Aita's Laddoo3 mins 309 3 mins 309
The month of April brings a lot of fervor among the people of Assam since its the new year. It is one of those months of the year that bring a lot of celebration in households , bringing together people, families and friends alike. It was no different for Babu, a chubby boy, aged 11 years, who awaited April to arrive sooner than anybody else in his family. He had completed his 5th standard in a public school in Guwahati and was still getting his way to liking the ways of urban life. His father being a salesman travelled cities while his mother , a teacher worked in the same school that he was studying. Babu was born at his grandmother's place, a small village, roughly 200 km away from Guwahati.
He grew in the the rural , free spirited and carefree, amidst lush green paddy fields and forests , taken care by his widowed grandmother from infancy until he was 8 years old. He had a lot of lovable memories and awaits each year to go to granny's place. Granny, whom he called Aita , loved and nurtured him through all the 8 years without letting him feel his parents absence. Aita loved cooking as much as sharing stories about her life encounters, her village sisters and Babu thoroughly enjoyed listening to them. But what he liked most was her laddoo and peetha that she made during the rongali bihu. The 7 days leading to rongali bihu always had a lot of events and functions that happened in the village , the markets brimmed with seasonal fruits and vegetables and all kinds of festive tidbits. Babu participated gleefully along with his Aita in all ways, since he was 4 years old.
Amidst all the festivities babu also observed Aita distributing a lot of food among women of the village who came to her house and each year he only saw the number of women increase. But he noticed that she never denied food to anyone nor had the dearth of it at any time. While still young , it crossed his mind several times until one day he asked - "Aita, you do not have so much rice, jaggery, sesame, vegetables but how is it that everyone gets to eat whenever they come?". Aita gave a toothless smile ,with her eyes brimming with delight , she looked at babu and said - " See babu , the stories i told you of my sisters are the ones you see coming to my house, how can i deny them food or sweets.." Babu thought over it and replied - " But from where do you get food for the new sisters who come to our house?" Aita replied again with a wider smile - " You have noticed so much babu .
I'll tell you a secret, Bihu is not about eating or celebrating alone, its about spreading love. The older sisters bring rice ,sesame,coconut jaggery too , may be little , but they do. They dont tell it, they secretly bring it and all of us make for the other sisters of the village who cannot make laddoos for their family. You see, Bihu is for everyone and so is happiness, is it not? " Babu nodded with a broad smile and gulped one of Aita's laddoo. Babu finally said - "Aita, I'll make sure I share happiness and your laddoos on every Bihu". Babu has packed his bags, ahead of everyone in his family, awaiting to roll out joy again this Bihu.