@ 2014-10-25 – 21:12:46
@ 2014-10-25 – 20:43:20
@ 2014-10-21 – 11:11:30
We wish our readers a very Happy Deepavali!
Rahiman Nij Man Ki Vyatha
Man Hi Rakho Goye
Sun Muskaihan Log Sab
Baant Na Linhe Koye
@ 2014-10-21 – 10:01:26
@ 2014-10-16 – 10:42:02
Bhanua's Cauldron - II
Out of Bhagalpur
There were in these days at the Bengali Tola Mohalla, some Seventeen odd years of them, if I remember them correctly, a few yearly outings for our family, most notably to the famous National Parks and Forest, such as at Chaibasa, Valmiki Nagar, Hazaribagh.
The Forest at Chaibasa, the Kolhan and Saranda Forest Divisions, bring back such glorious memories as perhaps no other Forest Reserve of India does for me, and most certainly I have seen a fair share of Indian Forests, from the Hills of Assam, to Adilabad in Andhra Pradesh, Rajaji Park in Uttarakhand to Sariska in Rajasthan, to Mudumalai in the Nilgiris; however the forests of Chaibasa in the sixties, take the pride of place for a number of reasons.
First of all because these trips into the forests of the erstwhile Bihar State were all at the invitation of my Maternal Uncle, who at this time was posted at Chaibasa, as an officer of the Indian Forest Service. These were glorious days, and in between his learning and passing exams in the Ho Language, which I was told by him is necessary for all Forest Indian Forest Service Officers, who are newly posted to districts, from the previous one. Ostensibly, this is so that these Officers may be able to interact better with forest villagers over conservancy issues as for the proper promulgation of the multitude of governmental tribal development schemes etc.
My Uncle was a very strict person insofar as his work was concerned. In the Indian tradition and family system the Mama is after-all also supposed to be a daunting figure and he played this role to great aplomb! I have therefore to readily concede that my family owes its great love for forests, wildlife and the Tribal People of India to this very early and very very wide exposure he gave us.
The forests of Chaibasa are elephant forests in every sense of the term, and as lovely-wooded-dark and deep as any other tropical forest on God's own Earth could be! On one of these trips to places inside this forest, we rode in his Mahindra Jeep (complete with a Trailer carrying the Rasad-Pani) and his half a dozen Ardalees (one of these called Paras was a particular favourite of his!), with my Mama riding shotgun, literally, with a twelve gauge, in what was an entirely open jeep on the sides, as this journey continued through forest roads and tracks known only to him and his staff, through a pitch-dark night, to a distant Forest Dak Bungalow.
This we reached sometime late in the night. Immediately, the Ardalees all of them went about and put up a great shout.Partly, to awaken as to summon the Dak Bungalow watchmen and cooks, as perhaps to scare away any wild animals. Soon very bleary-eyed Dak Bungalow Staff approached and we alighted this jeep. Bungalow lights were switched on and a set of bedrooms were unlocked by the Dak Bungalow staff.
In a small shanty shed-like kitchen beside this bungalow, the midnight cooking fires were lit and the cooks, local as well as the one travelling with us from Chaibasa, got to work cooking us some rice,meat and vegetables. My Mama, for his part, had first had all the Newar Beds at this bungalow, beaten thoroughly with stouts canes to chase out any deadly snakes and scorpions which as he explained to me as I stood dumbfounded watching this most arcane of south bihar forest rituals, regularly make these very comfortable white beds their favorite haunts, when the bungalows are unoccupied.
However, on this occasion, even as I watched very closely, nary a living thing emerged from these very finely woven beds, except that odd Spider! If that provided a mid-night laugh for me, the Millipedes which I was to see the next morning, were as much of a surprise and the subject of a very crisp early morning wonderment and a great but a most pleasant and an equally welcome surprise, for I have never after that time seen such large Millipedes, which for a child of seven years of age or so, which I was at this time, were as large as Rhinos. This area then was truly tropical in every sense of the term (contd).
Out of Bengali Tola
After some twenty years of our rented accommodation the Bhagalpur University finally found some grants from the University Grants Commission to begin building some new bungalows and apartments near the university, in its Lal Bagh area, for Lecturers, Readers and Professors, as teachers of Indian Universities were then typically called.