Its been some time now since I've been away, and I missed this blog more than I thought I would! When I say I missed this blog, I mean the writing, a certain focus that came in because of it, not quite pressure but close to it, the interaction with people I would never have "met" otherwise....I missed all of it. I hope to resume posting regularly now, although the frequency may be a little lower until I get my own computer at home...Office machines don't really make for great posts methinks.
I wanted to share a little bit though about some of the things I've been upto. For starters, I made my first visit to the 'North-East' of India. I say north-east in quotes, because the visit really threw in my face what I had till then only been reading about : There is no single homogenous entity called the North East that we can plug together for the sake of our convenience. I went to Manipur, and within that one state itself, I realised that there are different kinds of people, sometimes divided on ethnic lines, with conflicts among themselves...It seems too convenient then to club all seven states into one catch-all phrase.
The other thing I wanted to mention was that for the first time probably in my life, I really understood what it was to be the 'Other'. Visiting my husband's family there, everywhere I met with kindness, courtesy and thoughtfulness - yet, my own knowledge about the place, people and customs were so low that often I felt like I was in a foreign land, a foreign land where I was a foreigner. It is interesting to note how within the boundaries of this place called India, there can be such diversity.
Ofcourse this cultural diversity, combined with a whole lot of political and economic issues which I am not getting into, has set the stage for this state practically moving even further away from the rest of India than its geographical distance would suggest! I was intrigued to read newspaper headlines such as 'India negotiates with Nagas' as though talking about a third country. It is amazing how little we get to hear in mainstream media about anything that happens in these parts. And believe me, there is plenty happening, some of which, if not addressed, could lead to a chaotic war-like situation that will affect a lot of us, regardless of where we happen to be.
Before I end this comeback post, I want to just lead you to this story although it is unrelated to the rest of my post. But then, without a little Murakami, where would the Wind-up Bird Chronicle be?