Pink Twins

Pink Twins
Gangtok

Yellow Villa

Yellow Villa
Gangtok

Sparkling Rai Saag

Sparkling Rai Saag
Gangtok

Lovely Poppy Flowers

Lovely Poppy Flowers
Gangtok

A Different type of Seasonal Flower

A Different type of Seasonal Flower
Gangtok

Blue Flavour

Blue Flavour
Gangtok

Pink & White Combination

Pink & White Combination

Dark Pink Flavour

Dark Pink Flavour
Gangtok 6th March 16

Purple Charm

Purple Charm
CS Quarter Gangtok

Magnificent Yellow and Red Tulip

Magnificent Yellow and Red Tulip
Conservatory Near Selep Tank

Charm of Red Tulips

Charm of Red Tulips
Conservatory near Selep Tank

Lord Buddha

Lord Buddha
1-D Terminal New Delhi

Attraction of Red Panda

Attraction of Red Panda
Saramsa Garden

Lord Ganesh made of oranges

Lord Ganesh made of oranges
Saramsa Garden

Charm of Seasonal Flower

Charm of Seasonal Flower
Gaurds Ground Gangtok

Unmatched beauty

Unmatched beauty
Sikkim Organic Festival

Green is always soothing

Green is always soothing
Sikkim Organic Festival 2016

Yellow Orchid

Yellow Orchid
Somewhere in Gangtok

White Orchid

White Orchid
Manan Kendra

Purple Orchid

Purple Orchid
Manan Kendra, 31-10-2015

Gift of Nature

Gift of Nature
Near Cherry Building

Majestic View of Sea

Majestic View of Sea
Marina, Chennai, 19-10-15

Typical Sikkim Pillar Carving and painting

Typical Sikkim Pillar Carving and painting
Hotel Nork Hill

Mirror Reflection, Changed Angle

Mirror Reflection, Changed Angle
Nork Hill, 24-11-2015

Mirror Trick

Mirror Trick
Hotel Nork Hill, Gtok, 24-11-2015

Yes we have the power

Yes we have the power
Qtr at Devt Area, 25-11-2015

Majestic View of K.jenga from SLA

Majestic View of K.jenga from SLA
Gangtok dt 20-11-2015

MIRROR IMAGE OR COMPUTER TRICK

MIRROR IMAGE OR COMPUTER TRICK
NEW DELHI 22-10-15

BRILLIANT KATHAK PERFORMANCE

BRILLIANT KATHAK PERFORMANCE
MRS MALI SMU 13-10-2015

SAROD RECITAL

SAROD RECITAL
SMU CONVOCATION 13-10-15

SHOWCASING SIKKIM CULTURE

SHOWCASING SIKKIM CULTURE
ITM GANGTOK 14-10-15

RED BEAUTY

RED BEAUTY
GANGTOK

ARCHITECTURAL MARVEL

ARCHITECTURAL MARVEL
MAYFAIR GANGTOK

OM NAMAH SHIVAY

OM NAMAH SHIVAY
MAYFAIR GANGTOK 02-11-15

Smile and Joy

Smile and Joy
24th September Delhi

Catelia Orchid

Catelia Orchid
Gangtok

Beautiful Chinaware Lampshed

Beautiful Chinaware Lampshed
Gangtok

Catelia Orchid

Catelia Orchid
Gangtok on 7-10-15

Morning Glow

Morning Glow
Denzong Regency- Gangtok on 7-10-15

Pink Orchid

Pink Orchid
Pakyong Area

Green Orchid

Green Orchid
Bojeytar Pakyong 26 Feb 15

Tabla or Log Piece

Tabla or Log Piece
HMI Darjeeling Nov 2014

Hand can do anything

Hand can do anything
Birla Science Museum Kolkata

Legacy and Heritage

Legacy and Heritage
Indian Museum Kolkata

