Search This Blog

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Calcutta my way...

The mud, rain, cool breeze have joined together to chide the sun, I would say it’s a cold & gloomy day . I love watching the rain drops dripping from leaf to leaf, people walking with colourful umbrellas,  children going to school in a man-powered rickshaw .The people of Calcutta love to do their grocery shopping early in the morning, every locality has a local market, where you can buy fresh fish, vegetables, fruits, spices, fresh meat, flowers, these markets are crowded from 6a.m in the morn till 12noon, in the evening you will find the market bustling with people from 5 in the evening till 10in the night. Woman and men come all the way to kolkata(city) from the near by villages to sell their stuff at these markets, and return home by night boarding the local trains.

Fresh vegetables

                                             A vegetable vendor by the street corner.

I love the Bengali food, The Bengali cuisine emphasizes on fish and lentils served with rice as a staple diet, the Bengali cuisine is known for its subtle flavor world wide. The Bengalis are very found of fish, and the men can be seen in the market place, haggling for the best price of fish, fresh from the river. The most popular ones are Betki and Hilsa. They also look for shellfish especially ‘king prawns’. The Bengalis are very keen on what they eat. The fish Hilsa is best smoked, but has thousand of small and fine bones and thus requires patience. Betki is marinated in mild spices and then either fried or grilled.

                                           If you come to Calcutta & don't taste the fish... you will miss something. 

The men can be seen in the market place, haggling for the best price of fish, fresh from the river. 

If you are invited for lunch or dinner by a Bengali family then make sure that you go with an empty belly, trust me you will be a glutton and may over eat. The Dinner is followed by sweet yogurt or delicious traditional sweets.

                                                Rasagullas....traditional sweets.

                                             Sweet Yogurt( good for digestion) in an earthen bowl.
In the morning around dawn I go for a walk with my dog, I love the fresh air and love to watch the old woman , she is a poor woman can't afford to buy flowers every day so she goes from garden to garden to gather the flowers fallen on the ground so that she can offer them to the goddess, she is a staunch believer of goddess Kali. She says 'maa kali' (mother Kali) will answer all her prayers. Every Tuesday she goes to visit the Kali temple at Kalighat.

She told me the legend of this temple: Daksha, one of the King, he was the father of Sati and father-in-law of  Lord Shiva. Daksha had  made a sacrifice to obtain a son however he omitted to invite Shiva. Sati lord Shiva’s wife felt indignant that this was an insult to her husband. She asked her father  “why is my husband not invited?” the fathers said that her husband wears a necklace of skulls and he dopes, so how can he   invite such a person? Sati felt insulted and put an end to her life, Shiva drunk with loss, transfixed her body on the point of his trident and ran here and there, he was destroying the whole world but Vishnu the preserver came to rescue the world, he flung his disc at the body of Sati & broke it into pieces which fell scattered over the earth, every place where a part of the body fell, became a sanctuary, the head fell in Nepal, Kathmandu ( Kata means cut mandu means head) but the most worshiped place is in Calcutta, Kalighat, the spot which received the toes of the right foot of Sati and there after is known as Goddess Kali. People from all over the world come to visit this temple.  

oh! I love this city. Calcutta is called the Culturat Capital of India, It has temples, churches, mosques, mausoleums of English men, Parsi temples, Chinese temples, Jewish  synagogue, missionaries and is highly rich in handicrafts. The local woman are very talented. 

                                                          Talented local woman

No comments:

Post a Comment