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Bhaona: An Experience Pramathesh Borkotoky shares the experience of traditional folk theatre, Bhaona, through his pictures.

Executive Editor: Pramathesh Borkotoky Editor: Myra B Other Members:

1 In ‘Scotland of the East’ Explore Shillong in a bike ride with Ajatashatru

11 The Selfish Giant

23 Sorry Mom!

Sandeep Sarkar illustrates the classic fairy tale by Oliver Wilde through his drawings.

A Noir 55 by Mani Padma

16 On the murder of a classic Rhiddhis Chakravorty shares his emotions on the remake of the classic Mile Sur Mera Tumhara.

10 Poetry Aien and Pratibha shares some intense sentimental moments through their poetry.

12 Fashion Fads Sabrina Iqbal warns for those who follow fashion blindly.


21 Chef’s Pick: Axomimatters


Miss Cellany


Good News


The Fried Chef focuses on Axomimatters, an organization formed by a group young people who are determined a to shape a better Assam.

8 The Media is free to record our lives: Amitabh Bachchan The Star of the of the millennium speaks about his relationship with the media in an interview with Noyon Jyoti Parasara.

Mani Padma(Creative Supervisor) , Kavita Saharia (Strategy Supervisor), Manimugdha Sharma (Strategy Supervisor), Noyon Jyoti Parasara (Movie Desk Editor) and Anupam Bhattacharya (Graphics Designer). Published by: Pramathesh Borkotoky, Hashan Hazarika and Rakib Ahmed for Fried Eye c/o Pramathesh Borkotoky Kenduguri, Jorhat-785010 Note by the Publishers: Views expressed in the magazine are personal views expressed by the authors. Fried Eye is not liable for it.


Editorial Dear Readers, Welcome back to yet another issue of Fried Eye. February brings to all of us a new season, a new dimension. In keeping with the mood of the season, meet AxomiMatters, an organization which has taken on itself the onus of creating a new educated and informed Assam. The sleepy sun has finally consented to occasionally rear its head amidst the foggy skies and the time seems just right for a visit to the Scotland of the East. Keeping in tune with the mood of the season, Ajatashatru takes us on a bike ride through Shillong, the capital city of the abode of the clouds, Meghalaya. While your spirits of adventure are still up, take a stroll into the heart of Kenduguri, Assam to experience an enthralling Bhauna with Pramathesh in Through the Lens. As the season lazily changes colours, it is also time for gradually making space in the wardrobe for a sunnier season ahead; which of course means it‘s time to check out the latest trends ―in‖ and ―out‖. However, obsessive adherence to style mantras can be hazardous and in her article, Fried Guest Sabrina warns one and all of following fashion blindly. What perhaps would be more engaging in this season of transition, is to glance inwards and try and clear the cobwebs gathering in the wardrobe of the heart. The Children‘s Section of this issue features young Sandeep‘s attempt at illustrating Oscar Wilde‘s The Selfish Giant- a story that focuses on just such a spring-cleaning. But cleaning can get murky too. Find out how in the regular section of 55 Fiction as Mani dabbles with the genre of crime noir. Let Noyon‗s exclusive with Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan bring to you a new insight into the Star of the Millenium‘s life . And last but not the least, may the Wise Bachelor and Miss Cellany continue to regale you with their antidotes and anecdotes on the many faces of society in change. With warm regards, Myra B Editor (on behalf of the Fried Eye team)

In ‘Scotland of the East’ -Ajatashatru There are only a few things over which Neelam and I agree without fighting. After our Agartala trip, I had the impression that she would not question my judgement in matters of travel at least. I was wrong! When I first proposed Shillong as our next destination, she summarily rejected it. Her reason: Shillong is a ―clichéd‖ tourist spot that everyone seems to visit. ―Naya kya hai?‖ she asked. ―Tum nayi ho,‖ was my answer. ―Weak logic. Give me a zabardast reason for buying your point.‖ ―We can make it a motorcycle trip if we go to Shillong.‖ Neelam was quiet for a moment. Probably she tried to imagine how exciting it would be to go on a biking trip. ―Mummy ji ko puch kar batati hoon. ‖ My mother has to intervene all the time in our fights. Every time Neelam is about to lose a battle, she invokes my mother‘s intervention. And much to my dismay, my mommy always takes her bahu‘s side. ―Why do you have to bring in my mother in every situation?‖ ―Listen, I‘m a well-mannered Bharatiya naari. I respect my elders. A girl should always take her in-laws as her own parents. And to obey our parents…‖ ―Cut the crap,‖ I interrupted. ―Drama bandh karo. Go and ask your mummy ji if it is so important.‖ My mother apparently told her that it would be too risky to go on a biking trip to Shillong. ―The hills are treacherous,‖ she told Neelam. ―You know, Mummy ji says it‘s too risky. But I think it will be fun. Chalo na chalte hai,‖ Neelam said with a wicked glimmer in her eyes. She always likes to do things that others don‘t approve of or find risqué. All her ‗Bharatiya naari‘ logic had vanished in a moment. I sometimes wonder if I have married a reincarnation of Fearless Nadia. We set out on a fine Monday morning on a hired Royal Enfield Bullet. Actually, it was looted, not hired, from an old friend, but anything for Neelam. She should know the Northeast. She is married to the Northeast. I‘m from the Northeast. And being my wife, she has every right to know what my roots are like. All the way, she kept on chirping like a bird and distracting me with loud expressions like ―arre woh dekho baadal hamare neeche‖, ―arre teri, woh bandar lapka‖ and so on. She has a thing for hills…nature to be precise. ―Yaar, this is the best road trip I‘ve ever had. It feels as if I‘m acting in a desi version of Motorcycle Diaries,‖ Neelam was just too happy. ―Yeah, certainly. And I feel like Che Guevara. You are the horny Alberto Granado,‖ I quipped. ―What rubbish! Why do you always have nasty things and roles for me? Koi acchi baat bhi kar sakte ho na.‖ ―Na biwi, tu to superstar hai. Chal fir, I‘m Rishi Kapoor and you are Dimple Kapadia. This is the shooting of Pyar Mein Twist.‖ ―Chee! I hate Dimple! Koi aur, please!‖


