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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An invitation of hike

During a weekend meeting, Dr. Kanno asked me if I want to go for a hike. I was somewhat diffident to join him as I got drenched with rain while I was returning home from my place of work. I thought I was going to catch a cold, but it was an invitation I couldn’t refuse.

The minute I reached home I plugged in my camera to a socket to charge it.

At night, he SMSed me to tell the time of departure.

The next day we were accompanied by three other hikers. One of them was actually going to check the trap he set for the rat at his privately-owned forest. My fellow hikers informed me that Ziro, of late, is experiencing a mass migration of rats. Since the meat of rat is considered as exotic delicacy by many, hence the rat-trap.

I don’t want to bore anyone with the text. . . So please go ahead. . .

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.

 

Ziro, in Spring.

Myoko festival was coming to an end. One more ritual ‘moreh éha la’ was yet to be performed in a community forest to give thanks to the God of the Forest for endowing with rich resources.

A band of brothers set out on such journey to proffer their deference. And I was a part of the family.

As soon as we passed by pine grove, the fragrance of pines tingle our nostrils. And there were beds of infinitesimal wild flowers for our eyes. And each tiny flower was no longer than 3-5mm in diameters. I took shots after shots until the Li-ion was totally exhausted.

We mounted a few hills. When we were surrounded by many more hills, a member of the family finally announced the end of our journey. We were encircled by the splendors of spring, and it reduced me to silence.

. . . . . . 

Yes, I am hopelessly in love with the wonder and beauty of nature.

Calls of the wild

A day before, rain showered down on the valley. It had moistened the dusty roads. It had washed away all the dirt from the leaves. Finally the forest had come to life again. It flourishes with all the unfathomable colors.

I looked at the emerald hills and got lost. My deep emotion corresponds equally with the beckoning of forest. I asked myself,” What am I doing here in cubicle?” I was not tied up. I was free to tramp for a day in the wilderness (sic) – under the thick canopy of trees, in the midst of ferns.

As I approached their turf, a dash of purplish violet welcomed me and it accompanied me on my trail. Even the skies seemed to be bathed in violet, though the dark clouds were rapidly advancing to fill the entire expanse.

For four hours I walked, listen to the rhymes of brook and tried to capture the details of undergrowth.

In the forest, day really turns to dusk quite quickly. I speed up my pace to get back to the world of oafish and illogical chaos.