Pasighat is the oldest town (established in 1911) of the extreme eastern state of the country- Arunachal Pradesh. Situated at the banks of river Siang, this is a fairly small town surrounded with lush green beauty of Himalayan Mountains. The town is not exactly in the mountains… it is actually at the foothills hence the weather is pleasant here both in summer and winter.
How do I reach?
Hmm… interesting question. The nearest airports are at North Lakhimpur (Assam) and Dibrugarh (Assam). But you have many options…
A 16 hour bus journey directly from Guwahati to Pasighat.
An 18 hour train journey from Rangia (Assam) to Murkongselek (Assam). Murkongselek is 35 km from Pasighat and you get plenty of local transport from Murkongselek to Pasighat.
Take a flight to North Lakhimpur (250 km from Pasighat) and from there you get bus and hired taxi services.
There are also Helicopter flights from Dibrugarh and Itanagar to Pasighat.
The Last but the most enjoyable option(my vote!) is to take a flight to Dibrugarh and then a ferry ride upstream on river Brahmputra from Dibrugarh to Oriam ghat or majherbadi ghat and then you get local conveyance from any of the ghats.
NOTE1: The train journey is the most hopelessly boring option of all… that’d be last in my options list.
NOTE 2: You need an inner line permit (ILP) to enter the state Arunachal Pradesh- they are checked at the check points located on Assam- Arunachal border on every road (yeah, cry irony all you want, but you need a permit to roam around in your own country). You can get an ILP made from the Liaison offices situated in Delhi, Kolkata, Guwahati, Shillong, Dibrugarh, Tezpur, North Lakhimpur and Jorhat.
Where do I stay?
This is a tricky one. Because tourism is not an industry here, the hotels in Pasighat are pretty ordinary. So if you’d want a little more luxury, your only option is the govt. guest house- Siang Guest House. I’ve read on some websites that accommodation is available on three places- Siang Guest House, Circuit House and Inspection Bungalow. Don’t get misguided by this fact- all the three are the one and same (Ha Ha!). The booking for the room at Siang Guest House is done at DC office.
Ok tell me some more…
You can visit almost any time in the year except for the rainy season and I can assure you that the weather will be among the best in the country. The Rainy season is a problem because it rains extremely heavy… it rains continuously sometimes even for a month in this season. Well, even if you plan to visit Pasighat in Rainy season, you won’t be able to make it till here because all the routes are flooded at that time.
As I said earlier, tourism is not established as an industry here. So much that you may not even get a guide to show you around. This may be a drawback of this place but this also is its USP. You get to enjoy the beauty in its Virgin form- unaltered by the inherent hazards of tourism industry like environmental destruction. Also you see what you like… not what the selectively permeable spectacles of a guide show you.
The place is full of scenic beauty… Go to river Siang or its countless supporting streams any time of day and you get a photographer’s paradise. Arunachal Pradesh is known for its sunrise which is the first sunrise of whole country everyday so make sure you get up early enough to catch it (nearly 4:45 am in summers and 5:30 am in winters). If you are into wildlife, you can visit Daying Ering wildlife sanctuary. The Sanctuary provides domicile for a variety of animal species like leopard, civet cat, leopard cat, sambar, barking deer, Wild boar, Porcupine, Stripped squirrel, Jackal, Python. The sanctuary is also home to a number of endangered birds like the Indian skimmer and spot-billed Pelican. It also hosts quite a few migratory birds.
You can also see the hanging bridge- made up of bamboo it is a marvel of tribal engineering. You can also go to Pangin to see the point where river Siom meets river Siang presenting a spectacular sight. If you have come here in winter, you can also visit Rangin- a place famous for its orange farms.
If you like adventure sports, Pasighat is the place to be. The River Siang is ideally suited for rafting, fishing and angling. Trekking also another very good option to explore that the natural beauty that this place beholds and also to get a closer look at the tribal lifestyle. If you are more of an indoor person, you might as well stay in the guest house- enjoying the brilliant climate, sipping the famous Assam tea and romancing with books .
Since tourism is yet to find its niche as an industry here, visiting Pasighat will provide you a fresh experience- different from your typical hill station. The calm and serene beauty of this place provides a perfect refuge for an escape from helter –skelter, run here- run there life style. The added bonus of this place is that because it is situated in the foothills, the climate here is gentle and the weather remains pleasant even in winters implicating, you can even visit and enjoy the place in winters.
Below are my humble attempts to capture the natural beauty of this place.
