14 May 2008

Another year, another river

Last year I had traveled extensively on the Ganga
and this year I find myself floating on the other great one - Brahmaputra...


For me this has always been a river full of mystery
somewhere to the corner
on the edge
one heard stories of its fury every year when in school

Unlike the Ganga
this is a fast river even midway in its course
it is deep and carries a lot of silt (second only to the Yangtze I was told)

Today we went to visit one of the island villages
a unique features where temporary and permanent islands dot the wide river
these house almost 25 lakh people (2.5 million for the well travelled)
most of the houses here
are on stilts since almost all the islands get submerged
during the flood season

These communities are cut off from the mainland
and mostly survive on their own
it is strange that although they are about a couple of hours
from "modernity"
their houses lack even the most basic of things
that we find in villages today

While returning
it struck me that like most indigenous groups
who live in isolated groups
cut off for most of the year
how much of modern technology and living habits is good for them?
most of the time intervention is done
without giving a thought

how much is just good enough

1 comment:

Abhishek said...

Nice. Even I want to travel North East. That is the only part of India I have not been to. (If you agree that a touch and go 'via-Mumbai' journey was going to west!)