Migrating to a different state in India for the purpose of studies, work or in search of a better life has become a convention for the people of northeast India. The phenomenon has its own set of pros and cons and the reasons behind its occurrence are varied. Some pursue it out of passion and love the venture, while for some it is a compulsion. Definitely there are phases of struggles in everyone’s share. But once one can survive and overcome them, the taste of success is very sweet. Success and struggle are again a very subjective term, meaning and holding different things for different people. Here are a few stories of dreams, struggles and success shared by people from northeast from different walks of life.
The best part about metropolitan cities in India is that, they a have a place for everyone, provided one is zealous, diligent and passionate. The exposure and way of life in metropolitan cities changes perspectives and broadens horizon.
Mrs Anita Baruah, a homemaker from Tinsukia, Assam, along with her children moved to Gurgaon in 2008 to give them better education. Today she is proud, not only of her children but also of herself. She is an independent woman and an entrepreneur. She always loved cooking, so she updated herself with a baking course and is now a baking professional, who delivers range of cakes to a large clientele. She manages the entire house, drives around in Gurgaon and Delhi and has her own social circle. “Being a woman, moving away from home and husband to a city for the first time was definitely very challenging. I was nervous, unfamiliar and often lost. But I am happy the way I planned and managed things. Staying back in Tinsukia, I could have never realized my potential.” Mrs Baruah laughs and adds that she is nicknamed as ‘Gurgaon Guide’ by her acquaintances in Delhi. She misses family weddings and get-togethers the most, but does not have any immediate plans of returning back to Assam.
Growing up, making a living and shouldering responsibilities makes one flicker. However victorious are those who can still manage to shine through. As goes the famous saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.”
Kshatrimayum Vikram Singh from Kakching, Manipur, recently completed his MBA from Business School in Bangaluru. Now, he is working in a company as a sales executive. He always wanted to come to metropolitan city to pursue his MBA and work in an MNC as growth and opportunities back home are very limited. “Things here are different from what I perceived. At times I feel it was all an illusion and I should have never come here. My MBA fee was 10 times more than what I am earning. I have a huge education loan to pay off, afford my expenses in Delhi and send money home. I don’t know how long I will be able to sustain myself here”. For Vikram it is just the beginning and he has a long way to go in his professional journey.
“All human beings are alike”, is more of a clichéd term. In real life, everyone knows that identifying people on the basis of race, religion, caste, class, and gender is basic human nature. The northeast people are culturally and racially very different from the rest of India. So, very often there have been instances of racial discrimination and attack on people from the northeastern states. But life becomes easier for those who can empathize with the locals’ lack of comprehensive awareness about the northeastern states and take it casually. If one is flexible enough to give up some unique habits which may appear strange in the new setup and assimilate to new environment, the going gets smoother.
Mr Siddhartha Lahon had come to Delhi 12 years back with the desire to be a student at one of India’s topmost university. He completed his BSc, MSc and PhD in Physics from Delhi University. Now he is an Assistant Professor at the same prestigious university where he attained his entire education from. Mr Lahon belongs to a small village near Sivasagar in Assam. Staying in Delhi has been lot of adjustments and adaptations in terms of people, culture, language, food, and lifestyle. “I have a typical mongoloid look which makes me stand out in several places. Earlier, I used to be very conscious about my looks. But my friends and acquaintances from all over India have slowly but steadily made me at ease. I miss my village’s lush green fields, the rainy season, festivals and relatives. Luckily, nowadays we have the functions and festivals being organized by the Assam Association and student organizations. I also have developed a love for Mughlai and Punjabi food.” Also Mr Lahon smiles and boasts of his Hindi language skills. Today he is equally comfortable with all 3 languages – Assamese, English and Hindi.
The glamour of city lights attracts a lot of people, just like the way a glow of light on a dark night attracts a bunch of insects. Some survive, some move away and some die in the light. However, being human, one possesses the natural gift of choosing wisely and the ability to persistently follow his or her passion and ambition. A dream turning into reality is euphoric. Success will definitely lose its glory if it is not accompanied by struggles. It is a great feeling to see an exponential number of successful and contented people from northeast, residing in various major Indian cities and making a mark in diverse fields. One must not definitely not forget their roots and identity, but as the idiom goes “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”.