PS: Due acknowledgements to Mani Padma who motivated me enough to write a travelogue, which, I never thought I could write
Bring the mouse to the bottom portion of the slideshow for the details on the picture as well as the control keys for slideshow
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I’m not much of a movie buff, I confess. Especially of Bollywood, I think I would have watched less than most of you. But given the astounding number of Bollywood movies being produced, this “less than most of you” exposure to Bollywood also does amount to a significant number of movies. So anyways, with this exposure I decide I write on ‘love in Bollywood’.
Love, in Bollywood, has long been presented in a stereotypical, clichéd manner. Almost all of the Bollywood love stories that I have watched follow one particular format:
There’s a central pair- a male and female character. Both the characters are at different planes either financially (one is extremely rich and one is extremely poor as in anadi) or socially (like one of ‘em is a peasant as in mughl-e-azam). Sometimes a little bit more creative directors might create some other (unique) planes of difference like the girl is hung up on her late lover and would simply not take notice of the new handsome dude trying for her(kaho na pyar hai). After establishing these differences, the love story is based on how the lovers fight it out to bridge the gap b/w these planes.
And it is this stereotype, this hackneyed format, that doesn’t go well with many people, mostly of our generation, including me. I mean for love, in Bollywood, the guy fights single handedly with gundas (almost all bolly love stories); drowns himself in alcohol (devdas); runs away from home (dil) and the most outrageous- shouts from the top of a water tank (sholay) – grow up guys!!
Such things, which contribute to creating the stereotype, are scoffed at by people like me. They are made fun of and at one level, we too are quite justified in ridiculing them.
But let us take a different take at this.
Cinema represents the contemporary society of its time. Hence these particular types of love stories, at some level, reflect the views of Indian society on love.
The Indian society is very conservative when it comes to love. People are not allowed to select their life partners or if they are, he/she has to be of same caste and religion and preferably region. But when someone falls in love, he/she doesn’t check for bona fide certificate of caste, religion, region etc. Everyone has loved someone at some point of his life but due to the above said reasons most of them are not able to pursue that love. Now As I said earlier, in these love stories the struggle to unify with each other takes the centre stage not the romance itself. Hence this average Indian man that I’m talking about can relate to it. And that may explain why, such Bollywood love stories, despite of being this lame (well, lame in our eyes- no offence meant for its fansJ) have been such a hit and earning this well.
I like a few Hollywood love stories like Noting Hill and music and lyrics because they don’t show the struggle with society for unification… they show the romance. The romance is what I and people like me expect from love stories- the heartwarming romance not that struggle. But the Hindi cinema doesn’t show that and I don’t expect it to change this state in near future because the society ain’t changing.
Maybe someday Indian society will change its hypocritical attitude towards love. Maybe someday it will be more conducive to love and then I believe, Bollywood will surely start making movies that I’ll enjoy and people of my taste will enjoy. Amen.
Look I don’t claim big, I am a small man you see. I’m not good at philosophy; in fact my attempts at philosophy have all gone haywire, so I don’t claim to understand people. But I’m an engineer… hence I tend to believe that I’m good at making observations. It is on the basis of those endless curious observations that I have been making ever since I gained conscience that I frame this law.
Now let us get directly to the law. Actually many of you (especially men) already know the law in fact may sometimes mention it too… only that no one till now framed it in form of a law. It exists only in the form of sayings. Hence I hereby claim the credit of making the Pranjal’slaw of separate thinking models.
So here is the law :
“There are two different sets of equations governing the algorithms on which male and female minds work. These sets of equations, whatever may be interval, are never congruous to each other.”
Now that the law is there, I think I must now elaborate both the systems of equation individually.
The female system of equation
This is a unique mathematical model (has to be… God is no ordinary mathematician). This system of equations has incredibly large number of variables. The variables include some important variables like studies, work etc and some (read many) trivial variables like ‘miss x’s dress sense’, ‘miss y’s new boyfriends’ etc.
In this system, some equations even coincide with each other, hence giving infinitely many solutions leading to interesting results like indecision on banal issues as whether to go to party or to go shopping or to catch up on the daily dose of gossip or to sit home and watch mundane television shows.
The most interesting part is that this is all we know about this particular system of equations. Any further attempts aimed at understanding this model lead to curious results. If you solve it manually, regardless of how brilliant a mathematician you are, you’ll invariably end up with a frustratingly inconsistent, indeterminate bunch of equations(in the process, may also get a few contradictions as “I CRIED because I was HAPPY” ). On the contrary if you try solving it on a computer, regardless of your system configuration, it will result in system hang.
Since there is nothing more that I’ve been able to decipher in this mathematical model, let’s move on to the next model- the male system of equations.
