ATTRACTIONS OF TRIPURA

Our three-day trip to Tripura started on the first week of December last year. We enjoyed exploring the capital city and went on to visit Udaipur, Melaghar, Kasba and Akhaura as well.

Tripura, one of the Northeastern States of India, shares its border with Assam in the north-east, with Mizoram in the east and is surrounded by Bangladesh on its south, west and north. Greenery and water bodies are found in abundance in many regions of the State.

Our first destination was Tripureswari Temple, situated near Udaipur, about 55 kilometres from Agartala. Commonly known as Matabari, this temple is one of the 51 Shakti Peeths of Hindu mythology. It is believed that Sati’s right leg fell there when Lord Shiva in remorse, performed the celestial dance of destruction, carrying the remains of his wife’s self-immolated body. The temple stands on a small hillock and the beautiful lake, Kalyan Sagar, lies behind it.

Next, we went to Neermahal, the lone water palace of the North-east, situated in Melaghar. This spectacular monument is in the middle of the vast Rudrasagar Lake. After buying our tickets, we proceeded towards the beautiful palace on a motor-boat. The palace is divided into two parts. The main area has two sections, consisting of several rooms and balconies for the king and queen separately. On our journey back on the motor-boat, we spotted some migratory birds.

At Melaghar, we visited the Pagli Mashi temple to get a glimpse of an old woman who is thronged by people to seek her blessings.

We then made our way through Bishalgarh towards the Kali Temple of Kasba. This temple stands on a hillock and the lake Kamalasagar in front, adds to its beauty.

We then headed to Akhaura, about two kilometers away from Agartala. It is the Indo-Bangladesh border where the flag lowering ceremony takes place between the two countries. We clicked pictures at the international border and returned thereafter.

The next day, our first destination was the magnificent white Ujjayanta Palace, the main attraction of the capital city. Popularly known as ‘Rajbari’, this former royal abode of the ruling Manikya dynasty stands on a lakefront and is now the Tripura State Museum.

Located near the Ujjayanta Palace is the Jagannath temple, also known as Sri Chaitanya Gaudiya Math. After offering prayers, we visited Venuvan Vihar, a Buddhist shrine, located at Kunjaban.

The Heritage Park is another tourist attraction of the city, situated at Kunjaban. The park is designed as mini Tripura, showcasing the undulating landscape with tiny railway stations, and replicas of Tripura’s landmarks. Several water bodies are beautifully presented in miniature form.

The Chaturdas Devata Temple at Old Agartala was the last destination of our trip. This temple is unique as it looks like a stupa and as the name implies, there are 14 deities that are worshipped.

As we moved through the streets of the city, we caught sight of the construction work going on for the long flyover that would be the first in Tripura, which would cover a distance of more than two kilometres. We also went through many Chowmuhanis, which meant crossroads in the local language.

While exploring the attractions of Tripura, we relished the delicious cuisine that included fish curries of the famous hilsa and pavda. Our trip ended well and we brought with us wonderful memories captured in pictures.

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 5 January 2018]

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DANSEUSE

She speaks through her steps,

Dancing and revolving,

Expressing her art,

Going beyond the self,

A bond with the Supreme power,

A complete surrender

Of the mind and the heart,

A performance

Filled with true devotion.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 7 June 2013]

SUNRISE

Sightseers swarm

To catch your glimpse,

Your spray of colours

On the lofty peaks.

Your appearance delights

One and all,

To experience rejuvenation…

A new day, a new life.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 29 September 2012]

YEARNING

My heart yearns,

To go a long way,

Far across the fields,

Across the echoing hills,

Towards a place enchanting,

Lovely and silent,

Beside a gurgling stream,

Where I can see myself,

My reflection…

And speak out my feelings,

My tormenting desires,

To ease a heavy heart,

In the serene atmosphere.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 11 August 2012]

A GIFT

(Dedicated to my mother)

 

You smiled at me,

Even though you were in pain,

You sacrificed for me,

Never thought about your gain.

 

You brought me up,

With lots of love and affection,

You stood by me,

Giving me utmost protection.