―Yeah right, it was a wrong name to use. You are Pimple Kapadia!‖ I laughed out loud even as she kept on punching my back and pinching my tummy. Shillong is a geographical as well as cultural legacy of the British Raj. The township was established by the English for several reasons: the two primary reasons being its strategic location between the Surama Valley and the Brahmaputra Valley, and the cooler climes similar to the English air. Shillong also finds mention in several literary works: the most notable ones being Nirad C. Chaudhary‘s The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, and Gurudeb Rabindranath Tagore‘s Shesher Kobita. We reached Umiam Lake where we decided to stop for a while. The scenery was marvellous. Even though I have been to the lake many a times before, this time, there was an added charm—I had come with my wife. The water baby that she is, Neelam had an instant desire to swim in the lake. I encouraged her this time. I told her that if she swims, I will soon make a film and cast her as the heroine. The name of the movie would be Gayi Bhains Paani Mein. Needless to say, I ended up with several bruises for that mistimed joke. We had lunch at the Blue Vada restaurant at the Orchid Lake Resort in Umiam. Prior booking is required to dine at this place as it is always in demand. But it offers a breathtaking view of the place so it is a must visit. The food was exquisite. After lunch, we headed straight towards Shillong, which was just 15 km away. We checked in at the Tripura Castle in Cleve Colony, which is a heritage hotel. It was previously owned by the Maharaja of Tripura. We kept all our sightseeing for the next day and instead chose to hop the markets and the city centres at Police Bazar and Laitumkhrah in the evening. It was also because Neelam felt a little giddy. ―Yaar, I think I need to lie down for a while. I feel pukish.‖ ―Pukish? Koi good news to nahin hai na?‖ This time, my joke was really mistimed and she just glowered at me. The cold weather coupled with the motorbike ride was showing it effect on the poor girl. I also realised I had said enough for the day; anything more would really put my marriage in jeopardy. An afternoon nap could both do us good. It was almost 5.30 pm when Neelam woke me up. ―Chalo chalo market chalte hai.‖ ―Arre you were sick na?‖ ―I‘m ok now. Now stop being a quizmaster and get ready. My God, we are late!‖ she almost shrieked. For a while I had forgotten that there could be no market in this country that Neelam Soni would not loot. My fault, anyway. We went to a Tibetan market named Glory‘s Plaza at Police Bazaar. There, my lady bought an array of warmers and a few souvenir items for everyone back in Guwahati and in Delhi. I tried to remind her


that we are on a biking trip and too much luggage would make the return journey punishing, but to no avail. Back in the castle, we had a nice dinner and retired for the night early. We planned to visit the Shillong Peak early next morning. Shillong is surrounded by hills. Three of them are revered in Khasi tradition: Lum Sohpetbneng, Lum Diengiei and Lum Shillong. The Shillong Peak is every tourist‘s dream destination. The entire city below is visible from the top. The scene reminded me of several Hollywood movies. It was simply indescribable. Neelam was so excited that she kept on clicking photos. And we both bored another couple to death by making them take our snaps in different ‗pati-patni‘ poses. A trip to the nearby Elephant Falls was no different. The view was captivating. For a long time, we stood motionless. I had never come to this spot before so it was new for me as well. After a while, however, we got back to our senses and started capturing it on camera. The next spot was the golf course or the Gleneagles of the East. It is the world‘s wettest golf course and one of the few natural golf courses in Asia. ―Arre wow, it‘s such a huge place. So green. Koi Hollywood movie jaisi lagti hai, nahin?‖ Neelam said. ―It surely is. They say Shillong is the ‗Scotland of the East‘. Samajh mein aayi baat?‖ We returned to the Tripura Castle to freshen up. We just had another day in hand to complete the trip, and I still had to meet my friend Major Tomojit. I called him up and he invited us to be his guest at the 58 Gorkha Training Centre the next day. But we still had the entire evening in front of us. So, we decided to hang out in the city. We wandered aimlessly at Laitumkhrah and other places. I showed her the St. Anthony‘s and St. Edmund‘s colleges, the new IIM campus, as well as the Raj Bhavan and the state library. We then went to a multi-cuisine restaurant and had authentic local food for the first time. We have had momos before but not anything typical to the city. We therefore had a special rice called jastem, which is cooked with onion, ginger and turmeric. We also ordered a vegetable curry despite the waiter insisting that we try their special non-veg. items. Neelam being a vegetarian, we couldn‘t. The next morning, our last day in Shillong, we went to the 58 Gorkha Training Centre to see my friend, Major Tomojit. He showed us the place and even showed us parts of the ongoing training at the centre. We saw the cadets learning difficult lessons in warfare, but Neelam wanted to know if there was anything worth seeing. So, we were taken to a regimental museum where I personally had a good time. But Neelam wasn‘t impressed with the vintage weaponry on display. She hates ‗boys‘ toys‘, and she says that quite often. She, however, impressed my friend a lot, so much so that he offered to send a car to Guwahati with our luggage.

