The world is trying to help the devastated Irrawady delta as a result of the Cyclone Nargis. The military junta in Burma has been much criticized for its method of dealing with the tragedy. India shares a sizeable border with Burma and has had close ties with the country in the colonial days. There was a large Indian population in Burma in the early 20th century. Indians had businesses, jobs and owned a lot real estate in this city. Rangoon, in those days was a thriving centre of commerce and a beautiful city. It was also a vacation destination for the rich Indians from cities such as Calcutta and Bombay. One such mention of Burma and Rangoon in the Indian pop-culture of that era can be found in a song from a movie named Patanga made in 1949. The song was sung by Shamshad Begum (I do not know the male voice). The song is a playful melody and must have been a smash-hit in those days.

The military junta drove out most of the Indian population from Burma. Today, India is nothing but a silent observer to the tragedies that unfold in this once close neighbor of hers. Hopefully a hundred years from now, Burma will be a democracy and will re-establish its relations with India and the Indian people. Until then hoping for quick recovery for those affected by this tragedy. Click here if you would like to do your bit to help in this tragedy.