Zealously Zonked in Zila Rampur #BlogchatterA2Z

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Celebrating Holi in village Anwariya, Zila Rampur, March 2014

This post has been written for the theme “26 Places, 26 Memories” for the #AtoZChallenge.


Zila means district in Urdu. Rampur is a city and municipality district in Uttar Pradesh, India. This industrial hub of sugar refining and cotton milling, is most famous for its beautifully handcrafted knives, a library with over 12,000 rare manuscripts and Mughal miniature paintings, and delicious biscuits from the local “Rainbow Bakery”.

Growing up, we visited this area frequently, as my father’s close friends owns agricultural land here. His farm is located in village Anwariya in Bilaspur. It became a favoured holiday destination, as it was an experience far removed from our city lives. I recently took my 3-year-old son there, and he loved it too. From all my visits to the ‘farm’, as I’ve always called it, this is the one that really stands out.


For my first Holi after marriage in March 2014, my parents asked my husband and I to join them for a weekend at my uncle’s farm. I was keen to show my husband this special place from my childhood, and so we drove down for the holiday weekend.

On the morning of Holi, we played with gulaal (organic colour). We’d been discussing the festival and the traditional practice of having bhang (weed/ hemp) to celebrate. Our group, consisting of my parents, aunt and uncle, husband and I, had never tried it before; though we’d heard stories of our friends and relatives’ experiences.

Weed grew wild in the fertile environs of the farm, and my father jokingly remarked that we should try it this time for free. My uncle asked his cook to prepare something for us, and he quickly produced the most delicious bhang ke pakore (fried dumplings).

As we hadn’t eaten breakfast, the first plate of pakoras vanished in seconds. My father, quite amusingly, kept going for them as he believed nothing was happening! The rest of us also readily popped one after another, because they were simply delectable. The only one who was prudent enough to take it slow, was my husband. We hadn’t realised that weed takes time to affect the system when consumed in edible form.

Afterwards, we relaxed in the shady courtyard, enjoying the leisurely mood. My aunt and my mother were exchanging routine gossip, while I listened in. The men were busy in their own conversation. My aunt was narrating an anecdote about a suit that my mother had designed for her. She’d gifted the same suit-piece to a relative of hers, and when the women of their family were called in to meet and approve a boy for their niece, both ladies coincidentally wore the same suit.

There’s nothing particularly funny about this incident, right? Stuffed to the gills with bhang ke pakode, however, it became the funniest thing possible. We were in splits, with tears of laughter running down our cheeks. When the men asked us the cause of our mirth, all we could manage was, “hahahhahaha…. the same suit…. they both wore the same suit…. hahahahah!” They stared at us blankly, thinking we’d gone nuts; which of course we had!

After our hearty laughter session, all of us passed out. I remember the walls spinning overhead, before drifting into a deep, sweet slumber. By evening, the bhang had worn off for most of us; but my poor father who’d consumed the maximum pakodas, was nursing a terrible headache.

If you’re wondering how I remember the details so well despite being completely zonked; my husband, who was relatively sober, likes to remind me of them frequently 😉

Here ends my journey of the #AtoZChallenge 2019. If you enjoyed the stories from my travels around India and the world, I urge you to download a copy of my e-book which will be out next month. The book contains all 26 stories with a wealth of detail, and lots of mirch-masala! Farewell till the next challenge and thank you for being a part of this wonderful voyage with me 🙂

You can read all other posts from this series here:

A for AmritsarB for BhopalC for CambodiaD for Delhi,  E for England, F for France, G for Gwalior, H for Hemkund Sahib, I for Italy, J for Jim Corbett National Park, K for Kamakhya Devi Temple, L for London, M for Munich, N for NaplesO for Odisha,  P for PragueQ for Qila Mehrangarh Jodhpur, R for Rishikesh, S for Singapore, T for Tarifa in Spain, U for Udhampur in Jammu & Kashmir, V for Velassaru in Maldives, W for Westminster City in London, X for Xi’an in China, Y for Yorkshire in England


Bhang ke pakode anyone?!


Farm life at Anwariya, Zila Rampur

Z for Zila Rampur, UP

*The copyright in all pictures belongs to nooranandchawla. 

**This is not a sponsored post.


  1. This incident of yours reminded of the time when my maternal brother consumed bhang laden thandai at holi and got teleported to the Mahabharata era with all the fighting happening all throughout the house and I even remember him being stabbed by a javelin by some Kaurav sainik 😛 . These anecdotes from your journeys have definitely enthralled and entertained us all throughout the challenge and it’s time to explore other styles of your writing as well. Glad we connected through this platform and I found a genuine blogger friend 😀 .

  2. What a wonderful way to end the season’s final post, had a great time reading your whole holi experience 😀😀 Keep sharing your stories with us and stay connected 🌷 Congratulations and All the best!