The next morning, before we started our return journey, we decided to check out a coffee shop named MOT in Laitumkhrah. We had Irish coffee there, which made for an awesome treat. They were also playing some live music, which made the experience all the more pleasant. Music comes naturally to the people of Shillong, for it is the self-proclaimed rock capital of India. Several international bands including Scorpions, Sepultura and MLTR have performed in Shillong. Also, this is probably the only city that has been celebrating music legend Bob Dylan‘s birthday every year since 1972, courtesy Lou Majaw, India‘s own Dylan. Shillong also has several bands that are doing well at the national and international levels: the most notable among them being Soulmate. On our way back, I had a feeling that we will have to come back to Shillong again someday. We had only skimmed through the city and didn‘t quite see too many places. Neelam was also unusually quiet. I couldn‘t gauge her thoughts. Maybe she was sad at the thought of leaving the place. Or maybe she was only pretending all this while of liking the trip. I didn‘t know. There are times when you don‘t understand your spouse. It was such a moment. ―You know, I think we should come back again. I think there is still much to be seen here,‖ she finally broke her silence. ―As you say, madam. Ghulam aapki khidmat mein hai.‖ ―No, sacchi mein. And I promise agli baar I won‘t shop too much. I would rather see the places. I feel this is home, too.‖ I didn‘t say anything but only smiled to myself. Actually, when you love someone, you tend to understand the other person‘s feelings without even knowing that you do. The sun felt warm. And so was the hug I got from behind. We just rode on. Our next trip was already taking shape in my mind.

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Black Magic Woman -Miss Cellany With a song on my lips and spring in my steps I set out for my workplace this morning. Everything looked fresh and clean. I was waiting at a traffic intersection for the chartered bus when I witnessed an incident which… I am not sure if i have an adjective to describe it yet. So let me just narrate it instead. Two guys were trying to jump the red-light when a girl in a Getz suddenly raced in from the adjacent green side cutting short their herogiri. The guys,narrowly missed being hit, let out an instantaneous Heyy! The girl slowed down as if on reflex; with a mischievous smile took a hand off the steering wheel, made an unmistakable FO sign with her fingers and sped away leaving the guys and an Auntiji standing near me absolutely shocked. The guys on the bike recovered and smiling sheepishly drove away. I had doubled up giggling hysterically. Wow! That was some attitude. Some girl she was. A Gutsy girl with a wicked sense of humour. Go woman! Of course, Auntiji did not lose a moment to turn that disapproving glare towards me now that the Getz whisked by. I immediately tried to control myself. I am sure Auntiji must have been silently cursing us crazy next-gen women who upset her orthodox senses of dos and don‘ts at probably every traffic signal she halts at these days. I mean, just think of the woman who just crossed by. The incident must have lasted for just a few seconds but it was enough to check her out. (Yes guys! I did say check her out.Why? How much time do you need to do so? And at any rate we women check other women out faster than most specimens of your species do.) Beautiful, sexy, confidence oozing from every pore. The kohl-rimmed eyes, that dainty nose-ring and the black turtleneck hinted at just the right concoction of mischief and devil-may-care attitude. BLACK MAGIC WOMAN. That attire and attitude proudly announced that she wasn‘t one of those who looked towards qualifying as the sushil bharatiya nari (a fact seconded by the deadly stares of Auntiji). Ah well, my bus arrived, and I energetically hopped up to push my way through the already crowded aisle. My head carried within it that woman who came and wafted by like a breath of fresh air. Her surprise counter to the wannabe Roadies made my day and I am sure even those guys who were at the receiving end enjoyed the experience. (I hope they learnt something from it too, I won‘t bet too much on it though.)


Q. Meri girlfriend mujhe maarti hai. I love her, but when she hits, she hits really hard. I don‟t retaliate because I don‟t hit women. Please help me tell her not to test my endurance power. Pitahuwa Premi, Shillong. Ans: Dear Lord! Who is this woman? I have a friend who is in a relationship with an amorous woman. When they make love, she bites and scratches him like a wild cat. The next morning, my friend has to face a lot of embarrassment in office with all those visible red marks. But your condition is worse than his, for should you walk into your office with a swollen nose or a black eye, you would be a disgrace to ‗man‘kind! Come one, this is woman‘s emancipation at its height! Pal, you need to realise that you are with an exceptionally talented woman. Who knows, she might be the next best thing Northeast has produced after boxer Mary Kom. But you need to help her channelise her energy; there‘s no point being her punching bag. Buy her a pair of boxing gloves on her next birthday and someday you might feel proud to be the significant other of a champion pugilist. And don‘t even think about playing the role of Evander Hollyfield against this Mike Tyson of a woman, for Tyson had bitten off Hollyfield‘s ear in a bout that went awry. As for helping you, let me first figure out what makes her so aggressive. I think she is the lost Catwoman from Batman movies, who had disappeared, never to be seen again. And guess what? Even Michael Keaton‘s career had a downswing after that and he vanished from the silver screen: a fact that made all of us bear with disappointing Batmen like Val Kilmer, George Clooney and Christian Bale. If you tell him that you have found Catwoman, maybe he will once again find his lost film career. Or maybe she is the feminine alter ego of Jimmy Porter from Look Back in Anger. In that case, you have no other way but to play the passive Alison. But you could try playing the ‗bear and squirrel‘ game to smoothen the relationship. If nothing works, try what Amba had done in the Mahabharata, and maybe you will be born as Shikhandi in your next life. Then every time your girl would try to hit her husband, you could come in the way and frustrate her. Kyunki ek aurat doosre aurat ka hi dard samajh sakti hai, mardon ka nahin. Think about it and good luck!


