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Life in a Small Village Eat Desi and Be Desi By: Auqs-e-mah Kiyani

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Life in a Small Village:

Eat Desi and Be Desi

I belong to a small village located in Pothohaar. The villagers of Pothohaar commonly live in houses made of bricks, clay or mud. No doubt they are modernizing and use of technology is speeding but still if you visit some small villages of Pothohaar there are stoves and ovens made of mud fired with the woods and fuelled with the dry Muck, walls fixated with the mud paste, mortar used instead of paint. Besides material description village life is the most peaceful and refreshing life, if you are thinking “how?” for that you have to read further.

Earning for living

Socioeconomic status among rural Pakistani villagers is often based upon the ownership of agricultural land which shapes their cultures. Every family has their own farm, either inherited by the ancestors or under a deal with the owner to share the profit on a certain ratio. There is a special occasion only seen in the villages when the crops are ready to harvest. Men and women both work in the field to harvest the crops. Many families come together to work on a single farm, they unite themselves and work farm by farm no matter to whom the farm belongs. The owner serves food to those working on their farm. Sweet called halwa is made on a large scale and distributed in the village especially to the children to show their happiness upon getting the fruit to their hard work.

The majority of rural Pakistani inhabitant’s livelihoods is also based upon the rearing of livestock which include cattle and goats. The delicious part of this livelihood is the process of making other edibles from the milk i.e. the lassi made in a special manual machine which separates butter from the milk, then desi ghee made from the butter in a special desi method called “daddey”. You must be thinking what on earth this “daddey” is. It is a sweet made in the process of separating desi ghee. Semolina (Suji) is cooked in the butter for so long that the ghee separates from the butter. The more you cook the more ghee separates but watch out don’t burn the Semolina. Now if you add some sugar “daddey” is ready. Taste it and you won’t be able to stop yourself because it is so tasty and enriched. I still request my mother to cook it for me even from the butter available in the market if not the desi one.

Desi food

Food in the village is so fresh, healthy and desi, food poisoning, no way. Wheat grains are stored for the whole year in a big long box with just a small opening at the bottom. Whenever wheat is needed, take some grains, take it to the grinding mill and tadaa fresh desi wheat is ready. Roti made in a mud ovens (Tandoor) are so tasty and crispy that you can’t stop yourself from over eating. Whenever I use to visit my Aunt she use to serve us “desi Kukarr” with the crispy “Tandoor di roti”, “saag” with “Makai di roti” and sweet and salty “lassi” with a butter ball (perra) floating at the top and Yummy you go boom on the meal. Don’t be so full in winters because after the meal you’ll have fresh roasted peanuts, watching TV, sitting in an igloo made of your Razai and eating peanuts, is an awesome experience that you can’t even have in a cinema.

Cautions: You can’t digest the meal if you eat and sleep because lassi acts as a sedative, you can get a walk in the farms and enjoy the greenery while your stomach digest the food. This is a pure desi way to digest the pure desi food.

In other dishes my hot favorite was grey francolin or quail (Teetar / Bateir) cooked in a desi style. My uncles use to go on a quail hunt with their dogs, trained especially for this purpose, wild quails or grey francolins are much tastier than the pet ones but they are so small that they are cooked uncut.

Pets in a village

As the food is different likewise pets are also different in a village like buffalo, cows and goat for milk, chicken for desi eggs and cooking, donkeys as a medium of transferring good and last but not the least is the Guard which is really trained and dangerous, no not a man it’s a dog.

Caution: If you go for a walk at night in a village beware of the guards, I mean the dogs. Because if they bite you won’t be able to get off the bed for more than a week or so.

Some people like to play with their pets, off course you can’t play with you Donkey or Buffalo because if you get to taste their kick then you’ll feel yourself in a bull fight. The most beautiful pet that you can play with is a goat, not a grown one but with a Billy.

Caution: Don’t even try to play with a grown-up Goat especially the horned one because believe me it really hurts, even more than a donkey’s kick.

Entertainment in a village

There are many ways to enjoy in a village besides TV/Internet. Chicken Fight is one of the interesting and famous fight in a village where male chickens (Kukarr) are released against each other to fight until one is down. I use to see my uncles preparing for the Chicken Armageddon, feeding them the things which I just eat when I feel royal.

I sometimes feel jealous of my mother’s life when she use to tell us about how she use to play in a Garden full of fruit trees. Imagine picking a fresh mango by climbing the tree yourself, you’ll feel jealous as well.

Caution: Please don’t try to imagine a crow above the mango tree because its beak striking your skull really hurts even in your imagination. I am saying this because it already happened with my mother when she climbed a mango tree to break a crow nest. An entire family of crows attacked and injured her. She ran like hell and was only spared when she entered a room made for the tube well operators.

Village life is an entertainment itself. The family system is so strong and kids really enjoy with their Grandparents. American research by Sara M. Moorman, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and the Institute on Aging at Boston College also proved that strong grandparent and grandchild relationship reduces depression in both. Also the culture and values are well thought to the kids by their grandparents love and their stick commonly known as a ‘Sotti’ used for the naughty teens.

I missed all the fun, because my Brought-up was in a city but I shared with you all my interesting experiences. Please share with me any of your interesting experience or you favorite desi food in the comment box below. Have fun, eat desi and be desi.

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