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Tell me, what is the Best?

I could not forget the pleasant sight of about two hundred women seated in ordered manner. This was the first ever public meeting I attended in Kalama Panchayat, Mayurbhanj, Odhisa. They even arranged their slippers in a beautiful way. I could see the excitement in the women who stood up to respect our presence, however, I do not feel to be revered so much.

Some people are so poor that they cannot think for themselves. What kind of poverty should be this? May be thoughts poverty or vision poverty or hope poverty... I mean, ask them what do they want to do for their development, and they have no idea! They cannot think for themselves that what should be good for their families and what should be done. But some are smart enough to ask for ‘double-loan policy’. She cannot be as poor as the other women, I bet.
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Orissan Safari


Balasore Railway Station
I am very excited to be in a small town of Balasore. In Oriya and Hindi they call it as Baleshwar and in English as Balasore. I am still excited to recall the sight of a flock of birds flying over my head. This happened as I landed on the platform of Balasore railway station! That was the best welcome I could have, I guess.

I never had the slightest idea that I will feel so helpless in Orissa. I cannot read even a single alphabet. This script is quite different from Bengali. At least, so different that it does not amuse me at all. I know I am in trouble. My half Bengali is not going to help me anymore…Help!
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Tree rights versus Human rights


Casuarina tree
I saw a tree cut down in my village. I looked at the stump, and saw over 200 concentric rings. This got me thinking . . . . and reminded me of a poem "Our Casuarina Tree" by an Anglo-Indian writer Toru Dutt. Like this poem, the image of the unseen Casuarina Tree also lingers in my memory. Dutt made a successful attempt to personify the tree in such a manner that I felt it to be human. Alas! Not all people in this world believe that trees are alive.

I see a personification in this incident too. So what is a BIG deal about a tree being cut? Many trees are falling every minute, but an old tree personifies many other old things which have been among us for generations. An old tree is like an old custom which we have followed for ages, becoming obsolete today. An old tree signifies an old saying which we abide by always, but until yesterday. An old tree represents an old social value which the society has cherished from time immemorial, however, not any longer.
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