Q. My friend has a weird problem. He likes a girl whom he met in my wedding. They look good together, seriously, but my friend is not sure if he wants to marry her. He is also an „eligible bachelor‟ who is being pursued by an army of potential fathers/mothers-in-law. But he is not accepting any of the proposals and is instead running after impossible things. Till now, he has fallen for someone much older to him; another, a married lady with a child; and a confused teacher already in a relationship with someone else. They all seem to like him and he likes all of them, but seeing him living his life this way, I‟m losing my patience. I think I don‟t understand him anymore. Please help, WB. Nayi dulhan, pareshan saheli, dost mera ek paheli, New Delhi. Ans: Bheegi hui cigarette kabhi jalegi nahin, aur yeh tay hai ki tere dost ki kismet kabhi sudhregi nahin. I think your friend is suffering from ‗mere andar Kanhaiyya‘ syndrome. It is not exactly a disease but a state of mind that makes a man feel as if he is the Kalyug avatar of Lord Krishna and that he can attract an army of women, each better than the other. Men with this ‗problem‘ find it difficult to commit in relationships; and those who are arranged-marriage material, they find it harder to focus on a single person, for there is this undying hope that a better woman would soon come by. If you look at the life of Lord Krishna, you would find that his love affair with Radha, who was a married lady, is considered to be one of the purest forms of love. Rukmini, on the other hand, was betrothed to another man. I would, therefore, say that there are no solutions as such to your friend‘s ‗problems‘. These are not problems at all; it‘s just that in today‘s complicated world, we have lost our sensitivity and cannot imagine love outside its clichéd definitions and boundaries. Your friend, I think, is a very sensitive man. Try to understand this rasiya and stop being a Yashoda maiyya to your buddy. Q. WB, I have been trying to transfer my telephone connection from Jorhat to Guwahati, but the authorities are taking a long time to get it done. Every time I go to the telecom office, the clerk tells me that he is very busy and that my application is “in process”. What should I do now? Sarkari naukar se dukhi aam aadmi, Guwahati Ans: Before getting a telephone connection, you should try to get connected with the realities of life. Getting a telephone connection is not as easy as singing telephone dhun mein hasne waali to your girlfriend. If you want your telephone to be transferred, you should also be willing to transfer some of your hard earned money to the clerk. I have met many people like you who want to get their work done fast, but are not willing to invest. It gets very frustrating for government servants at times. When will you people start thinking about them? They, sarkari naukars, are a generation of under-paid people, who also have over-expecting families to tend to. India is a welfare state, and we all should think about the welfare of one another. If you help them, they will help you. So, the next time you go to the telephone office, give the clerk a hundred-rupee note along with your artificial smile and your work will be done in minutes.


The media is free to record our lives: Amitabh Bachchan - Noyon Jyoti Parasara

The actor, who was voted the ‗Star of the Millennium‘ talks about his relationship with the media and how it has gone from being bad to good at times in his 40-year old career. The excitement to know what is happening in someone else‘s life is almost an integral part of most human minds. The desire gets stronger when the life that we want to know about is that of a celebrity. And it gets ever stronger when the celebrity in question is Amitabh Bachchan. Dozens of media personnel follow every minute of this superstar‘s life to bring to the reader more news on him – the ones that he has not already pasted on his blog. However, in process of bringing to people what they would like to read or watch, the media has often been accused of trespassing into the lives of celebs way beyond approved limits. But that never seems to anger this star by a bit. ―We have to accept it, as people want to know more about public figures. So the media is free to record and say anything that they want to. I as a public figure need to be cautious of what I do in public, and make sure that it is not against the public and society. My own conduct must be such that no one can point anything at it. If I behave wrong and the media writes about it then I deserve it,‖ he says coolly. Of course there have been times when he and the news media have not been in the most cordial of terms. One of the earliest examples of this was when the media had banned him completely during the emergency. There were speculations that the restrictions on the media were made after the actor suggested the same to the Prime Minister and President. For some years thereafter there were no words exchanged, no greeting… not even credits were given where it was due. Things changed when Bachchan was admitted in hospital after a near fatal injury at the sets of Coolie. There are recent examples too. The most recent being when the media rebuked the star and his family for not being a good host and letting them inside to cover the wedding of Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. Big B, as he is lovingly referred to as, has his explanation. ―Weddings are private matters. We have had two wedding in our house – my daughter‘s and my son‘s. And we wanted to keep it low key and personal. It is a very auspicious occasion in a family and a very tender moment for a girl who is getting married. It is also an equally poignant


