Bihu, the word is enough to uplift the spirit of any Axomiya. For people like us, staying thousands of kilometers away from our native land, festivals such as Bihu, Durga Puja, Diwali are missed dearly.
It is not feasible to take a trip from Delhi-Axom every now and then to celebrate the special days — a. there’s constant pressure to meet deadlines at work, b. the flight tickets are very pricey. Hence, the family get-togethers are blurred by the busy life that I have chosen to lead.
Maa called me up early in the morning to say how Bihu preparations are going on in full swing. From sira-doi-guror jolpan to laru-pitha and kata nimkee, maa has arranged them all. There was a time, precisely when I and my brother were studying, maa used to make lal mohon at home. Of all her preparations, the soft, juicy lal mohan was something I and deuta always looked forward to. But since the past four years, post deuta’s demise, maa has stopped making this dessert. May be, it reminds her of him.
Bohag Bihu also denotes buying new clothes. Maa would take us to either Maharaja or TIT [yes, the name of the shop is what you read] — considered among the best shops in Nagaon. I always preferred the frocks stitched by the tailor at TIT over the pricey ready-made dresses at Maharaja.
In the evening, the whole family would go to the nearby Bihu function to watch Bihu dances and guest artists performing adhunic geet [modern songs] live until midnight, while munching on Axomiya street food — aloo chat, jhal muri, singra, and pokori. Post the function, we all would feast on chicken, mutton, and fish at home, prepared by maa and deuta. Our deuta was a fantastic cook, in fact better than maa. I am already salivating thinking of his signature delicacy — mutton curry with crushed black pepper and papaya.
It has now been almost nine years that I have been staying in Delhi. Trust me, there has not been a single day when I don’t miss home. I crave to sleep on maa’s lap, listening to her stories of childhood, under the stars on the terrace. I miss my best friend; our non-stop gossips. I desire to be lost amidst nature. The yearning to be in Axom has been constant, since 2007.
Today, as my friends and family expressed over the phone how excited they are about the festival, I realise how painful it is to go through the celebrations by oneself.
However, one good thing some kind people from Axom staying in Delhi are doing is organising Bihu events. Few hours ago when I spoke to a friend [read Auditya], who is one of the prominent people behind the Gurgaon event, I got to know how many other societies too have come up with events to give the Axomiyas in Delhi a taste of Bihu — from bringing in artists from Axom to cooking up an authentic Axomiya feast.
As I am all set to work tomorrow, like always, I am happy that I shall at least be able to attend two Bihu events this year, in Noida and Gurgaon, considering it’s a weekend.
In case, you are still wondering where and when the celebrations are happening in the Capital, here I present you the deets, which I availed from Auditya today noon. There’s a Bihu workshop too for the dance enthusiasts!
What: Organised by Shrishti, an Assamese organization for youth, and Inli Foundation, a non-profit organisation for children, this Bihu event, ass the name says, will bring in the Assamese people in Delhi under one roof. The khar-khuwa Axomiyas will mark the celebration by dancing to popular Bihu numbers and feasting on authentic delights such as bhat, masor tenga, murgi mangxo, bor, and more.
When: April 14, 10.00am onwards
Where: Sewa Kutir, Outram Lines
GURGAON [GURUGRAM] BIHU
What: I’m a regular at this event. To celebrate the indomitable women of Assam, this year Assam Association Gurgaon has kept “Xunor kharu nalage muk” as the theme. Attractions include Bihuwoti Competition with prize money worth Rs 30,000 and live performance by celebrity Axomiya singer Pompi Gogoi. Wait, that’s not all. There’ll be a payment-based dinner with the menu featuring dail, masor tenga, manxo aanja, bengena bhaja, payox, and more.
When: April 17; 6.30pm onwards
Where: DLF Phase-I Community Centre, DLF Phase-I, Gurgaon
BIHU NASOR KORMOXOLA
What: Learn the graceful moves of Bihu dance from none other than Guru Dr Prasanna Gogoi as Inli Foundation once again organises this beautiful initiative. The three-day workshop will be followed by a Bihuwoti competition, where the best performer will be felicitated.
When: April 18 – 20
Where: Triveni Kala Sangam, Mandi House
NOIDA RONGALI BIHU
What: Good food and even better music are deals good enough to drag you to Noida. While their menu is supremely tempting with dishes such as pitha-pona, bahot diya mangxo, masor tenga, bhat, dailor bor, payox, and more, the highlight however, will be the live performance by the very beautiful and talented singer from Axom, Priyanka Bharali.
When: April 23; 6.00pm onwards
Where: RWA Community Centre, Sector 51 (A & B Block), Noida
ASSAM ASSOCIATION DELHI BIHU
What: This is one event everyone in Delhi looks forward to. There’ll be stalls offering traditional Axomiya xaaj-paar [clothes and accessories], laru-pitha-jolpan etc. Attractions include Bihu husori from Nokochari, Jorhat, traditional Tai dance, and live performance by much-loved Jitul Sonowal.
When: April 24; 2.00pm onwards
Where: Open Air Stage, Lawn No 3. IGNCA, Dr Rajendra Prasad Road
Now that you know where to go, I think your Rongali Bihu will indeed be a “rongali”one. In case, you happen to see me at any of the venues, do catch up to say “Hi”. You never know, we might end up being friends!
Featured image: neethnic.com
Collage pictures: beyondlust.in and Jakoi Facebook page