Archives for the month of: April, 2011

From Biratnagar, I wandered off to the hilly district of Dhankuta. The hill town of Dhankuta is the capital of the district that it is named after and nearby is the town of Hile, an entrepot in which traders from Dhankuta, Tehrathum, Bhojpur, Sankhuwasabha, western parts of Taplejung and Panchthar district gather. I have always regarded Hile as the Timbuktu of Purba. The traditional houses of Dhankuta have their own flavor, they are generally made of mud or wood, are multi-storied  and narrow and have wooden balconies . The Balcony is the nevus of the Dhankuta house. With cement and concrete devouring the old mud/wood houses, the balconies are finding themselves on the path to oblivion. In the era of apathy, I decided to be empathetic to these forsaken balconies of Dhankuta and Hile. Nepal is on the road to oblivion too due to the ruthlessness of our apathy. As the clouds of modernization and urbanization gather over Dhankuta, I wonder what little will remain of our identity, as manifested in small details like the balcony of a house.

Newari style window

Newari Style Window Balcony in Dhankuta

Insidious Steel Rods Creep into This Newari Balcony

Another Newari Style House in Dhankuta, with Flower Pots

The Titular Wooden Balcony (Above Kirana Dukan)

Rarity Even in Kathmandu: A Cast Iron Balcony with Wooden Framework. Possibly Imported from Calcutta

Two Storied Balcony House (Mud and Stone House with Cement Plaster)

Double Storied Balcony with Contrasting Construction Materials (Tin and Wood)

A Balcony Influenced by Mithila Art (Mud and Stone House)

Wide Angle View of the House in the Last Picture

Deep Purple

A Balcony without Railings Used to Showcase Flowerpots

Compartmentalized Balcony, (A Manifestation of Anshabanda)

This House Has Got Them Blues (Located in Hile)

The Rise of Tin

Meghalaya.

Origin of Word: Sanskrit

Word Structure: Megh + Alaya

Megh = Cloud

Alaya = Abode

Translation: Abode of the Cloud

Next stop was Meghalaya, a small hilly state in India surrounded by Assam and Bangladesh. An oddity among the states of India, 70% of the population is Christian (A statistics shared with Mizoram and Nagaland). Its capital is a hill station called Shillong. Cherapunji is located in this state. Cherapunji is rainiest place on the planet and receives 463.7 inches of rainfall every year. I visited this odd little corner in the Indian Sub-Continent. The main ethnic group of Meghalaya is the Khasi, a matriarchal group where people adopt the surname of their mother. And they are mostly Christians. In a country where Hinduism is the majority, Meghalaya has a Hindu minority (13%).

The Hills of Cherapunji

The Streets of Shillong

A small settlement on the Highway in Meghalaya

The Hills of Meghalaya

Sleeping by the Clouds

A View of the Nohkalikai Falls

Tourist Looking around in Cherapunji

An Old Man Observing Boropani, a Man Made Lake

Boropani Again

A Man in Shillong

The Mystical Brahmaputra River

My train was headed to Guwahati, the capital of the eastern Indian state of Assam. Guwahati is located on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra river which has an average depth of 124 metres. The mystical Brahmaputra river along with the famed Kamakhya temple are obviously the star attractions of Guwahati.

Brahmaputra River as Seen from Guwahati

The City of Guwahati which lies on the South Bank of the Brahmaputra River

The Queue Outside Nava Graha Temple on a Hill overlooking the Brahmaputra River

Brahmaputra River Ferries

A "Garbage Recycler"0n the Banks of the Brahmaputra River

Ferry Boats of Brahmaputra (Modeled after the Nortorious Junks of Hong Kong)

To Umananda Temple (Located on an Island on the Brahmaputra River)

The Island where Umananda Temple is Located

People Working on the Banks of the Brahmaputra River

The Brahmaputra River!

Water Cycle!

Boats on Dry Land

New Jalpaiguri Junction is a railroad junction on the outskirts of Siliguri, the second largest city in the Indian state of West Bengal. I had to catch a train, took pictures of the NJP junction for about an hour and took time familiarizing myself with the monster that is India.

A Bored Bookseller at NJP

On the train tracks stained by feces , I found myself in a wholly different ecosystem. Different from the India envisioned on celluloid, this is the raw flesh of India.

A Sadhu in the State of Oblivion

1.2 billion people inhabit India (1,200,000,000). That is 12 followed by eight zeros. It is a rising economy and already outperformed its former colonial master (The Brits).

Freight Trains at NJP

Thou Shalt not Sleep on Top of the Cargo

New Jalpaiguri

New Jalpaiguri Junction

Public Health Procedures

Anything goes in India

Not Everyone Gets A Piece Of the CakeNot Everyone Gets a Piece of the Cake

A Train Arrives at NJP

A Locomotive Engine

Outskirts of NJP Junction

Returned back from Biratnagar. The heat goes on in Biratnagar, used to spend long days over there just wiping sweat off my forehead. It used to be so hot and there used to be so little electricity. Used to read my sahitya during the hot days to fill up my head that had been emptied by SLC exams which is controlled by silk suited horned men with tails. My head is not a balloon, I don’t fill it with air like the government wants you to, like the businessmen want you to, like the doctor wants you to. I am the KrantiKarki, the revolution is gonna come to your computer screen and my magical fingertips that type the magic spell will weave the magic that will short circuit your computer. (HAHAHAHAA!!!!)

Grandfather’s ancient TV was dying in Biratnagar, its antenna bowed down in sadness signifying the disease that was eating its Cathode tube. The TV programmer is responsible. I used to like Hindi music long time ago. Now it is rotting from overuse of miniskirts and copying others and copying each other. I used to respect the News a long time ago too. Now it is rotting from the fear that guides all respectable journalists to tell us keep us eating and eating and eating and make our head a balloon full of air for increased safety from the revolution that will kill humanity. I used to admire films. Now it is rotting from its aversion to innovations, do what we tell you to do and tell everybody to do it too. In the heat everything is rotting itself to oblivion.

O
B
L
I
V
I
O
N

Oblivion means the state of forgetting about everything. Close your eyes and forget everything. Remember nothing. Remembering is bad for health, thinking is bad for your mind. That is the present pedagogy, that is how we do everything.

E
V
E
R
Y
T
H
I
N
G

Everything means fake reality and distraction built by the demons who had killed the gods.

D
E
M
O
N

Everybody has a demon inside them, chewing their intestines and sucking their blood from their aorta. Everybody is dying from their demons.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT??????????????
Just forget it. Oblivion is death. You need to die to forget.