Monday, 7 April 2008

Wildlife Valhalla

Nothing against the Adis, but ALL wild meat is food. I found out theres not a single species they have a taboo against. The mouling national park has few staff who rarely patrol the forests. The one saving grace about the park is that it is inaccessible for a large part of the year, during winter, in the months of Nov-Jan is when Adis from the villages venture into the high altitudes in the park (highest point Mouling peak: 3000 msl) to hunt takin, pheasants and whatever else they can garner.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Gone fishing!

Sundays are supposed to be lazy and I didnt look forward to it really, another boring day in the office I thought, but Tamang da in our office said we could go fishing, so we went.
Tamangda has discovered a new fish species and found two new records for the State. He knows about fish ecology including what each species eats, where and when it breeds and has about three years of data about fish populations in streams around Itanagar. I have told him to publish a book since he has collected specimens of 48 stream fish species.

But one thing he doesn't have is a degree, and he happens to be our office clerk! The world is full of paradoxes I thinks!

This guy was stuck to this rock inside the water and why!

This was the fish catch for the day; we often threw out individuals which were young and didnt catch species that were relatively small. In all we got about 35 individuals of 7 species. Then, Tamangda called it a day...

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Anythings recyclable!

I know this much about the communities in the north-east: they are resourceful; they have an amazing array of handicrafts they make out of bamboo and cane, maintain their knives very well, preserve their livestock meat for almost a year and brew some delicious drinks. But this was something new I came across.

As I was walking in Yingkiong, the headquarter of Upper Siang district, I noticed a vibrantly shining bag and wondered how such a bag ended up in a pan-shop. I was further interested and when I walked up to the shop I saw hundreds of pan masala, tobacco and biscuit covers and the lady in the shop was meticulously cutting and preserving these, later to be used to knit bags. These strips are washed and then knit to make them bags. One of the bags posted below I would’ve picked up; however these are really expensive because of the labour involved; this one costs 450 rupees! I couldn’t afford it and wondered if any Adi person in the place would be able to too, but then I put that thought behind and was pleasantly surprised by the innovation in front of me. Maybe the cost can be cut when many wrappers and labour is available. Not a very weak bag this one is too, for when I held it, it was moderately heavy and stronger that a cloth bag too I think!

Anyone who would’ve seen me walk away from the shop would’ve thought, “ here’s a young man walking in gaiety, satisfied with life!” I was indeed happy, coming from a city which may dump a crore packets like these a day, I was hopeful of starting this in Bangalore as well.