Monday, July 7, 2014

Dharamkot and Tushitha

Finally we traveled like regular tourists. We went to Dharamkot, a small village further up from Mcleodganj just after the Bhagsu Nag mandir. We stayed in a homestay and what a different world it is. Mcleodganj is way too crowded. Narrow roads, traffic and congestion, shopping places, restaurants all squeezed into the hill top and no wonder people claimed that it is no longer the small non descriptive tibetan hamlet it used to be.

We stayed at a homestay run by Ria, a german who settled in india some 26 years back after marrying an Indian. It's a decent place  and doesnt hurt your pocket and bonus being able to taste some yummy cakes prepared by Ria. Her children are sweet and we had a great stay at their place.

One day we went up to Gallu temple from where the trek route to Triund peaks will start. Tirund trek is one of the easily accessible treks to himalayas. I birded for an hour at the temple and bagged two beauties - the rufous sibia and the black-headed jay. The rufous sibia calls echoed in the valley, the breeze, the view of the valley and the mountains, the music from the sitar being played in one of the hotel rooms all made the two hours spent a top the hill memorable. I vowed to return to the place to bird for couple of days and probably sight the Himalayan monal and trek the Triund peak sometime.

Black-headed Jay (Garrulus lanceolatus)
Black-headed Jay

Rufous Sibia (Heterophasia capistrata)
Rufous Sibia

Green-backed tit (Parus monticolus)
Green-backed Tit

Bar-tailed Treecreeper

After these lifers (birds), we headed back to the homestay and had lunch enroute. Since our kid cannot trek up all the way we had to hire a taxi, but the next day went to check the trek route which is different from the motorable road till Gallu Devi temple. As we were about to reach the homestay, dark clouds covered the whole valley and we were virtually chased by clouds and covered by them as we hurried our way to home. Within minutes after we reached home, it poured for an hour. We experienced the down pour in a himalayan valley

The above photo was taken at 1 pm when clouds covered and went past our room. It rained heavily. Before the rains we roamed around Dharamkot, especially the upper dharamkot where a settlement of Israelis exists. This small place is a hub of visitors from across the globe. You can encounter people from various countries living out of the place. Israelis predominantly live here and many restaurants have sign boards in hebrew and israeli food available in many small eatouts and cafes.

The next day we visited the Bagsu nag temple only to realise how much we are loving the serenity and calmness of the place. The temple is crowded with noisy regular tourists littering the place and we felt like running away. We decided not to walk the 700 mts to the crowded waterfall and hired an auto to drop is at Tushita, the buddhist meditation center. What a contrast it was, absolutely calm and wonderful location amidst forest. We had one of our wonderful experiences walking down the small road to the institute. The institute offer 10 day residential introduction course to buddhism and almost everyday(except for few) at 9-30 am they are open for public for an one hour meditation practise . Visitors were requested to maintain silence and we had a quiet and memorable visit. A place worth exploring in future.

We cut short our stay as my wife hurt her knee slipping off couple of times and we went back without trying the "family pizza"shop in Dharamkot which is apparently famous for pizza baked on stove that runs on wood. I could not try some Israeli cuisine too reserving it for next visit. I would recommend staying in dharamkot than in Mcleod ganj for the charm of small and nice neighbourhood. Gagan resorts where we tried lunch served nice food, but I would recommend staying in any home stays in Dharamkot than the hotels.

Let me close this post with a view of the pine, rhodendoron, deodar (dominating) forests of Dharamkot that I tried capturing on my mobile with a vertical composition experiment

The forests of Dharamkot, Himachal

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monsoon arrives

Last week went in a jiff. I am trying to recollect what happened in a week. The sunday started off with taking the kids of Nishtha for bird watching. The kids, I hope had a good time. I showed them the swallow nest and I had a lifer- Speckled Piculet. Noticeable change is the weather from past one week . Monsoon arrived and the weather is very humid. So we are getting used to a routine of bright mornings, overcast and rainy afternoon and clear evenings. I have been told that come July, it rains almost all throughout the day. But the sights of the hills and mountains are different now, with clouds playing hide and seek with the mountains and prediction of rain gets tard easy - Snow-caps not visible- Rain is arriving, Clear- Snow caps- No chance of rain for next 1-2 hours

Since the rains started, the water supplied through pipes gets murky and we started bringing water from a source from where many people in our neighborhood bring. Here is the picture of the cleaner and portable water source

Apparently the source of this water is from under the ground not a lake up in the hills as told earlier to me,  hence the water won't be murky despite of heavy rain.We boil this water and have it for drinking to be on safer side as the rains arrived. We regularly watch people go here to bring drinking water in the morning and the evenings. Kids join adults in bringing water home and they do help them in the farm too.

