Last vacations, I visited Arunachal Pradesh. For those who don’t know, it’s an Indian state, one of the seven north-eastern states.
I had been to north-east once more, long ago (1999, I guess). My memories of that trip include picturesque landscapes, a bit about handicrafts and information on places to see. The visit last vacation was more enlightening. This time, there was someone from that place to guide me.
I won’t post pictures of the trip here. Neither is this a travelogue. This is about more serious stuff.
Watch this video on Arunachal Pradesh. It says, referring to the Taj Mahal, Marine Drive, Qutub Minar, Bollywood etc. as ‘this is the India everyone knows of.’ How true! Most of Indians don’t even know the names of all north-eastern states. Those who know capital cities of a few of them boast around, proclaiming their knowledge.
But the fact is, people do live there. They may realize that they are ‘unknown’, they may ‘look’ different, but they know that they are Indians. Unable to distinguish between them, rest of India calls them chinkis. The mere fact that they look different results in discrimination and violence against them.
How many of us are aware that Arunachal Pradesh is called ‘Land of the Rising Sun’? Of course, everyone knows of Kerala as ‘Spice Garden.’ Everyone is aware about the Kashmir issue, even having personal opinions about it, but do they know about the tussle between India and China regarding Tawang (a town bordering Indian and China)?
These people don’t have much of documented history, for they moved to India in not-so-distant past. Yet, they have very developed heritage with them. People talk about the rich and varied culture of India. But they totally miss the varied culture of these north-eastern states. There are innumerable tribes settled here. It may sound exaggerated, but there are more than a hundred tribes in Arunachal Pradesh itself! Each of these with its own customs and celebrations. That makes some culture! Still, they are hidden.
Many people will be surprised to know that the official languages of these states are Hindi and English, instead of some regional language. Doesn’t this establish them a part of India? Yet, the problem of being ‘unknown’ doesn’t seem to end.
It’s true that these people dress differently. Women never wear a sari (they have a tunic kind of home made cloth, which again differs across tribes). I feel this should be admired and respected as a culture.
Like the rest of India, students from these regions move to other parts of India. Let’s hope that with this, the difference that exists dies soon. After all, an Arunachali lad is as pleased as any other Indian when India wins a cricket world cup!
All this happened today:
Academic Affairs Secretary: ” Please design the Placement Brochure. Have you seen those of IITB and IITK? Our one really sucks. Please do something!”
A Branch Councilor: “Abe Placement Brochure bana de yaar!”
A friend from Electrical Engg. department: “Yaar ek banner banana hai, welcoming students to our department night. Aaj raat tak kar dega kya?”
A hostel senior: “Ek t-shirt bana de yaar Genesis ki. Jyada kuch karne ki jaroorat nahi hai. Bas ek design bana de!”
A branch-mate: “Ek poster banana hai apne fest ka. Jaldi se bana de, fir sponsors ke naam daal denge.”
Another hostel senior: “Can you edit the videos of last Shaastra? We have to make two videos. Please don’t say no! Give your best!”
And I was thinking of watching a movie tonight! Apparently, each of these believe that I am jobless since the exams have ended!
Finally, I got my new sim activated. I tried it on my old, discarded cell. It’s working fine. I am using the same old set now. Don’t know whether I would buy a new one.
Being cut off was not good!
I have an exam tomorrow – Accounting for Managerial Control. After a long long time, I felt I have put efforts for preparation of an exam. Feels nice!
Three days ago, I lost my cellphone. We were in an overcrowded bus. I had come upon a nice t-shirt concept and had messaged a friend about it. After that, I am blank. I can’t recall having put the cell back in my pocket. Five minuted later, I realized it was missing. Some two minutes later, the bus reached our spot. I tried searching for it, but in vain. The bus had stopped and the conductor was yelling at me to get down! Just before boarding the bus, I had activated the silent mode. Damn! People tried calling on it but how could that have helped? It was over!
I decided that this should not be allowed to affect the party mood (we were on a treat after all!). While returning, I called Customer Care and had the sim card blocked.
Yesterday, I went to a Vodafone Store for a duplicate sim, but it was closed. I went again today and got a sim with same number. It cost me 150 bucks. The guy there told me that the new sim will be activated in half an hour. I returned to my room, tried using my sim after 3 hours and the display reads ‘Sim Registration Failed.’ WTF? I called Customer Care. After navigating my way through all those numbered menus (“For Balance Related Information, press 1…“), which was not easy mind you, I finally reached customer care executive. But there was no one to receive the call. Some music went on for ages. I called thrice, and the same thing happened. Customer Care, they claim!
I have not yet found a new cellphone. Seems I will have to buy one 😦