By Salaam Bhatti, USA
Ah, the smell of fresh Jalsa is in the air. No, wait, that’s aloo gosht. Delicious, delicious aloo gosht. Unfortunately for many of us, that fragrance is either a non-existent or distant memory in our brains because we are not at the UK Jalsa. So here are some ways to recreate the feeling of a British atmosphere to properly enjoy the UK Jalsa in our own homes.
1. Odds are that the United Kingdom ruled your country at some point. This means there is some shop near you that will have British treats. Head over there and buy some Dairy Milk, Cadbury’s, Digestive biscuits, or start off slowly with a classic British black tea. Sip your British tea and eat your English snacks while you engage yourselves in the Jalsa proceedings.
2. Jalsas are best enjoyed in an open atmosphere venue. Set up a small canopy tent outside your home with some folding chairs inside. At the front of it, place a computer or television with some speakers and have a seat. Invite your neighbors so they can experience Jalsa as well. Occasionally, have a child come by to provide water.
3. Download the program, print it out, and keep referring to it throughout the weekend to see what is coming up next.
4. Learn to make roti (here’s a video and yes, the presenter has a British accent which will add to the Jalsa effect). It’ll be nearly impossible to churn out 10,000 roti an hour like the Jalsa roti plant does. But, for your humble efforts, a few should be fine. Once you make your first roti, you’ll understand why Muslims love the moon. It’s because it looks like a roti.
5. The ultimate way to experience the UK Jalsa when you’re not in the UK is to turn on MTA from your internet or digital box device, sit back, relax, and enjoy the entire experience. Sync your body to UK time, make watching Jalsa a family affair, have good meals and celebrate what the Jalsa will bring. In addition to the live sessions, the in studio interviews, roaming footage, and pakora tastings will truly make each one of us feel like we are there.
With these steps, you’ll be energized to save up and attend next year’s Jalsa, inshallah. Then you can see if your roti is as good as Jalsa roti.