A guest post from by dear Hubby …..
Odisha is not short of overwhelming all your sense.The smorgasbord of sounds, sights, smells and not to mention the heat, humidity and the incessant honking. It is not for a weak of heart. Odisha, remains an enigma even for those who have lived and spent their entire lives in the same eastern state lovingly adorned by the mighty Indian Ocean. A paradox beyond description and comprehension and I dare say leave one very poor of experience and virtues for who has not had the privilege to visit and simply savour the insanity that calms even the most raging of swollen rivers.A home in equal to the wealthiest of people while the poorest of the poor coexist in muted happiness and silence, Coconut and palm tree fringed shores that carefully hide the majestic some even impenetrable jungles. A city that boasts over 1000 temples some even dating back to before the Christ graced us with his benevolence to being nominated as the smartest city in all of the sub continents. This amazing paradox is my home.
Here you will come across people who would humbly fold their palms and with great reverence wish you with a “Namaskar”. I bow to the god in thee”, You will be fortunate to meet & know the 32 million deities who look after you some of them having over 1000 names each by which they are addressed & you will find in the same womb of compassion the selfless love of labour and humility.In our recent sojourn across the beautiful plains of Odisha travelling as we once used to do as kids on the train, I reminisced with fond memories of times past. It was these iron carriages that would shuttle us to the patiently waiting arms of my grandmother who unconditionally loved us simply for being ourselves. The fondest of memories I have of hers are the delicious sweetmeats that she would have pre-prepared as a welcome surprise and the very quirky fried pumpkin seeds with potatoes that were specially reserved only for the apple of her eye, her daughter’s elder son me.Time and space have somehow failed to mar this amazing tradition that somehow continues generation after generation, Now my kids travel from an even more distant land and I wonder if they are collecting some precious memories in the tin boxes in their heads when they are received by their grandparents who come to airport armed with sweetmeats and savoury snacks & tetra pack juices.
Orissa has always with great humility and to a certain level of my own personal displeasure never claimed ownership of having invented the myriad dishes that are now popularly claimed to be hailing from neighbouring states. Somehow the Odiya’s have been taught that humility and silence are a better judge of the moral character of the once fierce warrior clans of Erstwhile KalingaWhy the very bedrock of Buddhist philosophy sprang to life on this very land when a million innocent lives lay down on the swords of Emperor Ashok who wanted to conquer this land that lived fiercely independent and had the audacity to challenge the emperor of the subcontinent. Here in this land where even death is a celebration, what would you expect from just another regular living day?
I do hope you find what you stories amongst the billions of loosely strewn shells along the sands of the majestic Konark shores I hope you find your dreams etched into the stone sculptures of the sun temple or a million other shrines some that date back to the early civilizations.I hope you find the peace in your hearts in the noisy bazaar of the many cities and I hope you find your adrenalin rush as you walk through the whisper quite forests around the Chilika lake.
As you journey through the plains I dare you to shed every doubt, fear and shame you have carried so far and in return feel the abundance of love and respect for simply being a child of God’s creation. You have every right to be here just like the stones, the air and the stars before you
Just be a silent spectator, observe everything, opine very little or none if you can. Let her charm you, the magic, the sheer madness that is Orissa overwhelm you, and not to forget I hope you can try the gastronomic delights of this eastern pearl of the great subcontinent where the largest kitchen of the world feeds the very almighty Lord Jagannath (lord of the world) every single day.
I hope you have a great holiday here….! & never forget we are after all just gypsies, travelling through time and space.
This has been one of the most sought after recipe on my blog and I have just updated it by making it more presentable. Here is the link to the recipe.