" What does Majuli mean?"
" it means the mid point"
" of what?"
" The mighty Brahmaputra", said my driver for two days, in the world's largest inhabited river island-Majuli.
Rahul, was to be our driver and our guide to explore Majuli. He belongs to the Mishing tribe, which forms a major part of Majuli's population.
" Remove the 'H' from Mishing and we will be 'missing'," he quips. We are told the language of this tribe is written using English alphabets as they are yet to find it's written script.
But Rahul has managed to trace his ancestors, or so he believes. " We did some research, our ancestors can be traced to as far as China," he says.
For us city dwellers, who always try to be politically correct, locals like Rahul bring great humour respite. Our conversation steers to places I have travelled and of course Japan will be mentioned. " Oh, we do look a lot like the Japanese and Chinese," he says and laughs out loud.
Rahul is happy with his island life and does not aspire to live in the cities. One look at Majuli and you will perfectly understand his life choice. Frame any part of this beautfiul island and it is bound to look like a perfect post-card. The island is surrounded by the Brahmaputra river and is accesible only through an hour- long ferry ride taken from Johrat town in Assam.
News articles and Rahul both suggest the island is shrinking.
Shrinking or not, Majuli has a lot to offer- one of it is spotting Bamboo houses. Couple of home-stays also offer a Bamboo house experience.