An independent researcher, filmmaker and a writer in three languages. Currently researches on oral history, indigenous knowledge systems and traditions of the Pnar and Vaar people living in Meghalaya and Assam in India and other parts of the world.
He writes short stories, folk tales, non-fiction and fiction books.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
For now, I invariably use my PC or Laptop to read e-books.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Panichowki, a hamlet in the foothills of Bhuban Hill range in south Assam, India. My parents and relatives are a community of betel-leaf cultivators who cultivate betel leaf using trees in the forests as support for the betel vines without cutting the trees or destroying the forests. We have much respect for nature and other living creatures because our cosmology, mythology and oral traditions are very much connected to nature, environment and other creatures both living and non-living. Every evening, my Grand Uncle used to visit our home and on occasions entertain us with stories - folktales and folklore filled his repertoire. TV or radio were unheard of then. So, my siblings and I always looked forward to his stories. I was therefore hooked to listening and telling stories since as far as I can remember. Most of my writings are related to oral history, nature and environment. It was only in recent years that I have had the time and opportunity to pen down some of the stories in my own words, sometimes modifying them to flatter my imagination. My first English novel LAMCHWA also had nature, environment and herbal medicine as the sub-themes. This love for stories continued during my school days. I read as many books as I could get hold of, borrow or buy (which was rare because I had limited pocket money then). My classmates were generous to me (and I thank them again here) in lending books and comics to satisfy my reading appetite. This reading habit built a strong foundation of English language in me. I remember that even during my school days my teachers always encouraged me to write articles (God Bless them).
The story of Lamchwa is an emotional journey that raises fundamental questions on love and wrenches hearts. Set in the backdrop of picturesque Jaintia Hills blemished by coal mining, it tells the story of a hard life filled with hope. When he finds the girl he wants to marry, he is diagnosed with cancer. Lamchwa and all his loved ones are in turmoil. They say, bad things do happen to good people.