Monday, May 26, 2008

Pangs of Adoption

This is a photograph , I took, in a school in Dimapur. We were travelling in Nagaland, for a 30 minutes on the state before the elections. Dimapur, now, wears the look of a dead town. Continous factional clashes between the NSCN(IM) and NSCN(unification) have turned the town in one of the most dangerous places to live in. ( more on Dimapur and the Naga factional clashes later)
One of the most respected journalists of the country, Patricia Mukhim has written an excellent article titled: Pangs of Adoption in The Telegraph, Guwahati edition. Ms Mukhim writes in Northeast India's tribal societies the death of one or both parents does not necessarily make a child an orphan. She says, members of the extended family quickly take the child or children under their wings and life goes on an usual. But she points out, how times are changing. "The pressure to conform to modern value systems where church marriages are sacrosanct and those who do not meet up to those standards and fall by the wayside are actually ex-communicated is forcing deviants to go for abortion or disown and abandon a child born out of wedlock. Hence the growing number of abandoned kids.."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Agatha Sangma

Agatha Sangma is a lawyer, an environmentalist, an amateur photographer and at 27, she is also India's youngest Member of Parliament. Agatha has just won the Tura Lok Sabha seat in a by-election after it was vacated by her father, former Lok Sabha speaker, Purno Sangma — also a nine-time winner from the constituency who is returning to state politics — even though the Opposition alleges Agatha is just riding her father's luck.
But Agatha ignores these jibes saying, "At the end of the day, even if I get a ticket from a national party or anywhere, it's the people who will elect me. I will not win with one vote or four votes from my family. I will win with the votes of the people of Garo Hills."
And a lot of voters — despite the criticism from the Opposition — have put their faith in Agatha.
They say she is a courageous girl and will do well. They also believe that she will fight for Garo Hills. This photograph was taken on the day of the byelection in Tura

Saturday, May 24, 2008


First rains in Tura, Meghalaya. We had gone to cover the Tura Lok Sabha byelections. This is on our way back.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mizoram Colours

Cricket in Mizoram

Last day of shoot, we got this story on the little masters of the game in Mizoram. Yet to be recognised by the BCCI, the Mizoram Cricket Association and its members are slowely but surely getting ready to make their mark in the game.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mizoram II

On our way back from Lawngtlai district in Mizoram

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Miles In A Corner

Just when we were coming out of David's Kitchen , I saw this Miles Davis poster in a corner. David's Kitchen is supposed to be a "cool" hangout in Aizwal, coffees and conversations. Half-dead after our shoot, we were having tea.

Friday, May 16, 2008


The bamboo fruit

Mizoram Famine

On our way to Saikhawthlir village (meaning Sai = Elephant, Khaw = town/village, thlir = seeing/looking/sighting. A town/village where an Elephant is sighted or spotted). Following Phodoti, who walks 6-8 hours to collect a sack of rice. This was our shoot. We were dead by the time we reached her village on the top of a hill. In the photograph, also at the background is Rauta, our friend, without whose help it would have been impossible to carry our equipment. Phodoti's story is pretty much the story of most villagers in Mizoram. More so for the marginalised poor. This includes the Bru s and the Chakma s. Within the poor Mizos, they are treated differently. Almost a million people in Mizoram are surviving on one meal a day. That's because of bamboo flowering that happens every 48 years. It attracts rats, that wipe away acres of crops. This report was on Phodoti's village near the Myanmar border

Happy Mizoram

On our way back from the Mamit district in Mizoram. Mizoram has a very high literacy rate . Second highest in India.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Roll Down The Mountain

Mukut and I on a trawlailir. It's the most popular form of transport used in Mizoram by villagers. Just a wooden cart with a lever for controls. Roll down the mountain or push your way up. Most villagers often keep it in a corner and go inside the forest to fetch wood, get water and then with all their supplies they roll down and get back home.

Mizoram Sunday

This is Aizwal on a Sunday. Everything is shut as the entire town goes to church.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mountains of Mizoram

Mizoram has a hilly terrain. Hills are steep (avg. height 1000 metres) and separated by rivers which flow either to the north or south creating deep gorges between the hill ranges. The highest peak in Mizoram is the Blue Mountain ( Phawngpui) with a height of 2210 metres.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Just back from Mizoram. We were the first TV crew to travel to the interiors of Mizoram and report on the largely unreported famine in the state. A famine that takes place every 48 years after bamboo bloom attracts rats, whose population explodes and thousands of acres of crops are wiped out.