On Wednesday, our aunty finally announced that they are sowing seeds in their farm and I was more than happy to join them. I had my breakfast while they had their heavy breakfast and around 10 we reached the farm. By then uncle had started getting the field ready with bulls hauling the plough on the soil that was soaked with water. Here we go out to sowing

 I was expecting to sow some paddy but then they explained that they follow a different process where soaked paddy with sprouts are sprayed around. So step 1 was to clean the water filled portions of the field with a plough that has a flat and wide end. The fields were already plough-ed with the regular one, one week ahead.

Farming at Kangra valley - Himachal

As the flat-ploughing completed, we started step-2 where we jumped in and cleaned up the previous crops leftovers pulled out by the plough and we bury some of the leftovers under the mud and some we dump on the bunds that separates the portions of farm. We worked for an hour bending our backs and I got a hang of how they collect them by wading ones hands through the mud water. (reminded me of a "Pied avocet" feeding- google for it). By then dark clouds gathered and I had to take break for lunch just when it started raining.

Later in the evening, I joined them for step-3 is where we sprayed the seeds all over the place with hands. I was told that after 20-25 days, they plough the land and then align the sprouts in a linear fashion and add dung and goat, sheep droppings as natural fertilizer. The yield will be ready by December and they need to monitor the fields regularly but the major task is done.

Mid-week, we decided to cook some chicken. Since we live at one end of the village high up, so walking down and hiking up is tiring, so we decided to go to the next village further up to pick up chicken. So I ended up hiking 4 kms to get half kg of chicken. Phew never did I worked so hard to get some chicken.

Meanwhile I started taking english  classes for few students at Nishtha and it's a good experience.
Working with Nishtha also helped us understand the problems of the community. Domestic violence and alcoholism are a major problem which often resulted in single women striving to survive. Nishtha and jagori,  the two ngo's in the village work towards women empowerment, especially those of single women who were either deserted by men or those who chose to live a better life being single, away from the abuse. I have heard multiple instances of single women who deserted their husbands after surviving the violence for years and now living in dignity earning a decent livelihood in the village. They are sure an inspiration to many more. But the violence does have an impact on the young minds, especially the teenage girls who do not have a great opinion about marriage.

This week we are planning to go to Dharamkot a village further up from Mcleod ganj and stay there for couple of days. More birding and some regular tourist like sight-seeing on the cards. I am looking forward to the experiences :)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Birding - Rainbow- Farming-Doc visit

The heading pretty much sums up the last few days. I have been able to bird almost every day. Mornings starts with watering the plants at our mini farm and then off I go birding to the close-by place. I had some interesting sightings and lifers. I could not stop myself from walking higher up anticipating to see more birds.
I could see roads and I see the paths used by people and ponies ferrying goods to trek up the hills. Although little tiring the traditional routes enables you to walk further up the hills quicker. I have met herders, school going kids, workers, job goers all taking the paths and few of them inquired what I am up to. I shared my binoculars with some and explained to others about my interest in birds. Overall I never felt threatened or intimidated at any point of time. Warm people and beautiful land enabling experiences

Few days back we had a thunderstorm followed by a rainbow. At one end we could see bright sun setting and another end a storm that was about to finish it's task. The skies were beautiful with clouds and bright colors all around. I tried capturing it but felt like having a wide angle lens.

 The ladies finger seeds didn't sprout up as much as we wished to as it rained heavily the day after we planted the seeds. So this week we planted some chillies saplings. So my routine every morning and evening would be spending 30 minutes watering them gently.

Last week also made us visit the clinic run by Nishtha as our son started vomiting. He recovered in a day but still a little tender. The clinic run by Nishtha do not charge for consulting  and charges for medicines alone. It's a decent clinic in a nice building with few beds for those who needed attention.My frequency of visits to Nishtha and interaction with children increased and this weekend sangita- the nishtha volunteer and I are planning to take the children for a bird watching session.  

