Bringing Babo Home

Myoko – a socio-religious festival of Apatani community – will begin from 20th March. That’s just over two months away. The activity has already started. Some clans have already fetched their Babo. Today it was our turn. Tamo-Roto Babo on her way to Bamin village. DSCN4214







Some more exercise, little merrymaking before lunch
Some more exercise, little merrymaking before lunch
Nico, a frenchman, took the
Nico, a Frenchman, took the second prize in the high jump competition. 🙂




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

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Gayal. In Apatani, we call them “Subu”. And to the Apatani people, it means wealth. It is considered as wealth because it plays important role in economical, social and cultural life of Apatani community of North-East India.

My father used to own a fair numbers when he was still alive, when he was still strong.

Long before he was misdiagnosed with tuberculosis; long before he endured grueling treatment of tuberculosis medicines – he actually had a lung cancer and died from lung cancer – the numbers of gayal dwindled terribly. I was away at boarding school in Delhi. And he couldn’t tend to them like he did it before. Eventually we lost all our bovines to Swpya, or so they say. I don’t know what Swpya really look like. I’ve never seen one in my life – alive or dead. Some call it a wolf. I guess it might be. Anyway, at least they served their purpose of being in the food chain. And served it well.

To make a long story short, Gayals are very fond of salt. The one with tongue out that we’re seeing in a picture was stalking me. Unfortunately, I didn’t carry any salt in my backpack. So I shove my empty hand out at her – hoping without hope to lick it – she licked anyway. The touch of her warm tongue on my palm was healing and divine experience. It reminds me of old times – herding the gayals in the forest with my father.


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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.

Siro village in the morning hours
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


DSCN8717The weed on culvert



DSCN8809The cave


DSCN8838The bell outside Menga temple

DSCN8846A Tagin house

DSCN8864Suspension bridge

DSCN8865Nearly half-way through the bridge

DSCN8880On the way back

DSCN8881End of the story