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Farewell to a Trailblazer forester...

In the fondest memory of Joysing Bey

By Dr. Abhijit Rabha, IFS

I find it difficult believe that a survivor of vicissitude of a lifetime could succumb to a tiny Virus with a rudimentary intelligence. Tonight, our eyes are brimmed with those rare tears, embedded in them are the memories of the past. We have come a long way, amigo! The forestry fraternity of our state of Assam is indeed poorer by the loss of a trailblazer and a hard-core forest officer who loved his tract of verdant green, which nurtured his Karbi Tribesmen from the remotest past, God alone, knows the depth of the antiquity.

Our fateful group of the HSLC pass outs of the year 1976 who had the distinction of becoming a Cottonian in that year had faced a hard choice, be either an engineer or a doctor.

One day, out of sheer curiosity of trying to know the innards of the World of aeroplanes made some of us join the rough and tumble life of the cadets of the 50 Air Squadron in the NCC. Myriad of personalities from all diverse backgrounds coalesced to form the most wonderful squad ever. Therein, was one exceptional person. I came to befriend was Joysing Bey who hailed from Dongkamokam of the earlier Hamren Subdivision of Karbi Anglong District. He never lost his cool and liked his subjects, geology and mathematics. He would tell me over a cup of tea that we could afford somehow those days, how his early education at the township of Kampur by the bank of the Kopili River commenced and became a Cottonian. Neither of us succumbed to the peer pressure and sought our Worlds, and became separated.

One day, when in the Indian Forest College at Dehradun as a probationer in the Indian Forest Service, I found, one day some easy time in the small cafeteria called the Manohar’s Ghee Shop. Voila! There he was, beckoning me, with that pure smile of his, clad in the green winter Blazer of the Ranger’s service. What a surprise it was. As we settled and chatted over some good sandwiches, he told me, with a burning fire in his eyes. He wants to join a superior service in the Forestry sector. So it was. I was pursuing a Post Graduate Diploma course in the Wildlife Management, and he was already in Dehradun, undergoing forestry training in the SFS College, in the old centre at Rajpur area.

So, my friend became a trailblazer amongst the Karbi Hills Tribesmen, the first one to be in the State Forest Service. As the providence would have it, he became the most ardent and the hardworking officer of the Department from the day one in his service and would have earned those coveted three letters: I.F.S.! A bar in the age got him, yet he fought against the tide like the legendary Thong Nokbe, to get what belonged to him lawfully. He won many battles of his lifetime and hearts of so many friends of him.

His demise or say, transition, has made him a part of the history now. How difficult it is to express the anguish and sadness in such a loss even in humanitarian terms. This is an ode to a trailblazing officer and man who shone like a promising Sun even in the darkest days of my life. Peace Profound, my friend! May you go to the land of light and joy! Meet you again, like we surprised each other in Dehradun auld lang syne…


Dr. Abhijit Rabha, IFS

is currently the Special PCCF,

Govt. of Assam, Forest Dept.,

Diphu, Karbi Anglong


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