Nepali Aloo Achaar, in an Indian medley

Alka Bagchi at her home in west Delhi’s Janakpuri.

Neighbourhood News Desk/Avi Arya:  Ms Bagchi, who teaches Hindi in a high school, is a Punjabi. Her mother-in-law is a Nepali. Her husband is a Bengali. And now, after years of being marinated together, the house chatter has become a mixed pickle of Hindi, English, Bengali, Punjabi and Nepali. And amid these happy people, we’ve fallen in total love with Ms Bagchi’s father-in-law.

Wordsworth’s poems are sliding off his Bengali-accented tongue as casually as Arjit Singh’s film songs roll down from ours. Surprisingly, there seems to be no cuisine-rivalry in the house. Ms Bagchi’s Nepali mother-in-law tactfully expresses fondness for her Punjabi samdhan’s dal makhani, who returns the favour by uttering polite words about her mutton momos.


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