moment for the family who is receiving the girl into their family,‖ he says. ―Many people think this is a moment of celebration and it of course is. But we feel it is not an easy task when a woman decides to leave her home and start living with another family, which she calls hers from then on. It is the most valued decision a woman takes in her entire life. No other decision is as sensitive and powerful as that. And I feel that this moment should be left to the family members to be alone. And that‘s what we tried doing,‖ he explains. He adds that despite such views they understood the media could not be kept away completely. ―Knowing the fact that the people involved in this process were all public figures, there was bound to be interest among the public, which transcends into the media. So we made arrangements for the media outside both our homes as we made platforms for them and also kept sending them sweets and refreshments for 24 hours. But beyond that we didn‘t want them as the privacy would have been left,‖ he says. ―But there were disappointments. Certain sections of the media tried sensationalizing things even when the ceremony was on. I was even told by some senior media people that since we didn‘t call them in there were options for them!‖ he recalls. In fact the marriage is still remembered because of some unknown girl coming up, in true filmy fashion, to claim that Abhishek was her husband. But Bachchan indicates that it was nothing but an attempt to sabotage the marriage – an attempt made by someone who the star is unwilling to disclose. ―If this was not on record I would have told you what the facts behind that were. Let me tell you it was all staged, deliberately!‖ he tells us. ―And when someone goes to such extents to sensationalize things we are obviously not going to be comfortable,‖ he adds, appealing to the media to let him enjoy some personal moments with his family, while he shares everything else with his fans. That surely would be a tough task to abide by, but maybe Amitabh Bachchan hopes that his latest film Rann drives some thoughts into the media as well as the junta!



Alice in wonderland wandered down into an upside-down world. What to do to escape from reality? Reflections in the mirror lie, we are not what we seem to be. The world is too much with us and we are too much with the world. Sorrowful is she who knows all grief stems from knowing. Acid Lsd Morphia give me forgetfulness. To remember is to die to forget is to live. A centipede balls up on touch; a touch-me-not withers on you. We could all own a protective shell lulling us to oblivion, un-bothered un-fettered un-loved un-hurt. The biggest vanity is to learn The toughest to unlearn.


In Memory’s Lap -Pratibha

Ideas storm my tiny brain you won‘t rest, will you? another nudge to the cells eye should not miss the scene a twitch in the heightened sense no whisper even must miss the ear. I know this scene, I know this voice… It beckons me now, the time is to rise… Images flash in my heart you won‘t fade soon, will you? another memory passes through mind should not miss the details few muscles move in the face soon as the smiley tears mark their trail. I know this memory I know these tears It reminds me again to shed my fears… Fabrics caress my finger tips you won‘t stay still, will you? the texture gets crushed by hands nose should not miss the smell hairs fall on the nostalgic arms as they steady the love filled chest. I know these clothes I know this aroma It tells me of ways to comfort any trauma…


Fashion Fads! ―Fashion‖… a vague word with tremendous significance for the stylish folk world over. The trend of following fashion fads, I believe, cannot be traced back accurately in time. But it cannot be denied that fashion does rule the young and not so young alike. Everyone wants to, or at least secretly desires to, look pretty and in tune with the ―in ―styles. But the dilemma is what exactly is ―in‖ and what is ―out‖. More complex is the question as to who decides what is ―in‖ and what is not. However again, we the common folk or the lay men are not concerned with who decides and why but we are mainly curious to know what styles are the styles of the day. Well that apart, fashion, be it about clothes, the latest accessories or the newest hairdo usually spreads like wild fire as every second person in town adorns that ―in look‖. People irrespective of the fact whether the particular style suits them or not are seen to be in the latest (and also very frequently weird) fads. There‘s nothing wrong with being fashionable and stylish. But I believe that style is always individual. It is not only about garnishing oneself with the newest and hottest attires and accessories. Just make a simple speculation. Fashion fads are mostly proliferated by the idiot box or by models. In both cases the people demonstrating the latest styles are professionally groomed and accessorized. Moreover, almost all of them are professional models or actors. We, the people who pick up these trends, however are ordinary normal people with average looks and not so proportionate bodies. Professional grooming and accessorizing are far off dreams. Thus, is it really practicable or feasible for us to totally imitate the styles of such groomed people? I believe not. Firstly, we are the ―aam admi‖ the mango people. Besides every single person has a personality and individuality of his own and it is not necessary that the latest styles have to agree with or suit him or her. Well again, that is only one side of the story. The second important thing that I would like to stress is that style is not just physical appearance and looks. It is more of a matter of attitude and the way a person carries himself. That is it is a matter of confidence and mannerisms. We really need to think and rethink if there is an actual need to follow and run after the newest trends. Beauty is subjective; and imitating trends does not make one beautiful. Beauty will reflect only when it comes from within a person. That is when a person is beautiful from within. A beautiful soul radiates even from people who may not be categorized as pretty in the conventional sense of the term. Hence if you think that you are pretty from within stop running after these fickle styles. These so called fashion fads are actually just temporary amusement techniques and commercial ventures which are just aimed at exploiting the masses ruled by style, which again fade away over a period of time. But if you really want to look stylish and chic just wear the right attitude and trust me you will definitely be considered ―in‖. SABRINA IQBAL SIRCAR GUWAHATI, ASSAM

The writer is a freelance writer and editor, based in Guwahati, Assam. She can be reached at


Bhaona: An experience

The Vaishnavite beginnings during of Assamese culture ―display homogeneous in the presentation subtle and hard to unless he sees the different types action in first person. In one rambles among corners of I got a chance at Charingiya occasioned by the and was based on

Bhauna tradition of Assam has evolved and adapted since its the fifteenth century. One of the most written upon folk forms today, the Bhaona (from the Sanskrit Bhavana meaning of/production‖) risks being categorised as a blanket form, However the differences and performance of Bhaonas is grasp by a layman in full of my the nooks and Kenduguri ,Jorhat, to enjoy a Bhaona in progress Suk, No. 2 Brahmin Gaon. The Bhaona was reinstitution of the Manikut in the Naamghar the Bhagavata story of Bhakta Prahlad. The (congregation) was already hooked to the sutradhar(narrator) at the time of our while adjusting our eyes to the smoke and ambiance even though the age old gacha chandeliers of multiple earthen lamps) (torches) were overpowered by new age


riveting tales of the arrival. It took a incense filled (large earthen and the ariya electric lights. The dialogues were riveting and the boy-actors (especially the ones in female roles or charitas) were both delicate and entertaining in their act. Needless to say, I was soon caught in the magic of the presentation and the innovative techniques used to produce the special effects left me very impressed. I managed to capture some moments of the humor-riddled narrative performed by the natuwas and bhaoriyas (performers), hope you have an enriching experience browsing through the same.



