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Rajmohan's Wife

Rajmohan's WifeBorn in a Brahmin family in 1838 and grew up speaking Bengali, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee had had a big interest in the Sanskrit language as well as in English. A literary genius, Chatterjee started writing verse when he was in high school. He wrote his first novel—Rajmohan's Wife—in English language, when he was 26. By writing the novel, however, Chatterjee could have probably no idea at the time what a significant contribution he was going to make to the world of Anglo-Indian Literature. Today, Rajmohan's Wife is proved the first Indian novel in English. It was published, in 1864, as a serial novel in a weekly periodical, the Indian Field. However, after writing this novel Chatterjee immediately switched to Bengali language and never wrote in English again. The Oxford Companion to English Literature considers Rajmohan's Wife to be "a poor melodramatic thing", although "For 70 years there was no English-language fiction of quality".Th…

Assambirds etcetera is Our New Name

Assambirds etcetera is Our New NameAssambirds has changed its name to 'Assambirds etcetera'! From now on apart from birds we'll invariably focus on our other interests too.The aim of this blog site was to make a database of all the endangered birds of Assam, which we've failed to make, we confess—and we are sorry for that. Since it was made in 2012, this blog site couldn't able to publish as many posts as it had planned to. Unfortunately, those few posts that had been published some of them were grammatically wrong. Yet for many months this blog hasn't been updated and one might notice how a long gap has appeared between older and newer posts. So, we decided to rename this blog to 'Assambirds etcetera' so that apart from birds we can also focus on our other interests. We hope you'd like this blog and its upcoming new posts! Subscribe to Our Mailing List to Get Free Updates to Your Inbox

Pink-headed Duck: Is It Still Alive?

Pink-headed Duck: Is It Still Alive? "The conclusion to be drawn is either that the Pink-headed Duck has indeed become extinct as was feared, or that if perchance there are any lingering survivors they keep strictly confined to the seclusion of some remote and inaccessible areas." —Salim AliAn illustration of Pink-headed Duck by Carl D'Silva from Salim Ali's Book of Indian Birds. Courtesy of Bombay Natural History Society.Pink-headed duck Rhodonessa caryophyllacea was last seen in the wild in 1949. Since then it has never been sighted again in its former habitats which were mainly distributed in India but scarcely in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal. It is thought that the bird has gone extinct due to habitat loss and hunting. However, it has not yet been declared extinct by IUCN or Birdlife International, who consider it critically endangered because some of its former habitats have not been yet completely surveyed. Therefore, ornithologists and birders are urgently r…

Majuli: An Island Too Good To Be True

Majuli: An Island Too Good To Be True"Land of the river and whispering wind
Sweet rice and plenty of fish,
Where the sun rises to the sound of hundred birds
And the evenings resonate to the music of cymbals and kirtans."—Sanjay Ghose Majuli is not the world's largest river island. However, it is biologically as well as culturally the richest of all river islands in the world. Situated in the midstream of the Brahmaputra river in eastern Assam—with an area slightly larger than Singapore (880 km²)—the island is famous for Neo-Vaishnavite culture which it nourishes since the time of Sankardev (1449-1568), founder of Neo-Vaishnavism movement. In fact, it is the mecca for Neo-Vaishnavism followers and monks (bhakats) who live in monasteries (Satra) and worship the Supreme God of Hindu—Lord Vishnu. Needless to say, Satras play an important role in Neo-Vaishnavism culture. They not only facilitate davotees of God to live in the premises, but to understand the true meaning of God…

Martha and Her Message to the World

Martha and Her Message to the WorldMartha in life at the Cincinnati Zoo. Courtesy of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. Your browser does not support JavaScript! Martha is probably the most famous bird in the history of ornithology. She is, in fact, the icon of extinction represents her race Ectopistes migratorius or passenger pigeon, which was by far the most abundant bird species ever lived in the planet earth. It was estimated that in the early nineteenth century there were more than five billion passenger pigeons lived in North America. Unfortunately, humans slaughtered them into oblivion. (Read The Sad Story of Passenger Pigeon)Aftet the last wild passenger pigeon was killed in 1900, there were still a few dozens survived in the aviaries and zoos. Unfortunately, after few years, these pigeons also died, one after another, due to illness and old ages. The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the second oldest zoo in the United States, had housed twenty passenger pigeons—si…

The Sad Story of Passenger Pigeon

The Sad Story of Passenger PigeonUpdated: 14th September, 2016The story of Passenger Pigeon reminds us no matter how superabundant a species is, excessive hunting, habitat destruction, technological development and lack of enforcement of wildlife laws can wipe it out within a half century.Painted by John Ruthven, this painting, "Martha, the last passenger pigeon, leading a flock of passenger pigeons", has been reproduced by artworks in mural form to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Martha's death in 2014. Courtesy of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. When European settlers killed the last Dodo in Mauritius in 1662, another bird of her same family (Columbidae)—the Passenger Pigeon—with their large numbers was just beggining to astonish colonists in America. Jamestown in Virginia, the first permanent English settlement—after surviving the bitter cold, diseases, hunger and attacks by the Native Americans—had completed fifty years by this time. Huge swaths of la…

Assambirds Benefited from RSPB's Binocular Scheme

The binoculars we have received from Mr. Chris Bowden, RSPB.

RSPB's second-hand binoculars scheme is helping educate people and protect many different species in developing countries since 1985. More than 12,000 pieces of optical equipment has been distributed by the RSPB so far to at least 90 countries, including India.

Our thanks to Mr. Chris Bowden, International Species Recovery Officer for RSPB & Asian Vulture Programme Director—when we told him about the challenges we face to make a database (this blogsite) for ' endangered birds of Assam' —Mr. Bowden promised us to help and sent this pair of binoculars to us.
With Mr. Sachin Ranade (left), BNHS Centre Manager of Vulture Conservation Breeding Centre at Rani in Assam, when he delivered the binoculars to us on behalf of Mr. Chris Bowden, at Guwahati.
Leaflet produced by Vulture Conservation Breeding Centre, Rani, Assam

Our thanks to Mr. Chris Bowden, who later informed us that the binoculars were kindly donated to …