These are fried momos.
Hot and spicy, chicken fried momos are enjoyed all across the country.
And they taste best with some spicy garlic chutney.
“But these aren’t momos! These are gujiyas, stupid admin!” I hear you screaming.
These aren’t momos. These are gujiyas. Even though they look like momos, they’re poles apart. And I know that.
I simply used that ‘sweet’ example to highlight the fact that this is exactly how I feel when someone brackets me with pahadis all across the world.
Yes people, I am a pahadi. But I’m a Garhwali pahadi.
Pahadi, as the term suggests, can be anybody from the pahad i.e. the hills.
They can be Kashmiris.
They can be Himachalis.
They all can be pahadi.
But, I am from Garhwal. The northwestern region from Uttarakhand.
Which precisely makes me a Garhwali.
You see, even within Uttarakhand, there are Garhwalis and there are Kumaonis.
The Kumaonis are from the Kumaon region.
And the only thing common between us is the fact that we both hate bal-mithai with a vengeance.
Our songs are different from rest of the pahadis. So is our culture. And so is our cinema. The language is different even though the accent might sound similar.
We don’t drink water when we get thirsty.
We drink tea. And that too in steel glasses.
Bedu Pako for me is bigger than Ishq Tera Tadpave. And Narendra Singh Negi is a bigger pop sensation for us than Sukhbir.
So the next time you call me a Himachali or a Kumaoni, rest assured that the Garhwali inside me is crying.