Sunday, August 27, 2006

Assam - Concluding post

I want to make the concluding post on my trip to Assam today, it is a long overdue post. I wanted to write much earlier but ran out of inspiration (to write, to blog)! What I say is true, right now I feel a burst of energy. The mind is interesting, I like the way it lacks consistency, and perhaps because it does, we are predisposed to move to newer terrains..... I am digressing now, what I wanted to say in my last post on Assam is a comment on its captivating countryside.

We understand that it is not often that people go on a holiday to Assam, neither did I, it is on a work trip that I went there for and luckily for me, discovered the treasures of Nature on a land so tarred by separatist movements. The basis of these movements has largely been economic – after Independence, a prosperous State had its economic indexes fall rapidly which gave reasons for the formation of militant groups along ethnic lines. The ULFA (United Liberation front of Assam) and the NDFB (National Democratic Front of Bodoland) are two of the most prominent insurgent groups in Assam. The former, whose primary demand is the separate State of Assam, has been classified as a “terrorist” organization by the Government of India and presently, a military offensive is on against it. NDFB, on the other hand has been spearheading a movement for autonomy for the Bodo people by pressing for a separate state for them, called Bodoland. The Bodos are the largest ethnic group in Assam, concentrated mostly in the north-western parts of the State, which includes Kokrajhar and Bongaingaon districts. With a ceasefire declared since 2001 and with the formation of the Bodoland Territorial Council, an autonomous administrative body, there is peace in the area.
This is what my local host, a Bodo lady, was very keen to communicate: that there is peace now, after nearly two-decades of fear and bloodshed. Perhaps it is difficult to believe it without visiting; but there is no way one can deny that to oneself when one is in the arms of Nature – the pure country breeze gently caressing the skin, the miles after miles of the richest hues of greens and blues, the coconut palms, the betel nut trees, the mighty Brahmaputra river, the fantastic pineapples, the smiling faces of the Bodo women clad in traditional dokhonas and the soft-spoken Bodo men. Driving on the highway between Guwahati to Kokrajhar is a soulful experience – the highway is an outright pleasure (admittedly, I hadn’t imagined that the road would be this good); the bridge over the Brahmapurta river left me spellbound: it seemed to me at that time to be the most harmonious confluence of modern technology and Nature. So taken aback was I that I forgot to stop to click some shots. I will regret that, till I can go back there again. The eateries on the highway is a haven of sorts for fish eaters, especially. I haven’t eaten more delicious fish than this in recent times.

There are no “places to see” as such and even if there is, I could not find out about them in that short period; what leaves me with a delightful aftertaste is the 6-hour drive through Bodoland. Coming to think of it I don’t think any “place to see” if it is there, can stand upto the captivating countryside of this region.

I am fond of maps, so I am pasting one here. I also have the last lot of pictures to share.


Sigma said...

This is a beautiful post, Ambrosia. It is good to read about your impressions of Assam. Most of us, who still believe that it is a place inhabited by terrorists and torn by strife, would stand corrected; maybe even inspired by the description of its natural beauty to visit, sooner or later.

jhantu said...

as always sweetheart ur pictures are way way too beautiful..

Queen B said...

hi there, i enjoyed all the posts and pictures on assam. truly beautiful. i know what you mean about the natural beauty... (i was born in digboi and lived in duliajan till i was 5 years old)
i have never seen such a rich deep mysterious green and so many shades of it in any other place! thanks for the lovely pics.

jhantu said...

when do we next get to see some more of ur rustic snaps?

Rajesh Dangi said...

elaborative and very much informative. like the snaps too..

the words "Tourist map of assam" clicked something in mind..touring in Assam felt like strange concept, honestly it looks so beutiful but threr seems no focus in india to cultivate trourism unlike some countries which only thrive on it...

Sigma said...

Ambrosia, no activity on your blog for a while now; hoping to see some soon. And I have tagged you, if it helps :-)
Check out Idle Thoughts for the tag.