Monday, June 9, 2014

Environment Day-Vultures and Meadows

Here I am back with some updates. The world  environment day was a hectic day. Nishtha kids prepared a puppet show on environment theme and they planned to do that in 3 schools. I missed the first show as I went hiking up and down the road to buy some groceries.  But I managed to jon the second one in a primary school in a small village named Chakvan , some 4 kms uphill from rakkar. Two trips in the jeep on barely existing road later we started setting up the screen and props. The kids enjoyed the play and the creator of the play sangita interacted with the kids.
Past the play the kids danced danced and had their part of fun. I managed to capture little innocence here.



All smiles

We trekked down with props while the jeep went to drop the kids and 3 kids joined us till their home enroute. 

Eventually we reached rakkar and the kids had fun playing with the water from the aqueduct. 
In the evening we went to the eurokids campus near norbungla tibetan institute and this time since the kids would be late to home we adults managed the show with the recorded dialogues of the kids. We wrapped up the day with some snacks and reached home at 8-30 PM. Its a satisfying day as we went around spreading the message of garbage seggregation on the world environment day.

Back to morning hikes. Two days back along with my son we took a deroute and trekked up a small road up to a meadow and the view from the meadow was a memorable one. We finally spotted the Common cuckoo whose call we kept hearing almost every morning. It goes cuckoo-cukoo. Let the picture speak more about the place.


The long trek today means our son skipped the anganwadi school that day. He liked the school and he ate the snacks and food served there. The food they offer to kids is very good and nutritional and they asked us to send him with a empty lunchbox to pack his lunch to home. Nishtha supports many anganwadis and schools in close by villages with quality food supplies and monitor them. They carry supplies every week and deliver them to the schools. Our son was the oldest of all in the school and dispelled all my worries about him managing the show despite of language barrier. I wonder how he reacts when he grows up knowing that he once went to this small school in himachal for few months. Our landlords son too goes there. its fun watching the kids promptly came out and wave to the 10 am bus driver and the driver too acknowledged them by honking and waving. 

Few days back when I went bird watching, at around 8-30am, I saw vultures swooping down the valley. I got curious and hiked further to see what interested them. The hike made my day. I walked 500 mts through pine forest to see a big group of himalayan vultures on the ground.. running.. jumping.. some of them crossing the road. Apparently a dead cow I guess had attracted them. Mighty wings, big bills, funny walk made it an  unforgettable experience. I counted at least 15 and more flying around. Here are some pictures and video for you. I could not click better as I needed to head back and I didn't want to disturb them.'

Himalayan and Eurasian Griffon

I also got to know that as monsoon starts the locals take their cattle up hill and leave them in a meadow only to return in september to search and find them and take them back. They trek for 4-5 hrs to the meadow next to a glacier with their cattle. I asked my landlord to take me along and he mentioned that every year he takes few people with him and a newbie almost everytime. I am itching to try that.

That's it for now. Keep coming back for more

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Mela and fun

Last few days was buzzing with social life. We were invited for a lunch at didis place and we had a great time. Wifey prepared sambar for didi and maya along with some chutnies and kheer. We topped the lunch with a vanilla icecream with mangoes. Ginger loved virat and he enjoyed petting their cat

Talk of weather close to the mountains and we now have enough experiences. The weather here changes so rapildy that its not easy to predict. This time of the year wind is a constant factor and we dont need a fan. One can constantly hear the buzz of wind throughout the night and the flow of water from the aqueducts adds spice to it. A bright sunny day can suddenly change and it can start pouring while a big downpour can be followed by clear skies and beautiful views of sunlit skies and mountains.  Last sunday we are supposed to have mela in rakkar but weather gods had other plans. Hailstorm followed by consistent downpour made the mela doubtful.  But boy after 3 pm it all cleared up and the mela was on.

Spring and summer in this part of himachal are abuzz with melas in many towns and villages. This owing to the fact that people can step out of their homes due to relatively pleasant weather. So last sundays turn was rakkar. We had food stalls preparing jilebis, onion pakoras, momos,chicken, mutton, kulfis, icecreams, tikka, chat, golgappa to name a few and we have shops selling items of interest for women and kids alike.  Vegetable vendors, some fun games, joy rides for kids were all part of mela. The limelight of the evening for sure were the wrestling or kusthi matches. One can see kids from 7-8 years to young and adults participating in the matches. I tried some photography of those matches and here are some results.

