From Assam with Love is about all aspects of Assam from the viewpoint of a Proud Assamese.

Friday, June 7, 2013

River Dog: A Journey Down the Brahmaputra by Mark Shand the Assamese translation review


Let me admit this first that I have not read the original 'River Dog- A Journey Down the Brahmaputra' by Mark Shand. What I have read was an Assamese translation of the work by Bipul Deori. Mr Deori has achieved two huge objectives by translating River Dog, first to translate the work and enriching the canon of translation work in Assamese literature  and second
is to translate the River Dog in a style is worth our language and which didn't rob off the essence of the original work. The work is a worthy tribute to the mighty river Brahmaputra.

The River  Dog is about the mighty Brahmaputra which flows across Assam and North East. Which is the vital force that controlling lives in Assam. Much like Dr Bhupen Hazarika has eulogised Brahmaputra in his immporta lyrics of Mahabahu Brahmaputra or in Birtirna Parore. But Brahmaputra in the River Dog  is much detailed, much omnipresent and even more magical. In a nutshell, the Brahmaputra in more influencing and controlling to the author like his 'beloved'!

The River Dog is the result of tough research and study by author Mark Shand through the journey across the river Brahmaputra. His journey and the travelogue is inspired by Charles Allen's study of North East India and different other parts of India. The 1800 Miles long Brahmaputra started as a small spring in its source at Kailash in Tibet. And through its journey via Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, parts of Bangladesh and till  its end in the Bay of Bengal as Meghna the author has completed his journey as well. He has walked, used cars, boats etc throughout the journey and studied and observed the lives across his journey. In Arunachal the the beauty of Galling, Tuting, Peling at the banks of  Chiang and in Assam, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Majuli and their cultural heritage. A glimpse of Kaziranga National Park is found in Mark's short stint at the park and his inter-action with the people of Assam. The journey through the river by a steamer is one of the most beautiful part of the book. All nature lover will die to have a trip though the river after  reading Mark's narration.

The people of North East Assam and of India found a bery higher status in Mark's description. You will not experienve the usual 'India is very-dirty'  kind of feeling which is conspicuous in almost all travellogues written by Europeans and others. The Celebrity Photographer Aditya, Steamer-man Gama, Mark's fabulous cook Topgei, guide Neeraj all are given due respect.   Unfortunately due to the red-tapism prevalent in the foerign affairs departments Mark could not sail through the Brahmaputra and enter into Padma(as Brahmaputra is known in Bangaldesh) by boat. And he had to complete the gap by road. The thrilling nuances of the journey will keep you engaged untill you finish reading the book.

The most important person who makes his place to the title of the book is the tripuri dog who accompanied Mark through his journey across the river whose name is Bhaiti(little brother). Bhaiti was treated like a true companion and dear friend by Mark and his other companions.

  The River dog was originally published by Little Brown Book Group London. The Assamese translation is published by noted publication house in Assam Banphul and the translation was done by Bipul Deori.

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