The male system of equations
This is a brilliantly simple system of equations… with only three variables- job, sports and sex. For guys who are still students, the variable job is replaced by studies but the rest of the variables are the same. And that will be all the thinking of a boy revolves around. It’s incredible that everything that a guy thinks of, a particular at a particular point of instance can be described on the basis of these three variables only. Try introducing a fourth variable- girlfriend and the slopes of all the equations in the system become equal hence the system is immediately rendered inconsistent- with no solution at all (hence the guy loses his ability to think/make judgments). In this otherwise homogeneous system of equations, introduce a constant term called alcohol and you’ll distinctly get a unique solution to the system- emotional dialogues like “tu mera sabse acha dost hai”. According to personal experiences, sometimes these emotional dialogues can turn into outrageous suggestions as “gaadi mujhe chalane de!!”
But the simplicity has its hazards- a guy will see a beautiful lady but not her husband standing beside her. This simplicity leaves most of the guys at a loss when it comes to matters such as relationships… not only the variables in the system of equation are insufficient to understand relationships, but also guys resist introduction of any new variable in that regard.
And that my friend is the synopsis of all the observations that I have been able to make till date. I know that’s too little but I’ll keep adding all the new observations, if any. Feel free to add any further details/ observations of your own. For one more law framed by Pranjal click here
Disclaimer:All the stuff written above is in good humor. Please take no offense, regardless of the model that your mind follows to take decisions.
- Written by Pranjal Srivatsava. Pranjal is a mechanical engineer by profession from National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur. Welcome Pranjal to our GingerChai author panel.
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‘The white tiger’ is the debut novel of the novelist Mr. Aravind Adiga and is the winner of the man booker prize in 2008.
This book is a first person account- in form of a letter written by the narrator to the president of China- Mr. Wen Jiabao. The narrator, Balram halwai writes the letter during seven nights to tell him the story behind the self made entrepreneurs of Bangalore.
The story of Balram halwai starts in Gaya district of Bihar, which he, metaphorically, prefers to call ‘the darkness’. The story commences at a point when Balram is still a child and goes on to tell how his family and many other families are under the thumbs of powerful landlords. Aided by some powerful and gripping narration the story further tells us how Balram receives very little education and becomes a driver to a US educated, weak willed son of the land lord. In course of fulfilling his ambitions, he murders his master and sets up his business in Bangalore.
At times the story may seem a bit clichéd or even melodramatic… but the genius of Adiga lies in narration, which prevents the book from being monotonous or overwhelming and also makes the book a ‘read at one go’. Another idiosyncrasy of Mr. Adiga is his dark humor. Inch perfect use of dark humor makes the book humorous at places but simultaneously keeping it purposeful with a message. A perfect sample of the trademark dark humor is provided by the following lines from the book-
“Now, you are visiting us this week, Your Excellency, aren’t you? All India Radio is usually reliable on these matters.
That was a joke sir. Ha!”
Another trademark feature of the book is the use of analogies. The spontaneous and astute analogies derived by the author not only make the book captivating but also are extremely thought provoking.
But the pick of all the analogies is the Rooster Coop Analogy where the author compares India with a rooster coop in which people, engrossed in their highly competitive daily lives are referred to as the chicken packed in a coop in market. Another example of the excellent analogies derived by the author is a scene in which villagers are animatedly discussing about local election. The situation prevalent at the place is that everyone is a registered voter but is not allowed to vote as bogus votes are cast on their behalf. The author at this point compares them to “eunuchs discussing Kamasutra”.
But despite of all these attributes, at the end of the book, an Indian reader feels cheated. A bit like the movie Slumdog Millionaire, this book seems to explore all negative aspects (poverty, illiteracy, corruption etc) of India, without even touching on anything positive. When you read the book the portrayal of India as ‘the land of all bad and no good’ hurts the ego of a proud Indian citizen.
The book gives more of a foreigner’s view of India meant for foreigners. I say so because the pessimistic view of India present in the book only reinforces what the west believes India to be and I believe this may be one of the major factors contributing to its tremendous success in west.
The book cannot portray real India because
Its tendency of polarizing- showing people either extremely rich or extremely poor. There is no section called ‘the middle class’ which forms an important and large portion of the present Indian society.
Yes, corruption and illiteracy form an important part of the current social dynamics of India but they are not the whole of the social dynamics of India, as portrayed by the book. There is a particular, and large section of people called ‘the service class’ which is very much educated and not even half as much sunk in corruption as shown in the book.
Hence the book is an excellent, gripping and enjoyable read (even being thought provoking at times) but to say that it represents the ‘real India’ would be unjust and myopic on our part.
Though a fiction, the book handles a serious topic hence it is not your typical ‘fun filled fiction’. Hence, some might find it difficult to stick to the book till end while it is a highly recommended book for those who like serious topics.