Magh Bihu celebrations in New Delhi

A large crowd participated the festivities, despite the biting cold wave that has been sweeping the capital city and the region for more than a fortnight now. Many people opted out to remain in-house fearing cold bite. Bihu is celebrated in Delhi on the succeeding Sunday to the day following the actual Bihu, to facilitate participation of the people who otherwise are not free on the actual bihu day, as the day is not in the holiday calendar of the national capital.

Oine of the most interesting part of the Delhi Magh Bihu was the uruka. The association organizes food for about 1000 people, this needs to be prepared overnight. On the Bihu eve the hard working citizenry gather around the bon fire and enjoy the heat rays of fire and firewater followed by a course of “mutton-khichdi”. On the sides the cooking gang tries their culinary skills to prepare, tenga mash, kalia, murhi ghanta, bengena fry, mutton curry etc.

In the morning, the function started with the hoisting of the Association’s flag. The crowd was transcended to a patriotic zeal, through the singing of “O mor apunar desh” – the national song of Assam, by the crowd. Next came, the lighting of the “meji”. Mr. Ranjit Sekhar Mooshahary, the Director General of National Security Guards, the Chief Guest, lit the “meji” amidst shrills of “urulir jokar” and resounding of “dhol”& “taal” and cries of “Jayo Ramabola, Jayo Hari bola- meji jwalilei bola” . Dr Malaya Khaund, wife of the President, Assam Association, performed a prayer before the fire and sought divine intervention for the well being of the people associated. The fire thwarted the biting cold for few moments. The poetic self of Mr. Mooshahary poured his heart out saying, “Whe! n fire is around, cold cannot be long”. Spontaneous merry melodies rang out around the bonfire, as many old Bihu hands dug out old senti numbers. It was a grand initiation of the gennext to the rich cultural heritage of Assam.

Then came releasing of the newsletter of the Association, Delhi- “Samayik”. Releasing the issue, Dr. Mamoni Raisom Goswami, the colossal Assamese litterateur and the Gnanapeeth awardee said “I started my writing career through “Samayik” 25 years back. “Samayik” has continued to be published on schedule, on time and is prospering every coming year. This periodical is helping budding writers and poets to express themselves.” “Samayik” was started as a newsletter by the Association, when Dr. Nagen Saikia, MP was the President of the Association. The newsletter also serves as a fund raiser through advertisements and endorsements.

The day is also celebrated as the annual sports day and a number of competitions were held - Children's Painting Competition, Boy’s Race, Sack Race & Three Legged Race, Girl's Spoon Race, Ladies' Race & Musical Chair, Youths' Football and ended with a walking race for the elderly. The winners were awarded prizes. Mr. Madan Prasad Bezbaruah- Ex Secretary to the Govt. of India, Mr. Bhupendranath Barooah and Mr. Binoy Brata Sarma- Ex. CMD, Oil India Ltd. distributed the prizes. To top it up there were lucky draws based on the coupons issued for lunch.

A team of jockeys introduced the newcomers to the members through interesting Q&A session. The tiring souls were treated to a gourmet lunch which had all the flavours of back home.

The day ended with a tambola that preceded “mukoli bihu”.

By Manoj Kumar Das, General Secretary, Assam Association, Delhi.