-Bibhuti Borkotoky, Freelance Writer
It was during the year 1969, a time when there was no TV and even Radio was a luxurious item.There was no residential telephone, only the govt. offices and a few private business houses had it. For any private telephone call, one had to run to the telephone exchange only.
I was a boy of about 26-27 years and employed in a Central Govt. department with a transferable job. Due to this, I had the opportunity to visit many places. Once, I had to undertake a journey to a place called Sarli (presently in Kukung-Kumey District of Arunachal Pradesh) which practically had no means of communication with the outer world. One could reach Sarli by air but Chopper services were rarely available. Thus, with no means of transportation either, it took 15 days of travelling on foot to reach the location from Ziro (Presently in Lower Subansiri District, Arunachal Pradesh). I was accompanied by a few security escorts. Ration and luggage was carried by local porters.
After reaching the destination, I could see that it was not very far from the mighty Himalayan Range and the continuous snowfall made a beautiful sight. People out there depended on the air services to drop food and other items needed for survival.
Postal service was only through locally engaged special Dak Runners. My letters would take a minimum of one month to reach my folks at home. By the time, I received the replies the topics would often get so stale that often its importance was lost. Yet the letters still held a special place in one’s life.
The days spent in Sarli remain a treasured experience of my life which cannot be explained in plain words. In this era of internet and mobile phones, such living conditions indeed become unimaginable too.
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