A season of harvest

It’s harvest time. The coat of green has changed into golden.

Bustle, bustle, bustle – for the ears are frail and about to drop.

While the sun shines, while the crops are still standing.

Before the plunge of hailstorm, before the spray of October rain.

The farmers are hurrying towards the field.

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Gear: mobile phone camera                                                                                                 

Location: Ziro, India

Ziro Festival of Music: 2nd Edition

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The ZFM Poster

Ziro Festival of Music was marshaled for the second time in a row. The venue of the event was once again the picturesque place – Biirii, which sit amid paddy fields and just 5 km away from Hapoli town.

ZFM managed to line up a large numbers of bands which include Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley and the Dust, Sky Rabbit, Polar Lights, Menwhopause, Digital Suicide, Sulk Station, Peter Cat Recoding Co among others.

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The ticket to the ZFM 2013

Entry ticket was priced at Rs. 1000/- (which is equivalent to 17 US dollars approx) for each day event. However, they were giving a discount of Rs. 500/- on three days pass. That was ZFM in a nutshell. On the whole, ZFM is awfully ambitious event.

May I add some of my reflections… Well, despite tight budget, I somehow pulled off…  I managed to show up for the last day event. On second thought; Lee Ranaldo and his guitar did the trick, I am not a great fan of alternative rock or fusion genre though. Jack Johnson suits me well. However, it was great to see Lee Ranaldo and his band up on the main stage.

I was kind of expecting to witness a huge crowds gathering on the last day. But sparse collect was disappointing, indeed. There’s no denying the fact that ZFM received a wide publicity. I’m sure it’ll grow in the days to come as it is still young. Maybe, Ziro per se is yet to make a mark on the world map.

My best wishes to ZFM organizers for all the efforts. I had a great time.

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The venue – Bwrw, the heart of the Ziro town
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Music binds us all
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Motley audience
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Tag line of the ZFM: Eat, Drink, Merry

The line-ups:

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Sulk Station
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Polar Lights
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The Bicycle Days
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Sky Rabbit
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Menwhopause
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Lee Ranaldo
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Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley and The Dust

A lemon tree and her visitors

“That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet.” ― Emily Dickinson

IMG_3019 (The lemon tree)
The Lemon Tree

Two meters away from my bedroom window, close to our granary, we have a lemon tree. It used to bear massive and delicious lemons. Once I asked my mother how it got there. She told me that my sisters may have planted it while I was in boarding school.

Over the years, we’ve harvested its produce countless times. Sometimes it would give us a plentiful harvest; at other times good. My mother would take it to the market to sell whenever reap would be plenteous. But, many a time, we would just give it away to our friends and relatives to share the grace. Then there were our neighborhood that would slyly sneak in our property, but its robust spikes had often thwarted their ambitions.

As time goes on; as year turned into years. Everything begins to fade away. Our lemon tree is also showing us the sign that she has grown old. I’ve tried to prune its withered branches, but it didn’t help her much. Still it bears fruit, but the size has reduced to a tiny ball. Of late, despite her age, she began to attract a lot of new visitors. She‘s getting on quite well with feral birds, besides the fact that it has been a playground for numerous house sparrows ever since she attained three meters in height.

Some months ago, I saw a beautiful white bird with a long tail perched on its branch. I couldn’t believe what I witnessed. A fine looking bird on our lemon tree! In the heart of Hapoli town! Since I’d never seen this beautiful bird in my entire life, I thought it must be new specie. So I used to address him/her as an “Angel bird” until someone told me its name – Asian Paradise flycatcher. For two days, Angel bird would come, groom and hop about for hours while hiding among the branches. Though it has never visited our lemon tree again, but its majestic look was permanently etched on my mind, will remain there till the last breath.

That wasn’t the beginning of the end for visitors. Among others, the Tits were also enrolled in the list.

