Whereas most children their age love chips and other junk food, two young brothers in South West Khasi Hills have taken to another food that usually even gives grownups difficulty in eating – the bhut jolokia (or king) chilli!
Known locally as sohmynken bep, the chilli is one of the hottest in the world but is munched on for pure joy by nine-year-old Medi-akor Marshra and his 18-month-old brother Edibynta Marshra.
The boys hail from Rangkhiat (Phlangdiloin) in South West Khasi Hills, around 47km away from the district headquarters of Mawkyrwat.
Medi-akor is a Class 5 student at Phlangdiloin Upper Primary School. He has been enjoying the taste of the chilli since he was his brother’s age, his father Maitphang Lyngdoh Langrin and mother Phindaris Marshra said, and does not find it all that hot, instead describing it as a sweet taste.
Whenever the family would go to market and buy chillies, they would find that young Medi-akor had finished them before they had returned home, the dad said. They also found that consuming the bhut jolokia with water had a positive effect when the boy was ill.
On the younger brother, his mother said, “With the king chilli he even rubs it into his eyes and onto his clothes but it doesn’t matter. But we, his parents, cannot cope with the heat of the chilli.”