Interestingly both winner and looser gets paid small amount. A guy goes around  the ring drumming all  through the while. The winner will be tickmarked  on his chest with a marker and looser will have be cross-marked. The atmosphere around was buzzing. People of all ages enjoyed watching the matches. People in fact came in cars, bikes and on foot from other places and went around the place eating and shopping. We tried some food and our kid enjoyed almost all the rides. Some smart guy sold masala dosa and our taste buds could not resist tasting them, though we ended up paying a premium price. The dosa was decent but sambar was a disaster as it was spoilt and smelled aweful. Wifey floated an idea of setting a south indian food stall in such melas and I am very much for it :)

Nishtha, the local ngo organised a puppet show with environment as theme and the kids at nishtha performed it well backed by good practise. Sangitha volunteered to train the kids. Sowjanya followed it with a shadow puppet show for kids which I had to miss as virat was ready to sleep. It was a great experience and we returned home happy and content.

Meanwhile I managed to sow bindhi seeds at small patch of 3x3 sqft plot at sulochana aunties farm. Its fun learning the process as she guided me. The part of field was filled with water for complete day. Water from the nearest stream was drawn simply by placing few boulders which naturally pushed water to the farm. Next day I dug it up a little and leveled it with hand and droppings of goat,cow  and hen  were added to it as natural manure.  Post that I pushed in small seeds into the soil with little pressure and hold on don't close them yet since you need to know where you had the seed and where you didn't.  End of it close all pits with hand leveling it again. Dont water it until you see saplings emerging. Here are some photos from the activity.  I am waiting for the seeds to spring to life.

Apart from all this we went visiting close by places with our aunt guiding us last Saturday. We took the 2 pm bus to a village named tong which lies on the Dharmashala-palampur highway.Its ride of a lifetime for me. The bus took us through some roads and some little existing roads and the views are stunning and I am already looking forward to visiting tong again. As I type this the koels started synphony at 4-30 am followed by blue whistling thrushes long whistle. Himalayan bulbuls are joining the orchestra and daybreak is beckoning.

We visited Chamunda temple, a temple for goddess Kali which offer stunning views of the snowcaps. From there, we took another bus to Yol, a small town which host an army cantonment. My wife loved the views of the mountains from this town. We did some shopping, had a good ice cream. I chanced up an very professional looking barber in that town
Post shopping, we happily opted to try the village road to Rakkar instead of taking a bus back to home. We were glad with the decision as we walked through the fields that were recently harvested for wheat. The views are amazing and viraat enjoyed the hike as we walked along the fields, on the bunds watching the dauladhar ranges as the bright sun and melting snow on top showing smoky affect.
We also joined aunty and uncle clean up the wheat they produced in their farm. Wifey was happy to try her hands in the act and virat was happy too picking up fresh wheat and chewing it away.

The house where cleaning happened was their earlier house which they rented few rooms and had one room as granary. Interestingly the guy who rented one of the room goes to the forest to pick up some resin from pine trees and I am curious to join him next time to understand what he does. Wait for my updates on that.

Our hikes are fun as I walk slow watching birds and wifey goes fast and the kid trying to run between the two. In fact walking down to buy vegetables is a mini hike  in itself but we stick together and have a leisure walk. We noticed that the vegetables here cooks much faster, easier and tastes much better than our counterparts in bangalore(altitude?). We find people warmer than ever, our neighbors now know us and last week someone retired from military and had a grand lunch party and we got a message that we "angrejis" can also join the party, however we opted not to since we would love to see a wedding or more traditional function.

Yesterday I got a chance to help nishtha prepare a poster and it's good to be back to work and volunteering. I hiked back to home for lunch and went back to continue my work. In the evening we went for another hike as I added another bird to the my rakkar bird list. We were discussing to send Virat to the local anganwadi school from tomorrow to keep him occupied. I am curious to know how he would fit in here, especially since language is a barrier for him. 

That's it for now. Keep coming back for more reading

Friday, May 30, 2014

Water, hikes and farming

As the overnight storm lulled down, day broke at 5 am and the himalayan bulbuls started off the calls for the morning as more and more birds joined the fun. Finally we had a first long power outage and here I woke up early and sit down to type my thoughts.

