When the mother returned a few minutes later, I asked her who would take care of the baby if she cried. “Oh! Some passerby can take care of her for sometime” Simple as that! On our way back, we stopped at Sanchobeni’s (the mother) place again for tea. The little girl was still inside the box but the Drongo was gone. Eaten, I presumed.
NEEPCO has built a dam across the Doyang River that has resulted in a huge water reservoir. As we neared the dam, Anuj rode up to me and hollered “did you hear someone whistle at us?” “Must be the wind inside the helmet”, I hollered back. But as it turned out, it was the security personals. They caught up with us after sometime and after a very, very lengthy and intense interrogation at the police outpost, we were allowed to proceed but only after a known police officer from Wokha Town vouched for us. Dams are always sensitive areas and we were lucky not to have been shot for not reporting at the check post.
We pitched our two-men tent on the bank of the reservoir and loaded our bikes on to the ferry to go to the villages on the other side. After a bit of riding through the villages, we returned to the tent and helped Andrew, our boatman, catch some fish. Many people practice dynamite fishing and although the catch is rewarding, they have to pay a high price. Dynamites destroy the breeding and feeding places and over time many stretches of the Doyang river have become devoid of fishes or the numbers have dwindled drastically.
At night, the moon shone in all its glory. The ripples on the water shone like diamonds and a small dugout tied at the bank bobbed in the waves and made a rhythmic sound. Sleep was the farthest thing on our minds as we sat by the small fire, roasted the trout, smoked and drank black tea in bamboo mugs by the dozen as Joe Satrini’s guitar work drifted in intermittently from somewhere afar.
It was a peaceful easy feeling and I didn’t want it to end but we had deadlines to meet and a train to catch to Delhi. Back to the polluted, loud, cut throat world of the big cities.
When you travel in North East India, you better carry cash or at the most, some Traveler’s Cheques. Credit cards are just pieces of four inch coloured plastics.
Visit these places before ‘civilisation’ pollutes them. You wouldn’t want to see a McDonald outlet in the middle of the jungle, would you?