Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Chinese whispers!

Last night in Bhadra, Madla camp I was listening to Queen. Before that I tuned my Radio to short wave to look for more interesting channels than Akashvani-Hassana. First channel I tuned in reminded me of times in Arunachal and after listening to Queen I was thinking ‘all we hear is, Chinese channels’. Now somebody please tell me why there are so many, so many Chinese channels. Does this have anything to do with the fact that the radio I was using was ‘Made in China’. I can understand this if I was in Bomdo village in Arunachal, I was so close to Tibet, it was but natural to tune into Chinese channels. There was even a program teaching Chinese in English. Wan-an I remember hearing which means good night and then I turned off the radio. And yes, how do they produce that music with jarring instruments, sounds like elephants are tuning their trunks! I do listen to a bit of Chinese classical music but to hear this in a camp in forest is not a pleasant experience, believe you, me.

By the way, then I found BBC, good one. I remembered listening to BBC in Garo hills and Arunachal and felt nice to tune in from Bhadra. A discussion was on about the similarity between Hinduism concept of beginning of the world and that of science. A radio is, I think the best thing to have in field and the best thing to gift your field assistant after the field season! My MSc field assistant Shankara anna, who I am presently with in my camp after three years told me, ‘everyday when I turn on the radio you gave me, I think in my mind, ‘Hi Karthik’!’ Apparently the radio was even offered a price of 1500 bucks, but he wouldn’t part with it. It’s a Grundig hand-crank radio, he has also tied a wire to its antenna to make it reach out. A minute of cranking produces ten minutes news or some good music or some Chinese music. This time, it had batteries to save all the cranking! I gave another radio to a friend in Ramsing, Upper Siang, will he be listening to it everyday too!

1 comment:

Eskayem said...


Ur writing style, use of words and the smooth, conversational flow. All of them put together, truly-truly rock man.
Wish I cud write like that. Mebbe I sure cud, but then I cant do so without the sheer experience of the kinda travel u do.
wish I cud, too, Sigh!