are my socks? That I had put it here yesterday.”

That was the routine which remained through out my school days. And then ran to school exactly 5 minutes before the closing of the school gate. I remember I never ever reached school early in the morning. I used to enjoy reaching school just few minutes before the school gates are shut.

I was in 12th standard in Guwahati, as usually the morning atmosphere was hullabaloo, as it happens always. I was getting late. The day was Wednesday, means the day we had to wear our white uniform. Hurriedly, I put my lunch box in the bag and was not finding my stupid socks. Without wasting any time I put on my brother’s white jockey socks. After I wore my white shoe which was kept outside in veranda, I slammed it 2-3 times on the floor to check if there is anything inside my shoe like cockroach, mosquitoes or spider etc.

I put on my shoe but when I wore my other shoe, it was tightening me. May be because of that jockey socks, which was very thick and loose to my leg. I was already getting late, so I thought, in classroom I will open it and wear it properly. Carrying my bag I ran towards the school as if I was participating in a marathon. My school was not so far. It was 5 minutes walk from my home. I just had to pass my stony-lane, then had to cross the main road (N.H 37), across it was my school Kendriya Vidyalaya, Borjhar situated inside the Air Force campus.

As I got into the school campus, the gate closed down. The Assembly prayer was ready. But there was no time for me to go to the class first, bang my bag on my desk, and than come to assembly. I put my bag near the stage as I didn’t want to stand in latecomers queue and as punishment pick litters and run around the huge ground three times - after all I was the senior most student. What would be my impression on the junior?

The first period was free, every student was in classroom busy in gossiping, playing, or studying in there respective benches. My desk partner and I were also chatting with the girls sitting behind us. Meanwhile I remembered to take off one of my shoe that was getting tight and wear it properly.

As I took out my foot from the shoe, I saw a red blood mark on the tip of my white socks. I got little bit conscious. Then I peeped inside my shoe with one eye open and one eye closed. What I saw, it shivered my whole body. There was a frog inside my shoe, a dead frog, which didn’t come out while I slammed it on the floor at home. It remained inside my shoe thus causing me to feel tight. Obviously, I crushed the live frog under my finger toe. “uwak chhiiiii” the poor dead frog might had been juggling inside my shoe till it died.

My desk partner turned back towards me and saw the red blood mark on my socks and asked, “What happen?”

“Nothing, I crushed cockroach in my shoe which was inside it” I retorted as I was not finding any other answer.

If I had said her “frog”, she would have shifted her seat somewhere else, my friends would have stayed away from me and ultimately I had to stay alone the whole day.

Then she went on chatting with her friends. After few seconds, I don’t know, she turned back again with a confused face and asked: “do cockroaches have red blood or white!”

“No, I mean yes.., cockroach have white blood but some cockroaches have red blood in colour and some of them are at my home” I blurted.

I do know - cockroaches don’t have red blood, after all I was in science stream.
But at that moment I was not in the mood to talk with anybody or anybody to disturb me. My mind was planning how to cope with the new emerged situation, and what next I have to do.

Satisfied with my answer she carried on to chat with friends again and didn’t turn back and questioned me. Thank God she was a confused person.

Wearing half shoe – my foot half inside and half outside. I went to the washroom to take out the frog. I waited few minutes there for other girls to leave from the washroom. As soon as they left, I closed my both eyes - half open, and threw the dead frog out by slamming the shoe powerfully on the floor.

It was a great relief but blood stains were still inside the shoe. That day in school I didn’t wear that shoe. When the school was over, I went to home wearing the same half shoe - half foot inside half outside. I didn’t tell about this to any of my friends and even to my mummy as well, as I knew if she got to know about this, she would not wash my shoe.

From that day onwards I not only slam my shoes but also verify it with open eyes. Until it satisfies me, I didn’t wear the shoe. No problem whether I m getting late.

So that was my horrible and hair-raising experience or you can also say funny. I wish I won’t face any such experiences again in my life, as I really hate creatures.

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Shri Shri Jagannath`s Rath Yatra (Kaang)

By Rebati Mohan Sinha

The Bishnupriya Manipuris living in the metro cities of India seemed to be charged with their cultural and spiritual roots sown by their ancestors. The Bishnupriya Manipuri living in Kolkata had celebrated last year`s Rath Yatra on 15th July 2007 by a own built Rath, and Pune was not lagging behind in this celebration. Brishnupriya Manipuri people residing there have promised to build a Rath to celebrate this auspicious occasion on 04th July 2008. The preparations are afoot to build the Rath at Range Hill, Pune. Shri Kulajit Rajkumar, an engineer, is entrusted with the job.

