NALBARI, Jan 12 – With Magh Bihu round the corner, bihu festivities have gripped the rural areas in Nalbari district. The people are busy in Bihu preparations. Meji and bhelaghar have been erected in almost all the villages of the district.
In some places the young people were busy in collecting paddy straws, dry banana leaves and bamboo to make meji and bhelaghar. However, in some villages, the elders are taking this responsibility as the youth are not interested in making meji and bhelaghar. Some people have also got contract to make meji and bhelaghar. The community gives them an amount ranging from Rs 1000 to Rs 2000 for the making of the meji. This is the actual scenario in most of the villages. Earlier, the young boys of each village erected the meji and bhelaghar collecting paddy straws a month ahead of Bhogali bihu. Now most of the younger generation of the village areas are not interested in engaging themselves in such community works.
On the other hand, the rise in prices of all essential commodities in the markets has failed to dampen the Bhogali bihu spirit among the people in Nalbari district. With two days left for Uruka, bihu fervour has gripped the rural and urban people and they are seen gathering in huge numbers in markets for purchasing different Bihu items. The State Government’s move to release the monthly salaries of its employees and teachers at the earliest has helped the people in making Bihu preparations in advance. On the other hand, the release of arrears of six months to the State Government employees has also made life a little easier.
In some places, the villagers have planned to arrange Uruka parties in the bhelaghars unitedly with the neighbourhood. Despite the cold wave, the women folk of the rural areas are busy in cleaning up the homes and preparing Bihu items. The rural women have already prepared different traditional pithas viz. til pitha, ghila pitha, chunga pitha, sandah, narikalar ladu, tilar ladu etc., to offer to their near and dear ones during Bihu. The sound of the dheki still reverberates in the rural areas of Nalbari district till midnight.
However, the prices of essential commodities in the markets of Nalbari are also going up. In Nalbari, the shopkeepers are selling joha rice at Rs 50 per kg, bora rice at Rs 35 per kg, coconut at Rs 90 for a pair, til and mah at Rs 120 and Rs 50 per kg respectively. Worse, the meat and fish prices are also going up and it is expected the prices of these two items will hit the roof during the Uruka day as the district administration has not taken any step to fix their prices.