  3. Haha 😀 Must be a magical experience 🙂 That’s what I was thinking how can you remember every bit of incident even after being HIGH. So your husband didn’t tell you not to eat more because he wanted to see the fun 😀

  4. Such a lovely final post Noor…Enjoyed reading another of your experience… Keep writing keep sharing shine on buddy…And also thank you for being so encouraging of Cafewhiz…..Would definitely see u here often…. Cheers!

  5. It was really nice to read yoyr travel stories. Even this one was funny. All the best to you Noor for the book!

  6. Ha ha, the bhang stories. One of my friend had an interesting one – quite an avid drinker I must say. He was very excited about the idea of Bhang at Holi, the only thing he remembers to this day is having 3 drinks. The next memory he has is of 2 days later! 😀 .

    On the other hand, I would probably quite fancy the pakoras. They are harder to come by! 🙂

  7. Ha ha ha. You couldn’t have finished it in a way better than this. You madee yearn to take a trip, you made me feel nostalgic about places I have visited and you wrap it up while I still have a smile on my face. You are a rockstar Noor and I am so delighted to have met you through this challenge.

  8. Loved and unique way of ending your series my dear. It was a pleasure sailing this AtoZ journey with you. Keep up the good work. All the best for the ebook carnival ♥️

  9. This is what happens when you eat Bhang, you will continue laughing where a small smile is enough.
    Interesting read.
    It was really very nice to go through your posts throughout the journey.

  10. Loved the fnale, Noor! You left us smiling with your last post! I have LOVED reading your series and I am so glad I came across your blog! Do consider writing a full flegded book soon!

    1. Thank you so much Mayuri! It’s in the works.. If I haven’t mentioned it before, you’re one of the reasons I took up the challenge and also why I survived it!
      Big hug to you!!

  11. Hahaha, I can imagine. Being born and bred in North India how can I miss out the bhaang part of Holi. Never tasted myself but have seen lot of craziness happening post consumption.
    Once my cuz bro had it and he kept kicking this bike for 30 odd minutes in the same run. Crazy enough for me to maintain a safe distance.

    Lovely journey through beautiful posts Noor, I believe by now we know more about you and your love of travelling. Good luck and keep in touch.

  12. Loved reading your AtoZ series, Noor. Congratulations on completing the series and wishing you luck for your next venture ❤️

  13. Hahaha, your posts are full of entertainment, Noor. And, I am truly amazed by your memory power, how you recall all these incidents and present to your readers in such a wonderful style. Honestly, I have become your fan, Noor. I would love to get your e-book and I am sure very soon you will be giving out signed copies of your books. Congratulations for completing the challenge and All the very best for your future endeavours.

  14. Your posts are always so nice Noor! I keep reading them word to word. They bring a lot of fun and interest whenever I read.I could visualize the scene of impact of Bhang Pakoras. Looking forward to the next one.

  15. I have never tried bhang would like to try it someday 😀 it was nice reading your stories. It was like knowing you in person. 🙂

  16. This Holi must be so memorable for you all! Such lovely pics of village life and must say that these places have their own charm that is so addictive.

  17. Hahaha this is too funny. I can’t stop laughing because something very similar happened to my family one holi. It was outright hilarious 😁

  18. Seems like you had a gr8 time at Zila Rampur…am tempted to taste those bhaag ke pakode..they look so inviting..

  19. Thanks to your sober husband we came to know about another insterinter post from you.

  20. hahaha… It’s quite amusing to see people who have bhang ka nasha. It’s quite different … people get into a loop of either crying, laughing or babbling until it wears off slowly 🙂

  21. Yesss . You did a great job with these 26 posts. Loved the way you described it. I never have bhang and so want to have atleast once. May be a good experience I too will see 😛

  22. I had never had Bhaang ke Pakore, but would love to try them sometime. And I know the effects of Bhaang! I can totally imagine how you guys were laughing after the effects of the special “Pakore”. Loved reading your anecdote.

  23. Thanks for sharing some amazing experience with us I loved reading your blogs. I recently read some of your blogs and I loved each and every single travel blog. Many congratulations on completing the task. I am looking forward for more such blogs

  24. Matlab seedha London to Rampur…wow…hahahaa…amazing. Btw that plate of pakode tells me how many consumed 😀
    It was a great experience to across your blog through this challenge. Quality content is rare and you are truly blessed with producing that. Hopefully the connection will stay after this also. All the best. Enjoy!
    #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia

  25. adding lovely memories to your life. These bhang pakoras looks nice i never tried them honestly …

  26. i totally loved reading this series and the ending couldn’t be any better. Wonderful!

  27. I read each line of the post and what a beautiful write up it was, felt like I visited the place through your writing. There is a charm of celebrating festivals away from the hustle bustle of metro cities. That bhaang ke pakode had me drooling.

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