Where Orchids bloom …

It was very disturbing to read about the young boy Nido belonging to Arunachal Pradesh being killed in Delhi. What made him leave the beautiful state of Arunachal Pradesh to come all the way to Delhi ? Am sure he would have loved to stay in his state, amidst the 600+ varieties of Orchids that bloom there !

I have a very special connection to the North Eastern state of Meghalaya. Dad was posted there between 1980 to 1983 and I studied in Kendriya Vidyalaya Happy Valley. My special group of friends from there are my closest friends till today and Shillong remains one of the most beautiful places I have seen. Infact for our anniversary in 2003, Krishnan and I went to Shillong and it was awesome to visit the school, meet our English teacher, Miss Lyngskor who was still teaching !! She is a Khasi lady and I have lost count of the number of days I have spent talking to her at her home. She would jump over pebbles in her stilettos and seeing her do that scared me so much that I have only worn flats all my life. Am sure Javed remembers being thrown out of her class 🙂

The Khasi tribe is a matriarchal society and the youngest girl inherits everything. Many of our smart Malayali men have married many of the youngest daughters and settled in beautiful Shillong. Nearly every spot in Shillong was worthy of a picture or being a picnic spot. No pollution, just beautiful waterfalls, green trees and awesome hills.

I then got a chance to visit Zhakama in Nagaland when Geetu and Harish were posted there in 2004. Again a beautiful place that had hardly changed since dad had visited it in 1982. We went and saw a Naga village setup as a tourist spot… You can identify the clan, depending on the type of hut. And ofcourse the Naga shawls that keep you super warm.

I have always been fascinated with the Manipuri dance. The stiff skirt and the graceful movements are mesmerizing. The fact is, Manipuris are largely followers of Vishnu. Rabindranath Tagore helped bring the Manipuri dance centre stage.

The North Eastern States of India are not just beautiful but have some of the most hard working people. Everytime I get to know someone is from Nagaland, Meghalaya or Arunachal Pradesh, I speak about our stay in Shillong and there is instant connect….. Once we came to Delhi is when I realised that people from the North Eastern States are treated differently, the girls are teased and generally they are expected to work in hotels and restaurants. Then it happened in Bangalore. Slowly it was obvious that the central Government treated the North Eastern states differently. Our brothers and sisters from the North Eastern States are as much a part of India as any of us is and need to be included in all our affairs. Job opportunities need to be created there and they need to be treated as any other Indian is, in other states.

Nothing makes Nido’s death right … Please read the following blogpost from my friend Rajesh. And spread the word.

Need to change the way we treat Northeast

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