Queen Nephretus of Egypt

Queen Nephretus of Egypt
India Museum Kolkata 4th Mar 15

A Buddhist Stone Art Piece

A Buddhist Stone Art Piece
Tashi Delek June 2014

Foot Print of Bason

Foot Print of Bason
Satpura Forest

Foot Print of Tiger

Foot Print of Tiger
Satpura Forest (MP) March 14

Unique Piece of Pine Wood

Unique Piece of Pine Wood

Lovely Twins

Lovely Twins

Pink,Pink,Pink

Pink,Pink,Pink
Orchid,not only Spl ,It lasts longer Also

Clean Water has a Different Impact

Clean Water has a Different Impact
Rangeet at Jorethang ,24-11-14

What a Ravishing Beauty ?

What a Ravishing Beauty ?
Teesta near Kalijhora, 19-12-14

Pre Dawn Captivating Beauty

Pre Dawn Captivating Beauty
K.JUNGA, 6:20 AM 18 -12-14

Another Dawn View -Different Angle

Another Dawn View -Different Angle
K.JUNGA, 18-12-14

View at Dawn in Biting Cold

View at Dawn in Biting Cold
K.JUNGA 18-12

Dawn Scene-2

Dawn Scene-2
V Awas 18 -12-14

Dawn Scenario

Dawn Scenario
K.JUNGA

Morning Means End of Night

Morning Means End of Night
K. JUNGA,

View at Dawn

View at Dawn
K.JUNGA 2 ,18-12-14

Early Morning Freshness

Early Morning Freshness
K.JUNGA, 18-12-14

What an eye opener early in the day?

What an eye opener early in the day?
View of 17-12-2014 from Terrace of V. Awas

Another view of full snow around Mt Kanchendzonga

Another view of full snow around  Mt Kanchendzonga
17-12-2014

Magnificent view after bone chilling night

Magnificent view after bone chilling night
17-12-2014

Beauty of Kachendzonga after a cold night

Beauty of Kachendzonga after a cold night
Vidhayak Awas Gangtok

Amazing charm of Green Orchid

Amazing charm of Green Orchid
HMI Darjeeling

Green Orchid

Green Orchid
HMI DARJEELING (13-11-14)

Bell Flower in full bloom

Bell Flower in full bloom

Yellow Orchid

Yellow Orchid
Dec 14 Circuit House

View of Kanchendzonga always inspires

View of Kanchendzonga always inspires
Vidhayak Aawas Gangtok

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom
November 14 Ganesh Tok Gangtok

What a view after getting up ?

What a view after getting up ?
B-1 Vidhayak Aawas Gangtok

Chanda Mama looking at Kanchendzonga

Chanda Mama looking at Kanchendzonga
11-11-2014 VIP COLONY

Red Rose

Red Rose
Gangtok

Cranes having Gala Time

Cranes having Gala Time
Tigaon, Faridabad (2nd Oct 14)

Yes I am from Faridabad

Yes I am from Faridabad
Tiny, Beautiful Bird at NTPC, Ballabgarh (29.9.14)

Water Vital for Life

Water Vital for Life
Awesome view of Teesta near Kalijhora

Yes I had a Bath

Yes I had a Bath
Gladiola at 6200 ft.

Soothing Morning View

Soothing Morning View
Mt. Khangchendzonga from C.House (April, 14)

Natural Yellow Fascinates

Natural Yellow Fascinates
Gangtok (April, 2014)

Flowery Bell ?