Good News Guwahati boys „light‟ up Kolkata Science Fair with low-cost Candles Guwahati: Promising youngsters, Mrinmoy Kumar Sarma and Amritjyoti Das, both class nine students of Maharishi Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School SilpuKhuri, Guwahati display their scientific genius at the Eastern India Science fair 2010 held at Birla Industrial and Technological Museum ,Kolkata from 12 to 16 January 2010. Their innovative low cost candles manufactured from Nahar seeds which attracted the attention of one and all had earlier won the State Level Science Fair 2009 held at Regional Science Centre, Khanapara ,December ,2009. The Aryabhatta Search for Young Scientists get Underway at District Level Udalguri: District level science competitions organized in association with Aryabhatta Science Centres of Kalaigaon, Khoirabari, Bhergaon, Udalguri, Rowta and Mazbat blocks got underway at Ramswarup Agarwalla Memorial High School. The competitions were held in different criteria including model making, extempore speech and poster drawing. The winning participants have earned themselves an entry into the State Level Aryabhatta Science Competition to be held at Assam Engineering Institute, Guwahati from 3 to 7 February,2010 under the supervision of ASTEC, Assam. - FENS PIB to launch 4-day information campaign Imphal: The Public Information Bureau (PIB) is all set to hold a four-day public information campaign on flagship programmes of the Central Governmentat Panthoibi Lampak, Heingang, Imphal East District from 1st to 4th February, 2010. The campaign would cover programmes like the SSA, Mid-Day Meal, RTI, NHRM, NREGS, ICDS and Bharat Nirman packages (rural telephony, rural electrification, rural water supply, total sanitation campaign and rural road). In addition, the event will also host a free medical camp, immunization, free eye care camp and exhibition stalls. The campaign is being organized by PIB, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, Imphal in collaboration with Directorate of Field Publicity (DFP), Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity (DAVP), Doordarshan Kendra (DDK), Imphal, All India Radio, Imphal (A.I.R.), Song and Drama Division, Imphal. – FENS Itanagar to host Special Handloom Expo Dimapur: The Nagaland Handloom & Handicrafts Development Corporation Ltd. Dimapur, is set to organize the Special Handloom Expo at Mobin-Solung Ground, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh from February 16, 2010. Sponsored by the Office of the Development Commissioner (Handloom), Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, New Delhi, this expo will provide its participants with the stalls free of cost besides a travelling allowance. The Expo is scheduled to be put up for a fortnight. - FENS If you have any good news that you want to be published in Fried Eye, send us the news article to with ‗Good News‘ as Subject.


On the murder of a classic -Rhiddhis Chakravorty

What happens when an original masterpiece is redesigned and repackaged as something that only faintly reminds you of its past glory? How about a redesigned Taj Mahal with a banquet hall look? I don‘t know about others but I am one stubborn man who would refuse to accept it. Do you know the reason for this rant? Well, it is outright frustrating to see Kailash Surendranath commit such a heinous crime of destroying his earlier masterpiece, ‗Mile Sur Mera Tumhara‘. Despite its obvious weakness- the typical mainland India bias and colonial neglect towards the culture and history of Assam and other Northeastern states- the rendition was an aesthetic delight to every Indian irrespective of his/her age. Those who were born in the late 70‘s and early 80‘s literally grew up with ‗Mile Sur …‘ telecast on DD to promote national integration before cable TV invaded Indian living rooms. And now comes ‗Phir Mile Sur….‘ the brand new version or the degenerate cadaver of the old classic- mutilated, disfigured and covered with Bollywood trash. The first fault of the entire recording is that it sounds horrible. You don‘t need a trained ear to make out a substandard tune from a good one. While in the earlier version we heard great maestros like Pt Bhimsen Joshi, Balamuralikrishnan and Lata Mangeshkar, the new version has too many badly sung parts. Yes, there are a few great legends like Ustad Amzad Ali Khan, Ustad Zakir Hussain and Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma, but they are like the good portions of a rotten apple that cannot make the fruit eatable. Moreover, it seems the new version contains the maestros just in order to be politically correct. To sum up in one line -watching ‗Phir Mile Sur…‘ is a disturbing experience. The biggest crime Surendranath has committed is that there is annoyingly too much of Bollywood in it. So much so that even Sachin Tendulkar is totally forgotten. Gopichand and Saina get just a few seconds and a lot of other true legends of sports, culture and Indian cinema (not Bollywood) are not at all there. Apart from some popular stars of South India, no major renowned figure from regional cinema is featured in it. Whereas the likes of Deepika Padukone , Ranvir Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor, whose credentials as national icons are debatable, have been allotted too much airtime. Pitiably ‗Phir Mile Sur…‘ fails to integrate the nation if it does not disintegrate. If


