With this post, I begin a worthy purpose of introducing an ethereal place which I believe, is not much familiar to the rest of the country. The true identity of the place & its people are suppressed underneath the cloud of political clashes. It has its share of pain but it’s high time to acknowledge its mesmerizing beauty. Unfortunately, the turbulence acquires resonance & its essence is ignored often. I am talking about the place I hail from – Assam. It breaks my heart to see how this serene land is getting depleted & defamed. It might have been in news for the wrong reasons but I envision presenting before you an Assam that is so blessed that everyone deserves to bath in its glory.
While studying in Punjab, I was surprised to learn that there are people in this nation who do not even know where Assam is. Some managed to recall “wahan jahan chai banti he?” Result of their poor schooling, weak geographical traits or conservative nature? I can’t say. It always disappoints me to find Indians who do not even know the most basic things about their own country. I vividly remember my father keeping me up to date with all the states, their chief ministers, capitals (precisely current affairs) since I joined school. I bagged prizes in Quiz only because of him. That was when, I learned to think of India as one.
When I think of my life in Assam, I remember being happy always. I liked going to the Namghar(Assamese worshiping place), devouring on the Prasad, celebrating & dancing Bihu, relishing the greenery & adoring the scenic vistas in monsoon. The simplicity of that society & the warmth of it make me wonder if such a relaxed & laid back lifestyle is possible in today’s daily grind.
Once, my mom was seriously ill & my father had to take her to another town for treatment. That was the first ever time in my life I stayed alone. I was just 11 years old. Cooking was a stranger to me. But the aunt in my neighborhood called me up, prepared meals for me, made me snacks & sent me to school. When my parents were back, many families offered to serve them dinner.
If you have a reason to celebrate, the entire community would be at your place to participate & arrange for the occasion. If you are in a sticky situation, everyone would give a hand to pull you out of it.
The mighty Brahmaputra
Assam is the land of lofty blue hills, green-golden paddy fields, evergreen forest with palm and bamboo groves & the torrential Brahmaputra: the only male river in the entire nation. Famous for its one-horn Rhino, Assam is a natural habitat of numerous flora & fauna.The tribes account for its diversity & various dialects. Majuli (886 sq km), on the Brahmaputra is the largest river island in the world. The gorgeous manicured tea estates interplanted with acacia trees adds to the charm. Dibrugarh is called as the tea city of the world and produces the finest of tea. However, traditionally Assam is the assembler of high quality silk, called pat and Muga, and a major reservoir of oil and natural gas. Assam accommodates nearly 800 species of Orchids in their natural state. The ‘Kapowphool’ (Rhyncostylis Retusa) is widely popular orchid. The gamosa (a white embroidered scarf bordered with red) is a special part of the traditional costume. And the pH-balanced unique banana-alkaline extract dish called khar is another specialty.
One requires to discover this unexplored treasure adorned with equally pleasant climate & affectionate people, to have some serendipitous moments in life!