As soon as I enter the metro, I get greeted by many pair of eyes, looking at me from head to toe., as I get out to the market, parks, etc, etc, it happens everywhere! And it’s nothing to be proud of because it doesn’t make me feel so beautiful or attractive or admirable but it does make me think, do I look like an alien here? Thrown into the earth from outer space??? I too am a human being, an Indian, living in my own country, then why do my countrymen give me that look?? I am not creating a stereotype here; I mean not everyone stares at us, just the greater percentage of curious people!
Last time, I took part a program, where I met students from different countries and so, being a true patriot, I told them about the beauty of my country, India. When I asked them to come and visit the country, they really wanted to, but there was one thing that held them back! Not because poverty exist in our country or not because it’s quite unsafe for foreigners here, or anything like that.
They were just like – “I’ve heard that people in India stare a lot”
There I was standing speechless because what they said was 100% true and I acknowledging the fact that my fellow countrymen stare a lot would be quite an insult for my own country.
So I replied – “no, they stare a lot because you are beautiful”
While in my mind I was saying -“no, way!! They do stare a lot!!!”
I didn’t wanted to lie completely, so I added the dumbest thing that ever came into my mind -“and everyone stares at each other in India, it’s like normal, we don’t stare only at foreigners, we stare at ourselves too, so it’s absolutely fine”
Most of the time, we feel like we are in the wrong country, we don’t have the same taste like our fellow Indians, we don’t celebrate the same kinds of festivals, our mentality differs and most of all, we look different- we look rather Chinese than Indian.
When I introduce myself among international students and tell them that I am from India, they think it’s a joke and starts laughing and then says “no, seriously, tell me where you are from?”
Then, are we in the wrong country? A country where we are treated as outsiders, where we don’t feel belonged? Where most of the time, we are not given the respect that we deserve? There’s a lot to think about. Me too, like everyone sometimes feels like we are all in the wrong place especially in cities when like Delhi where a lot of injustices is done to our people. People have this assumption here that most of the people from our northeast are alcoholic, loves to party, drug addicts, etc. and we are so looked down upon. We are used to the words used to describe us like- chinky, nepali, Chinese!
But like everything else, it is always better to look at the positive side of things while working on the flaws that exists. A part of me tells me that these disparities exist because we have not been able to fully establish ourselves before our fellow Indians. No matter how hard we try to repel the fact, we are still Indians and we are placed just where we are supposed to be. This is where we are meant to be, where we belong. The government had been so kind to us, look at the nrega on full swing in our state and so many people have benefitted from it, the leaders do care for us.
Well, it sometimes occurs to me, are we in this country because God had wanted us to be here? Maybe sometimes, we feel that India is just not the place for us, but guess what? God may have already planned it perfectly from before. What if we are placed in this country to be a ray of light that shines bright for everyone around? What if we were the chosen one to spread the word of God all over this country? I feel like the picture is clear in front of us, but we are failing to see it. We, though small in number, we were lucky enough to have a Christian population and the way God has raised us from the hills of Manipur into various cities all over the country, it all seem like it’s our responsibility to lighten up this country of ours with the gospel message.
It is said that there’s a reason for everything that happens. If we look back at the years, we could raise a few questions at everything that happened to us and our people. Why were we so lucky to be among the first to receive the word of God? Why we? Why did God placed us in this part of the world when we could have fitted perfectly and felt like home if we were placed in any of the East Asian countries. So why India? When we look around, our country is crying for help, she needs enlightenment, she needs hope and that’s not going to happen until our fellow Indians receive the living message!
Let not the doubts ever come across our mind again because this is our home, we are not the odd one out in this puzzle but rather, we fit perfectly in completing this country’s puzzle piece. We’ve already celebrated 100 years of Christianity, if we fulfil the duties God entrusted upon us, maybe the 150th or 200th celebration would be celebrated by each and every Indian all over the country! Till then lets always remember that we are the “Chosen Ones”.