North East India

1962: Newspaper front page from 50 years ago when China attacked India

It’s been 50 years since the ‘Himalayan Blunder’ of 1962 when the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) unexpectedly rampaged into Indian territory and reached the outskirts of Tezpur in Assam before making an unexpected retreat. The war was fought much before I was born, but being born into North East India, I heard a lot of [Read more]

Vintage photographs of Shillong from 1948 (also Vallabhbhai Patel calling people of Assam lazy)

Assembly House, Shillong (1948)

64 years later, Shillong is virtually unrecognisable. I could only recognise the Governor House on Bivar Road, then known as Government House, the characteristic Ward’s Lake and the Assembly House (destroyed in a fire on January 9, 2001). These photographs from Government of India’s Photo Division were taken when Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was on a [Read more]

Voltas All Weather AC (Murthy) ad gives Cherrapunjee a bad name

Cherrapunjee - the Rainiest Place on Planet Earth

In a city like Delhi, your air conditioners should be all weather but not if you happen to be transferred to Cherrapunjee in Meghalaya. In fact the Voltas All Weather AC advertisement on television (featuring the much-transferred Murthy) doesn’t paint the true picture of Cherrapunjee. Yes, it doesn’t rain as much as it used to [Read more]

Rongali Bihu unofficial Google doodle

Rongali Bohag Bihu unofficial Google doodle

For some it is the beginning of the new year, for others it marks the end of the harvest season. The reasons may differ but there are celebrations across India at this time of the year. If Google had to celebrate this through a doodle, what would they post on their India home page? Here’s [Read more]

Bhupen Hazarika (1926-2011). North-East India loses a star

The legendary Bhupen Hazarika died of multiple organ failure in a Bombay hospital today. He was one of the few stars of North East India that the rest of the country widely accepted and applauded. For someone from that part of the country his departure hurts a little more. This Star Cement advertising hoarding photographed [Read more]

10 years since that summer of 2001: What Dil Chahta Hai meant to me

Akshaye Khanna, Saif Ali Khan and Aamir Khan in a still from Dil Chahta Hai (2001)

(This post is cross posted from my blog Pixelated on IBNLive.com) Summer of 2001. Bhopal. Bharat Talkies. Dil Chahta Hai. A decade later the experience is still as fresh. On that overcast afternoon, I stepped out of the theatre with a heady head. I had just witnessed something phenomenal. The last time I underwent something [Read more]

When the Indian Air Force bombed Aizawl

Cutting the CHai - Default featured image

In the aftermath of the massacre of 76 security personnel by the Naxals in Chhattisgarh, a debate is on regarding the use of air power against the leftist militants. While the government might still be contemplating about initiating such action, it wouldn’t be unprecedented for India. [I had, almost five years ago, posted a post [Read more]

Against Terror. In all Forms

Cutting the CHai - Default featured image

It’s November 26. Said to be the day we commemorate what is often called India’s 9/11. The date-month order may be transposed, but even after that bloody (and live) 72 hours nothing much else seems to be. I still vividly remember the day and the ones following. Came home late, switched on the TV saw [Read more]

By the way, Shillong is in Sikkim

Cutting the CHai - Default featured image

…or at least some people at The Indian Express think so. I wouldn’t have otherwise posted about this ‘oversight’, but for the fact that the news item in question appeared in the ‘From the Northeast’ page of the newspaper. The news was about an altercation between two groups of students (‘locals’ versus ‘outsiders’) at the [Read more]

Homeward Bound

Cutting the CHai - Default featured image

The sun plays hide and seek with the nimbus clouds, the moss between the toes is cold, damp. The acidic smell of pine leaves lends freshness to the air. It’s getting colder. The winds of November whistle through the bamboo groves. Winter is almost here. She reminded the British of their Scottish highlands. 1496 metres [Read more]