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How often we mortals relate our most innocent and happy-self to places and faces back from our childhood or college days. I am not saying all, but most people do. Some of my priceless memories were with my college friend Diana Rajkumari. We lost her to a brain tumour on June 30, 2019.

Not even in my wildest imagination, have I ever thought that my first trip to Manipur would be to attend her funeral. She was from Manipur. This could have been her marriage or some other happy occasions. But, no.

The mourners came pouring in, a sound of wailing from here and there, but mostly shattered; constant ritual chants and deeply melancholic songs in the background. In this chaos, I saw her smiling face in a photo frame, alone in the corner with flowers and fruits below it and surrounded by loved ones. Still, she seemed so alone. This hit me hard.  She was actually gone. We won’t be able to see her in flesh and blood ever. She won’t be coming back saying, “Hey, I’m fine now”.

And, lately, I have been recollecting memories of my college life with a tint of nostalgia (many moons after I graduated). I am unsure where to start. My memories are splintered across the campus; classrooms; the hostel rooms, Mysore city, in the laughter and the sad moments with my friends. And, I can’t recall how my first meeting with Diana was.

Was it on the first night in the hostel—I was homesick and sobbing alone on my bed in my room? Some of the girls came to greet me. Or the next day, when Gargi, Mcdonna, Kalsang, and She- Diana were laughing whilst pulling each other’s legs on the way to college. While, I was nervous, anxious; my insides were literally in knots anticipating how the first day at college would turn out to be. And, seeing them so carefree, it numbed my feelings. I chuckled at their jokes. I felt at home.

We remained friends ever since. We laughed. We cried. We lived every bit of those moments. I remember how we raced to the washroom to avoid standing in the queue or running with ‘gobi manchurian’ in our hands to reach hostel before curfew time (6 pm), the midnight snacks- cum-ghost stories, jokes, meaningless talks, pulling stupid ghost pranks on each other, imitating some hilarious dance steps from yesteryear movies. Every time one amongst us pulled some funny stuff, we rolled on the bed, on the floor and cracked so hard that our insides hurt.

Often times, there were complaints from sisters and mother (Christian College) that our laughter could be heard even from the floor below ours’. This, after midnight, when the lights were automatically turned off for all by 11 pm itself. Then, we didn’t realise such moments would be memories now. Or the quiet moments when we were homesick, bawling our eyes out, would sit in front of the window share hometown stories, secrets, dreams and aspirations about future.

Diana was in each of those moments. Our hostel and college days’ memories are incomplete without her in it.

We all moved to different destinations for further studies and livelihood. We didn’t know what life had in store for us. We laughed our worries away. Like literally. I wish we could do the same now.

Diana was not someone extraordinary. She was like most of us with lots of dreams. She was definitely loved more because of her lovely and humble personality. She was quiet, that is, until you become close. Then, she would be super talkative. Also, she had this beautiful smile. It worked like magic. And, how she remembered minute details of others, somehow, made us feel special about us. Despite living in different states, her efforts to maintain friendship with each one of us was remarkable. She loved plants, orchids. In fact, she was doing her PhD in a subject related to it from Mizoram University.

She had an excruciatingly painful on and off fight with brain tumour. Her family shared the equally tough journey with her. A guilt, which will remain with us —we couldn’t be with her on her last days. We thought she’ll recover again. To make it worse, in one of our conversations, post her then recovery, out of blue moon she’d told me that they (doctors) found something in her right side of the brain, again. I jokingly said– her illness will never leave her alone. It actually took her. We often take people’s presence for granted.

The Visarjan, the final ritual was performed by her family and loved ones on July 15, 2019.

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Taw Nana is a journalist and a social activist based in Itanagar. She blogs at

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Celebrities felicitated at the Trade Fair

29 Feb 2008 - 12:26pm | editor

Cricketer Rajesh Bora , Olympian Dipankar Bhatttacherjee , footballer Govinda Boro and Body builder Mr. India Bijit Gogoi being felicitated during the inauguration ceremony of 15th International Guwahati Trade Fair at Chadmari Field, Guwahati on 29-02-08 evening.

Pix by UB Photos.

More agitations for AIIMS in Raha

22 May 2017 - 1:34pm | Dibya J Borthakur

Continuing its tirade against the setting up of AIIMS hospital at Changsari, Middle Asom AIIMS Demand Committee ( MAADC ) on Sunday  announced a series of agitation against the  state government and state Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma.

Addressing media in a public meet held at PWD inspection bunglaw here, MAADC President, Hirannya Narayan Bora said that minister Himanta Biswa Sharma is contempting the court by announcing that AIIMS foundation stone would be laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Changsari on his visit to Assam on May 26. “The NGT has not yet given any judgement over the case that the site chosen for the AIIMS is located in an eco-sensitive zone. Whereas the final hearing of the case has been fixed on May 24 , how the minister having several portfolios could make this kind of announcement in advance. He, actually, in that way contempting the court and in protest of his acts we will launch a series of protest from May 25 onwards,” Bora added. 

“There is no end of conspiracy and both Himanta Biswa Sharma and BJP led state government do not want the hospital at Raha. We will not rest until the government fulfills our demand of setting up AIIMS at Raha,” said Sarbeswar Barua , working president, MAADC.

He further said that  MAADC is going to organize series of agitation to intensify its stir for AIIMS including NH 37 blockade on May 25 at Raha chariali and Middle Assam bandh on May 26.

The decision of the  agitations was supported by AASU, ATSU, AJYCP, Raha units and several other organizations. 

It might be mentioned here that Raha is experiencing series of bandhs, road blockade, hunger strikes etc. since the state government decided to set up AIIMS at Changsari in Guwahati.

CM slams media for unethical journalism

17 Jul 2012 - 2:58am | editor

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday expressed strong displeasure over the role of a local news channel journalist in the molestation case. Talking to reporters outside the Assam assembly on Monday, he called it a case of unethical journalism saying that he should have informed police as soon as possible. He said, "the media blames the government and particularly the police on all accounts, but journalists, too, have responsible role to play in society and in this particular case they have failed miserably."