Other day, while offering the shradda of late Guru Devendra Sinha at Pune, I was casually briefing the gathering about the building of a Rath at Kolkata, suddenly a renowned gentleman, named, Shri Ramsena Sinha, rose to his feet, interrupting my speech, assured me that they will also build the Rath at Pune. I continued with my briefing, saying that last year the custom built Chariot, bearing sacred images of Lord Krshna and his associates, festooned with colorful canopies, flower garlands and other decorations by a team of devotee-volunteers lead by an engineer, named Shri Nirmalendu Sinha, the architect of building the Rath at Kolkata. This festival brings the Bishnupriya Manipuri residents of Kolkata and it`s suburbs together during it`s 9 day`s celebration.

It is a demonstration of universal peace, goodwill and equality of all in the eyes of God. Like many of the young volunteers helping to keep the parade running smoothly. It was heard; some youngsters credited such festivals with connecting them to their cultural & spiritual roots. `Being a part of the organization has helped us to understand and better appreciate the amazing gift that we were given.’

The day`s show stealer, however, was a father-daughter duo`s splendid performance with` Mridanga Chalan’, that had the audience of our adults and children spell bound. It would not be out of place if we would mention the unnamed personalities, who had carried the celebration in a greater scale.

The festival of the chariot plying is modeled after the festival of Rath yatra,
one of the most important annual events in the calendar year of Hindu faith. This festival is especially sacred to Bishnupriya Manipuri community as a whole, the vaishnavas (devotees of Lord Krishna) in particular. In the sea side of holy city of Jagannath Puri every summer, at the beginning of monsoon season, the deity is taken out of the temple amidst great fan fare, and placed on the bright and colorful chariot for annual visit to his aunt’s home at Gundacha Mandir which is 2 km. away from Puri Temple. On 9th day, Lord Krishna comes back to his abode ie Puri Temple.(Fira Rath).

The Rath yatra, or a journey on Chariot is a popular event high lighting richly decorated Rath pulled along the streets of Puri, where devotees gather to catch glimpse of Lord and his associates Subhadra and Balabhadra.

In the yesteryears the king of Orissa swept the streets, on which the Chariot plied, with broom, made up of gold. In a country, where pilgrimages are of immense value, they represent an inward journey through hardship and hurdles to attain salvations or God. It is this journey of experience leading to truth, knowledge and light.

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Friday, 6 June 2008

The Road Taken

We all choose a road with the hope that it will perhaps change the course of our life. And after travelling through the road, when we sit and try to measure the distance. Everything starts appearing rosy, the pain disappears in the mist of time. Read...

By Surajit Sinha, New Delhi

Having gone through this beautiful Bishnupriya Manipuri blog, I thought of writing a few lines of my experience in my life starting from the village I born but the story is more of my life here in Delhi.

I was born in a remote village of Karimganj district close to Bangladesh called Chamtilla. I believe after 60 years of the independence the 2 km of the approaching road to my grandfather’s village is still crying to get a cover of "Pakkar Shorok". When I was three years old my family moved to Silchar in the year 1980 as my father got posted in Silchar. Our parents got admitted us in a Bengali medium primary school, despite relentless cry to study in an English medium school. The time went on and on one fine day I found myself in class 12 science without any clue what to do? I was not a bad student, but there is a say that human being use only 5 per cent of their brain potential so I added myself in that 5 per cent. I must say I didn't try anything out of the box to go for a so called our parents dream of becoming doctor and engineer.

By that time my brother has already got a job in Guwahati and I was forced to go to Guwahati, coz I was unknowingly falling into a web of mysterious self destructive activities. Thank God, I rescued myself, of course, my parents’ decision was right. Then I completed my graduation from Gauhati University with an average not to be shy score. In the third year of my degree the ghost of Delhi was already maneuvering all around me and soon engulfed my body and soul. At first, it was hard to convince my father. But with my repeated plea, he agreed, only if my brother gets a job. Not enough, he will finance me for one year, and not beyond it. As luck would have it, my brother got a job in a good company.

Finally, on a cold night of January 18, 1998, my friend and I left for Delhi (the train was on January 19 in the early morning; we felt better staying in the station a good choice than troubling relatives of my friend in the early hours of the day). We reached Delhi on January 20, at around 11.00 a.m and got into an auto rickshaw to East Delhi, Laxmi Nagar, where we had already arranged for a room through a common friend.

Since I had studied so much about Delhi I wasn’t finding alien to this place. It seems I had been to Delhi earlier and I felt like I know each and everything about Delhi. I joined a basic computer course with my father promised allowance of Rs. 3000 out of which 1200 was the computer fees and rest was spent on house rent and fooding. Now imagine how life was for me?

I got a job in the month of December that saves me from my father's deadline of financing (that is the 10th month of allowance) but my father kept the promise of financing me for 12 month so I had a buffer stock of Rs 6000. I was able to take care of my ends by the salary I used to get. Though I was not living lavishly but I could afford to see two movies in Shakuntalam, ITO.

