Part 6 – Assam
So, Assam! Land of the fabled Assam tea. I do have a Tea Story related to Assam, obviously!
My reading of the very first few pages of the book No ghosts in this city by Uddipana Goswami shook me out of my stupor. No, I am not talking about a new place and setting for me. Or even the presence of ghosts. My idea of how I perceive gender when I read a book was shaken, and I could see that I too am hardly an unbiased reader when it comes to gender.
Why this apathy towards violence on civilians in military heavy areas? Is this because they are less valuable to the State than the populace of an expensive metro city?
I realised that Bodo is a separate language and people, not just a marker for trouble making insurgents as the newspaper tells us.
When we lived in Assam, we had seen only its plain lands. The water, for the most part was red, probably from the oil. There would be perpetual flames in the oil fields. Oil and tea. An elderly person teaching my siblings Arabic under the dim lights in our bamboo walled house. Once we had a snake making an appearance in our bathroom. Nature encroaching on the encroachers.