Flowery Bell ?
Circuit House (May 14)

Riot of Colour in Monsoon

Riot of Colour in Monsoon
Circuit House, Gangtok(May 14)

Blushing orange

Blushing orange
Circuit House Gangtok (May 14)

Magnificent Taj

Magnificent Taj
Sept 2013

I can lift Taj Mahal

I can lift Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal,Sept end 2013

Natural fan to beat the heat

Natural fan to beat the heat
India Gate (24.08.14)

Engineering Marvel

Engineering Marvel
Coronation Bridge (22.08.2014)

Cascading water, soothing to eyes

Cascading water, soothing to eyes
Scene near Teesta Baazar (22.8.14)

Teesta attracts at every bend

Teesta attracts at every bend
16.7.2014

Monkey jump

Monkey jump
Teesta River, Birik(22.8.14)

Onset of Night

Onset of Night
Qutub,Sept.13

Qutub,Dusk Scene

Qutub,Dusk Scene
Sept.13

Together we take a Plunge

Together we take a Plunge
Clean Calicut Beach, Feb-2013

Setting Sun, always soothing

Setting Sun, always soothing
Dusk at a Gaya village(15.5.13)

Green Paradise in Concrete Jungle

Green Paradise in Concrete Jungle
Lake surrounding Purana Quila(20.10.13)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Aah or Oh TAJ ?

India’s marvelous marble mausoleum has instant magnetic effect. One of the Seven Wonders of the World and the country’s number one show piece, it is located 200 kms south of Delhi. It is a long, arduous journey, even though one has the privilege to pass through a national highway having four lanes.

My advance reading reveals that only one out of eleven travellers globally visits TM. Nevertheless, 90% of the domestic tourists do not give it a miss. There is a need, therefore, for tourism campaigners in India to wake up and sell this priceless product. They are in dire need of an overhaul.

One is sure of one thing associated with Taj – its aura, charm, mesmerism, the refreshing and soothing effect it has on you- in the morning, noon, evening or a full moon night.

On 4th Feb.2012, subsequent to facing a bit of warmth and inhaling some dust of subsiding winter, at the first instance, it was refreshing to see the Tomb of Akbar the Great at Sikandra. Leisurely we took photos of a very well kept monument. Presence of a few visitors facilitated access to the elaborate carvings on the minarets & the prominent, attractive calligraphy. On the contrary, it is sad to see an old lady begging and some tussle in a foul language between the local transporters over flimsy grounds.

Within a few minutes we turn right from a ‘chowk’ leading to one and only Tajmahal (TM), India’s best heritage and architectural show piece for the world.

One of the several bridges on the way, it appears, has been added recently. The whole setting is congested. It wasn’t there in Oct ’2003 when I visited TM with D.T. and now late Ankoor. I remember and pray for him before proceeding further.

After two kms we have a breath of fresh air when we come across fairly wide and green four lane road along the Agra Fort. In the changed situation, we pull down window pane to catch the first glimpse of TM. Reaction on the part of ever smiling Dips cannot be described. He was simply overwhelmed and bowled over. We manage to take four to five photos but these turn out to be blurred and gloomy owing to preponderance of fog. On the contrary, the snaps of neighbouring Agra Fort, a pinkish red sand stone marvel come out well. A close up of marble room on the edge is worth mentioning as Emperor Shahjahan was held captive therein by his son Aurangjeb. Legend has it that he begged to be kept in this corner to enable him to see the Mausoleum of his wife Mumtaj Mahal every day.

Due to paucity of time, we take a U-turn from the main parking area of TM. While we retreat, the haze over marble wonder of the world has descended a bit. But it is too late to revive our spirits and desire to see TAJMAHAL in its pristine glory.

x x x x x x x x x x x x

A fresh opportunity to have a brush with the Taj comes on 18th February. I get down to Agra Cantt. at 11.45 Hrs. from 12808 Samta Express. Approach to the station is dirty and full of poly bags. People defecating in the open, without any regret or shame bring in more of embarrassment. When the train had slowed down, urchins and teenagers were also seen jumping to bogies, presumably for a free ride.

Once outside, weather appears congenial. There is nothing noteworthy about the station. Usual fiefdom of taxi, three wheeler drivers and rickshaw pullers is visible. There is no trace or impact of Taj Mahal on the fa├žade of station building unlike the magnificent stations of Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi and Allahabad.

