Beyond ‘Charpaayi under Mango Tree’

Charpayee under Mango Tree
A very close friend of mine said that ‘Bihar‘ draws a picture in her mind. A charpayee under a mango tree, summer afternoon and a radio playing. A very true picture of what ‘Bihar’ once upon a time, used to be. That was probably years back when we used to read about different states in our social studies book or may be a story or two in our Hindi textbook. Then came a time when we used to dread with the thought of coming and staying here in Bihar. We used to hear about the stories of painful law and order situation.
Last year, when I got posting in Patna, I was worried. I was in a dilemma; whether to come here or not. My parents, family members and friends were reluctant with the thought. But, none of them had actually stayed in Bihar. Whatever they said was their perception.

I came across a nice article in BBC, Where ‘backward’ Bihar leads India. I read about the rich history and heritage of Bihar. Vaishali, Nalanda, Rajgir, Ashoka the Great, Lord Buddha in Bodh Gaya, Vikramshila. The Land of Ustad Bismillah Khan, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Jayprakash Narayan, Rahul Sanskrityayan, Renu, Dinkar, Baba Nagarjun, Upamanyu Chatterjee. Even, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay had spent some time in Bhagalpur.
lord buddha
At Shanti Stupa in Vaishali
Being from a field where I have to travel a lot, I could not resist  myself. The opportunity to know and see the rich heritage and history so closely is not the one to be lost.
Being India’s one of the fastest growing state, I understood that law and order (the first and foremost necessity for growth) has improved manifolds in BiharI’ve been in this discovery since last 7 months.
Gadi dam
Gadi dam
Roads have improved a lot, as per the people who have been staying here since long. Infrastructure is in tremendous boom. Everywhere, one can see growth and opportunity. Bihar has moved beyond the charpayee under the mango tree image. Jharkhand has been a great loss to Bihar. In spite of that, Bihar is growing at a tremendous rate.
Roads have improved, communication still is a problem
More bridges are required. Many are under construction.
Its true that it has to grow further. But, with more population coming in from outside, the day doesn’t seem very far when Bihar will be considered among the leading states of the nation. Bihar Govt. has special focus on Education and Healthcare. The curse of caste and dowry shall also fade away as the education level increases and inflow of population increases. With increasing opportunities of income, corruption should also decline. The NTPC thermal power plant in Barh, enhanced irrigation facilities in Koshi Belt will give a great boost to basic infrastructure of Bihar.
Though it has a long way to go, I believe that it’ll re-establish its glory. The glory of The Magadh Empire, the glory of Nalanda, the glory of Vaishali and the glory of Bodh Gaya. While we wait for the better, let me enjoy the Peraas and the Shudh Ghee!!!
Peraa in Making at Bakhtiyarpur
Peraa in Making at Bakhtiyarpur
© Asitav
I'm a business analyst. I have a background in Sales, Engineering, MBA and analytics. I enjoy photography.


  1. still thinking
    August 8, 2010

    very informative and prudent .
    most importantly full of hope.
    you know,how hopeless some of us in metros feel.dont you? .
    we think about retuning back to smaller cities,but then, the question:"Can we get that peace we have been thinking from here?" spurs up.The perceived peace,we keep longing for,by returning into a smaller town becomes a question,while life in a metro gets worser day by day.This post of yours ,gives me lot of hope.probably Assam could also follow suit.Probably we can return.Probably its not that late.

    The Other thing is of course the overtly stereo typed,yet confident perceptions and pre conceived notions we have about things,places and people.I have been a regular visitor of Bihar and to places even beyond Patna-you would know- during my social research days and I would agree with every word u wrote

  2. tupai
    August 8, 2010

    very nicely written and good article…..

  3. Soma
    August 14, 2010

    I wonder.. the levels of difficulties people face!! Sitting on charpaayi under a mango tree seems so relaxing and easy to me…whereas people at villages sit on it and think about wat to earn and how to earn for their living.. perhaps the next hour.. the next day!!

    Very well potrayed Asi… the mental block we have for one of our own states… We forget that it belongs to our OWN country.

  4. Poorvi
    December 10, 2010

    A nice write-up . A very good depiction of the changes going on in Bihar. I would want others too to know about this hence sharing it.
    I read your other write-ups too. really liked each of them 🙂 !!

    1. asitav.sen
      December 10, 2010

      Thanks Poorvi.

  5. jb
    February 26, 2011

    quite informative!!


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