Writings of Sikkim since 2007

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Old is Gold - Nepali Songs at its best

I am very fond of music be of any geographical boundaries. I believe that old saying " Heard song are melodies but those unheard are more beautiful". True to it, i am sharing Nepali songs that are close to my heart.

The list of songs include:

1. Aaja Bholi : Narayan Gopal
2. Aakha Chopi Naroo : Narayan Gopal
3. Aasharai Mahinama :
4. Andhi Bhato Hirai : Udai and Manila Sotang
5. Birsera Pheri : Narayan Gopal
6. Eh Kancha: Aruna Lama
7. Fooli Fool Matra Hoina Jeevan : Dipak Kharel
8. Gajalutee Thula : Gulam Ali
9. Janmere Kokh Ma Kasai Ko : Narayan Gopal
10. Jhaskera Dhukcha:
11. Kehi Mitho Baat Gara : Narayan Gopal
12. Kina Kina : Gulam Ali
13. MaitiGhar Timro Hoina : Dwarika Lal Joshi
14. Malai Na Sodha : Narayan Gopal
15. Naulakh Tara : Amber Gurung
16. Phewa Taalko : Prakash Shrestha
17. Phoollai Sodhen : Aruna Lama
18. Safal Timro : Prakash Shrestha
19. Timi Jun Rahar Le : Narayan Gopal
20. Bhaney rah bhaye bhaney : Raju Lama

Download here for the songs

Click here to download


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Friday, November 28, 2008

Palzor Namgyal Girl's School at photo feature















source: School Magazine
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Can it be a Sikkim Primitive…!


Petrified fossil found in Sikkim


BY SHITAL PRADHAN


{Few months back when fossil of Blue Green Algae was discovered on one of the rocks at Mamley, Namchi, I was one of the few who was very excited to take notice of the news. For me i had found a friend for my petrified plant fossil.}

Has anyone ever realized the potential of finding possible fossil materials in Sikkim….? The answer certainly would be a tricky one. It was during my college days at Tadong, I had asked one of my lecturers about the chances of finding fossils in Sikkim and the prompt reply was "It's a silly question". He added Sikkim is a young fold mountain and there is no possibility of finding any such materials both in plants and animals. He gave his fullest of assumption but that did not affect my fanatical thoughts over my query. My wildest imagination would give me a push about what had happened to the life forms beneath the so-called Tethys from which the mountains of Himalayas had evolved or what are those vigorously wildly grown tree fern doing in our Sikkim? Since my early school days I would let my imagination run riot regarding those tree ferns and have that believe that in deep past these valleys might had witnessed the presence of giant and fearful animals in the likes of dinosours and others. Now after getting graduate degree in Botany Honours, I cannot count myself whether I was silly on thinking those wild thoughts.

Call it a coincidence within couple of month of my interaction with my lecturer I came across a fossil like piece of jagged stone along the woods of Shantinagar in Singtam while gong on my normal job of maintaining our water supply. That piece of stone had an impression of a monocot plant with a clear marking of parallel venation and a rachis. (Well obviously a layman question arises how I know about these botanical terms….. all thanks to my Botany lecturers at Sikkim Government College that helped me identify with botanical terms I had carried at the course studies and on laboratory practices during my stay as a Botany Honours student.) The impression on the left side was slightly cut compared to its right side where it fell along the edge. At the first sight the fossil impression seems to be of a maize leaf as for my wild imagination. The other additional interesting features of the stone was the presence of a faintly red round mark on the bottom connecting with the base of the monocot fossil and another leaves like arrangement on the right side of it.

The next morning I went on to meet the very lecturer at College who was amazed on my discovery but nothing fruitful could happen as I had anticipated. I was advised to meet the officers at Botanical Survey of India at Zero Point. The same noon I dropped at BSI, I met an officer who to my surprise promptly replied he was not interested in fossil materials. Yet I took out my findings and showed him, he added there was no department for fossil study in Sikkim so he told me to see anyone at Geological Survey of India at Deorali. I made my way through the doors of GSI; an officer out there was kind enough to look at my materials and told me that GSI is only concerned about study in rocks and even showed me couple of samples of fossils of earlier under water organisms recovered in places of West Sikkim and South Sikkim. I could still recall the shell like imprints and off course that small star fish like mark on a grey piece of stone. He asked me to send my findings to Guwahati but also feared that the materials might not reach me back later on. Notable information I received from him then was about a person from North- East doing some sort of plant fossil study in Sikkim at that time.

The above mentioned incident had occurred during 2002 and over the last few years that fossil like materials is with me yet to make out its presence felt, who knows it can prove a milestone in occurrence with the ancient world of floras in Sikkim. Last year (2007) I had a chance in exchanging words with the members of the Indian museumology out at Gangtok in a three day seminar on archeology and museumology. With archeologist visiting from different states of India, I came across a lady who was concerned in my possessed stone and added it's a petrified fossil and congratulate me at my findings. That was more than enough for me to give a smile on my face. Finally over the years I have found a name to it…..a petrified fossil.