In another incident; it was rather very early morning when I was woken up by birds chirping. As I opened the window a crack, I saw two Red-vented Bulbuls alighting on a branch. Two were already there – settled on nearby branch. House Sparrows consider our lemon tree as their own, their recreational area. So they were trying to scare away the new visitors. Despite their boisterous chirpings, they were unable to budge the Bulbuls.

After the flight of the Bulbuls, the lemon tree has become the dominion of Sparrows again. Not for long, though. The Bulbuls have kept returning to our lemon tree since last few days.

Needless to say, this chapter will pass. Nothing stays same forever. Someday we all are going to make our exit – at destined time. Our lemon tree. The sparrows. The Bulbuls. Money. Friends. Happiness. Grief. You. And me. However, I’m enjoying every bit of it while it last. I’ll cherish our lemon tree while I still can and I’ll miss her when she’ll be not around.  By the way, who can tell whose numbers will be up first?

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Asian-Paradise flycatcher
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Red-vented bulbul

Living the life, in a fateful way

I know it’s been quite long since I shared anything on wordpress.

The fact of the matter is that I have committed a great folly. Maybe folly is the wrong choice of word; fate can be more apt as we become powerless in the face of destiny.

Well, in one of my jungle trips with my friends, I misstepped on a slippery log of wood and fell down, landing at the bottom of the river with all my photographic equipments. I tried to rise above the water almost immediately, but in all this sudden chaotic happening (I don’t know why our mind tend to shut out our thinking capability in such instance) I lose my grip on camera and it was dropped again. I fished them out instantly. But the damages had already been done. I knew it was gone – forever.

It wasn’t a single deed that day, which poked my agonized mind; in addition I botched my spin cast reel which was gifted to me by my sister and the mobile phone I purchased with my three months salary.

It really hurts even more to relive those moments. However, I am a tad reassured that my mobile phone is functioning well.

Next I went to a mechanic with my finger crossed that he might be able to help me out. My heart broke again when he told me that he cannot mend the camera and it has to be sent somewhere else. I really don’t know now whether it can be mended at all.

The hours of separation are one thing, and then there is a question if I will be able to afford another one.  Maybe in a year or maybe not.

It’s easy for someone who’s not going through it to say, ‘Oh, well just hang in there,’ but what else can you say to them besides your weary smile.

If emotion is all part of life and life is dictated by fate, then I think it’s okay to curse and cry and be angry and frustrated at fate – it help us to overcome all the hurdles and laugh at your fate.

Until my camera is being fixed, please enjoy the mobile photo upload of Ziro valley.

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Siro village in the morning hours
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Sunny afternoon (Ziro valley)

Out I go again!

 “If adventure has a final and all-embracing motive, it is surely this: we go out because it is our nature to go out, to climb mountains, and to paddle rivers, to fly to the planets and plunge into the depths of the oceans… When man ceases to do these things, he is no longer man.”    — Wilfrid Noyce

DSCN9294a late night shower restored all the greenness in plant

DSCN9303the slope of a hill fully blanketed with natural colors

DSCN9317couldn’t stop myself from taking a picture of wildflowers

DSCN9328here’s another one

DSCN9338one more

DSCN9349cooked our rice in beer cans

DSCN9358meantime, friends fishing with bare hands in rivulet

DSCN9355the catch

DSCN9373also this…

DSCN9329a friend preparing to cook our catch in a bamboo

DSCN9353roasted bacon – to test the strength our jawbones…

DSCN9380end of the episode

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

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DSCN8717The weed on culvert

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DSCN8809The cave

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DSCN8838The bell outside Menga temple

DSCN8846A Tagin house

DSCN8864Suspension bridge

DSCN8865Nearly half-way through the bridge

DSCN8880On the way back

DSCN8881End of the story

January is a month of Murung

Penii Iniin is one of the most interesting parts of Murung festival of Apatani community. It is a procession interlaced with both by custom and exhilaration. I guess it is a kind of Brazilian carnival, but of a small size. It doesn’t happen every year, though.

This year, I opted out of Penii as photography seemed more tempting. Hence,

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 For more information on Murung: http://arunachalipr.gov.in/StateFestival_Murung.htm