When I think of Assam, I think of endless rural landscapes.
Specifically, the vast paddy fields and tea plantations that line the initial road from Silchar to Karimganj. This was the image imprinted through visits to my father's childhood home.
Kaziranga was the first deviation from this route. And from this image.
Here, Highway 37 is one narrow lane, allowing intimacy with adjacent homes. Each house, on its tiny plot, with its pond, solitary bale of hay, trio of goats, and petite cows, is rural in miniature. Perfection in miniature.
I shudder to think what happens to this perfection during monsoon. After the Brahmaputra is roused to reclaim it. The wild animals escape to the Naxalite ridden hills, but where can people go?
Do their pieces ever rejoin?
Some wild animals don't succeed, trampled by vehicles while crossing the Highway 37 corridor linking official park lands to higher elevation. The trade of safety from poachers with safety from deluge is itself a risk.
I left understanding this was a place of destruction, as well as beauty.