নিভন্ত প্রদীপে রঙের মেলা
রং নেবে গো ??
উষা যায়, নিশা আসে,
কে যেন ছুঁয়ে যায়,
হয়তো শ্বেতশুভ্র দাড়ি.... That is my take on life ... play along..... if you do not have a company, play alone.... create a life of and for yourself and a colourful one. Rest, I do not wish to translate as I am not a poet .... I do not even know the number of errors in those lines ... I just express what I feel.
It is Holi / Dol Poornima / Boshontotsab for us .... the festival of colour. It is spring too .... the season of colours. Well, playing Holi is not so much of a pleasure for me. My mother did not allow me to play Holi as the neighbourhood we stayed in was not congenial for it. Much later when things were safe, I lost interest in it. After marriage I wished to play Dol / Holi with my tiger who had more apathy towards it. I remember his reaction the moment I tried to get romantic with him with laal.... nila.... peela colours. I was in tears and his mother had to intervene. Things are all same till date, yesterday night I asked him define me in a sentence..... the answer is I do not need a sentence, a word or two are enough .... Devilish is perfect. You cannot even retaliate back to your spouse saying "yanna rascala" in Rajnikant style..... haha, no offence meant, my friends down South.The son thing following his father says .... Mamma is so fat. Do you think I wish to play Holi with such people, never. These are showered on me exactly when I was struggling with preparing some momo which is not that much of an ease for me as of a patla macher jhol [light fish curry] or a pathar kosha [mutton dry curry].
When the situation is such, a dear couple friend allures me with their romantic photographs, smeared with colour all over .... playing dol at a favourite place ..... Shantiniketan. I am yet to visit Shantiniketan during Dol Purnima / Poush Mela , so you have every reason to question my Bangaliana . The couple I am talking about are Dr. Saubhik Sengupta and his wife Mousumi .... both love theatre more than themselves perhaps. Saubhik is a childhood buddy, scientist..... has published articles on oncology. His recital of "Africa " back in school still gives me goosebumps. He is a poet but the stupid fella is doing anything except writing. He is using his pen only for signing medical reports these days.... to me it is a waste of talent. You will see me often penning rubbish unless these guys take up the baton. His wife Mousumi is bubbly, ever smiling and promotes positivity. They are theatre practitioners.
What is শ্বেতশুভ্র দাড়ি? .... well white beard.... who had ? ... the man I am eternally in love with who perhaps understood women better than the rest of his clan. Shantiniketan is his abode of peace. If you are a wanderer, please do contact West Bengal Travel and Tourism Department .... help us acquaint you with the history of each place from Shantiniketan to Bishnupur, help us promote and save our small scale / cottage industry.
I am a contrast of colours, Dol / Holi for me is as much as of Bollywood as of Shantiniketan. Earlier I used to watch videos on how the Bollywood stars played Holi much to my father's disappointment. I still love to watch people playing with vibgyor ... does not matter whether it is Bollywood, Kollywood or Tollywood style. Boys... do not be silly enough to colour your woman only.... come on be smart ... take a little liberty to think "zara hatke".... otherwise. I will sing for all of you " holi ke din dil khil jatey hai, rango mein rang mil jatey hai." I am a back stage person, favourite colour been black, white and shades of pastel but love the "Basantis" around ..... warm and vibrant. Going for an exhibition today and sure to rob all colours from someone's face with my devilish acts.
Dol Poornima / Holi demands snacks / thandai [coolers] and sweets .... all three. I am going with sweet .... Here is a three layered barfi / sweet made with carrot, green pea and coconut. Flavoured with ghee and cardamom, topped with almond.... it is safe to have once or twice a month. No artificial colour is required, just few ingredients and you get to see all smiling faces of your loved ones. Come let us do this super tasty and colourful Rong Berong er Borfi / Rang Birangi Barfi together.
Carrot : 4-5 medium
Green Pea : 2 big cup
Coconut [shredded] : 2 big cup
Condensed Milk : 1/2 small cup
Milk Powder : 2-3 tbsp
Sugar : 1/3 small cup + 1/2 small cup + 2 tbsp
Cardamom Powder : 1 tsp + 1 tsp + 1 tsp
Ghee [clarified butter] : 3 tbsp + 3 tbsp
Let us prepare the carrot layer first. Peel, wash, discard the two ends of the carrots. Shred and transfer to a grinder.
Put on the cover and grind to a paste. It may take 2-3 minutes.
Heat 2tbsp ghee in a wok. Add the carrot paste, Saute at low heat till the raw smell goes. Add rest 1tbsp of the ghee and cardamom powder. Fold in well and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Its done.
Let cool a bit, transfer to a foil box and spread evenly.
Heat a clean wok atop gas stove. Add 2 medium cup water. Add 1/3 small cup sugar. Bring to boil and keep boiling till it reaches a sticky consistency.