Landscape

I’m not so good in wide-angle landscape photography. The most common problem I usually find in such photography is haziness, which makes the image very dull. However, I couldn’t control myself from trying out this one time.

On the extreme right side, we can see some of the school buildings, where I teach.

The yellowish patch of bed-ground is ripening paddy field. For some, the harvesting work had already begun at Ziro.

The human population of Siiro village is also growing continuously. as There weren’t many settlements a decade ago. Now we get to see houses distributed throughout the entire frame.

Siiro village
Siiro village

Cross-posted [at] rotochobinphotography.wordpress.com

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Traveling northbound: Dumporijo

It was past mid-afternoon when we reached Dumporijo. Almost six hours ride in a car. Of course, we can deduct the time we took to stop off at road for tea, photography, stretch and nature calls. So let’s say five from Ziro. In retrospect, one could easily skip the last 12 kilometres from Daporijo to Dumporijo if they had a motorable bridge instead of suspension bridge for pedestrians and two-wheelers. It could save litres and litres of fossil fuel daily.

On the way to Dapo, we noticed over a dozen mountains puffing smoke – slash and burn cultivation.  It was indeed a disheartening sight to see a vast spread of forest go up in smoke. And all the smoke from the forest fire was forcing the landscape to wear a hazy looks.

After two nights stay at Dumporijo I.B. (Inspection Bungalow), we gathered our things to leave.

I have been hearing a great deal about Menga limestone cave (12 kilometres away from Dapo) since long. So it occurred to me that our journey would be futile if we don’t see it. I was actually quite happy when my friend also embraced the idea.  And I thought we were going to need loads of gear – helmets, headlamps, etc. Maybe we would be able to explore the mouth of the cave without basic gear, if not the innermost part. Wait a minute. The cave was hardly a tad bigger than a fox burrow. The Anaconda turned out to be merely an earthworm. Upset. Upset.

On return journey, my ass didn’t say a word after hours and hours of glued to the car seat, but my brain whined a lot. I realized my mind cannot lie idle – just gazing at the road ahead and listening to songs. It has to be employed all the time to stop the nonsensical mind and mouth coordination.

Okay. Enough talking.

DSCN8700Dried Toko Paat for roof covering

DSCN8711

DSCN8717The weed on culvert

DSCN8746Moth

 

DSCN8809The cave

DSCN8831Texture

DSCN8838The bell outside Menga temple

DSCN8846A Tagin house

DSCN8864Suspension bridge

DSCN8865Nearly half-way through the bridge

DSCN8880On the way back

DSCN8881End of the story

Majuli

My mom must be annoyed as I never let her know of my intention to travel in advance. Honestly, Planned Trip just doesn’t suit me at all. It frustrates me when things don’t go according to the plan.

As always, I told her about my irresistible impulse to see Majuli – river island in the Brahmaputra River (Assam, India) – just a few hours before the journey.

It takes only a day to reach Majuli from my hometown (Hapoli, Ziro). However; I had to change and board five different vehicles, and two ferry rides to arrive at Majuli. The trip was adventurous though.

I am not happy with the photographs I’ve taken of Majuli. May be, I need to have a dslr. May be, I need to visit this place again. Or maybe, both.

Majuli 1

Majuli 2

Majuli 3

Majuli 4

Majuli 5

Majuli 6

Majuli 7

Majuli 8

Majuli 9

Majuli 10

Majuli 11

Majuli 12

Majuli 13

The Lake in Itanagar

Though I heard a lot about Taai Siimi a.k.a. Gyaker Siinyi a.k.a. Ganga Lake I couldn’t muster enough passion in me to visit it.

D-day finally arrived. Obviously, my expectation (to get hold of a great shot of the lake) was extremely high.

I got frustrated when I saw the face of the lake. It was not a photogenic as expected.

My friend and I toured the length and breadth, but nothing strikes me. The lake appeared to be quite depressing and sinister.

My mom used to tell us a story about the Taai Siimi.

According to Apatani folklore, a man stumbled across an unclaimed Gayal near the Taai Siimi. The mammal bred beyond imagination. The rise in numbers consequent upon the prosperity of the man. At long last, the man decided to sacrifice it to the God. Perhaps the consideration was immoral in God’s eye. And so the mammal took all her progeny and vanished into the lake.

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Listening to my inner voice

Back in April month, I had some savings in my bank account.

Each time I realize I have some money saved up; my wit would merrily give wings to my reverie. And it would say, “You think, you’re going to take the cash and the material goods with you when you’ll die, eh?” In the long run I would often find myself standing in a long queue outside ATM.

As I was queuing to draw out some cash from ATM, a friend phoned me. The call was from Ladakh. My mind said, “It’s a call. Don’t be a cocoon. Go out. Have some fun”.

The next thing I knew was arriving in Itanagar. I thought I would make some inquiries about train ticket when I’ll get to Guwahati (Assam). First, the train fare is cheap. Second, it would be exploratory.  But I had to give up the idea of boarding a train when I saw huge gatherings at reservation counters. April, May, June and July is a period of great activity in India. A chance to get a ticket during those rush months was virtually nil, so I went to try the flight instead.  A day later; I was far from my hometown, I was in Delhi. Four days later, in Srinagar.

“You must try a Houseboat”, a friend suggested. I obeyed diligently. Two days in a houseboat. Both the toilet and bathroom was attached to a room – within houseboat. There was even a T.V. set in a one corner. I noticed it a day afterwards while packing my backpack as it was veiled by muslin kinda fabric.