Upon successfully negotiating the congestion in the outskirts, we enter clean parts of Taj city. Good signages but of low height welcome the visitors. I wish uniformity is maintained when it comes to colour scheme or size of hoardings or mile posts. There is a plethora of hotels, restaurants, travel agents and currency exchanges. One can also see riot of colours when bag packer foreigners rub shoulders with local semi-urban populace.

Good sights of the historic city turn out to be a temporary phenomenon. Before sensing a shred of traffic jam, we are lucky to get a glimpse of Taj. The view is better as compared to the earlier one. As a result, six to eight shots are possible. Getting close to the Yamuna was a good decision from photographic point of view but it turned out to be a disaster from the environmental angle. Dedicated and reliable Deepankar accompanying me too nods his head. It seems as if Agra & Delhi are having a cut throat competition to pollute the river. After a drive of almost two kms. one cannot locate any effluent treatment plant.

While being trapped in traffic for more than an hour one notices the following: people lack civic sense, traffic police constables are conspicuous by their absence, noise pollution is extraordinarily high, strong nexus between agents, touts, transporters and hoteliers of different hues results into compromising country’s prestige, people do everything on the road from basking in sun, washing clothes, taking bath to hanging their under garments, etc.

All means of transport, viz, buses, trucks, cars, vans, SUV’s, rickshaws, cycles, scooters, mobikes, tractors and three-wheelers compete with each other for a space on road. Practically every known business is carried out along Jeevani Mandi Road with scant regard to two World Heritage sites.

Before departing, one learns with satisfaction that the magnitude of congestion and pollution in this part is much lower subsequent to some courageous and path-breaking initiatives taken by the District administration and the Supreme Court a few years ago.

ARE THE CONCERNED AUTHORITIES STILL ACTIVE & AGILE?

All said and done, it is believed that second or third visit to a tourist spot or a monument is a friendly encounter. Apart from fine tuning knowledge, it reignites the emotions. I can candidly and confidently surmise that after this visit to Taj, substantial value was added to my cognitive and sensorial responses. At least there was fresh impetus to draw inspiration from one’s heritage and maintain a positive and optimistic approach to move ahead.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

VISIT TO PANCHNADA





(14.02.2012)

Departure for this truly relaxing spot situated at a distance of 57 kms. is at 7:45 am. It is not a clear day, but not a cold one either. Tension free Etawah residents are seen gradually leaving their bed to resume their daily chores. A drive of 20 kms on six lane National Highway towards Kanpur (160 kms) takes us to Bakewar.

It is nice undulating terrain through the ravines, a part of which was a happy hunting ground to famous dacoits: Mohar Singh, Madhav Singh, Malkhan Singh etc. before they laid their arms. Landscape and forest cover ahead reminds one of JNU campus in Delhi. Within half an hour of drive, we come across a beautiful Peacock comfortably seated atop a high mound. I am tempted to ‘shoot’ with my repaired 5.5 megapixels Canon Camera. Next, we hit Chakar Nagar, a small but dense Kasba. Very soon Yamuna river appears. It is wider and cleaner than at Sumer Hill, our exorbitant temporary abode overlooking road to Bhind (40 kms) and Gwalior (125 Kms).
After barely five kms, we see Chambal river. It is awesome. After all, it has a history behind it. It looks fabulous in morning. One learns that there is an impressive Crocodile sanctuary on its southern bank. I promise to come again. Further drive of a few kilometers on the well-maintained district road leads to Hanumantpur. One turns left and begins the last part of drive of 20 kms to Panchnada.

There is a slight change in terrain. It now looks like a plateau. Not every portion of land appears cultivated. Mostly one sees Mustard, Wheat and Sihuwah (cooking oil extracted from it). Birds are not that many, for want of wetlands. A striking feature is a ‘Scare Machan’, located in far flung corner of a wheat field. A rope is tied to pull it when animals intrude to have a free ‘feast’. Reportedly, the rope is also tied to a drum to produce sufficient noise. Thana Bitholi, a sort of ‘Kala Pani’ for Policemen emerges at 9:00am. It is the last Govt. or private establishment of the District.

