Having born in Assam in the northeastern region of India, growing up was pretty simple and memorable. We did not have any modern toys or gadgets to play with, instead it was nature that was our playground. While the rest of India was witnessing industrialization and materialistic growth, Northeast had been luckily neglected behind and left in the hands of nature. But geography has bestowed the region with an amazing environmental and cultural diversity, and the plentiful monsoon rainfall has helped create vast dense forests of incredible diversity, and the fertile soil has never disappointed anyone. And so, as a kid it was all about rivers and jungles. We would play with stone, we would play with stick, we would play in the rivers, we would play with insects, and occasionally the gossip of the presence of a deadly predator lurking somewhere would provide us with thrill.
But life had plans. I had to leave the place that I loved so much. It was for the search of the golden opportunity that had eluded the youths of the region that had made me leave. I had left for Bangalore, a booming urban city in southern India. And life had changed. From a peaceful country life, I was now living a life in a major metropolis of the world, and everything ran so fast and chaotic. The streets were filled with cars, the pollution was tremendous, and I was no more in the company of trees, rather, I had entered the concrete jungle. It took time to get used to the change, but the memories of northeast and its pristine landscape would always linger somewhere in my mind, like a beautiful dream. But urban life had its benefits too. I was now meeting people who were educated, & well informed and it seemed that the city had many nature enthusiasts. If the 21st century has been about globalization, it is also about global warming. And Bangalore had many who were interested for fighting for the climate and the envoronment. Thus began a journey of self discovery and the search for truth. And I was not alone in it, there were many who shared the same concern.
A few years later, and the search of the golden opportunity was no more relevant to me. I was now more like a renegade who had decided to not partake in the rat race. My views on life had changed, and I saw development by means of robbing Mother Nature of its resources as a threat. And it is indeed happening all around the world, trees are being fallen, the land is being dug out, animals being killed and the excretion of all kinds of waste by mankind is mixing with the air and water and the land, diluting their natural state. Every once a while I would visit northeast and I was not blind enough to not see that unsustainable development was slowly invading the many forests and rivers of the region. I knew I had to do something.
And just like that, around 6 months back, over a cup of coffee on a cool winter night, I realized what I had to do. I had met one of my childhood friend from Assam, and we were discussing on the stale state of affairs in the northeast, about how little known such a beautiful region was, how the government was doing nothing about education and tourism, and instead, quietly robing the indigenous people of their rich natural habitat. And somewhere in the long conversation that we had, the idea had struck us both, and that moment onwards, we had become partners of an enterprise. The idea was to bring the northeast to the world, to tell the outside world about the magnificent cultural and ecological diversity of the region, of its many species of the rarest of animals, birds & plants and make the region a tourist hub of India. The dream is to promote responsible tourism, which in turn leads to sustainable development, ensuring safety to the rich ecosystem of the region and also at the same time provide employment and education to the youth and the general population of the region.
It has been 6 months since, and the dream is very much alive. Both of us have been busy since then. We have been traveling the region extensively, learning about the various cultures and ecosystems. And as soon as we have a certain knowledge of this region, we shall start with the second phase in the implementation of the idea, i.e to invite and assist the outside world in their travels to this unexplored paradise. Till then we hope you enjoy our exclusive articles and photographs on the region.