the older version neglected the Northeast and some other parts of the nation, the new version has insulted them. A few seconds of Bhupen Hazarika and that is all for Assam and the Northeast, while some other regions are featured for too long. And all this in a music video that is projected as a representation of India‘s cultural diversity! It is crystal clear now that ‗Phir Mile Sur…‘ is produced from the sheer commercial point of view. Bollywood stars are good commodities while culture and aesthetics are not that marketable. In the entertainment market, everything that sells is good and everything that does not should be avoided. National pride is okay only if you can sell it and if someone buys it for a high price. The producers and sponsors will now repent for not featuring Sachin. Not because he is our pride but because he is marketable. This seems to provide answers to some other questions. Why is it that only the Bollywood stars represent Indian culture in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and other international sporting or cultural events? Why is a funny cocktail of Indian and western dance, music and culture is always presented as Indian Culture? Why is the official Indian entry to the Oscars always a Bollywood film no matter how unaesthetic and idiotic it is and never a regional film? It‘s because Bollywood is business; because everything is a commodity in the money-oriented culture that has taken total control over India today. Nevertheless, Kailash Surendranath and all the big corporate houses associated with the production of this farce should be given this message loud and clear by the nation that no corporate house has the right to insult the nation in the name of NATIONAL INTEGRATION.

Editor‘s note: The writer is a disgruntled and a full blooded Northeasterner who feels emotionally robbed.


The Selfish Giant -By Oscar Wilde Every afternoon, as they were coming from school, the children used to go and play in the Giant‘s garden. It was a large lovely garden, with soft green grass. Here and there over the grass stood beautiful flowers like stars, and there were twelve peach-trees that in the spring-time broke out into delicate blossoms of pink and pearl, and in the autumn bore rich fruit. The birds sat on the trees and sang so sweetly that the children used to stop their games in order to listen to them. ‗How happy we are here!‘ they cried to each other. One day the Giant came back. He had been to visit his friend the Cornish ogre, and had stayed with him for seven years. After the seven years were over he had said all that he had to say, for his conversation was limited, and he determined to return to his own castle. When he arrived he saw the children playing in the garden. ‗What are you doing here?‘ he cried in a very gruff voice, and the children ran away. ‗My own garden is my own garden,‘ said the Giant; ‗any one can understand that, and I will allow nobody to play in it but myself.‘ So he built a high wall all round it, and put up a notice-board. TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED He was a very selfish Giant. The poor children had now nowhere to play. They tried to play on the road, but the road was very dusty and full of hard stones, and they did not like it. They used to wander round the high wall when their lessons were over, and talk about the beautiful garden inside. ‗How happy we were there,‘ they said to each other. Then the Spring came, and all over the country there were little blossoms and little birds. Only in the garden of the Selfish Giant it was still Winter. The birds did not care to sing in it as there were no children, and the trees forgot to blossom. Once a beautiful flower put its head out from the grass, but when it saw the notice-board it was so sorry for the children that it slipped back into the ground again, and went off to sleep. The only people who were pleased were the Snow and the Frost. ‗Spring has forgotten this garden,‘ they cried, ‘so we will live here all the year round.‘ The Snow covered up the grass with her great white cloak, and the Frost painted all the trees silver. Then they invited the North Wind to stay with them, and he came. He was wrapped in furs, and he roared all day about the garden, and blew the chimney-pots down. ‗This is a delightful spot,‘ he said, ‗we must ask the Hail on a visit.‘ So the Hail came. Every day for three hours he rattled on the roof of the castle till he broke


most of the slates, and then he ran round and round the garden as fast as he could go. He was dressed in grey, and his breath was like ice. ‗I cannot understand why the Spring is so late in coming,‘ said the Selfish Giant, as he sat at the window and looked out at his cold white garden; ‗I hope there will be a change in the weather.‘ But the Spring never came, nor the Summer. The Autumn gave golden fruit to every garden, but to the Giant‘s garden she gave none. ‗He is too selfish,‘ she said. So it was always Winter there, and the North Wind, and the Hail, and the Frost, and the Snow danced about through the trees. One morning the Giant was lying awake in bed when he heard some lovely music. It sounded so sweet to his ears that he thought it must be the King‘s musicians passing by. It was really only a little linnet singing outside his window, but it was so long since he had heard a bird sing in his garden that it seemed to him to be the most beautiful music in the world. Then the Hail stopped dancing over his head, and the North Wind ceased roaring, and a delicious perfume came to him through the open casement. ‗I believe the Spring has come at last,‘ said the Giant; and he jumped out of bed and looked out. What did he see? He saw a most wonderful sight. Through a little hole in the wall the children had crept in, and they were sitting in the branches of the trees. In every tree that he could see there was a little child. And the trees were so glad to have the children back again that they had covered themselves with blossoms, and were waving their arms gently above the children‘s heads. The birds were flying about and twittering with delight, and the flowers were looking up through the green grass and laughing. It was a lovely scene, only in one corner it was still Winter. It was the farthest corner of the garden, and in it was standing a little boy. He was so small that he could not reach up to the branches of the tree, and he was wandering all round it, crying bitterly. The poor tree was still quite covered with frost and snow, and the North Wind was blowing and roaring above it. ‗Climb up! Little boy,‘ said the Tree, and it bent its branches down as low as it could; but the little boy was too tiny. And the Giant‘s heart melted as he looked out. ‗How selfish I have been!‘ he said; ‗now I know why the Spring would not come here. I will put that poor little boy on the top of the tree, and then I will knock down the wall, and my garden shall be the children‘s playground for ever and ever.‘ He was really very sorry for what he had done. So he crept downstairs and opened the front door quite softly, and went out into the garden. But when the children saw him they were so frightened that they all ran away, and the garden became Winter again. Only the little boy did not run, for his eyes were so full of tears that he died not see the Giant coming. And the Giant stole up behind him and took him gently in his hand, and put him up into the tree. And the tree broke at once into blossom, and the birds came and sang on it, and the little boy stretched out his two arms and flung them round the Giant‘s neck, and kissed him. And the other children, when they saw that the Giant was not wicked any longer, came running back, and with them came the Spring. ‗It is your garden now, little children,‘ said the Giant, and he took a great axe and knocked down the wall. And when the


