WPC: (foodie) opposites

Ben Huber’s challenge this week is to think of Opposites. My first thoughts were of oppositions as in standing apart but then thinking about how i would express it in photographic frames, most of the photographs that I had in mind seem to be complementary rather than stand apart. Contrast rather opposition.

It made me think of the old lines ‘opposites attract’ but it also made me think of an off-handed remark someone once made: if put an attractive thing and a repulsive unattractive thing next to each other, it would increase the quality of both.

rekha_opposites

My foodie response to the challenge is ‘hawaijar and fresh u-morok’ or fermented soya bean and fresh chilies of the species locally known as u-morok (some refer to it in English as king chilly, ghost pepper, or know it as bhut jolokia, etc.). Crush the chilies and mix them with the beans and add some salt and you have a side dish that makes most Meiteis drool over.

As ingredients they stand in opposition – the freshness of the chilies retained by being frozen while the soya bean has been soaked,cooked in slow heat and fermented for about five days and has been ‘freshly’ unpacked. It made me think of the binary opposition of Levi-Strauss ‘The Raw and the Cooked’.

The opposition is not just of the ingredients but also of the taste and smell. As a lady once described to me – ‘let the u-morok chilies and the hawaijar war one another’ (u-morok ka hawaijar ga kaonahanlo)!

Be warned, those chilies look damn attractive but they are fiery.

©Ingallei

 

From Above: Trees

ingallei_wangu

A scene at Wangoo village in Manipur (NE India)

My submission in response to Majka’s photo challenge ‘From Above: Trees‘. This is a shot taken on the hillock in the outskirts of the village of Wangoo. I had written my thoughts on the trip on an earlier post. The river is the main source of water for the villages along its bank. locally known as turel achouba (the big river), its English name is the Manipur river. It drains off water from the Loktak multi-purpose dam. from this view point, it is the skies, the river and the trees that is striking.

The trees, however, veils the houses on either side of the river – something i appreciated on visiting the village after taking these shots.The river bank ran along the backyards of the cluster of houses on the east. It was approaching evening by then. there were people drawing water, washing utensils and checking on the fishing nets they had laid down earlier in the day.

©ingallei

 

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge: Blue Flowers

My response to Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge: Blue-Purple Flowers

ingallei_wangden khoibi

Commelina/Dayflower – Wangden Khoibi (in Manipuri)

ingallei_neel

Blue Pimpernal – called Neel (literally blue) in Hindi, not sure what it is called in Manipuri

ingallei_blue

not sure which flower this is

ingallei_morningglory

Morning glorymayeplei (Manipuri)

I realised i had many photographs of flower in the blue-purple colours and some I had already posted earlier on my blog. I am sticking to the colour Blue. Just for the fun of it, i have arranged them in order of the size of the flowers. Except for the third flower, the others are considered wild/weed. I wonder what the third flower is.

©Ingallei

The Maibi

spirit medium

A moment from the Kanglei Thokpa ritual of Lai Haraoba @ Imphal

The maibi calls on the spirit of Khoriphaba and takes it on to perform the search for ‘his’ bride. As the spirit takes over her, the maibi may become violent or at least display strong physical prowess.

“A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books.” – Walt Whitman

morning

morning glory – a glorious English name for a wildflower that is commonly noted for crawling up walls and dismissed as creeper *mayep-lei in Manipuri, in the name of the amplifiers called mayep corrupted from ‘mic’

Purple crown flower

crown flower * angkot

crown flower * calotropis gigantea * angkot                  

We had the white crown flower growing in the compound but this purple one was a latter addition. The parent plant was a sapling from Meghalaya but ever since then, it has happily stayed on propagating new saplings from its seeds. The pretty flowers can be made into lovely garlands using only the crowns. Like the Spanish cherry (bokul) flowers, the paddy grains and the soaked pea, the crown flower (angkot) makes exquisite garlands.

©Ingallei

Pretty Purple: oxalis

Blossoms of oxalis

Oxalis * wood sorrel * yenjhin      

Oxalis or wood sorrel has very pretty little flowers. It is a weed and has become quite a nightmare spreading out so happily all over our garden. I have spent many an evening helping out my mom in taking out the roots of this plant. Nevertheless, it has such pretty flowers and is good for hair. It is however the ones with yellow flowers and smaller leaves that are more popularly used.            ©Ingallei