It was 5 pm and it was time for snacks. I went to the mess to satiate my hunger as I skipped lunch. I accompanied my friend as we sipped tea, admiring the sun hiding behind the white fluff. The rays of the sun were leaking out from behind the clouds and it seemed as though that the heavens were calling out. We were discussing about cultural differences in India.
‘The police station wanted to have a meeting with the north eastern students today. Maybe it was a meeting about guidelines and stuff. Don’t know.’
‘Yes. After the incident in Delhi, they are taking this step to keep them in safe custody.’ My friend replied. She was stick thin and possessed a sweet face. Her wet hair was well behaved as she kept the locks behind her ears.
‘Why are they after the North Eastern people? What did they do? I mean…why do they still have aggression directed towards them?’ I frowned unconsciously.
‘The NE people basically take up the jobs in Maharashtra thus leaving fewer opportunities for the state people itself.’
‘So they are following Sons of The Soil Principal? Great! I guess we have it in Assam as well. Don’t know much about that scenario. But it is not like they have lack of employment opportunities for their own people. They are just prejudiced! Tell me more about the Maharashtrians.’
‘Remember that Bangalore incident when the North Eastern people were forced to evacuate the city?’
‘Yes and they got a mass message. It was sorted out later but their lives are always in peril. Not good. India is so divided as a country itself. Pathetic!’
‘Do you know that girl, Harjyot ?’
‘Yes . Her hair style suits her and she is a Punjabi. What about her?’
‘She is a Sikh Punjabi and she is not supposed to cut her hair. She did not like the customs back home and so she cried saying that she wants to live her life the way she will plan out. When you ask her if she is a Punjabi, she will say that she is not religious. After she cut her hair, her mother was shocked and she disapproved it. She is scared to go back home because she does not want to face the wrath of her family. You know, even Rajasthan still has some orthodox customs. So does Maharashtra and most of the western part of India. The eastern part is still lenient and has relaxed these rigid customs.’
‘You bet. We are divided and further divided into further divisions. That’s why we are ranked 136 on the Human Development Index. We are only going backwards with our acts and thoughts though we have tall structures coming up. Superficially we are super modern but deep inside we are torn apart on the basis of customs and what not.’
‘We as Bengalis will not tolerate captivity and rigidity. We want freedom and we mean it with all our heart.’
The breeze hit my face and It seemed as thought I was only waiting for winds of change…