Bikaner is an arid land where resources have been scarce for the kings and commons alike. This prolonged scarcity has made the people of Bikaner resilient and they have adapted themselves not only to survive the hardship but also have learned to celebrate it.To understand the meaning of grit and resilience, this episode explores the camel herding community called Raikas. Just like the camels, the Raikas have adapted to the region so well that it is now difficult to imagine them anywhere else. Their myths and stories are all connected with the desert. Their priests are called Bhopa who recites stories of their deity Pabuji who are also adored by many other communities of Bikaner including the Royals.Not only the myths but also the food of the royals and the desert dwelling communities are not very different. This is because the people of Bikaner have learned to make use of whatever is available in the region.In this Episode Mahima Kumari and Siddhi Kumari the current princess of Bikaner takes us through an amazing journey of the desert through stories and myths of the region.
Bhopal princely state was captured by an Afghan mercenary Dost Mohd. Khan in 1722. The face of the city changed gradually and Bhopal saw the advent of many Nawabs since then. In the year 1819, a gunshot changed the history of Bhopal and the state saw its first female regent in the face of Qudsiya Begum.Between 18191926 Bhopal saw a long standing rule of women rulers. From the gentle and brave Qudsiya Begum to the warrior Sikander Begum followed by the artistic Shah Jehan Begum and finally the educator Sultan Jehan Begum each of their individual stories and their contributions to the erstwhile kitchen become the central theme of the episode. We explore the evolution of food during their regime from being game food to becoming aromatic, colourful and flavourful filled with the ‘Nazaqat’
In a time when kings and queens are associated with wealth and need prowess to run good governments, Jambughoda offers a breath of fresh air. Literally so as the princely state of Jambughoda resides amid a 70 acre property of designed forest land, off the border of Gujrat, . Vikram, a king brought up around the tribal farmers was passed on a piece of land to farm by his father. His father believed that the legacy of their kingdom would be to invest themselves in nature. Nature that gives you unbounded love when treated right. He went on to become a conscious environmentalist and all his efforts have been to create sustenance for his people and his forests. Having spent generations in the forest, this family has a different take on the world and rulership unlike many. Often roads and buildings equate to good governance but very few know that creating nature bound ecosystems exemplify visionary leaders. Vikram Sinh is one such leader. He along with his wife, his son and daughter in law has taken this upon themselves to keep this heritage alive. Through the episode we explore this journey of the family’s history, their food and their landscape at the centre of which is the farmer King, Vikram Sinh.
Muzaffar Ali and Meera Ali of the royal family of Kotwara are custodians of the history of the erstwhile Kotwara State. Through their artistic, architectural endeavors and their food they have been restoring their Maashra. Maashra translates to ‘society’. A society filled with stories of love and loss. A society they wish to be remembered for its food rich in flavours of the Awadh state, the travails of their ancestors and their old chefs. The episode engages with this Maashra and explores the gentleness of the erstwhile king and how he and his wife Meera keep the ‘Restoration’ of Kotwara state, its people and its food at the centre of all this
06 January 2022