all around, the gulmohurs have broken into an ecstatic frenzy of red and yellow. i like the red best..the ones with a little hint of orange along the outer rim of the petals.
[V] on the run.. was covering some parts of the north-east this evening. i got to catch the last part of the show but decided to watch it anyway as i had nothing better to do and part nostalgia. i opened my eyes for the first time there and now after so many years and miles away, it still feels like home. whenever i come across a show about the north-east, i watch it for a while. most of them depict the land and its people as aliens, far-removed from heartland India. and it does not help when people from the north-east, with their marked facial features are often treated as foreigners in the rest of the country. they are asked for passports and travel passes. i was apalled at the visible ignorance of two geography students when they were discussing that mizoram was the capital of manipur!!!
the general sentiment(s) that i have faced are:
* people from the north-east are “junglee tribals”.
* they are not-educated and they dont wear proper clothes.
* all are terrorists
* the states are extremely rural and backward
* and since i was brought up there i did not have adequate qualifications for urban habitabtion
for a change [v] on the run..focussed on the wild beauty of the natural land and instead of putting together a choreographed stage-show of dancers, the VJs checked out some vocal talents at a cafe in kohima. some really impressive stuff they got. simply done without the lights and sounds and headbanging that is otherwise used to package and hype things up.
from my own personal experience, i feel that life is very close-knit there. the towns are small and would fit into a modestly sized locality of a metro. there are a limited number of schools and colleges…mostly run by christian missionaries. a fete or annual function of some kind would easily qualify as the special event of the month. dance shows, exhibitions. inter-school/college functions are all held in the one or two auditoriums that one would find in town…mostly the one at the state library. the roads are cleaner and the crowds are less. bungalows that come out of a picture-postcard dot the lanes.
since a major chunk of the population in a few states have converted to christianity, festivals like christmas or all saints’ day acquire some amount of prominence. to the outer world it seems like a de-indianisation. what eludes most people is that the lifestyle is a tad-bit westernised which was the result of the presence of europeans for a considerably long-period of time (i remember seeing spanish and italian doctors at a hosptial near my home and british and american brothers/sisters at the convents). most schools teach english as their first language and being cosmopolitan in most parts, people tend to use the language in their regular conversations. but the people do not throw out their own traditions either. the languages, the dresses, the traditional festivals, dances, music are all integrated with the modern lifestyle.
perhaps it is necessary to live in the north-east to really understand and comprehend the true spirit of land and its people.