Integrity Score 230
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I have earlier described at length the peculiar topography of the police district where the Gandak (Narayani) seemed to divide the district into two distinct parts. While north of the river contained Hills and dense forests, the southern part with several meandering streams along with the main river encompassed vast stretches of sands called ‘diaras’. In these vast diaras which were characterized by growing tall grasses and sturdy shrubs amidst sandy stretches and mud pools, there were large cultivable lands with small huts where lived farmers thriving upon sugarcane along with other crops and cattle wealth. The permanent residents of the diara happened to be often very peculiar since most of them had almost never received any sort of education in their lives, which quite carefree revolved only around the moods of the river and their daily chores, the nature of which changed cyclically with the seasons.
Even as the inhabiting faces kept changing with time along with the ever changing courses of the river and the cyclical climatic changes, the basic characteristics of life in the diara seemed to persist timelessly without any typical change. Such was the virtual isolation from modern learning that hardly any grown up man I encountered in the diara could ever recall the date on which he was born, or even the date or year of the present day. Also, almost isolated from electricity, Television and other modern communication till as late as 2006, we met a man who seemed to be concerned was about his daily chores, buffaloes and survival in a land infested with the gangs who would regularly bring in guests from outside (read kidnapping!) and ask him for favours like food etc. and shelter, which could not be denied in the circumstances due to the possible threat that they posed. The Police for him must have been like an occasional visitor who at times came on seemingly tourist like trips in the area and threatened him to not shelter or support the gangs.
To be continued