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April 2021


It was the summer of 1965, and I was leaving home. I had never been outside of Assam, that too alone.  I was still a teenager and scared as hell.  I packed my bag and got on a train with many cars heading west. I was riding in a steel monster that spewed black smoke, heading to an unknown desert place.  This wasn’t like the train rides at night with my mother as a little boy to the remote town of Dhubri in Assam, when we crossed the mighty Brahmaputra on a steamship with a paddle wheel that was run by the railroad company.  Those were exciting trips.  I would count the small stations along the way—Amingaon, Sangsari, Baihata, Kendukona, Ghagrapar, Golakganj, Balajan, Gouripur, Dhubri—in anticipation of arriving at the destination at dawn.  Now, even though I was older, I was scared riding this monster, alone, to an unknown place.…