 

You inculcated in me,

Good habits and values,

You patiently taught me,

Prepare savoury menus.

 

You still care for me,

Although I stay remote,

You are divine to me,

My precious gift from God.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 4 February 2012]

SECRET

A secret remains a secret

Till it’s kept a secret,

If once it’s revealed

It doesn’t remain sealed.

All depends upon self-restraint,

The power to retain and refrain,

Indomitable spirit – unyielding,

Sheer determination – untiring.

Aren’t these secrets

Of keeping secrets?

If we try we can succeed,

A resolution to just proceed.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 8 October 2011]

SILENT ENEMY

Creeping slowly,

Each day, every moment,

Through my thoughts,

It haunted, attacked,

Made me miserable.

The enemy,

Mocked at my resolutions,

Began to build its base,

An attempt,

To ruin my imagination.

Helpless, frightened,

I searched for aid everywhere,

To evade the silent enemy,

But none could rescue me

Or provide a defending solution.

One day, exhausted,

I dropped on the floor,

And dormant self-confidence sprang forth!

Ah! I discovered my remedy ultimately!

To overcome fear, the silent enemy.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 24 September 2011]

HORIZON

Strolling on the sandy beach,

Enjoying the cool gentle breeze,

I looked at the people around.

Little children built sand-castles,

Young couples sat close together,

Elderly people enjoyed the waves.

My eyes fell upon a pair –

A grandchild and a grandfather,

Talking and munching ground-nuts.

One rising sun, the other setting…

Miles apart, yet, both rising and setting

At the same place – the horizon.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 13 August 2011]

RECREATION

The aroma of green tea,

Palm-laced beaches by the sea,

Beautiful thundering waterfalls,

Shopping spree at the malls,

A rejuvenation with a spa,

Christian pilgrimage in Goa,

Fresh snowfalls shivering the bone,

Pristine perfection carved in stone,

Enchanting wildlife on a safari,

The cushiest ride ever on a Ferrari,

Temple shrines representing reliance,

Heavenly Kashmir witnessing romance,

Expedition towards the majestic summit,

Gurgling rivers meandering proceed,

Just a glance through a kaleidoscope,

Fragments of India’s recreation, wow!

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 2 July 2011]

CHILD LABOUR

Whoever he may be,

Tom, Dick or Harry,

Wretched poverty stares,

Sternly at his face,

Compelling him to toil,

With exertion and foil,

Losing childhood joy,

Discarding shame and coy,

Deprived of learning,

In course of earning,

To contribute for the family

And get rid of scarcity.

Little did he know,

The world thinks for him so,

Dedicating a day every year,

As World Day Against Child Labour,

Observing it on June 12,

By creating awareness and a wave,

To ban child labour

And protecting him forever.

 

[Published in the following:

(1) ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 11 June 2011

(2) ‘The Sentinel’ on 26 June 2011 ]

REMEMBERING NETAJI

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose,

Born on twenty-third January,

A great inspiring leader,

The greatest patriot of our country.

He formed the Azad Hind Fauj

Or the Indian National Army,

Left the Congress party,

With difference of opinions

With Gandhiji.

Netaji roused the words –

‘Give me blood and

I will give you freedom’,

Awoke the youth of India,

Instilled into them

The fire of nationalism.

Chalo Dilli and Jai Hind,

Netaji shouted the slogans,

We’ll remember you, Netaji,

Every year always and again.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 22 January 2011]

RELATIONSHIP

I remember those words,

That Shakespeare once wrote –

The world is a stage,

And we are all actors.

Are we really actors?

Do we actually play roles?

Our relationships… oh, yes!

We act in so many roles!

When we are children,

We are with our parents;

When we are parents,

We are with our children.

When we are students,

We are with our teachers;

When we are just souls,

We are with The Supreme Soul.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 27 November 2010]

SAVE WATER

Oh! Precious drops,

A view crystal clear,

Life without you,

A complete mess,

Perhaps a nightmare.

Your pleasant existence

Sustains survival,

To blades of grass,

Green paddy fields,

Greenery spreading out –

Touching the horizon,

Every living creature,

The chirping birds,

Flocks and herds,

Mankind as well.

