Assam

My Peregrinations

I have returned back to the place where we were born, grew up, went to school in our own village of Manimajra, then to college and university in Chandigarh. Graduation and post graduation became possible because of the proximity of Chandigarh. Had this not been the case, there was no chance of my getting higher education in science. Even at that time, some 60 years back, our village was the largest of villages around Chandigarh. There were agricultural lands all around the village. The fields were irrigated with the water from Ghaggar river which flowed nearby emanating from Shivalik hills.… Read More »My Peregrinations

Parijat

One of the many things which I miss about Assam is the flowers of Parijat. In its blossoming season, it is treat to watch these trees and ground beneath them. It is completely covered with its fragrant flowers. The flowers are very small with white sepals and one orange colored speck in the center. Children collect the flowers in little bamboo baskets. I asked them what they will do with so many flowers, to which they answered that these will be dried and added in cooked vegetables. The shrubs there are very healthy like all other vegetation which seems to… Read More »Parijat

Assam Silk

Again, I am harking back to North-Eastern state of India: Assam. Still the land of mystery. I was going through imperial gazetteer of India and reading about Sibsagar, now bearing the moniker of “Sivasagar”. It was once the capital of Ahoms. They came from China to India through Eastern corridor and settled here for good. Over the time they adopted the Hindu religion. This district is very rich in natural resources. It is famous for oil fields, tea and silk sarees. There are many shops is the town selling the exquisite sarees. These shops are mostly owned by Marwari people… Read More »Assam Silk

Assam Tea

I first went to Silchar in 1987 in connection with my job posting there. It is a border district of Assam with Bangladesh. It is in the Barak valley and very poorly connected to rest of India. Most of outside people who go there are from Defense, Government employees and tea garden managers who are entitled to airfare from Kolkata. Air journey reduces the tiring circuitous journey by train through upper Assam which takes at least 2 days. It takes about an hour and for most of its flight, airplane flies over Bangladesh. I boarded a flight from Kolkata which… Read More »Assam Tea

Travel travails in North East India

The company I worked with is the premier Indian company engaged in the quest of oil and gas in India. It explores oil and gas in every corner of India. The problems of logistics, politics & terrorism do not deter it in its pursuit of this highly prized commodity. In India, it was in Assam where the British first struck the oil. The town of Digboi bears the testimony where the Edwin Drake prodded the diggers with the cry of “Dig boy Dig” and the place got the name Digboi. Our company is engaged in drilling in many parts of… Read More »Travel travails in North East India

Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary

It is situated in the Dhubri and Kokrajhar of Bodoland Territorial Council. It is situated in the North East India. The area is still pollution free and is full of wildlife both flora and fauna. Chakrashila wildlife sanctuary is home to many endangered species of birds and animals like Golden Langur, Assamese Macaque, Rhesus Macaque, Leopards, Barking Hyenas and Wild Boars. Golden Langur (Presbytis Geei) which is on the verge of extinction is found here. It was spotted here in 1986. There are bats, rodents, mongoose & flying squirrels. It is home to 34 species of animals, 272 species of… Read More »Chakrashila Wildlife Sanctuary

Boat Makers of Assam

In the modern world everywhere, the industrial revolution is ushering automation in every field: be it a automobile, telephone, airplane, home gadgets. Traditional hand makers are in trouble if they don’t adapt themselves to these changes. Automation means mass production of items. Mass production or assembly line production of the articles or gadgets is like asexual reproduction where the product items are almost identical to each other and there is very small degree of error usually in parts per million. Mass production through assembly produces monotonous items. On the other hand, man-made products reflect the personality of the creator and… Read More »Boat Makers of Assam

Joymati: The first Assamese Film

Joymati released in 1935, was the first ever Assamese langauge film. It was based on Lakhminath Bezbaruah’s play on the 17th century story of Sati Joymati. Noted Assamese poet Joytiprasad Agarwala produced and directed it. The movie starred Adieu Handique and acclaimed stage actor and playwright Phani Sharma. Incidentally, Agarwala’s forefathers came to Assam from Marwar in search of setting the business in Assam. Legend of Joymati Joymati was the wife of the Ahom prince Gadapani. During the purge of the princes from 1679 to 1681 under King Sulikphaa (Loraa Roja) instigated by Laluk Sola, Gadapani took flight. At various… Read More »Joymati: The first Assamese Film

Assam and Sikhs

Sikh gurus made visits to Assam during their peregrinations all over India for preaching the lesson of brotherhood, love and amity, and peace. Ninth Guru, Guru Teg Bahadur, visited Assam during 1668 February and stayed in Dhubri town. His three hundred thirty-first martyrdom day was celebrated here on the twenty-sixth of November 2006. He was tortured and killed by Aurangzeb, the Mughal king of India as he refused to embrace the Muslim religion. Sikhs came from far off places like Canada, the UK, Bhutan, Nepal, and other parts of Assam like Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Tinsukhia, Digboi, and Guwahati; the district of… Read More »Assam and Sikhs

Facing Floods in Assam….

I worked as a scientist with ONGC which is the premier oil and gas company of India. I was posted in Cachar Project of ONGC during 1987 to 1991. Our company was desperately looking for oil and gas in this area. Five rigs were employed for these operations in different areas around the town of silchar located in the southern part of Assam adjoining Agartala and near this town is another town called Badarpur which is a gateway to north eastern states like agartala, Manipur and Mizoram. The area where drilling operations were being conducted bordered Bangladesh. Two rivers namely… Read More »Facing Floods in Assam….