Sunday, February 17, 2013

Celebrating Bhutanese Losar w/ Bhutanese in Kolkata, India

During our lunch in Indian Restaurant (first day in Kolkata), Riku told me that Sonam cooked a very delicious spicy pork dish. He said, Bhutanese usually cooks and eats it during Losar (Bhutanese New Year). When I heard about it, I was so curious on what was the spicy pork taste like. And at the same time, I was also wondering how the Bhutanese students lives while pursuing their studies outside their country. So, I was so blunt asking both of them if I could visit their place later and if they could cook the dishes for me hahaha.....

Both of them agreed without thinking twice. They even suggested us to have the dinner that night. But we then decided to visit their place only the day after so that they would have sufficient time to prepare the food. They told us that they had also invited other Bhutanese students too for meals in their place. So, we told them that we would call them before going to their house.

Therefore, on day 2 Kolkata, after visiting New Market, enjoying our ride on pulled rickshaw and Ladies-special tram, Riku and I took a yellow cab heading to their rented house. Riku was staying there at the first night he reached Kolkata. So, he was so confident that he would be able to find their house easily, with no difficulties. Haha.. And he proved me wrong. After going down from the cab, he felt lost. He claimed that he was not good with map and direction. He had no idea where were we. Dorji only wrote the main address, but not the details of it.

Both of us didn't have Indian Sim card and could not contact them by phone. But Riku was suggesting me to find the phone booth nearby the area. I was thinking, "Phone booth???" Is that such thing still exist in this time of the world, where most people has hand phone nowadays???

We walked through the street and suddenly, Riku stopped and he saw on our left, a small place, with a small empty booth, and there was someone inside selling the hand phone cards and thing. We stepped in and found out that there was indeed a place where we could make a call, opened for public.

Phone Booth in Kolkata
But instead of the usual phone booth where the normal phone was put inside the booth, the booth was empty. Instead, few hand phones (two or three) were placed on top the showcase glass cabinet, connected with chains, so that people would be able to make a phone call using the hand phone and at the same time, not able to take the hand phone away. Haha... It was a very interesting place! Both of us had never seen something like that before. It was again, a very good experience to have. After the call, Riku paid INR4 for that.

We went back to the place where we dropped from the cab. Dorji and Sonam came in few minutes. Riku went to buy some food in a groceries stall, gave it to both of them, as his 'thank you' appreciation for what they have done to him. That was also one reason why he wanted to go back to see them.

Finally, we went into their place :) As what Riku said, you felt like you were in Bhutan when you entered their place as they have set up an altar to pray. This is inside Dorji's bedroom. There was a kitchen next to it.

Sonam (the cook) and his tiny lovely kitchen :)
Although the kitchen is tiny, they have produced lots of warmhearted meals to many people, and gave it unconditionally from the bottom of their hearts. According to them, they always cook their meals everyday and seldom eat outside. Not only it helps them to save money, but also they ensure the food is healthier and much tastier than what was sold outside in Kolkata. Big thumbs up for all of them!! It's really amazing that these boys are able to cook delicious meal in such young age (they are in their twenties). And I'm really grateful to be able to taste their cooking :)

At that night, they planned to have dinner with other Bhutanese students. It would be more than 20 people gathering in his house. When come, they will bring their own cooked food too. We called it 'potluck'- a gathering of people where each person or group of people may contribute a dish of food prepared by the person or the group of people, to be shared among the group - source: Wikipedia.

Since we came early (reached there around 6pm), we were offered with snacks (Bhutanese crispy rice, cereals, and chips) and drinks. They also offered me to taste the Bhutan Vodka, called Raven Vodka. Hahaha... lucky me :) I was so happy being able to finally taste the Bhutan liquor. I mixed it with mango juice. Nice!! :) Kadinche-la!

Raven Vodka plus Mango Juice - nyummy!!! :)
We managed to know some more Bhutanese friends over there.

Yesh Khand Wang, Sonam Wangdi, Yeshi Dorji, and Dorji Gyeltshen
We chit chatted while waiting for the food to be ready.

At the room next door, we could hear 'bang' sound and found out that there were people playing the Bhutanese games with dice, cowrie shells, and coins, called Parala.

Playing Parala
Hehe... I had no idea how they played that game. But it looked interesting and seemed like they never got bored to play over it again and again.

Sonam finally came out with spicy pork inside the bowl. It was pork fat!!! Haha... Seemed very fattening and unhealthy, but who cares? It was just once in a while occasion to enjoy this food. Too bad my camera capture the photo blurred.... This was how it looks like.

Bhutanese Spicy Pork Fat Dish :) Delicious and sinful hehe...
After that, they also served us with a bowl of red rice with aezaye (pickled chili), and another separate bowl of beef cooked with cabbage. Wow, it was soooo... good!!! I felt very blessed!!! Without having to go to Bhutan, I was able to taste all that. Amazing!!!

Riku and I enjoyed our meals very much
After meals, we continued with chit chat. More people came into the room and we stayed there until about 8 pm then decided to leave the place as they would have their gathering starting at 9pm.

We thanked both of them for their hospitality and dinner. Dorji and Sonam sent us to take cab and both of us went back to hotel for rest. Below are our photos together. Once again, thank you for everything!!! Keep in touch and who knows we may meet again in the future... :) Happy Bhutanese Losar Day to all of you and Tashi Delek - Hope all of you are blessed with good health, wealth, full of luck, joy and happiness. Also success to your study and future career!!!

Dorji, Yesh, me, Sonam and Yeshi

Yesh, me, Sonam, Yeshi and Riku


Anonymous said...

u still look like one of student there!

Overcome Life said...

Hahaha... Thank you :D

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