people were gong to market at twelve o‘clock they found the Giant playing with the children in the most beautiful garden they had ever seen. All day long they played, and in the evening they came to the Giant to bid him good-bye. ‗But where is your little companion?‘ he said: ‗the boy I put into the tree.‘ The Giant loved him the best because he had kissed him. ‗We don‘t know,‘ answered the children; ‗he has gone away.‘ ‗You must tell him to be sure and come here to-morrow,‘ said the Giant. But the children said that they did not know where he lived, and had never seen him before; and the Giant felt very sad. Every afternoon, when school was over, the children came and played with the Giant. But the little boy whom the Giant loved was never seen again. The Giant was very kind to all the children, yet he longed for his first little friend, and often spoke of him. ‗How I would like to see him!‘ he used to say. Years went over, and the Giant grew very old and feeble. He could not play about any more, so he sat in a huge armchair, and watched the children at their games, and admired his garden. ‗I have many beautiful flowers,‘ he said; ‗but the children are the most beautiful flowers of all.‘ One winter morning he looked out of his window as he was dressing. He did not hate the Winter now, for he knew that it was merely the Spring asleep, and that the flowers were resting. Suddenly he rubbed his eyes in wonder, and looked and looked. It certainly was a marvellous sight. In the farthest corner of the garden was a tree quite covered with lovely white blossoms. Its branches were all golden, and silver fruit hung down from them, and underneath it stood the little boy he had loved. Downstairs ran the Giant in great joy, and out into the garden. He hastened across the grass, and came near to the child. And when he came quite close his face grew red with anger, and he said, ‗Who hath dared to wound thee?‘ For on the palms of the child‘s hands were the prints of two nails, and the prints of two nails were on the little feet. ‗Who hath dared to wound thee?‘ cried the Giant; ‗tell me, that I may take my big sword and slay him.‘ ‗Nay!‘ answered the child; ‗but these are the wounds of Love.‘ ‗Who art thou?‘ said the Giant, and a strange awe fell on him, and he knelt before the little child. And the child smiled on the Giant, and said to him, ‗You let me play once in your garden, to-day you shall come with me to my garden, which is Paradise.‘ And when the children ran in that afternoon, they found the Giant lying dead under the tree, all covered with white blossoms. Illustrations By: Sandeep Sarkar, Class V, KV NEIST, Jorhat


Chef’s Pick: Axomimatters

On January 1, 2010 a new website was released. Prime audience targeted: the youth of Assam. No, we are not talking of FriedEye here though the date of launch coincides. The website under discussion is the enigmatically titled So what is this website all about? The FriedEye team recently got in touch with Mr. Amarjyoti Saikia, the man behind the site, to find out just that. We learnt from Mr. Saikia that the organization AxomiMatters saw its genesis during the close of 2008. It comprises, as Mr. Saikia puts it, ―of people from Assam who have joined hands and heads to contribute to the developmental activities of Assam. Even though our career interests have dispersed us across the globe, Assam remains an intrinsic part of our identity and everything that happens back home, matters to us just as much.‖ The primary mission of AxomiMatters is to contribute to the development of Assam. Currently, the focus is on helping and guiding the students of Assam through services like career counseling and student mentoring. The organization channelizes its efforts in gathering and disseminating up-to-date information regarding new vistas opening up in traditional and emerging fields. ‖ We have a lot of Subject Matter Experts enrolled with us‖, says Mr. Saikia via email. ―Among them there are professionals working in prestigious organizations, entrepreneurs successfully managing their establishments and academicians doing outstanding research at Universities and Institutes located all over the world. These groups of people come from diverse backgrounds like engineering and science, design, economics, public relations, medical and multidisciplinary streams.‖ Commenting on the present Career Counselling situation in Assam, Mr. Saikia states that the primary cause for the dearth of right kind of information regarding various education career options is the lack of adequately equipped Subject Matter Experts in the different parts of the State. AxomiMatters, he hopes, will be an easy to approach medium through which students of Assam can interact with and seek personal guidance from dedicated, experienced and successful Subject Matter Experts spread across the globe. The need to make the organization accessible to the different parts of the State lead to the development of the website which went public on New Years this year. The user-friendly website requires the students seeking guidance to submit their queries in a customised form along with relevant details of their educational background. Once submitted, the question gets picked by AxomiMatters‘ Subject Matter Experts


and the necessary information is provided to the students via email. In addition, the website features career related news,articles, examination alerts and information regarding various institutes of study. ―These‖, says Mr. Saikia,‖ are the activities AxomiMatters is focusing right now.Till now we have arranged few sessions in some institutes in Guwahati and Nagaon in order to increase awareness. We are planning to arrange few more sessions in various parts of Assam in coming days.‖ The website launched on New Year‘s hallmarks the organization‘s progress in its intended mission and we at FriedEye wish AxomiMatters all success in its journey ahead.


Sorry Mom! Mom had asked me to return soon but it was dark now. She always does. There was a killer on the prowl. I gulped and walked on. Just in the alley there was a strange policeman waiting. He beckoned at me smiling crookedly…all happened quickly. Slash! Slightly messy .I Have to dispose the razor today.


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