Forest fire near home

forest fire, durtlang north, mizoram

If there is one thing that puts us Mizoram in the league of countries like US and Australia, it is forest fire. Forest fire is rampant in Mizoram during this time of the year.

Forest fire broke out at the uphill outskirt of our locality on Sunday night. When I arrived at the scene there were already a handful of volunteers. The task was to contain the fire and keep it from coming inwards into us.

There was no immediate danger to human settlement but it looks like some crops might be ravaged as the fire receded down the cliff and into the valley of farms.

I knew this was a great photo opportunity. I was very tempted to take my tripod but that’s far from the right way to fight fire. I managed some shots of the blazing fire. I also took some shots of the aftermath yesterday. The fire was still on going but far away.
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Ferry crossing at Darzo Kai, Tuipui D

The ferry crossing over the Chhimtuipui river at Darzo Kai aka Tuipui D is magnificent because… it is magnificent. I have no words. Look at the pictures. The photographs don’t lie.

It is one of the few ferry crossings left in Mizoram. Phawngpui visitors, this is on your way if you are traveling to Sangau from Aizawl.

The ferry is operated by Border Roads Organisation. It functions between 9am to 4am, Monday to Saturday. It is closed for about three months in monsoon during which the only other crossing is at Kawlchaw where a bridge was opened in 2000.

The ferry can take four Tata Sumos at a time. The engine of the ferry is rather strange looking. I just see one lever.

darzo kai, tuipui d

darzo kai, tuipui d
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A laptop from Bill Gates

Lets take a break from travel today.

It was the year 1999. Bill Gates was the world’s richest man. I was a young man with big ambition. I had just got the hang of computer programming. I really loved it but I had no means to buy a PC. I came up with a great idea.

Write to Bill Gates. Perhaps he will understand my plight, be charitable and send me one. I never got to write to Bill. I had not learned to use the internet and I didn’t know the postal address of Gates. I wrote to NIIT center in Tab Complex, Trichy. They never replied.

I felt really embarrassed when I learned my friend Harris Ahamed told his father of my awesome plan.

I never got to own a PC until I started working. Do you have a similar experience to share?

The toilet is not too bad anymore in rural Mizoram

In the past city folk had an issue traveling rural areas. The problem was the basic style of pit latrine without a commode. Many simply can’t do it.

Imagine hearing the sound of every drop into the pool of shit and the aroma arising from below. It’s even worse when tank is nearing full, a high tide of shit. Thankfully there were no cellphones in those days. It would be the last place you want to drop your phone.

pit-latrine, mizopa ekin 2.0

But today the situation has improved.
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Farpâk, Phawngpui

farpak, phawngpui

The word Phawngpui is derived from the Lai word Phongpi meaning Phulpui in Mizo which means grassland in English. There are a couple of almost level grasslands in Phawngpui area, one of them being Farpâk, a wide open space with an area of 253 sqr. meters. It is pronounced like “far park” without the r in park. Farpâk in Lai langauge means single pine tree. There is a story behind it. My guide Pu Chhanuka told and probably told Roshni too. Thankfully she already has it in English so I am going to shamelessly quote her.
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Guide to Phawngpui, the top of Mizoram

phawngpui, blue mountain

The south face of Phawngpui as seen from Bualpui (NG) village. Click on the image for larger size.

For an independent traveler or trekker who wants to visit Phawngpui, the highest peak in Mizoram, there’s very little information available online. The very few available written by visitors from other states and foreign tourists left many questions unanswered or are outdated. How to get to the base camp? What about permission, guide?

I therefore decided to go Phawngpui myself and find out.
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