Monday, August 31, 2009



Everything in life is dynamic , changing and shifting . The living style , spending style , and dressing style has undergone sea change in Kashmir too . Kashmiris spend a huge portion of their hard earned or disposable income on House Building . To have a good house is to join elite class for social acceptability . Inspite of the nuclear family system making fast inroads in present society , big houses ,much beyond need are built by one and all, Most often by raising loans from Banks . Houses which are difficult to maintain once children settle outside (due to their employment ) continue to be the craze . Scratch the background of most of the good looking buildings in New colonies today , a saga of struggle with Loan EMI repayment exists behind the scene in most of the cases.
One thing that has not undergone any change is the lavish WAZWAN in marriages . As a matter of fact things have deteriorated on this front. Too many dishes , Too much wastage , late eating and extravagance force many families to borrow for these functions to be in social race . WAZWAN as such has become a full fledged industry . Pandits too spend wastefully on post marriage Reception functions and Ghar Achhun .They too spend their hard earned money on meals having a variety of dishes including Rogan Josgh , Yakhani , Tabbak Maaz . Muchh , Kalee , Chicken , Fish ,and lately Goshtaaba and Kebab and also adding to it many Punjabi and north indian food items through various stalls .Wastage is unavoidable but it is on a little lesser scale in view of the facts that Pandits have shifted to Buffet system.
The Workshop Fuel of Cooks in valley continues to be traditional Timber while Pandits have shifted to Cooking with LPG cylinders . Noise by cooks in action is prevalent in both the workshops .Enjoy some views of a WAZWAN Workshop in valley taken by me in August 2009 at Pampore . I attended this Marriage function wherein Daughter of a colleague got married to a boy working as an Engineer at Banglore .Similar was the WANWUN and the ISBAND burning in Kangris by Ladies of the household as I would have seen in a Pandit marriage . Let us ponder for a while as to how essential it is to marry within our own set up or society to carry forward the tradition and culture from One Generation to another . I am firm believer that the culture of any Society or group is essentially kept alive by women folk only. Men contribute little on this front. Kudos to our ladies for keeping culture tied to the soil of Kashmir alive even in most trying circumstances both in kashmir as well as outside.
A K Mota

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