I so remembered Gerald Durrell for the past few weeks! (Delightful author, bless his soul.)His colorful tales in ‘My family and Other Animals’ has aptly colored my imagination since the days I laid eyes on his work. However, it was not the animals, but the part about the Family that made me think of him.
Much like Durrell’s daily life in Corfu...the past 2 weeks were a riot at home. The whole paternal side of my family had descended into our house for a mega event. The deal for giving away the development rights of their ancestral property to a builder was to be finalized. There were aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Not to forget the sons in law.
The process to find the chosen one had been on for months now. A willing fellow was found.
Then the negotiations began. As with every land deal, there were the usual complications. My father’s family was sharing the land with their extended family and how to make the divide was a contentious issue. A lot of sound bytes were spent on t…
A little incident back in my university days. A classmate from the Manipur, T, had accompanied me to the University Library to get our membership formalities done.
We both had the necessary documentation like receipts and i-Cards. After I was handed my membership card, it was her turn. The conversation went thus:
Clerk: Sagle 'dacuments' ahetka? T: Sorry..I don't understand, can you speak in English? Clerk: Kay phorenhunyeta..kaymahitnasta..you have all dacuments? T: Yes, here is the receipt and the I card. Clerk: Where is foreign student's ID? T: Foreign student? But I am from Manipur.... Clerk: That is like foreign only...kashalaikde lamb yetat..bhashamahitnahidhad T: ????
Finally, I had to interrupt in Marathi and get the fool to accept all her 'dacuments'.
A recent Economist article by their S-A correspondent has re-highlighted this feeling of alien-ness that the people from NE India are subject to. They has never been an attempt o mingle them with mainstream. An occa…