Tag: jatni

The last day

If you thought I was writing about the Mayan’s and their predictions about the Doomsday, then let me tell you, you were wrong. It is actually the last day before this much-needed-holiday (1 Month!) ends.

This vacation just proved just how much I was missing family, friends, and FOOD!!!
Being away from home isn’t new for me, but being away from family definitely is. I remember doing this one thing, especially when I used to be upset, i.e., to eat good food. Good food in, bad mood out.

But, Alas!! Bangalore doesn’t seem to provide such an option for a pocket like mine.

Bangalore doesn’t seem to provide such an option for a pocket like mine. Leaving aside my foodgasm, let me get to the point, this introduction part is getting too long. I’ll describe the last day, which in many ways sums up the whole vacation.

Letting my Body clock wake me up

Waking up on my own watch is an amazing feeling. Don’t you think ? Sleep to your heart’s content is like letting your morning start off with a victory.

Same Breakfast, Different place

Having masala upma for breakfast which is far better than what I get in my South Indian college mess. Such Irony, I tell you.

Morning of Appreciation

Good morning’d by a mail from Blogadda confirming that I have been shortlisted for the “Notable Newbie” blogger along with many other bloggers. Feels good to be appreciated and then boasting about it here. This was like an icing on the cake after all sorts of appreciation for my work during SUPA.

Foood. Good Food.

Fish curry in the lunch, deliciously made. If at all, I need to single out the percentage of non-veg food I’ve had during this whole month, the ghaans phoons would surely be in single digit scores. Sorry, can’t help it, just born this way. Although, Xime and Bangalore have tried changing it, but only to increase my love for it. Wo kehte hain na, Dooriyon se badhti hain Nazdeekiyan. (Distances bring you closer).

Friend drops by on Time

My friend arriving before time to pick me up!! Well, that had never happened before nor will happen again. So, after a brief wait, when he arrived rode to meet many of my high school buddies. Many were surprised to see me(pleasantly, I hope), some even hitting me as to why I cannot just extend my leaves for a few more days. In between lots of catching up, trying to click photos without flash in almost dark places, “career” discussions, exams, talks about old flames, whose-upto-what, and lots!! All this gupshups can never finish and so rightly so it didn’t. Yet had to get off post bidding people good byes.

And more friends to meet

After high-school, it was the turn of the guys from college. Not many there, so the two closest ones got the whole time that I could spare. They even stopped me for a pre-dinner “Dinner”. Well, this is that dinner, where you don’t fully stuff yourself but keep a little space for home food and if something of your liking is there at home, than you just go ahead with that as well. Else, your stomach signals a Red light. With promises to be present early morning at the station to bid adieu, they dropped me back at home.

Who says NO to Biriyani?

Home, well a whole lot of packing was to be done. Came in and did that as fast as I could and also to buy some time if at all they force me to eat the Dinner. While finishing, what I smelt was Biryani.  Who says NO to that ? now the thing with food and me is, we have an agreement of not ever refusing good food. And so, I jumped into stuffing myself up that as well.

And It’s a Wrap!

A job well done and a day spent that way too. and if you are wondering about my talk of only food all throughout the post, well I should tell you, that is what I was actually upto. Apart from SUPA, almost every activity I did involved food.
But every good thing comes to an end, and along with the news of our “new” Dean, who happens to be “the” strict one.

Yet, with the goodness that I was part of in all these days will, In sha Allah , be reflected, onto my life.

From Azad Basti to Jatni

It’s been 5 years. 5 years since I moved from my Azad basti to a place, Jatni. Two places which are different in almost every possible way. Geographically speaking, one is in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand while the other is near Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Takes a 7-hour journey by train for you to reach Khurda road railway station, coming out of which, you get to be at jatni.

One the one hand, Azad basti is one place that is just the liveliest place, where no matter what time of the day it is, you will notice people in markets, in their addas, in their shops, in mosques, in various moth watering bakeries and food joints (mostly serving kebabs and niharis and almost all non-veg items), morning starts off with puri , jalebis and halwa at kalkatiya hotel( kolkata’s distant cousin :P) and for evening there is Munki chaat, various sharbat stalls are there to beat the heat too.  You have your family, where you can throw “n” number of tantrums and yet not feel bad about it, stay out late at night enjoying the company of your crazy friends whom you can totally depend upon with all your secrets and fantasies  and what not.

Azad basti, officially Azad nagar, has a strong Muslim-population, and surrounded with Sikhs on one side and Christians and Hindus on the other side, is where I grew up and which continues to be the place where my family lives. The reason of ghetto-formations is the three communal riots that this place has witnessed. Although, it is very much communally peaceful now and you would rarely find any incidents of violence among the different communities. Yet, you find RAF deputed on almost every street in times like Ram Navami and Muharram as a precautionary measure. Of course, incidents of fighting in between the various criminal groups are a regular occurrence in the steel city which sometimes has effects on our Azad basti too.

While, on the other hand there is jatni. A place, which is calm, no matter which business you do, you end up having holidays almost regularly due to strict market union dictats, addas (or khattis as they are called in odia) are regulated due to strong patrolling vehicles, of course there are places where it doesn’t have much of an effect, still they are comparatively reduced. You will hardly find any good non-veg food joint, apart from the fast food places, promising “chinise” or “chainees” delicacies, all clustered in one small street, where you often wonder whether the meat is halal or not.  Of course, in terms of vegetarian food it does throw up a few extra options, but for a person like me, who has grown up eating kebabs and bheja fries, the veggy options are nothing more than ghaans phoons.

Talking about religion and culture, it’s a whole mix of people from the native Odias, the telugus, to Marwari, and some Muslims here and there. The issue of Sunni-Wahabi sect conflict is clearly visible, which is annoying.

Friends, well everyone is a friend here, you get to meet many people with whom you end up having a good time and also very cooperative, yet you sometimes miss that feeling of a friend on whom you can totally depend upon for anything under the sun.

The place is always peaceful, although you find some sort of a weird vibe from members of other communities towards Muslims. When you step out on Friday, in your traditional kurta pyajama, there are more people putting an eye on you than they would do normally back home. Forget about wearing them on almost every other day back at home and no one will even bother. Not to miss voices which think of you as a Pakistani and you should be going back there!!!! To tell you an instance, you get wished on 14th off August for your “Independence day”.  And add to that you being thought off as a Pakistani supporter whenever a cricket match is being played between India and Pakistan or being playfully called jihaadi, or Al-qaida and all. Being a minority has its own share of issues attached with it. I do miss your family, but luckily have my Badi ammi’s (my mom’s elder sis). It’s good to have your family back, minus throwing tantrums. My 5 years would have been difficult if it wasn’t for them.

So, if one asks me which place I would prefer and which is that place that has a strong hand in making me the kind of person who I am? You would think of all the negative things that I wrote about the second place that I went to. Rather, it is the opposite. Jatni, as a place has truly transformed me into a Man. A man with strong determination and independence who does not bother what others have to think of him, which is really tough to put in practice. The one person, who is now optimistic about life and knows how to handle them as well. It has made me realize my true potential as a person and made me more systematic than I really was, more disciplined than I was, more mature than I was and definitely more understanding than I was.

I don’t know, if I would have been what I am, if I had stayed back in Azad basti, but as far as change in me is concerned. It surely is something that is huge. I might, In sha Allah, be moving to Bangalore in a month’s time but the impact that both of these places have had on me will always remain intact in giving a defined perspective.

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