Mundu gele khabo ta ki
Mundu chara bachbo na ki
Translated this means, “What will we eat if our heads are cut off, will we be alive if our heads are cut off?”
This thought by Goopy and Bagha, the two protagonists of Ray’s Gupi Bagha series, is a proof of that fact that they lived to eat and not the other way round. And don’t we, too?
As the story of Satyajit Ray’s Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (The Adventures of Goopy Gyne and Bagha Byne), the first film of the series goes, Goopy and Bagha, two men who have not been successful in life, are thrown out of their villages. They meet each other and when it gets dark, they come across bhooter raja , ( the king of ghosts) who grants them three wishes. And what do they ask for? Not money or riches or any other material wealth. But….
“We want to eat what we want by clapping our hands
We want a pair of magic slippers to travel where we want
We want to hold people in awe and turn them motionless by our music.”
[kad_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym2hPZWpr2M” ]
No wonder why we relate to this so much! Eat, travel and be good at your art, what else can anyone want?
The reference to food starts from the very beginning and continues throughout the film. Goopy is from a village named ‘amloki’ and Bagha from one named ‘hortuki’, both fruits that are essential ingredients of the ancient India art of Ayurveda.
Naturally, both of them are very hungry and want a good meal. So they clap their hands and this is what comes out from thin air. Come to think of it, it is a meal that is fit for the kings, a meal that is commonly served at Bengali weddings.
Pulao ( rice cooked with spices)
Macher kalia ( fish curry)
Pathar mangsho ( mutton)
Raj bhog ( Giant sized rashogollas)
Himshagor aam (A sweet variety of mangoes cultivated in West Bengal and Bangladesh).
As Goopy and Bagha start attacking the dishes with vigour, we see the smile of satisfaction on their hungry faces. Food brings happiness like nothing else does.
At a later part in the film, when in prison, Goopy and Bagha order another meal which consists of:
Potoler dorma( Pointed gourd stuffed with meat/ fish fillings and cooked in gravy)
maangsho r jhol ( Mutton in gravy)
Kalia ( Fish curry)
Pona macher jhol (Baby rohu/katla in gravy)
Illish mach ( Hilsa fish)
Bhaat (Rice, which was not referred to but has to be, as pulao will not suit the menu)
Raj bhog (Big rashogollas)
We get to see again what titillates Bengali taste buds, two types of fish, mutton and of course a sweet dish to end the meal with. They finally escape from prison by offering the guard a macher muro( fish head), another delicacy among the Bengalis. Food thus brings freedom.
Did we just mention sweets? We did, and what follows in the movie is one of the most delicious scenes to ever have been filmed. Goopy and Bagha stop the war between two kingdoms by magically making sweets rain from the heavens. The sight of mihi dana, puli pithe, laddus and jibe gojas ( different varieties of sweets) raining from the sky is a scene that anyone having sweet tooth can never forget.
Food, as we see, can even bring about peace.
In one scene where Bagha is worried, Bagha says, “Tumi koro giye chinta. Pet bhore khabo, pran bhore ghurbo’” which translated means, “You go and worry. I will eat to my fill and travel to my heart’s content.”
All we require to be happy is to eat good stuff and travel to great places. Bengalis in general are known for their love of food and travel and Ray did touch that chord in the movie, but the love for food and the desire to travel is universal. People bond over food. People bond when they travel together. This sums up the underlying sprit behind MoneyFoodTravel.com. That is what we believe in and what we are passionate about. And if you are reading this, we know that we have a lot in common. Let us begin the journey of discovering great food and great places to travel, together. And what a journey it will be!