Last 3 days were interesting. Our house does not have a motor to pump rather as water is carried through a small 2 inch diameter pipe, the sheer pressure of it flowing down from uphill takes it all the way up to the storage tank. So 2 days back we ran out of water to realise that our inlet water is jammed. The owner of our house Mr.Naresh who is trained by Didiji as architect in mud housing came and started to set the supply straight. After tracking pipes it has been diagnosed to mud jam inside a pipe and it's corrected. The next day we had another jam and this time we had to cut the pipe only to find a plastic toffee wrapper jamming the narrow pipe. Talk about ill-affects of plastic and we had a demonstration!

The homestay provided to us by Ghoomakad has been a big breakthrough for us. Our hosts sulochanajis family are warm and helpful. They helped us find our house for rent . They supply us wheat and potatoes from their farm, eggs from their hens(our son loves them)and milk from their cattle. Wheat and potatoes are  locally grown with no chemicals added  we procured them locally, so effectively no carbon foot-print :). They love our gugloo (as they call our son) and supply him with a constant stock of chocolates and no wonder he loves them too.

I had to update you on water. The water in aqueducts is not safe for drinking since people wash clothes and carries the upstream mess, so people in our locality walk a little distance to another supply line where water from a natural lake up the hills is drawn for drinking purpose. They proudly claim that this water can be directly consumed and has been proved to be good after tests by "foreigners"". We consumed them and they are right! Our house though had an UV purifier so we use it, but I will try to go find the source of that natural lake uphill.

Yesterday I spoke to sulochanajis family on farming. They are cleaning their harvest now (wheat). I asked them if they would allow me to grow vegetables in their compound and they are happy to offer me their space and I am all set to grow our own veggies although it will be sometime before I could harvest them.  I learnt that they grow potatoes in November along with wheat, so I would end up planting some beans and few vegetables. By the way they principally agreed to let me work with them for an hour or two everyday when they sow paddy next fortnight as the monsoon becomes active here and how much I am looking forward to that experience.

Two days back, we were invited to Didiji's house for a small party. We visited her house and boy we are impressed is an understatement.

 Mayaji, her eldest daughter and her care taker now ensured we had a good time with pakoras, plum cake and icecream. She was happy to engage our son with her dog ginger and her cat. Our kid was happy petting them. They had a rescued broken winged parakeet at home which can speak few words and
can eat anything that Didiji offers him

We made new friends and walked further down to Sindbari to the nearest ATM. Wifey was happy to do a mini shopping and we walked all the way back 2 km uphill to our house and boy it's a test of your endurance. We managed to do it in an hour holding the kid as he was dozing off. My wife learnt what is it like doing a mountain hike :)

We decided to explore the places around together on foot everyday. So off we went yesterday for a 2 km trek uphill and we were rewarded with beautiful views.

The best part is our son stopping by whenever he sees the sheep or a goat and wishing to touch it and play. He derives pleasure out of throwing stones into the aqueducts and we let him do it, but he keeps us on toes as he walks to the edge of the road to discover the valley below... phew! Watching septuagenarian citizens walking up the hill on virtually no roads puts our fitness to shame and we resolved to work on it. So these walks/hikes are helping us spend quality time as well as improve our fitness for future treks in addition to doing my birding enroute by yours truly.

Closing this post with technological point. I played with wordpress website building the other day and i realised what a beauty they created to build a website and more importantly to manage the website with ease by anyone with a little technical help. I am looking forward to building some websites with wordpress in near future. Did I tell you how the himalayan vultures soared past our home from close quarters the other day! I cherished the experience and our excited son is ready with camera asking me to click more photos.

That's it for now and it's time for trying hands in growing veggies for self, off I go to our little farm.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A new beginning

Am I living a dream!? I asked myself. One week never been  felt so long. Not because it's boring or uninteresting, rather it's involving, it's interesting and suddenly life seems to be slow and full. The other day I woke up to see the mighty himalayas rather to be precise the Dauladhar ranges with snow caps right out of our bedroom window. All that we hear through out the day are the songs of a variety of birds, the ushering stream of water from the aqueducts.Barring the occasional vehicles that ply on these windy hill roads we live in a world so contrastingly different from what we have lived from years.

It's on 17th May that we set off from Bangalore to spend couple of months living out of a small town named Rakkar at the foothills of Dauladhar ranges, close to Dharmashala and Mcloeganj, the adobe of his holiness Dalai lama. The village lies at an altitude of 1300 mts above sea level and one needs to reach Sidhbari, some 5 kms from Dharmashala enroute Palampur and drive up 2 kms to reach this village.The village is home to gaddi community who are herders and tillers. The village has a small school, few shops and offers amazing close views of the snow-caped peaks from close quarters.We took a flight till Delhi, then an overnight train to Pathankot and a taxi to Rakkar.

