I am currently living in an apartment in San francisco, which is at the opening of the Chinatown. Its a chinese basti, no americans, even the shops and their hoarding boards are in chinese. last time in dashain i went to a meat shop in china town, i could see different kinds of meat but could not identify which one was khasi! It is funny that i was dying not getting khasi
ko masu and the taste seemed to come back on my tongue, luring me to search for khasi ko masu at any cost. I ended up asking the chinese behind the counter. I asked ‘do you have goat?’ he replied ‘pork? yes!’, i asked again ‘lamb?’ he said ‘meat yes yes’. I again asked ‘goat-meat????’ he replied ‘fresh yes’. i had to refer to him in sign language and pretended like a khasi with two fingers on my head as horns and making a stupid sound of a goat ‘mae….maaeeee’ he laughed at me and said ‘oh, goat? yes yes …. see ……..how much?’. He showed me a cube, a frozen cube nearly 5 sq. inch, which was badly frozen, which didnt look like meat at all and was dark brown or nearly black in color, imagine how old it was . and yet he said ‘very good, very good!……frozen….goat meat fresh…how much?’
i ran out of the store…..went to check out a couple of more chinese meat shops where in some of them i found live frogs, crabs, octopus, snails, fishes, oysters…and i dont know what else……my search for khasi went on like this for 2 days. At last i asked an indian restaurant where i could get goat meat. he gave me an address, it was monday morning. i went to the store, run by pakistanis but in vain! they were just out of stock and i had to wait till wednesday afternoon. On tuesday night, i was on a bus when i saw another muslim store with a sign board ‘halal goat meat’. i got off the bus immediately and entered the store, asked for meat and there, my hunt for khasi ko masu was over. Not asking anything else, i ordered 4 pounds, he showed me a fresh thigh and asked if it was ok? i said go ahead. He weighed the meat, which was exactly 4 pounds and then started to cut it with an
electronic saw machine into small bits. The meat was ready, he then calculated the price, which took me by surprise. It was $20 for 4 pounds!!!!
ke garne, khanai paryo…dashain mukh ma chhaa tesh maathi khasi ko masu….! Sadly and happily too, i took the meat, paid and walked off home, nearly 6 blocks, thinking about the days when i had bought a whole boka for 1400 to offer as a bali in manakamana and also for bagalamukhi. And here, i am stuck with a thigh cut into pieces, which i am not yet confirmed of yet
on if it is a khasi or a boka or a bheda!!!! Anyways, on tika day, i hopped on a train and went to my relatives in San Jose and El Sobrante, nearby places from San Francisco and enjoyed my dashain as usual with khasi, sekuwa, marriage, flush, wine and dine, music and most importantly ‘tika’. missing family members in dashain is really hard especially when you miss your family and the delicious taste of different dishes of the different parts of our very own ‘khasi’!