Daily Prompt : Ooze

In response to one-word prompt : OOZE

One summer our Dad took us to Bangladesh. Our first stop was Lahore, Pakistan, from there we changed planes to go to Dhaka, Bangladesh.

We took a train from Dhaka to go to our Grandparents, home in the village. It took us close to 8 hours to reach Feni a small town, close to our Grandparents village. The village was twelve miles from the town. My Dad hired two taxis to take us there. This was the first time, we met our cousins, aunts and uncles.

One evening I saw two of my uncle’s servants  climbing a date tree, which belonged to my uncle. They tied their ankles with a rope. I was curious I asked them, ‘why did you tie your ankles?’

They laughed because I had no clue. In reply they said, ‘it helps us to climb the tree.’

This part I kind of understood, but why are they  taking the pitchers, one of them explained they needed them to tie onto the tree, so when they make a cut, the juice from the tree would collect in the pitcher.

Apparently they have to do this late in the afternoon so the juice which slowly oozes out all night will fill the pitcher.

The raw juice is not very tasty, but the juice is boiled in big pots, as it boils the fluids turn thicker like molasses.

They do not leave it at the molasses stage, but keep boiling it until it is the right thickness to turn into jaggery(it’s a concentrated product of date, cane sugar).

Jaggery is used to make delicious sweets.

…………………………………… 🙂

The Daily Post: Connected

In response to the daily post’s one-word prompt: Connected

I grew up away from all our cousins,uncles,aunts,grandparents. In other words, we were completely unaware of having any relatives. It wasn’t too bad we were growing up with our parents and siblings. I never felt I was missing something.

When we moved to a new city, I started hearing my classmates talking about their, aunts, uncles, grandparents, I began to think do I have the kind of relatives they have, if so where are they, who are they, are they nice like my classmates’ relatives?

One day after school I sat with my mom and asked her, “Mom do I have uncles, aunts,cousins and grandparents.?

Mom, smiled, looked at me and said, “Sure you also have them.”

“But I haven’t seen them, why don’t they visit us?”

My mom realized to satisfy my curiosity she’ll have to explain my why question.

She told me, “we live far away, it’s very expensive to travel that far.”

Her answer made me feel better, thinking I can tell my classmates, I have a whole bunch of cousins,uncles, aunts, just like them only they live far away, it’s expensive to travel, so we are unable to see them.

Then the day came my dad said, “we’d go to Bangladesh for our summer holidays.”

I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to go and see my cousins,aunts and uncles. I noticed my older sister wasn’t that enthused, she made her famous grouchy face.

The day of our journey, she showed all kinds of attitude, she wanted to stay behind, my dad didn’t allow that. I remember each time my dad would get some food for us, my sister had her angry face, she’d refuse to eat. Dad got frustrated and said, “Why did you come, if you’re going to behave like this?”

Of course she did say she didn’t want to go, and dad refused, she didn’t have enough nerve to tell him, she did say she did not want to go. My father would then give her a long lecture, how he was spending so much money to give us education in the best schools in the city, hoping we’d learn how to treat our elders. My sister was wise enough to stay off  this subject.

Finally we landed in Dhaka Airport, our uncles came to get us, Boy, was I excited. I thought inwardly, now I’d have a chance to talk about my relatives, when I go back to school.

We stayed with our Dad’s brother for a few days, then we were on the train going to Cheora in Bangladesh, it’s a village where my maternal grandparents lived. Our aunts were excited to see us all. One of my aunts’ fried some prawns for dinner, was it ever good. I then discovered gur it’s jaggery. Here is a wikipedia image below. I cannot explain how delicious it was, it’s a block of sugar made from cane. It tasted heavenly, mom used it to make desserts of different kind.

We were having a great time, but one day my cousin Lily wanted me and my younger sister to jump in the pond for fun, we stayed at the shallow end, suddenly my cousin wanted us to go a little deeper because the water was cleaner. I stayed back but my sister was adventurous, she and Lily kept moving deeper, then the worst happened my sister was drowning none of the adults were there, luckily mom had just come, she jumped to rescue my sister, she did but word went all over in the village that my sister had drowned. My dad was very angry, he told us we were not allowed to go to the pond anymore.

Sa-indian-gud.jpg (1668×2048)

After that episode we spent our time roaming around in Grandpa’s favorite fruit garden. Two months passed in a flash, we went back. Boy did I ever have tons of stories to tell my classmates about all my relatives. How we enjoyed getting connected with them for the first time!

………………………………………… 🙂