Typical earth mounds of ravines having several huts with low roofs are located here and there. Cultivation is being carried out in small plots mainly in the depression areas. It is Babool vegetation that is all pervading.

Suddenly we see a beautiful 0.5 km. long high RCC bridge inaugurated barely six months ago. Looking at the scenario we have the reason to believe that our destination is at a stone’s throw. Underneath flows a river that has amalgamated waters of Sindh, Kuari and Pahuj streams. On the left is the mighty Yamuna in which the Chambal river has already merged two to three kms behind. Thus, contrary to the popular perception, five rivers do not actually meet each other, rather, they may have joined ‘hands’ at more than two places prior to the main confluence point at Panchnada.

A gentle walk over the bridge enables us a soothing glimpse of plenty of Peacocks, Parrots and other birds flying cheerfully over Wheat and Mustard fields situated close to river. A good photo opportunity of both sides slips away as a mild fog refuses to subside. A few shots are, nevertheless taken both from static and mobile cameras for posterity. We walk next to Rampura village of Jalaun District. The infamous Gudapurva village associated with the legend of Phoolan Devi is reported to be 65 kms away. One or two Babri kind of structures dominate the upper land overlooking amazing Yamuna.

Also visible is the vast beach on the other side, to be precisely falling in Auraiya District. The fog clears up by the time we reach a Temple to get a commanding view of the river. A ruin of hundred Satis also attracts attention. We attempt to soak into the overall pleasant experience by walking down to river through the green Gram fields. We feel sorry for the concerned authorities for not having ‘sold’ this beautiful destination to the tourists by providing basic information together with infrastructure.

Boating for twenty minutes gives us immense pleasure. We see four or five varieties of birds, all enjoying the pleasant and serene atmosphere of confluence. The water of Yamuna river is clear while slightly muddy water is seen flowing from the group of 3 rivers. Little bit of stench too is experienced on one side. It is quite a contrast from the Sangam at Allahabad. As per Shiv Pal, the tough boatman, depth of Yamuna over here varies from 20 to 30 meters. No wonder, she looks changed, fairly wide and calm.

While we turn finally, we recount what an exhilarating experience we had on seeing bunches of fish taking jump after jump, like professional swimmers. Equally memorable was the balancing act Vinay Kumar, the helper to boatman displayed while fiddling with two mobiles in a standing posture on the moving boat.

Visibility is again bad when we return to banks. Sun, however, is showing a rising trend. Ringing of temple bell reminds me of my remaining duties as Observer. I barely utter a thanksgiving word to the boatman as a welcome call comes from Professor Prabhakar from Japan. He seems to have liked my last night E-mail account of Etawah District. To him, it was not a message, it had all the ingredients of a full-fledged article.

After finishing conversation, I manage to ‘shoot’ a Neelkantha. She is contemplating in isolation. Thereafter, I enter the comfortable and reliable Innova on a satisfying note. We cross over the RCC bridge once again. On partial restoration of visibility, a few snaps of ‘T’ point are taken. The Chambal, however, continues to evade. We hit the road again in full speed, this time through the ravines facing Bhind to catch up with the hustle and bustle of electioneering.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Destination Tuensang (Aug 2010)