What is more interesting at my prized possession is the fact that the impression on the stone more often give me a sense of a leaf of a maize plant. I might be wrong at my opinion but my inner fantasy speaks of a different profundity. It really has grown up my eagerness to find more about this fossil like-impression that I have in my collection. I had surfed through the pages of internet about the findings of maize fossils and in one of its diverged segment my joy had comparison beyond its understanding.

I hear want to talk about an exceptional maize fossil found in the pockets of North Eastern Himalayan regions known as "Sikkim Primitive". The Sikkim Primitive better known as SP to the world of crop plant evolutionists and to the hills simply as "murali makai" had caught its interest worldwide where it had remarkable resemblance to pre-historic wild maize. To write more about this particular murali maize variety is beyond my limited knowledge, thus hereby I concentrate it more on its origin only. I would like to take a quote from J.R. Subba's Agriculture in the hills of Sikkim, where Subba writes "…but with the existence of murali maize in Sikkim, Bhutan and the North Eastern states which resemble the primitive hypothetical maize gave another thought to the origin of maize. At present, it is believed that Sikkim and other North-Eastern states to be the secondary centre of origin for maize."

Well I do not want to dream big, the matter that is more concern to me is the fact that my findings I have found looks similar to the maize leaf. I repeat looks similar, so it really brought interest in me.

It is although a controversial speculation and there had been many heated debates on the topics of similarities of SP with that of Palomero Toluqueno, an ancient indigenous maize race of Mexico. What's more fascination is the fact that it is believed that the maize plant was first brought to notice of Columbus at North America in 1492 and the presence of Sikkim Primitive could well altered the course in different subjects of world history. It would shed light to the much studied belief that the natives of North America had links with its Asian counterparts much more than we presumed and give a push to a believe that they reached the Indian sub-continent prior to the Portuguese.

It was one of the biggest ironies that Sikkim is regarded as the secondary origin of maize when this place is known as "the Valley of Rice" since ages. Isn't fascinating?

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sikkim in hindi celluloid

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BY SHITAL PRADHAN

There are talks of the documentary film Sikkim directed by the maestro Satyajit Ray. Ray had highlighted the monarchy rule of Sikkim then in 1971. More over thought to be lost had been recovered and converted into DVD format but is yet to make its first screening. So in this talk of a town scenario let’s talk about those Hindi films that were shot in Sikkim.
Satyajit Ray discussing Sikkim with King of Sikkim

The panoramic beauty of the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Sikkim had always attracted the Hindi cinema to capture its unparalleled beauty. It was 1967 Dev Anand starrer Jewel Thief that manages to have an everlasting impact of the natural beauty of Sikkim recorded on Hindi celluloid. Jewel Thief was shot at Gangtok, the then capital of an Independent country called Sikkim. This film is regarded as one of the milestones in terms of a Hindi cinema is concern.

Apart from Jewel Thief, I want to mention names of two Hindi films that were made within few years of the making of each other, while both the film's titles sound interesting. I had tried to trace more information about both but little could be found. Road to Sikkim was released on 1969. Directed by Ravindra Dave, music by Vijay S and produced by Kriti Films, it had stars in the caliber of Dev Kumar, Anju Mahendru, Helen, David, Dhumal, Jayant, Asit Sen and Tuntun.


Road to Sikkim
Other film Romeo in Sikkim directed by Harikrishan Kaul was released in 1975 is believed to be produced by a local financier of Sikkim and had the central character of the movie played by Shyam Pradhan, a noted name in Sikkim. The other actors of the film were Amina, Kundan, Seema Kapoor, K. N. Singh, and Om Prakash.
The oblivious question arises how I know all this, nothing to be surprised off. I am a die-hard fan of Singer Mukesh and in my collection of more than thousand songs; I had these two film’s name that had always grew my excitation.
I here share one of the songs of Mukesh from the film Road to Sikkim, hope you shall enjoy it.
Download

I still remember I had watched Twinkle Khanna shoot her debut film Uff Yeh Mohabbat at Gangtok while I was studying at Tashi Namgyal SSS. The actor opposite her was Abhishek Kapoor. The film had very beautiful songs especially the song "Utra nah dil mein koi" shot at Rumtek Monastary. Other than that i had seen Rani Mukherjee visit Sikkim for Raja Ki Ayegi Baraat.

Uff Yeh Mohabbat
While I close this small and exciting information on Sikkim and Hindi movie I would surely like to mention there are numerous Bengali and other regional films shot in Sikkim that had stars like Mithun Chakraborty making its presence but nothing more could be heard of those films in larger scale.
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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How is my new template?

Since yesterday i was having trouble with the types of template i tried to fit my choice. After more than 15 odd templates (well i tried all of them from single template to 2 and 3 column templates) finally i settle with the one that i am writing now. Believe me that puppy is not mine and i hope to replace it with other photograph. I had been using the old template for some time and i wanted to entertain my readers with a different feel too. Hope you people like it.

