AFRICA’S RHINOS are hornier than Assam’s. It certainly isn’t the reason why the Dark Continent Cameroons the Northeast Indian state every tea-loving nation sips.
‘Camerooned’ is not the African equivalent of Bangalored. I am not sure if such a word exists, but it could very well mean possessing phonetic clones of places in Assam.
A few weblog-weeks back, a former colleague helped me locate Gwati in Cameroon. That place is the ‘sound-alike’ of Assam’s capital city Guwahati. A dyke in northeastern Assam has now taken me to a namesake – a place called Matmora in the Taounate region of Morocco.
Matmora, a fragile dyke in the flood-prone Dhemaji district in northeastern Assam, is often cited as the epitome of corruption. No amount of money has made this dyke strong enough to withstand river Brahmaputra’s fluid fury. The last package for flood management in Assam included Rs 99 crore for repairing this dyke.
[A section of Matmora, constructed with the geo-tube technology, was washed away on July 1. Malaysian firm Sueskira, entrusted with the project worth Rs 140 crore, has been blamed for slow progress, completing a tad over half of the 5 km long embankment.]
Morocco’s Matmora, on the other hand is a laidback place sited 49 km from the nearest Ouezzane Airport in adjoining Algeria. Laidback, because the websites don’t say much about the place besides outlining its geographical coordinates – 34°43’48” North and 5°6’0″ West.
Matmora has another African connection. The word means an underground storage pit for sorghum in Sudan.
Then there’s MatMorA, a strategic research project (2007-2011) funded partly by Research Council of Norway’s Climit Programme and partly by Norsk Hydro, the Oslo-headquartered Norwegian aluminium and renewable energy company that merged with rival Statoil to form StatoilHydro in October 2007.
Matmora also led me to Metamora in US, a native Indian name meaning “among the hills”. An Indian hero, son of Massosoit and the subject of a popular play in the 1840s, carried that name, as did a station on the Detroit & Bay City Railroad in 1885. This station in Michigan is south of the city of Lapeer.
There’s a Metamora village in Woodford County, Illinois, too. Measuring 1.4 sq miles, this village is a growing suburb of Peoria under Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area. A third Metamora, a canal town, is in Indiana.
The websites claim Indiana’s is the most alluring of all Metamoras in the US. For, this Metamora transports you to life in the early 19th century America with horse-drawn canal boats that fueled the Southeastern Indiana economy until their displacement by the railroad. The town apparently is straight out of a Western.
Apparently, because seeing is believing. For that, might have to make some money from our Matmora to fly to their Metamora.