The AirIndia flight from Guwahati to Dimapur almost at dawn is a short and non-descript affair. Dimapur airport looks fairly big, though traffic is on lower side. One can notice massive growth of grass very close to the terminal building. It defies any justification.
Two young officers of NEPED, an authority of Govt. of Nagaland (primary concern–energy and environment), warmly receive me. Though baggage clearance is a time taking affair, the serene and hassle free atmosphere in the arrival hall is a welcome wind of change. Drive to designated hotel is not a long affair. Getting into an almost brand new Bolero reminds me of hilly terrain of Sikkim. Looking at pools of water, I am informed of the rain that took place previous evening and early morning.
The private hotel at Dimapur looks impressive, neat and clean. Presence of a few foreign ‘smoking’ women gives an indication that tourism in this part is surviving if not ensuring economic returns to the common man. The service, however, is discouraging. As a result, we have to spend more than an hour to have breakfast and a short meeting with CCS, Planning, Govt. of Nagaland and his Joint Secretary, also associated with NEPED. On their suggestion, we decide to go to Tuensang via Golaghat in Assam. It is in contrast to the usual route via Kohima (76 kms), the state capital. Latter is supposed to be longer and more time consuming.
Sharp at 9.30 am, we leave the hotel to pass through 6 to 8 kms of completely flat portion of Dimapur. Population, at this time of the day looks sparse. In no time we enter Karbi Anglong Dist. of Assam. In the beginning it is Khatkhati village, followed by Bokajan, having an Army check post and a CCI cement factory. Next, we see a diversion for Numaligarh and Goalpara. It is a smooth drive on a good road, presumably, as it is a Sunday. Paddy fields are on both sides. After sometime one can see hills also as a backdrop.
By 10.10 am we reach Balipathar. The road sign indicates as if we are close to Jorhat Dist. Piles of firewood over machans remind me of similar practise followed between Muri and Ranchi in Jharkhand. The sight of black flags on vehicles surprises. One presumes that there is some cause for protest. But Takum Chang of NEPED informs that someone may have died and the burial may not have got over. Variety of small vehicles and pickup vans bearing both Assam and Nagaland number plates are negotiating slightly serpentine road going through thick patch of forest. One is reminded of roads of Middle Andaman in Jarawas area.
The river Garampani next catches our attention. A prominent board shows that there is a wild life sanctuary stretching upto Kaziranga. Around 10.40 hrs., one mile stone indicates that Numaligarh is only 45 kms away. Suddenly, a Mongoose crosses the road. It wakes up one of the officers from sleep. A village of Golaghat Sub- division thereafter comes before our eyes. A tri-junction (Tinaili) indicates that Golaghat town is barely 7 kms away while Numaligarh and Guwahati are located at a distance of 30 and 272 kms respectively. Once we shift from National Highway to the State highway, the condition of road can be very well imagined.
Golaghat, HQ of a District by the same name, is a sleepy one, having less of population and activity. The office, court complex and shops have nothing fresh to show. On seeing elevated foot path over drains, one remembers Guwahati. After all, these are high rainfall areas needing proper drainage. Negotiating pedestrians, our driver appears fairly confident in finding out correct approach to Mariani. But he falters. We get diverted. Upon asking local residents time and again, we hit the right direction.
By 12.15 pm we reach Titabari. Boards all over are mostly in Assamese language. This looks like a typical ‘Kasba’. Hills of Mokokchung are now clearly visible behind the paddy fields. Road condition improves gradually. Soon we see plenty of tea gardens on both sides. I am tempted to drop down twice to take snaps. The beauty of the place prompts me to speak to Ankoor. He listens more than he talks. Probably, I should have more ‘material’ to report to him and his mother, may be, after reaching Tuensang.
Mariani town is the last settlement of Assam before we enter Mokokchung Dist. around 12.45 hrs. We take a right turn from Mariani College, well past the HQ of 752 Border Road Task Force. The huge hoarding displays that Mokokchung town was 85 kms, while Tuensang was 185 kms. Before we venture into hilly areas of Nagaland, it was a good decision to fill up our belly with whatever snacks we could get at a road side dhaba. Offer of free fresh red chillies from the owner was something unusual.
