GUWAHATI, Jan 12 - It is all about smell and sight of a wide range of Bihu delicacies in the capital city, which is ready to celebrate Magh or Bhogali Bihu with all the traditional fanfare.
Putting aside all the problems of living in a concrete ambience, citizens are making arrangements to make the occasion a memorable one in the companionship of family and neighbours.
As feasting is important to this Bihu that marks the end of the harvest season, the markets are being flooded with different varieties of rice, puffed rice and delicacies of every sort. While the price of joha bora rice has been tagged at Rs 60 per kg, sesame or teel, another must for the Bihu, is selling at Rs 60 per kg.
�Every year I find the price of all the essential ingredients increasing. Since tomorrow is Uruka, I have completed all the marketing today itself,� said Seema Phukan, a housewife. She said that celebrating Bihu has become easier as all the traditional delicacies are available readymade at the markets and exhibitions.
�I prefer to make the delicacies myself. However, this trend has ensured economic empowerment of women who are now taking to making Bihu delicacies at a business level,� added Phukan.
Another Bihu delicacy hurum which has gained immense popularity amongst the Guwahatians, is selling at Rs 60 per 200 gm. Transparent and tastier than other varieties of puffed rice, hurum has become integral to the traditional platter of many Guwahatians. �I got introduced to this delicacy at an exhibition held in the city. I found it very tasty and now hurum is part and parcel of my traditional platter,� said Anima Pujari, adding that all the members of her family relish it with cream and jaggery.
The pavements too have been converted into fairs of Bihu delicacies. Passersby have been greeted with the irresistible smell of curd, jaggery and cream. Small vendors have been doing brisk business with people making a beeline for making the purchase on the eve of Uruka.
Different varieties of puffed rice, cream and jaggery are in great demand. The best qualities have been priced a bit higher. The price of bokul bora dhanar cheera and malbhog cheera is Rs 80 per kg. Another traditional delicacy sandoh is Rs 100 per kg. On the other hand, another delicacy komal chawl has been selling at Rs 80 per kg.
�For small entrepreneurs like us, the festivals provide an opportunity not only to showcase our culinary skills but also add to our income,� said Minoti Moran Saikia, who has been regularly participating in Bihu fairs held in the city and is now selling her products at a fair here and her sale has been good so far. Now settled in Dibrugarh, Minoti has also motivated other women to become self-sufficient.
For the big community feasting on Uruka, neighbourhoods are getting ready and duck and pork are topping the list of items to be bought.