Kolkata, June 7 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS): Tuesday marks a special day for the Bengali son-in-laws as they are celebrating ‘Jamai Shasthi’.
Dedicated to the son-in-laws, this special tradition is followed mainly in West Bengal where mother-in- laws invite their ‘jamai-s’ (son-in-laws) to their residences and bless them.
This day is observed on the sixth day during the Shukla Paksha (Waxing Phase of moon) in the month of Jaishto (May – June) in Bengal.
The word ‘Jamai’ in Bengali means son-in-law and ‘Shasthi’ is the sixth day in a fortnight in a traditional Hindu calendar.
In several regions, Goddess Shasthi is worshipped on this day for the well-being of the children.
Food plays a special role in any Bengali festival and on this particular date more than any other things, mouth-watering dishes act an integral and most important element. Mother-in-laws cook special dishes for their ‘Jamai-s’ and stuff them well.
The son-in-law is traditionally welcomed to the house by their in-laws and a yellow thread is tied on the wrist as a part of the custom and after that he is presented with gifts by his mother-in-law.
The son-in-law also presents a gift to his in-laws on this date as a sign of respect and love.
The traditional ‘Jamai Shasthi’ menu include Bengali food stuff like ‘luchi’, ‘cholar dal’, ‘mug manomer dal’, ‘macher kalia’, ‘hilsa mach’, meat, ‘payesh’ and sweets.
However, in this fast-paced life, even the tradition of ‘Jamai Shasthi’ has undergone sea change.
Lack of time has made it quite difficult for the mother-in-laws to prepare so many food items for their ‘jamai-s’. So, as a solution, several restaurants in Kolkata have launched special ‘Jamai Shasthi‘ menu and food festivals dedicated exclusively to this traditional festival.
One such restaurant is 6 Ballygunge Place, which unveiled its special ‘Jamai Shasthi’ menu for this Bengali occasion last Saturday.
Their menu includes wide array of mouth watering food like ‘Kacha aam pudina Sarbot’,’ Loochis’, ‘Mung mohan daal’, ‘Sobji morich pulao’.
The non-vegetarian section boasts of delicacies like ‘Chingrir pur diye potoler dolma’, ‘Bhetki mach er roll’, ‘Murgir tramfredo’, ‘Bagda Chingri Malai Curry’ and ‘Kancha lanka dhonepata mangsho’.
The vegetarian plate offers food items like ‘Kumro phool bhaja’ and ‘Chanar dalna’.
Deserts like ‘Aamer chutney’, ‘Mishti doi’, ‘Malai chomchom’, ‘Gokul pithe’ and fresh mango will be served to the son-in-laws after the meal.
And the ‘jamai’ and their mother- in-law can have a special lunch together in this restaurant by paying Rs 700 per head.
So the choice stands in the hands of the ‘jamai’ and their mother-in-law that whether they will attend a lunch together at home or enjoy it together at a restaurant. But at the end of the day, it is the family get-together that will make the occasion so special for the entire family.
Photos by Subhajit Das/IBNS