Travelling the North Eastern parts of India was always on my to-do list. Becuase there is so little I (or many of us) know about the place. I am glad I could tick that one thing off.
I was actually thinking of writing a travelling diary kind of a piece to describe every place I had been to. But all I could find interesting and worth writing about,were the people I met and noticed.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There is much beauty and magnificience to this place to still warrant a piece. But I’m sure that there are many others in this big world of internet who would tell you about that. The experience of meeting people here is what I truly found extra-ordinary.
The people whom I could see the most were ,of course, some small shop owners, the hotel and restaurant staffs, the drivers and locals who happened to pass by. What was so special about them? Well, for starters, the women.
Don’t get too excited, boys. What I meant was the kind of respect and dignity with which the women lived. Almost every shop I had been through were run by women, and men merely followed orders. Mind you, some shops are situated at extremely cold places. And yet, they had the kindest courtesies and quickest service for their shivering customers.
The young men and women roamed freely together even in the smallest of towns. There was never a slightest hint of prejudice that one might expect in the towns of similar scale in other states.
And then there’s the glamour and style! The kind of confidence and panache with which the young people here carry out, would make us metro people look pale.The girls with skin tight jeans, and the guys with perfectly gelled and styled hair carried themselves very well!
Inspite of all the style, they work really hard. Many of our drivers were young and full of such style, yet sincere to their work. We’ve travelled through the most dangerous and rocky paths, but I never saw two locals fighting amongst themselves to make a cut. They have patience and diligence found in the most professional drivers.
The whole country is mad about cricket, but the people of the seven sister states are crazy about football. You can find people of all ages playing soccer at the tiniest of places.Thankfully, the love for bollywood is the same.
I didn’t click any picture for whatever I said, as a proof. Becuase I want one to witness all of this themselves over there. These are things that can be expressed, maybe, if a thorough professional would click them with DSLRs. Certainly not when an amateur is roaming around with a mobile camera.
Their sincerity and politeness is what truly won me over. Never did I ever felt duped. On the contrary, some took extra efforts to make travellers feel at home.
The saddest part is, when they visit or stay in the big cities, we hear a completely different experience. They are teased for looking the same and always termed as people with Nepal and Chinese nationalities (there are harsh Hindi words for that). There are some terrifying cases of attacks too. And often, these parts are neglected by everyone – from sports federation to politcians to our own Hindi cinema.
There is much more personality to them than you already know of. And with a society and mindset so progressive and modern, North Easteners should be a poster for the entire nation to see and learn from.
Make yourself a favour, and visit the North East. For the beauty and paradise, sure. But more importantly to meet these awesome people.