Happy Pongal

Hello everyone! It’s been a looong day but before I hit the sack, I just wanted to wish you all a very happy Pongal. Hope you spent a great Sankranti with family. Pongal is special for me this year as I understand the meaning of the festival more from the perspective of farmers, who thank the Sun God for  a good harvest. It’s not just another symbolic festival and a long weekend.

After this recent trip to the village, my respect for farmers has grown multi-fold. For all the hard work that goes into producing a grain of rice, each of us should think twice before wasting food. It’s not simply about what money can buy.

In bone-chilling winter temperatures, I saw men and women toiling hard at the rice huller to remove the chaff. This process goes on for more than a fortnight in every household. Those who can’t do it themselves hire laborers to do it. Once the outer covering is removed, the fodder is piled into heaps and fed to animals. It is removed either using a huller or laid on the roads for vehicles to do it for them.

The separated grains are then poured in boiling water to get parboiled rice. The type of rice you get in West Bengal is the brown rice.

Image courtesy: mine

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