Friday, April 25, 2008

Boundaries across bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens

Going back home to my paternal place in Assam in the month of November/ December used to be an annual occasion that I used to relish in those days. Playing in the fields with my cousins and other kids till it becomes dark, relatives pampering you as if you have descendant from some other land, those impromptu picnics aha.....those were the days. Gone are those days now, today I hardly find time to spend with my parents as we stay in separate cities. Someday I am going to write a description about those memorable picnics that we used to have!!!

My paternal place is located very near the India - Bangladesh border. Once when I was visiting there the Commandant of the BSF battalion that was posted there came to meet us. Apparently he was my father's student when he used to teach in a college at Nagaland, he took us on a tour of the border. It was a once in a lifetime experience for many of us. So, about 15 of us consisting of cousins, aunts, uncles, brother-in-laws decided to go and see those places near the border.

I came across a very strange house during the trip. There was this house where two brothers lived with their families, and the dividing line between the two countries ran right in the middle of the house. So, you have one brother who is an Indian and the other brother who is a Bangladeshi legally living under the same roof. One family's kitchen is in India, dinning room and loo in Bangladesh, and bedroom again in India and vice versa. So, what you get to do if you stay there sometime is cook in B'desh, eat in India, sleep and shit in B'desh or it could be the other way round depending on which brother's family you are staying with!

I was awed on seeing this and it actually took some to sink in. Trust me when you are actually standing in that house, you will just be overwhelmed. There was a stump like erection in the middle of the house which is supposed to be the demarcating line between the two countries. I never got another opportunity to go back and visit that house. This time when I go back home and if I find time to visit my paternal place, I will definitely go and visit that house. It has been more than 5-7 years since I saw that house, I just want to see if anything has changed with time in that house.

Today when there is so much talk about borders, countries, division and violence in the name of country religion, cast and creed it actually feels surreal to come across something like this. I am sure both the brothers have their own share of dislikes, tiffs and fights but they live together in 1 house as citizens of two countries, it actually feels good to know about something like this!!!


8 comments:

Sanjay Mazumder said...

It's really astonishing. Never heard of such a story before. You are lucky enough to visit that place. Wish I would have gone there too...

srdash said...

Really interesting! &nice. Such a place where boundaries have no values is really worth visiting. This posting carries a very important 'nation-state' message, doesn't it?

Nikesh Rathi said...

Amazing! Just imagine how it would be for the ones living there!

Interesting blog as well

saz said...

A fine line divides the two brothers.I wonder how the brothers are going to decide their nationalities at heart..they are being separated by the most cruel creature on mother earth...and thats us! of course!..Just wondering how many more brothers are being separated like that across national boundaries....

Tina said...

lovely post..glad u tuk tym out to write this dwn..i must say assam is a plce thats close to my heart..my parents are foriegners and m an indian cz i was born here..so i can relate to this a wwee bit..tats one reason y i got attached to this post

Cheers
Tee

Vinayak said...

nice story
and nice blog
keep blogging
CHEERS
-Vinayak

shex said...

wow i mean not everyone visits such houses and have such extraordinary trips
kudos

Byzantine said...

were u by any chance born in or around Dhubri?? thats my paternal place and I remember hearing about such a house!!