Friday, 31 January 2020

Misinformation About Rasgulla Still Continues

Many think that Rasgulla originated in Bengal and belongs to Kolkata and Bengal.
However, Rasgulla/Rasagola is being offered for centuries as 'bhog' on Niladri Bije, the last day of the Rath Yatra at Puri, Odisha.

Puri temple is one of the four holy dhaams for Hindus. Lord Jagannath Temple is also called Srimandir. "Sri" refers to Goddess Lakshmi. Shree Jagannath offers Rasagola to His wife, Devi Lakshmi to please Her and gain entrance to the Srimandir after He returns from the Rath Yatra with His siblings. She is upset as She has been left behind. The sweetness of Rasagolas puts an end to the fight and sets things right for the divine couple. Each year, on Niladri Bije, devotees offer Rasagolas as bhog to Lord Jagannath and Devi Lakshmi.

As many were not aware about Rasagola's origin and Odisha's tradition and celebration, we started #RasagolaDibasa i.e. "Rasagola Day" on Twitter and Social Media on Niladri Bije in 2015, which was the year of the Nabakalebara Rath Yatra.

Thereafter, Bengal got insecure and lost no time to apply for the Geographical Indication (GI) tag to claim "origin". Misleading information was spread that Odisha 'lost' and Bengal 'won'.
How can the truth reach when there is propaganda?
Bengal submitted the application for GI tag for "Banglar Rasogolla" on September 18, 2015.
Bengal got the GI tag for Banglar Rasogolla on November 14, 2017.
As per Bengal's "history", Banglar Rasogolla was "invented" by Nobin Chandra Das in 1868 and it is "152 years" old this year.

Odisha submitted the application for GI tag for "Odisha Rasagola" on February 23, 2018.
Odisha earned the GI Tag for Odisha Rasagola on July 29, 2019.
As per Odisha's historical and literary documentation, Odisha Rasagola is centuries old.

Despite this, lies have been and still are being deliberately spread to confuse and establish as truth.
Misleading info persists even now when Odisha has the GI Tag for Odisha Rasagola!

Here are the latest articles about Rasgulla published in Republic World:

Article#1
"Bengali Rasgullas Recipe: Easy Steps to Prepare This Spongy And Light Dessert" has been written by Mr. Nair.
He has shared a "Bengali Rasgulla Recipe".

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Snow King

It was very difficult for King Coby to get his daughter married.

He had already got a number of eligible kings and princes to his palace.

But, Princess Sazy just wouldn’t agree.

They had to first complete her task, which everyone failed miserably.

How could anyone make it snow in peak summer?
PHOTO PROMPT © Dale Rogerson
But, King Coby knew something magical was about to happen when a dashing stranger walked in seeking Sazy’s hand.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Ice-Cream

It was snowing heavily.
Lizy still braved the snow to satisfy her craving.
She bought a pack of ice-cream.

It was the last one in stock.
Lizy felt lucky.
PHOTO PROMPT © Na’ama Yehuda

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Babuna And Rasagola Film

"Babuna" is the name of a young Odia boy, who is the protagonist in the stories written by Shri Swaraj Mishra. The name of his book is Babuna. It was published by "Ama Odisha Publication" five years ago.
The stories feature the pranks and adventures of the young lad set in a village in Odisha, India, in the early seventies. Babuna has a field day with his cycle and the village is his field of action!

Shri Swaraj Mishra has based the interesting tales on his own childhood and his village. For him, it was like wearing the shoes of Babuna and taking a trip down the memory lane, reliving and weaving those memories of camaraderie, love, and also pain.

In January 2016, Shri Mishra had uploaded a video of the book trailer of Babuna.

On March 1st, 2018, Dola Purnima, a Palanquin carried Special Cover for Rasagola in Shree Jagannath ji's Cuisine was released by the Department of Posts at Puri, Odisha.
Shri Swaraj Mishra and yours truly were also part of the team that had worked to make this possible.

After our Rasagola postal-cover release at Puri, while we were returning to Bhubaneswar by car, I got to learn that Swaraj Babu is the author of several books including quiz-books and story-books. I asked Swaraj Babu if he had written any stories on Rasagola. I was excited when he answered in the affirmative. He had indeed penned a real-life story! He shared the brief story-line that featured Rasagola and friendship. I enthusiastically requested him to get his interesting story filmed at the earliest.

Thereafter, I called and messaged him a number of times in this regard.
I met him many times while working for the GI Tag application of Odisha Rasagola.
He said that he had been devoting time for the Rasagola film project. He had invested his own funds and the movie was slowly taking shape. Then, work had stopped for some time owing to other constraints.

