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April 2021


Publisher: Abington House Pages: 224 Lohit Datta-Barua was born in Assam, northeast India, in the late 1940s.  Both he and Assam have complicated histories which he so eloquently explains in this heartfelt and touching  memoir.  Up until 1826 Assam, which now sits to the northeast of the triangular-shaped Indian subcontinent, was an independent country called Kamrup when it was annexed by the Colonial British government into mainland India through the convenient and narrow Siliguri Corridor, a strip of land locals refer to as the “Chicken Neck.”  This touched off a clash of many ethnic cultures with many Assamese traditions and customs becoming absorbed, watered down, or forgotten; all the usual tumult and oppression that occurred when predominately white European empires expanded and greedily exploited the countries and continents of “people of color.” The Brahmaputra River, which originates high in the Himalayan  mountains, flows through the entirety of Assam on through…