First 4 days were spent warming up while living at a homestay and then we managed to find a place that we could call home for next 2 months. The people at Ghoomakad are instrumental in me making this move. Not only them, in fact, everyone we met here till now has been very warm, helpful and hospitable.

I return to typing this after a 5 minute break as I went finding the bird whose call I am unable to decipher till now. It stopped calling as I approached close and I return to the post :) That's how life here has been, do whatever you like and whenever you want. No deadlines, no pressures, no questions asked. Wish life is this simple.

Back to describing the village - The village sits next to a river that flows down the hills and supplies enough water for many villages en route besides many further down. One can see some traditional houses built in contemporary style with a blend of tradition (mud) all thanks to Didi ji who is instrumental (more on her in separate post). However concrete-isation is slowly catching up replacing traditional houses.Majority of people own cattle and grow wheat and vegetables traditionally organically making them self-sustainable to a greater extent in terms of food. Only cattle dung is used as fertilizer and fresh water from the glaciers and rain water from the mountains at higher elevation are used for drinking and cultivation supplied to every house hold using aquaducts, the lifelines for these villages.

One can see water from aqueducts and streams all over the village. Fresh and clean water and the pleasant sound of water gushing downstream is a constant company while walking around the village. Cheerful faces, chirping birds, amazing vistas are a norm here. The village has a school and two NGOs operate here. Nishtha and Jagori have been doing amazing work in the villages around too making the place even more interesting

One more break in typing this post as the mules arrived and we happily offered them our vegetable waste(peels etc) that they consumed off. Nishtha has been pioneering a waste management project where all the plastic from the nearby villages is segregated and handed over to the PWD who uses them to build roads. A model has been developed and tested in few villages and being rolled out to many villages. Plastic littering has been a problem in villages around here and from what I heard, it's a problem majorly created by people who lived in cities or shifted from cities who does more littering than the villagers. Having said that, I am impressed by the way the shop keepers maintain no plastic when you buy. I had been to Dharmashala last week as well as some shops around the village. No one uses plastic bags here and it's really delightful to notice that. Cloth bags are used widely. However more work need to be done on plastic awareness. 

Finally we have our home ready and we are set and looking forward to this journey I vow myself to keep posting regularly. Before I forget, I started my birding jaunts and it has been good 33 species till now and counting. As I complete this post, dark clouds have covered the mountain tops and the distant thunder announces the arriving rain. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Notes from Central Assam

Things you would find in central Assam: 

1. Namghar (every village will have 1)
2. Green Paddy fields (acres and acres of green water-logged fields with a village here and there)
3. Fishing (you see people fishing all over the place, a must visit place for fish (alive/dead) lovers )
4. "Beel" (one don't know where a farm ends and beel starts and the migratory birds flying around)
5. Beautiful houses (loved them for the space, fences, sit-outs)
6. Bamboo forest patches (wonder what other birds/animals they support - foxes, civets, owls and yet-to-see-more)

7. Live stock (they are all over the place - on the roads, in the fields- duck, goat, hen, cows, pigs (few))
8. Cards and Caroms (life goes at a leisurely pace here for men.. sigh)
9. Bamboo and Jute (bamboo is lifeline, understanding jute manufacturing here)
10. Tata magic and Tata winger (tata sons raking good moolah, thanks to rarely seen ASTC bus, people standing hanging on the edge of the vehicles is normal)

11. Happy and adorable kids (of course they are everywhere, but here they do MANY things - fishing, swimming etc and did i tell you all their schools have disability friendly ramps, succha nice thing)
12. Tamulpan (everGREEN, huge business opportunity for lime paste !)
13. Bandh and protests (there is one bandh planned this week, not sure about frequency!)
14. Finally a Bangladeshi(s) (No offence meant, listing the realities period)

This note is to let my non-assam friends know that this place is as good and safe as any other place in India and leave your prejudices behind and travel. Experiencing assam like never before. It's going great

Disclaimer:These are just some random notes of observation from central assam. Some of these things might be little different in other parts of assam. . If anything is offensive, ignore them!