Then, next year, in January 2019, I came across a poster about the 4th Golden Triangle International Film Festival  (GTIFF) to be held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. 
A certain "Rasogolla" film was also in the list of films to be screened. 

Till then, I was aware of only two people, who were working on Rasagola films, both on my request. Shri Swaraj Mishra was one of them.
But, I was not not sure if his movie was complete.
Had it been over and ready for release, he would have informed/invited us for this, I reasoned.
Plus, the spelling would have been our spelling- "Rasagola" as I had been requesting everyone to use a uniform spelling to refer to the Rasagola of Odisha as- The Spelling is Rasagola.

I shared the Film Festival schedule in our WhatsApp group in which Shri Swaraj Mishra is also a member.
Shri Mishra replied that it was indeed his movie that was to be screened. However, it was a work-in-progress.
Everything had happened so fast and his film's entry in the GTIFF had been hurried, which is why he couldn't inform us in advance. The spelling changes, updates in English translation, and other technical requirements would still need more time and will be addressed later. Though the movie was a draft version and much work was left, yet the incomplete work was being screened for the select audience.

On 12th February, 2019, I attended the screening at the GTIFF and cheered for Rasagola short-film.
Got to learn from the organizers that the Rasagola film was very popular & viewers showed interest to watch it everyday of the screening. Though it was scheduled for one day, it had already been screened for the jury & audience on popular demand!

The very word Rasagola evokes sweetness. And this 'Rasagola' movie was the labour of love that depicted a sweet story of friendship and love for Rasagola.
Though it is an emotional story, the film sparked joy for me as I had sincerely pressurized the story-writer to make this film! I appreciate his commitment as the actual making of a film takes a lot of effort. 

Rasagola film received a Certificate of Appreciation by the Jury at the 4th Golden Triangle International Film Festival, and Shri Swaraj Mishra received it that evening i.e. on 12th February, 2019.

On 17th December, 2019, we got the great news from Shri Mishra that Rasagola film had earned the Film certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC)! 

Last evening, on 13th January 2019, Rasagola film was shown to a select intellectual gathering at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bhubaneswar. We thank the organisers of 'Mukta Chintana Mancha' for their interest to screen this film. The touching movie earned a wonderful audience reaction and feedback.


We acknowledge that getting a movie made is tough. 
Am so glad that Shri Swaraj Mishra has successfully completed this work of art.
I congratulate and thank Swaraj Babu & all those associated with this film.
I really feel so happy & proud. 
May this film make it to international festivals. 
May Lord Jagannath bless for many more such movies & books.

Looking forward to the upcoming movie premiere of Rasagola film. The world can watch it soon. 

Odisha Rasagola has earned the Geographical Indication (GI) Tag on July 29, 2019.
The proof of the Rasagola is in the eating! 
In the future screenings, Odisha Rasagola packs can accompany the Rasagola film too. 
Not only should viewers watch the film, and experience the emotions of Odias with this delectable syrupy dessert, they should get to taste Odisha Rasagola.

It is amazing what an inspiring conversation with creative & enthusiastic people can do! 

I love movies. Also, it's great to see ideas in action. What sparks joy in you? 
Do share in the comments below.

Linking with IndiSpire #307 and ABC Wednesday- B for Babuna

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Dropped From Heaven

A billionaire's party was on by the pool side.
Food and drinks made the rounds.

"It is going to rain," she remarked.
The host overheard her. 

"No, it won't rain", he wished to say.

The ethereal sunset and clouds seemed to support his views.
PHOTO PROMPT © C.E. Ayr
He wanted to question her sanity.

The very next moment, there was a thick cloud-cover.
Large drops fell on his face.
There was a heavy rainfall.
Everyone scurried inside.
He saw her enjoying the rain.
He was convinced she was insane.


He remembered the last time he had done the same.

100 words story for Friday Fictioneers

Do you feel that we are all insane in our own sane ways?
Do you agree with the saying - "appearances are deceptive"?

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

New Connection

Sila picked up the phone’s receiver with great enthusiasm.
She started dialling the number she knew so well.
“This telephone number doesn’t exist.”
Image Prompt- Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
Her family was by her side.
They excitedly cheered while she dialled.

She tried a couple of other numbers that she knew.
Sila heard the same message.
Disappointment was writ large across her face.

Endings And Beginnings!


What begins with anticipation in our heart,
Someday sees the sunset; comes to an end.
Only after an end, a new beginning can start...
We try to figure out and go round the bend!
Enjoy whether complex endings or beginnings start!



41 Words Rhyme for the Weekend Writing Prompt- Complex

Happy New Year! Enjoy!
Which came first- The end or the beginning? Doesn't it seem complex when we try to figure out?


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