Silchar

Travel travails in North East India in 1988-Return Journey

So we reached Nazira after harrowing experience. It was very cold there. In the winter, the sun goes down at about half past four in the evening. Those were the days when an extremist outfit called ULFA was very active. There were kidnappings and murders. So people ventured outside mostly in the daytime or under the protection of security forces. We left in the early mornings and came back early. We went to see the Sivasagar town which was the capital once upon a time of Assam under the rule of Ahom kings. Ahoms came from South-East Asia and settled… Read More »Travel travails in North East India in 1988-Return Journey

Lascars: Indian Sailors on European Ships

Lascars were sailors on the European ships mostly the British ships at a time when the European powers were locked in great tussle for taking control of the routes and spices found in India. British finally ousted all others and took control of India, first as East India Company and from 1857’s mutiny onwards for almost 100 years as British India Empire. The term “Lascar” is derived from Persian word “Lashkar” which means army or a group of soldiers. They worked on the foreign ships under Lascar agreement which gave the owners more powers under which lascars could be shifted… Read More »Lascars: Indian Sailors on European Ships

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

Travel travails in North East India

Now this is the story not entirely about journeys in the North-East but it illustrates the problems faced by people working in that area during 1991. The story again pertains to Silchar where I was posted from 1987-1991. Nowadays, it is only 3 years stint and you are transferred to another place in India but at that time there was no such strict rule. On my transfer from Silchar to Mumbai in 1991, we decided that we shall proceed to our home at Chandigarh where family shall stay and I will go to Bombay and find accommodation there. After securing… Read More »Travel travails in North East India

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

Smallest Koran

Some people in India can write on a rice. It is a very painstaking work. Similarly there are copies of Holy books which are miniatures. One such smallest copy of the Muslim holy book, the Koran, is kept at Ningxia Museum in Northwest China’s. It has been identified as the smallest Koran in the world. The copy weighs just 1.10 grams. Its dimensions are 19.6 mm length, 13.2 mm width, and 6.1 mm thickness. It is covered with mauve Kraft paper with ethnic designs, the Egyptian National Emblem and Arabic text which reads . “This is a worshipful Alcoran, only… Read More »Smallest Koran

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

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….

My Stay in Silchar

I have been to Assam earlier also when I was posted in Cachar in the Southern Assam. The area is bounded by Bangladesh and Tripura and North Cachar Hills separate it from the rest of Assam. We lived in a town called Silchar. Although it is in the Assam but most of the population is Bengalis. Muslims dominate the rural areas. The Barak river flows through it and splits into two rivers called Surma and Kushiara which again join together in Bangladesh. This river is very famous for a variety of fish called illish. Although it has more bones than… Read More »My Stay in Silchar

Our colony

When in the year 1991, I got transferred to Mumbai from Silchar, the ONGC colony at Panvel was brimming with occupants so much so that I was allotted a B-type house that had been used as the storage for cement and other building material when construction was going on. After 6 months I got C-type accommodation but not before a flood entered our home. What logically everyone expects to happen in Assam happened with us here in Panvel. That was in 1991. I got transferred to Assam second time in 2005. I was on leave in July when the flood… Read More »Our colony