Around 1 pm we enter Dissoi Valley Reserve Forest of Nagaland. Gradual climb begins. Drive through the forest dominated by bamboo plantation is memorable. I do not forget to capture the beauty in my mobile camera. Soon heat of plains gives way to coolness of hills. Within half an hour we are stopped at a Army check post. I am told, it is going to be a regular feature. While we chit-chat with the Jawans, we also break monotony by having tetra pack cold drinks brought so affectionately by the NEPED officers.
By 1.50 pm we gather sufficient height to reach Changki. The beautiful scenario from top encourages me to shoot again. View of traditional huts in the midst of paddy fields looks mesmerizing. I am informed that Changki is dominated by Aao tribe, one of the 13 major tribes of Nagaland. High literacy percentage among the tribesmen has ensured their sizeable presence in bureaucracy. Though the main village over a hillock on the right hand side looked attractive, we did not have enough time to resort to a diversion. Within half an hour, we manage to reach New Camp, which enables us to have the first bird’s eye view of Mokokchung.
Just before 3 pm, finding no way side eatery on account of today being Sunday, we stop very close to an apology to a waterfall to consume the food stuff ‘saved’ from Dimapur. While we all enjoy sharing the food and drinking the natural ‘mineral’ water, adequate care is taken of the driver, for, he was to negotiate another 5 hrs. of tough hilly terrain. Subsequently, we pass through Chungtia and Khensa villages, both having few houses. View of orange trees and green grassy land on the other side of the valley was simply amazing.
Sharp at 3.40 pm we enter Mokokchung. Situated at a height of 1360 meters, it appears to be a typical hill station with a couple of Churches, perched atop prominent locations. Old world charm and shades of modernity are seen co-existing. Though streets look deserted due to Sunday, it is nice to see a bunch of boys and girls making a bee-line for tuition. A few mothers in traditional dresses are also witnessed feeding and grappling with their tiny tots. Before sunset becomes imminent, we refill our petrol tank.
By the time we manage to drive down to the Dikhu river (4.30 pm), the boundary of Tuensang Dist., it has become dark. The road along this side of the state is not only narrow but same abounds in pot-holes. Occasionally landslide points are also visible in an area that looks otherwise stable. Drive, per se, is so slow that it takes one hour and fifteen minutes to cover 25 kms. We get much needed relief from apparent boredom and fatigue when we manage to enter Chare around 5.10 pm. It is an over grown village, once again having churches and plethora of traditional houses. A few barking dogs break the solitude.
Upon giving ourselves a little bit of breathing space, we prepare mentally for the last phase of journey stretching to 60 kilometres. Condition of road further deteriorates. One learns that this National Highway leading to Myanmar border through Tuensang is repaired and re-laid almost every year, alternatively by the State PWD and the GREF. Though many more villages are passed through in pitch dark situation, villages of Yangli and Longkhim (habitat of Sangtam tribe) are reported to be of some significance.
At long last, around 7.30 pm we get the first view of Tuensang. But for reaching this remote Dist. HQ, one has to negotiate a tough sinking point. By the time we enter the town, most of the doors have shut down. Practically there is no pedestrian movement. Fortunately, there is electricity even if voltage is on lower side. From the main square, we drive upwards, looking for the Circuit House. On learning about location of the Bungalow of D.C. on to our left, we try to find out if he was in town. We get a negative response from the half asleep watchman. By 7.50 pm we reach Circuit House, located at an altitude of 1791 meters. Before alighting one does not forget to put on woollens. The House having 5 rooms with a reasonable size compound, however, has no catering facility. One of my hosts, therefore, volunteers to wake up his mother-in-law in search of dinner. A futile attempt is made to ring up Ankoor and D.T.
Subsequent to rest and relaxation for an hour, we drive down to the traditional house owned by the in-laws of Takum Chang. Except us, everyone else in town has supposedly hit the pillow. The typical Ekra construction, look of the drawing room and impressive spirit of hospitality once again bring back memories of Sikkim. We finish eating tasty food in roughly half an hour and bid good bye by profusely thanking the hosts. But for them, we would have remained hungry whole night. The challenging moments of the journey so far shall not deter me from visiting 8 to 10 villages in next three days to assess changing livelihood patterns of the people, I utter so, prior to switching off the dim lights. Temperature had come down drastically, but not my spirits.