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March 2009

“Who is the poorest in this world?”

“One

who does not dream, one who does not love, is, alas, the poorest!”

This robust reply to the judge’s delicate, deciding question led Nibir Shabnam to the podium; she is now the Miss Amway North East! Beauty is in the eyes of Maini, the beholder and judge!!

Lately, I have been wondering how we can survive tough times- times like now. Times are not tough in terms of law and order (at least in the West), but in economic terms. Like never before in my lifetime at least, there is a premium on innovation and risk taking. Many who did not innovate have gone belly-up already or are doomed for the chopping block. One should not give to pessimism; one should not bury one’s head in the sand in ostrich-like. Manner. Let me call a spade a spade.

A couple of days ago, an old journalist friend of mine called me from Assam. It has been ages since I last spoke with him.

The first thought that came to me on hearing his voice was, “He either wants to come to the US or needs money for his NGO!”

But he asked, “Do you know much about Gomdhar Konwar?”

My cynical mind presumed, “This Konwar must be his friend or a relative who needs help!”

He did not wait for my reply and ranted, “I know you don’t know about him.

Jorhat-based computer scientist and author Devojyoti Borah has been chosen for the Ghanashyam Goswami Memorial Award for 2008. The award carries a citation and Rs 10,000 in cash for notable contributions to the field of science in the Assam. The award was instituted by the Ghanashyam Goswami Memorial Trust in 2001. The award was presented to Borah at a function held at Hatiyekhowa High School in Golaghat district on March 20, 2009.
Borah has 10 books to his credit. These are 1. Byaktigoto computuror purnanga byabaharik path, 2. DTP operatoror purnanga byabaharik hatputhi, 3.

Kaushik Phukan’s  third novel, A Journey Without a Ticket, will be published by Publish America on 16th of April, 2009. It will be available in bookstores in US and Europe.

The book is based on life stories of people the author has met in his numerous train journeys. Most stories are true, although they have been sprinkled with fictional and imaginary characters and incidents. The story starts with the author running to catch a long-distance train. He is able board the train, but pretty soon he realizes that in his hurry, he forgot to bring his ticket and wallet with.

In the late 1990s, after an attempt at a peace process with the banned ULFA had fallen through, a series of ‘secret’ killings had taken place in Assam, the targets being relatives of ULFA leaders and cadre. The allegation was that a band of ‘secret killers’ backed by the state government was targeting these innocent people, their only crime being relatives of insurgents, to put pressure of ULFA to come forward for negotiations.

Welcome to the “Abode of Cloud”, Meghalaya. Let me take you on a trip to the wettest place on earth…yes, you guessed it right…Cherrapunjee.

Cherrapunjee, locally and officially known as Sohra, is 56 kms from Shillong, and a “must see” destination for all tourists.

My name is Dhritiman Deori and I’m a musician/audio engineer based in Delhi. I’m writing to you because I’m presently doing a cultural preservation project on Northeast India that your magazine might be interested in covering. It is a completely first of its kind experimental project, but is also a very important one.

I started Project ‘Rhythm of Northeast’ in August 2008 with the aim of creating a database in audio-visual format of all the existing folk instruments of the various ethnic communities of the whole Northeastern region of India comprising eight states.

Assam Association, Delhi felicitated three great sons of Assam in a graceful function at Srimanta Sankaradeva Bhawan. The function coincided with the inauguration of the recently completed Auditorium of the Association, located at Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi. Three eminent persons are Dr Ramesh Deka- who is appointed Director in AIIMS, Mr.

The first song I heard was right after I was born – my youngest uncle had been playing a Bhupen Hazarika song on the ‘Gramophone’ – way back in 60s. The background music of my sub-conscious mind has been tuned ever since to hundreds of songs sung by Bhupenda. He has songs for happiness, sorrow, romance, patriotism, sarcasm, nature, and what not... for almost any occasion, one can say! Now, with only a few of decades of my life remaining, it’s going to be Bhupenda all throughout!

As a rustic young lad, my concept of Bhupenda was an unachievable dream.

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