The temperature in Delhi was ranging from 40°C – 45°C but it was still wintry in Srinagar. The water was too cold to withstand, so I never dared to take a whole body bath. I ate my Kashmiri breakfast and Kashmiri dinner with houseboat owner and his family members. At night, the wind gently rocks you to sleep in a houseboat. Apart from eating and sleeping, I rowed around the Dal Lake in Shikhara (row-boat) and experienced my first ever snowflakes on my head at Sonamarg while leaving Kashmir for Ladakh.

If I were asked,”What color is the Ladakh?” I would say,” Beige”. Green is my hometown but diminishing bit by bit.

Because of snowfall and road blockage, my travel was limit to monastery and Stupa in Leh. However, I met almost all my Ladakhi friend I had befriended during my school days. They were surprised and pleased to see me in Ladakh. I was pleased I listened to my inner voice, but the better part thought,” Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! The opportunity of a lifetime”.

I returned home very tanned and light. 3 kg lighter than I used to be. So was my bank balance. I had drained almost all my savings. It was a poignant moment. “Don’t fret. Money change hands. Besides, you only Live once”, said my wit.

 

Free-Wheel: Ode to Vehicle

Public transport is a Tata Sumo is a multi utility vehicle.

Tata Sumo! An accepted mode of public transportation in hilly region, which can carry ten passengers in each trip excluding the driver. Three in front, four in the middle and four more in the rear.

However, travelling in it is both extraordinary and a grueling one, especially when you are going via Hoji to Itanagar or Ziro.

Nearly three hours ride of rough road.

Did you ever notice that the onus is always on the passenger no. 3 who usually does the work of a doorman? If a passenger from rear seat need to shed some loads or for some other purpose, it’s no. 3 who has to get off first.

A scrawny passenger like me can be easily tossed about like a roll of dice in an empty vehicle or when it had too few passengers. So I always have had to grab whatever support I could find and hold onto it to stay put in my seat. But, when the vehicle is jam-packed with passengers and I find myself seated between two plump passengers, which may have never happened with you, can instantly reminds me of the thin slice of salami of SUBWAY’s sandwich.

In such lucky hot humid dusty summer day, when perspiration rise from hibernation and tickles every passengers’ foreheads (I guess plump people sweat more than the skinny one) and its odor amalgamate with strong perfume that your co-passenger is wearing to conceal their body odor, then suddenly someone rolled up the window to prevent the dancing dust to get inside the vehicle. I tell myself it’s not a carbon monoxide. This is not a time for your breathing exercise. Inhale it just this once and won’t feel the difference later on.

Then there’s the fare of Tata Sumo. Brand new fare for the passenger travelling to Ziro from Itanagar and vice versa at Rs. 300/-. I reminded the employees at ticket booking counter that it was Rs. 250/- sometimes ago. “Hike in petrol price, they reasoned.” But their faces seem to be saying, “You Moron”.

Increment of Rs. 3/-in petrol price is directly proportionate to Rs. 50/- from each passenger. I said, “You Moron” with my face. I immediately realized, while taking out the Rs. 50/- note from wallet, that I was actually the real moron – you know, he was the first person to use the word and besides I was paying him.

Imagine you are languishing in a hotel owing to Strike/Close/Bandh for three or four days while hotelier is happily lapping up your rapidly running out cash with their worthless but expensive breakfast, lunch and dinner. You spend a wakeful night in a hotel bed, counting the remaining coins and praying “bandh, bandh ho jaye”.

In another trip; in order to escape from money sucking leeches, nauseating Tata Sumo and to deprive the employee at the booking counter of an added argument, I decided to drive my third-hand motorbike to Itanagar. The ride on my motorbike was pretty perfect until my return trip to Ziro.

This time I choose to dodge the rugged road that test your spirit; that test your endurance.

En route, there were almost half a dozen cattle resting on the warmth of bitumen covered road. My eyes were on the road. I remember seeing an ox approaching the resting group. Suddenly two ox packed with full of testosterone and their horns locked against each other, moved swiftly towards me and bumped my motorbike.

The impact of smack was great. But I am amazed; the first thing that occurs to my mind was will I be able to reach home. What if my bike is broken down completely? So I got up to see the damages done to my motorbike. It looked okay. At that moment, I realized that the bone at the ball of the thumb is dislocated. I could clearly hear a sound which was a little familiar – F@%k! – When I was fixing my bone by myself.

Really I am not that very enthusiastic about motor vehicle as I am in to some other things. Bookcase crammed with novels? Yes please. iPod? Definitely yes. PS3? Why not. I can comprehend people’s fondness for their engines. And why the “have-nots” want to have it? I, at any given day, I would settle on hitchhiking rather than maneuvering it – talking to the person on steering and keeping him awake.

Last time when I was at my friend’s place I asked for a car as a present for my “not-in-the-sight-marriage”. I was, in fact, kidding. Have I succeeded to give you a fright, my friend? Don’t worry I would be more than well-contented with the Dslr you are planning to buy from online shop.

I wonder why Department of Transport won’t upgrade all those vintage “blue and sky blue colored buses” that have been plying on the road of Arunachal since time immemorial.

Would it be a sin if I plead to be carried in a clean public transport? Not in freight truck.

Till then, can I hitch a lift with you? We could save some fuel, money and bloodshed. More importantly, I can give you a treat to a plate of “butter chicken and Nan” at Punjabi dhaba in Banderdewa. All on me.