I just returned after a weeklong tour in the hills and plains of North Tripura – the Jampai Hills, bordering Mizoram. It was conceived initially as a plain tour but now, it appears to be a de-tox tour. I also felt that such tours are needed for all business executives for the benefit of the businesses they are in. Let me recollect
1. We had a regular fishing in ponds, rivers and rivulets. The food consisted of all what we could touch, feel, catch, collect and I think children should be sent in these remote locations to have a fair idea as how our food actually comes to our plate.
2. There has been a health camp in a remote Riayng village where we drove, trekked, pushed, fell, risked our life in case the car backtracks and landed up in the plains as if we had done a good deal of ploughing. See the team members pushing the car in a ‘National Geographic Documentary like Road’.
3. A mere 32 kilometer journey took hours and the fare consisted of pig’s meat in red joom-cultured (a kind of agriculture where slope of a hill is cleared, burnt and then foodgrains are planted) rice. A local waterfalls, now in its youth after long rains provided us water to drink as well as to bath like our very distant forefathers perhaps did.
4. I had been a guest of a doctor’s team in 2 health camps. One in the very remote area and one in a more affluent area. Dr. A – a freshly minted MBBS, an expert with Ultrasono Device demonstrated how diseases are influenced by Civilization’s march. In the remote area, most common diseases are Malaria, diarrhea, Fever, whereas the diseases in more affluent areas are diabetes, blood pressure and osteoporosis.
5. After 2 days regular travel and travails, we had some hours of fishing and poached fishing (i.e. fishing out fishes from another leased pond’s fishes) For the project to become successful and to minimize the chance of detection, we did this at night where we used the fatna (a floating stick which is the indicator of the hook’s pull below water) made up of fireflies trapped inside a small transparent glass bottle (homeopathic ounce bottle). The trick is to keep one’s eye steady on the line of faint light and their disappearance. The catch had been quite good.
6. On the final day, another kind doctor, Dr. S introduced me to Vipasana Meditation technique and supplied me with 2 books and the information : In Machmara, 20 km off from our place is North East’s only centre for this meditation technique. Under a starlit sky with sounds of the jungle, I felt a nice peace and joy for being just alive.
There has been a return to boyhood. Being a small-town boy as I always remained it seems, the environment, the experience, then human interactions proved to be a return to my boyhood in another valley some 200 km from the Jampai Hills.
Dr J, my host and my relation whose guest as well as accomplice I was in poaching, is a doctor in a Government hospital there. He lives almost like a freelancer like me. He has been immune from the fiendish pursuit of moneymaking as many doctors of this region (and perhaps elsewhere in the country) are grimly affected. Surrounded by his patients (who gifts him bananas, jackfruit, mangoes), his dogs, his pond, his orchard, his Snoppy(a mixed breed she-dog), his chickens, pigeons and friends. I told him that Lord has blessed him with a life many millionaires spending a whole lifetime finds beyond reach. He agreed.