The gecko needs to cook too! (Part Jhenaidah)

গরীব ব্যাচেলরের ছুটির দিনের সুখ (ঝিনাইদহ পর্ব)

Back when I moved out of my house from Dhaka to a tiny town named Jhenaidah, I had itsy-bitsy (read zero) culinary skills. But in a city like Jhenaidah, there are a very few options (read zero, again) or take out or dining out. After three days of eating raw veggies, and two days of very very upset stomach, I realised that, even a gecko needs to cook her insects. Thus, with the help of my aunts, and sister, (and of course Youtube), my humble culinary journey began.

There were two days of Farmer’s market (Haat baar) in Jhenaidah, Sunday and Thursday. To get fresh produce, these two days were the only options.



As my weekend was on Friday, I used to buy chicken, fish beef, or shrimp (Food that can be cooked and stored for a week) on Thursday, So that I could meal prep on Friday. and on Sunday, just vegetables and eggs.


Gradually, I tried to grow my own food on my very tiny veranda. I managed to grow Red amaranth (Laal shaak) and green chillies and sprouted various seeds.

I used to sprout different seeds, as they are a good source of protein and fibre.



The raw carrots were an addition from our office vegetable garden.
First time trying to cook Hilsha!





I used to have a weekly vegetarian day, the Laal shak (Red amaranth) was grown in my kitchen veranda


The dessert was a gift from my boss travelling from South Korea 😀 and it was chicken day, probably because it was my birthday
Weekend breakfast! probably trying to make up for entire week’s fibre:P
My landlady’s daughter had a birthday party, where no one showed up, a small attempt to cheer her up 😀
Shakshuka! was meal prepping for 2 days!

Spinach grown in my kitchen Veranda!



The Forgotten Gypsies!

A couple of weeks ago, me and a friend (Badol Bhai) were moving around in Jhenaidah. We suddenly saw a group of Temporary made houses, made with bamboo splits, and covered with polythene. We were very eager to go and meet the community but was discouraged by the locals to do so.

But curiosity finally won, and We went to meet them. 😀

There were around 30-40 “houses” laying around, they all had solar panels, some even had cooking gas cans also. It was difficult to believe that they can move with such heavy baggage.

Talking to Kajoli, one of the seniors members of the community, we found out, she and her husband are moving with the community since 2007. They have a son who has no clue about their nomad life, who studies in a college in North of Bangladesh. They move around and do various temporary jobs around the country, and saves money by staying in their temporary houses, not in a rented place.

Then we finally met the “Sardar” the leader of the community, Abul Kalam , who has been a genuine nomad from his birth. He is a snake charmer by profession.

He told us how the life was previously for the river gypsies in our country. They used to travel by boats for days. Small children used to sing and dance in the boats, playing handmade musical instruments on the river. But as the rivers in our country are mostly dried, they move via roads, and musical instruments are replaced by Electronic Stereos.

All their stories were very unique and they were reflecting the wisdom they gathered from their travel. They gathered a lot of experiences from all the places they had been in, and all the people they have met.

When asked whether they want to get settled in a place if given help, none of them could say they would. They believe it’s their fate, to move around and see things.

They will keep breaking up and forming in new places and with new and old people, but they will keep moving on like they have been for decades.