The smell of hot rice

By Aatreey Das

What do I think about the country?

The India?

For me, country is all about its people. And some more. Just want to share an experience. Years ago during our field visit in a district of West Bengal, I with some of the other friends were in a village. That was a day like today. No rain, hot, humid and bright sky.

All of us were hungry. It was nearly 2 PM and the nearest hotel was about 20 kms away.

Suddenly I smelled something, a much known smell, smell of hot rice.

I looked around and saw the smoke, which came from the nearest house.

I asked my friends, who are living here? Can’t we ask for meal, here? They were hesitating.

One of our friends was from the same locality, he said, these people are tribal. You may not like their foods.

I said, Thank you dear, thank you very much. Don’t you know tribals are excellent cook, they make very spicy dishes?

And then, I did not wait for others, just knock the door.

A lady came out and asked….Okay, I am not going to write what she asked and what I told, but after half an hour I found myself in the middle of the house, sitting with all other members of that family and my friends and having hot rice, dal, alu fry and fish curry, with an invitation for the night.

Country chicken with hot rice and some dance programme during evening, that was a full moon night.

For me, country means all those people.

Country is not about language, religion, food habit or gender. Country is about smile, laughter, dance, some rawness and hot rice.

The smell of hot rice is a whole country to me.

Photo sourced from Google

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