A clarion call,

For each individual –

Let’s join hands,

With purpose and mission,

To save every drop,

Every single day,

And live in fellowship,

Harmony with nature,

For healthy living,

Benefitting mutual welfare.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 6 November 2010]

I LIKE

I like to see –

The sun rising,

The flowers blooming,

A baby smiling,

The stars twinkling.

 

I like to hear –

The notes of a sitar,

My husband playing the guitar,

The advice from a wellwisher,

The encouraging words of my father.

 

I like to touch –

The dew-drops on a flower,

The water of a flowing river,

The soft hair of my son,

The lovely sweaters knitted by mom.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 30 October 2010]

NATURE IN OBLIVION

Walking down memory lane,

I feel myself fortunate,

I’ve seen colours of nature,

I’ve myriad memories to cherish…

Playing hide-and-seek

And doll’s marriages,

Jumping on puddles

And sailing paper-boats.

 

Walking through crowded streets,

I feel as if –

Nature’s on the verge of oblivion,

Been replaced by technology…

Playing games on mobile

And watching videos,

Browsing the internet

And viewing the idiot box.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 2 October 2010]

BEYOND A NAME

What’s in a name?

You remain the same.

What shall I call thee –

An ocean or a sea?

 

What’s in a name?

You remain the same.

What shall I call thee –

Lord Krishna or Goddess Kali?

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 11 September 2010]

MISERY

Why is misery

Ruling the world?

We strive for pleasure

But land up with misery!

As clocks tick

And moments fleet,

We slowly realize –

Misery is a teacher,

Showing us the path

To face life’s realities.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 19 June 2010]

WAVES OF TERROR

A daring voyage,

We sail in a ship

Amidst mighty torrents

On a turbulent sea,

Swaying hither and thither,

Making way across

Rapid high-rise waves,

Waves of terrorism,

Bullets and blasts.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 29 May 2010]

A WISH

One evening I sat alone

On the verandah

And looked up towards the sky.

All of a sudden,

A shooting star passed by.

I thought for a moment –

What shall I wish?

I wondered and wondered.

Then, a beautiful thought

Came to my mind.

I felt as if God said something

In my ears, silently.

I closed my eyes and wished –

Let there be no chaos

And confusion anywhere

But only happiness, love

And peace everywhere.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 20 March 2010]

A LADY WITH A DIFFERENCE

An old lady,

Wrinkles stamped on her face,

Greeted me ‘Merry Christmas’,

Invited me to her residence.

Her cottage was simple and cosy,

Filled with love, kindness and humility,

Her daughters welcomed me,

Served dinner with cake and sweet.

With a simple job,

She struggled hard,

To educate her daughters,

Till they stood on their feet.

On Christmas day,

She thanked Jesus,

Invited guests,

Celebrated by serving a feast.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 6 March 2010]

I FEEL

(Dedicated to the youth)

 

When I was young,

My teacher once asked me,

What will I be,

When I grow up.

I replied, ‘a teacher’.

But today,

In this age of kalyug,

I feel –

Each one of us,

Should strive to be,

A good human being first.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 27 February 2010]

A LETTER

Dear Feelings, Horizon,

You inspire me to write on and on.

You’ve provided a platform for many poets,

To express their feelings and thoughts.

Horizon is the place for the sun to rise,

Feelings is the space for the poets to write.

My thanks to you for publishing my poems,

Every Saturday I eagerly wait to read poems.

Through this letter, I wish you Happy New Year,

Long Live Feelings, may you prosper every year.

 

[Published in the “feelings” column of ‘Horizon’, the Saturday supplement of ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 26 December 2009]

HARMONY

On a Sunday evening,

Swinging on a swing,

I remembered a saying –

‘Work while you work,

Play while you play.’

I pondered awhile

Exploring significance.

Does it mean concentration

Or detachment

Or perhaps,

A harmony between the two.

Though different, yet inseparable,

One cannot sustain without the other.

Just like

Energy and matter,

Metaphysical and mundane,

Soul and body.

 

[Published in ‘The Assam Tribune’ on 28 November 2009]