During the course I had shared my room with three to four people. Coz the person with whom I came to Delhi got a job after six months of our staying together. Then in 1999 one of my best friend joined me, and I felt good that now I will stay with him for sometime. Since both of us had the same dream of doing something, though he had a better plan compared to mine. I was still the same person with no career goal, coz I couldn't visualize myself.

I was always smitten by the branded things, so buying a snicker was my ultimate passion during those days. So I bought an Adidas snicker for Rs.3000 with the Rs.6000 buffer stock I had. And I still remember the shoe; it is one of the best things I bought in my life. I still have the picture of that shoe in my mind. I was very possessive about the shoe. Here I would like to mention that she (the shoe) left me on 2002.

As everything came late in my life some teenage ecstasy poured in my life but it didn't last for long may be it came late or maybe it was not meant for me. But whatever happens in life it happen for good. I suppose you all agree.

I got married in the year 2006 and life has changed ever since. Now I am doing a job which has a good career promise. And I give equal credit to my lovely wife for the change in my life and she deserves it. Though I don't have a Porsche but managed a four wheeler all of my own and living a somewhat comfortable life compare to the pigeon-hole without a cooler where I used to stay.

I am not blowing my trumpet of achievement, but just felt like sharing with all of you. But I promise I will make my offspring let know everything from "nennam" to nanotechnology and beyond. And since its natural that every parent wants their children to be better then them, so I am not an exception.

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Golden thread

Hidol is not just the very own delicacy of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community but it is like the golden thread that weaves the whole community people to their origin.

By Ranita Sinha, Kolkata

As 'makei di roti sarso da saag' relates to the Punjabis, 'macher jhol' to the Bengalis and 'khar' to the Assamese etc, 'hidol' is related to the Bishnupriya Manipuriis. Hidol is the fermented preparation of dry small fish and katchu.

A Bishnupriya Manipuri food habit can hardly be described without the preparation of a dish with hidol. Irrespective of economic status, geographical extremity etc., hidol asserts equal fervor from the whole Bishnupriya Manipuri community people.

A Bishnupriya Manipuri, whatsoever sophisticated he/she may be, maybe ashamed of introducing himself/herself as a Bishnupriya Manipuri, yet their ultimate relish is paltoi or irolpa. Most of the Bishnupriya Manipuris staying away from their home may or may not receive anything else from home by courier but a parcel of hidol is a must!

To prepare a dish with hidol like paltoi or irolpa is very easy but a huge amount of effort is required to prepare hidol. For the preparation, dry small fish is first cleaned and washed and put in the sun until it is completely dry. Than the dried fish is grinded in a 'gahali' or a 'banki'. Once the grinding part is complete, 'katchu' is cut into small pieces and put in it at a definite proportion and grinded until it mixes properly.

Once the mixture is complete, it is put aside. Then in the inside of the hollowed bamboo container known as 'bahar chung' (used to store hidol), cleaned and dried earlier is greased with mustard oil properly. Inside it greased leaves of lemon are put and than hidol is put into it. After the 'chung' is full again a layer of lemon leaves is spread and than the mouth of the 'chung' closed tightly with a ball like structure made with clean clothes and the chung is kept closed for at least a week, allowing the mixture to ferment properly. After a week hidol is ready to be consumed.

Hidol is the main ingredient with which paltoi and irolpa are prepared. To prepare paltoi, a small quantity of hidol is taken and roasted on a tava. This roasted hidol is than again mixed with salt and green chilli, once it is properly mixed water is added to it as required. Sometimes to make the paltoi more tasty roasted 'cheng' fish is put to it. To bring added flavour fresh dhania patta is put, also herbs like tokpaningkong and miangpa are added.

But the preparation of irolpa is a bit different. There are also different types of irolpas too: tomato irolpa, tomato berendi irolpa, kholor irolpa kola thoror irolpa, tera irolpa, choha irolpa , uri irolpa, sepator irolpa, bathkhoi irolpa etc.

To prepare irolpa the desired vegetable is cut and washed and put to boil with dal, green chilli and when the whole thing starts boiling a small quantity of hidol is put to it and salt is added as per required. When it is fully cooked excess water is drained off and the cooked vegetable, dal and chilli are smashed properly and than the water put aside was mixed to it. Different kinds of herbs are also added to enhance the aroma and taste of the dish.

The taste of paltoi and irolpa is awesome but at the same time it is healthy too. As oil is not added to it, it is very healthy. Also paltoi works as an appetizer and it also helps in digestion. A real Bishnupriya Manipuri's morning starts with a dish full of rice with paltoi. It is consumed with same enthusiasm if prepared for breakfast, lunch and dinner simultaneously.

Hidol is not just the very own delicacy of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community but it is like the golden thread that weaves the whole community people to their origin.

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