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Monday, March 5, 2012

First Page Mondays: First Light by Sunil Gangopadhyay

Wow...just finished reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson. Picked up an entirely different book to read today and its 'First Light' by Sunil Gangopahyay. So as part of the First Page Mondays here at The Book Worm, here's a look at the first page from this brick of a book. Enjoy!

'It was a lovely day. The clouds had parted and the sun's beams fell, soft and silvery, on the mountain peaks that loomed against a sly of flawless blue. Trees, grass and creepers, glistening with last night's rain, tossed joyful heads in the balmy air. It was the day of the festival, and Nature was rejoicing with Man.

 From early dawn throngs of tribals could be seen waling out of the forest, down the green slopes, their strong bodies naked in the morning sun. They were dressed, men and women alike, in colourful loincloths but the women had flowers in their hair and garlands of koonch berries, gunja buds and bone chips hung from their necks. Plumes waved gaily from the heads of a few chosen men. It was as though a river, rainbow hued, was gushing down in full spate. But in reality, they were streams - separate and distinct. Riyangs from Amarpur and Bilonia walked in quiet files behind their Rai whose small, compact body atop a mountain pony, was shaded by an immense umbrella held high above his head. The Rai's eyes were soft and drowsy with last night's liquor, yet a sharp even cruel glint came into them every time he looked around. He was a ruthless chief and would not tolerate the slightest indiscipline within the clan. His second in command, the Raikachak, a fine figure of a man, walked briskly behind him. Though far from young, his chest seemed carved out of black marble and the hand that held a long spear was strong and muscular. Whenever he stopped in his tracks two youths sprang forward and, kneeling on the ground at his feet, massaged his calves and ankles. A drummer and a flautist brought up the rear. Some of the men and women sang with the music - a merry ditty that made the others sway in mirth and laughter rang through the throng like tinkling bells.

 From Kailasahar, Sabroom and Udaipur came the Chakmas. They were Buddhists - quiet and sedate. But confusion broke out in their ranks every time they passed a flowering bush or vine. Their women ran eagerly to it and, picking the blooms with quick......'

- Debolina Raja Gupta