Window Seat | Mrinal Chatterjee


Jamai Sasthi

In India son-in-laws are special. They are treated with extra care and reverence in all communities. However, Bengalis take the cake, when it comes to treating son-in-laws like kings. So much so they have a day dedicated to the son-in-laws and an elaborate ritual to do with it. It is called Jamai Sasthi, which falls in late May.

Jamai Sasthi is a typically Bengali ritual involving only the mother in law and son in law. I do not know of such ritual in any other community. Feeding the son in law with all available delicacies form an important part of this ritual, besides praying for his long life. The amount of food the son in law is expected and forced to partake is more likely to make him ill, if not send him to a hospital. Take a round of any market in West Bengal on the eve of Jamai Sasthi, and you will understand what I mean. And then the ‘Jamai’ is also given gifts, usually new clothes.

Being a Bengali I have firsthand experience of being treated like a royalty on that day by my mother-in-law. As she passed away last year, I am missing the fun and adulation of Jamai Sasthi.

Rain Dance

As the pre-monsoon rain lashed the parched earth at Dhenkanal, the small hilly town I live in, I saw young kids dancing in rain with gay abandon.  How I wish I can go back to this age!
Jatin Jaswal has written a beautiful couplet on this situation.
Umra kahati hai chalo aab sanjeeda hua jai…
Man kahta hai, aab bachi hi kitni hai..
chalo nadaniya kaar len..
(Age says, now restrain yourself; Heart says, how many days are left, let us have some childlike fun!)
Photo: Ashok Panda

Mango Seeds

Summer is the time for mangoes, the king of fruits. Practically every household in India consume mangoes. The mango seeds are generally thrown away as domestic waste.

Mango seeds and kernel are very useful. It has medicinal property and food value. As I ‘googled’, several websites told me that mango seeds can help to get rid of dandruff and cure diarrhoea. It can help obese people to lose their excess weight, lower cholesterol levels and improve blood circulation. Moderate consumption of mango seed is useful for minimizing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and hypertension. Mango seed oil is a good source of essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. Mango seed oil is also an excellent moisturizer. Mango seed butter is a real boon for dry skin. It’s the best lotion for dry skin, especially for the delicate areas like eyes, cheeks, etc. Mango seed gives amazing results in lowering blood sugar levels. They alter enzymes of the intestine and liver to reduce absorption of glucose. It also reduces body fat, weight and the waist’s circumference. Mango kernel is used as food by several tribal communities. Mango kernel flour is used by many to make different dishes.

The problem, I guess, is the knowhow and implements to use the mango seeds generated at the domestic level. Can our agro-scientists devise user friendly devices and implements so that mango seeds could be used at the domestic level?


Facilities for physically challenged

I went for eye check up recently.  Some eye drop was put in my eyes, and I was told to keep my eyes closed for about 45 minutes. Within that brief period I experienced the difficulties visually impaired persons face 24x7x365. In fact all physically challenged persons face difficulties in going about the simple chore in public space. Ours’ unfortunately is not a physically challenged person friendly society.

I was thinking about the devices that should be made available to them to make their life little easier. Can we have ramps in all buildings, especially in those accessed by public like hospital, school, government offices, banks, et el.  Can we have hand railing on all stair cases? Can we have encroachment free footpath?

Let us think about more such facilities and how these could be provided to the physically challenged.

Tailpiece 1: Advice


Wife: How much do u love me ?
Husband… 72%
Wife… Why not 100%
Husband… 28% GST on luxurious item.

Tailpiece 2: Advice

Garmee me daru dopahar ko pini chahiye. Kun ki, agar gir vi jao, to log kahenge, loo lag gaya.

(In summer you should drink at noon. Even if you are drunk and fall down, people will think it is a case of sun stroke).

(Courtesy: Sudhansu Deo)


For 4.6.17 dateline

The columnist, a journalist-turned media academician lives in Dhenkanal, a dist. HQ town in Central Odisha. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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