The silent paths of Malingapara | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 05, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, April 05, 2019

The silent paths of Malingapara

There is only one way of entering and getting out of Malingapara, a remote village on the upper valley of Sangu, on foot. Another way that we could use to get in or out of the village was by boat through the nearly dead Sangu river.

We, members of Isabela Foundation, an organisation that works on forest development, along with a dozen of boatmen and support staffers went to the village to conduct research on wildlife, geology, soil science and sociology in the area.

At one point of our journey when the crew started preparing meal, I slipped out with my cameras and started following the only road of the village that led me to a BGB camp, and later to Bulupara, the remotest village in the area.

The denuded forests adjacent to Bulupara reminded me of the existence of massive green forests with some 60 to 80 feet tall Garjan and other such trees.

With a heavy heart, I started walking following the trail until a sound of a bird or cricket or Cicada made me realise the pin-drop silence that had been surrounding me throughout my way.

Suddenly, I heard a loud sound. Looking along the trail, I found a goat like creature that had been staring into my eyes. The way the Serow or Bon Chhagol was staring and thumping on the ground, indeed, forced me to take a step back. I was made motionless.

A heavily pregnant she-goat, two sided of her looked so bulged that it appeared to be carrying two drums, kept looking at me and thumping the ground amid loud snorting.

I realised that she was scared of seeing me, an alien with much of unknown dresses and gadgets with a cap, as she and her clans are accustomed of seeing villagers with bare body and loin clothes.

Minutes passed, we were in standstill positions. It seemed that she was not in a mood to backing down and giving me a way to pass.

So, I moved myself a bit into the bush and waited there for her to pass. Realising that I was not a formidable enemy, she walked like a queen and crossed me with bold steps without even looking at my face and stopped only when she reached the boundary of Bulupara and looked back, possibly to say goodbye to me or showing a victory sign!

I admire the courage of this short-legged “lady of Malingapara” who showed enough courage to block me using her own lane of daily traffic through the silent forests.

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