When i started blogging i had read many blogs where majority of the blogger had written their personal accounts but when i compare it to mine, i had tried my best to share my limited knowledge about Sikkim with others. I believe more i share more i learn about it.

The best example of it was the story of AC3PT, when i first published its story i never thought i would find many takers for it but behind it i never realized there was two other call sign that had been activated from Sikkim. One of them was used by Rajesh Verma with his call sign VU2RVM. I wanted to contact Rajesh Sir for long time and i am happy i finally did. The other one was the post comments from Dipak from Mumbai who added that there was Patrick Pugh from Sikkim- that had a call sign VU3PAT.

I am sure in days to come we together shall come with many more surprises and thrilling information about our Sikkim.
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Rongli my birthplace

BY SHITAL PRADHAN

A small hamlet in an eastern side
Silent raush on its way,
The old silk route,
More older it look
Upon which I stay,
Hey that’s Rongli,
Rongli my birthplace

Years went by, years dried up,
Yet the small village is as it was,
Silent, peaceful and introvert
Today’s picture of Rongli,

Houses as station bogie,
Looks a cradle, from Chujachen,
Upon which the blue sky,
As if I can touch thee,

Roaring River,
As the legend we hear,
Still watch with glee,
The terror of 1890 somewhat forgotten,
Yet another terrorizing moment,
68 was the year… 1968,
When sky too wasn’t pleased.
That was Rongli,
Rongli of the past.

Playing along the Baar-Pepal tree,
Hiding in the Shivalaya,
Watching videos and aloft
Is a decent memory, now?

Sweet time in treasure,
Yet when I am in Rongli,
I am happy, in whither sweet.
Rongli my birthplace !
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Photograph of the the last King and Queen of Sikkim

Late King Palden Thondup Namgyal along with Queen Hope Cooke. Behind is the Royal Palace at Gangtok.



PIC : www.sikkimonline.info
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Saturday, November 22, 2008

VU2RVM: the first post merger Radio HAM from Sikkim



BY SHITAL PRADHAN

My story on AC3PT was widely appreciated and it was something new to the people of Sikkim too. But little did I know that there was one person in the entire crowd who was closely watching my article and he too had been part of Sikkim Ham radio activity. Meet Rajesh Verma, Director, Department of Information Technology, Government of Sikkim. Rajesh Verma is better known in Sikkim for his well-liked Guide book on Sikkim. Nevertheless there are few people who really know that he was also an active radio ham with a call sign VU2RVM and he had also written a book on ham radio. His book “ABC of Amateur Radio and Citizen Band” was first published in 1987.




A sample of the
VU2RVM QSL Card


Cover of the book written by Rajesh Verma


It was more of an opportunity for me to have a swap over of emails with Rajesh Verma. I shall also remain ever grateful towards him for his book that he sent me along with his personal call sign QSL card. I am here sharing his call sign QSL card that shows eight lucky sign of Buddhist culture along with other different QSL cards he had received over the years.

I also would like to add Rajesh Verma’s fantasy with Ham in his own words “…… But it is not always talking for pleasure that hams indulge in. There are examples galore in which hams have provided efficient communication during emergencies such as floods, earthquakes, storms and other calamities. I operated a Ham station from Gangtok from 1979 to 1995 with a call sign VU2RVM (VU2 denotes India) using home brewed equipment. Later as a Club Station of National Institute of Amateur Radio I used Kenwood equipment. In 1986, I trained 20 Scouts and Guides and their instructors from Sikkim and many of them got their licenses. Some of them used to operate my equipment for going on air. Sadly with the advent of the internet and mobile communication, Ham Radio is steadily taking a backseat. But in Sikkim there is still scope for Ham radio to be used as an alternate means of communication during disasters.”

What is more interesting is the piece of information that when Sikkim was an independent kingdom, Sikkim had a call sign AC3 followed by PT named after late Chogyal (King) Palden Thondup Namgyal. Post 1975 after Sikkim got merged with mighty Indian Union, the next call sign licensed was VU2RVM i.e. VU2 for India and RVM the person's name.



QSL cards collected by Rajesh Verma
:

Also read

The AC3PT: A story of the deleted country

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Sai Baba Wallpaper



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Friday, November 21, 2008

Sai Baba Quotation











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SHITAL PRADHAN
C/O LN PRADHAN
SHANTINAGAR, SINGTAM
SIKKIM- 737134
INDIA

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When i started my blog on Sikkim way back in 2007, i had it clear on my mind that this blog shall help people look out for knowledge on Sikkim. I always wanted a knowledge house about Sikkim, its past, present and future. I do not know over the years how much did i succeed but my determination to let other understand my Sikkim is always giving me a push. with regards Shital Pradhan (himalayanreview@gmail.com)

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