March 30th, 2020
The Reality about the People of Nagaland.
It is not unusual in my country to be discriminated for being different. Traditionally, India has always soaked in anyone from any background who came here. Religions , linguistics and every other form of social categories have always found a belonging in our country. So even after huge masses of immigration happened through out centuries , and everyone found a home in India, from time to time , we are be fooled to believe they were merely invasion. Not going into that discussion , as history is all about assumptions , yet we can see our ignorance as even in present times, we keep discriminating people of our own country for their different way of life. Here , from my experience I will try to light the true nature of Nagaland , as far as my experience of being their in my travels and tours.
The Nagas , refer to a cluster of tribes that belong from the northeastern states of India. To be told a fact , even outside Nagaland , Naga tribes spread in other states of Arunachal , Manipur , Assam and Mizoram. This tribes came into light under the British occupation of the region in late eighteen hundred. The origin of this tribes are disputed , as no strong historical evidence can be put forward to claim the source. However , at present there are 16 official tribes are inhabitants of the political region of Nagaland. English being brought in by the British with Christanity went a long way in bringing this tribes together. The ever warring Naga trives are now coexisting together for its development and in a quiet content way of living. They have reformed their practices , such as hunting into newer ways of economical avenues, saving the fine balance of nature and mankind. Being tribes, they always lived on hunting , and their ancestral accesories are all made of mostly tiger or leoprad claws, bones or skins of bear or deers found roaming in the wild, Bird feathers and meats are also quiet common for beautification and survival. However, with modern age , hunting has stopped , and they have conserved their forest for eco tourism to bloom and form the path towards a brighter future.
Being tribes, the people were very close to nature from there ancient days , and even now that can be seen in their general lifestyle. That dependency to nature and subsequent caring for it with utmost respect is what NAGALAND might inspire the rest of India to do. Almost all villages and tribes have a self sustainable living here. They depend highly on the nature that surrounds them. Wood from the forest , herbs for medicines or wild fruits to make wine and food is still a huge part of living in the modern Nagaland.
In ancient times, every tribe was almost at natural war with each other. Head hunting was a famous practice, where in , when two tribes met on battlefield, the winners would decapitate the fallen, and keep their heads or skulls as prize. These were awards to show the strength of a tribe and people. This practice is bygone now, and no more carried out. With modern social rules coming in, the tribes have found a cooperating existence among each other. Even though their languages and rules and laws , still differ, they adhere to the rules built up by the government. This is the proof , that if people are intending enough with good will , they can exist in peace. The Nagas known for their fierce battles and being warriors are also caring and happy family people, if you look closely. This myth , that Nagaland is only about soldiers and war , will soon perish as more and more travelers head there to see this beautiful culture.
Even though , in terms of GDP , the tribal areas do not contribute much , yet in the form of visions, they go a long way. Almost all houses in Nagaland have sustainable living, They make their general needs out of things they can find in their surrounding forest. From cultivating fishes to fruits and vegetables, each family has its treasure trove in its own , in the Naga country side. While on the tour in Nagaland , the food we eat in homestay is generally produced with in the surrounding of the house or cultivated, or found in the jungles nearby.
That was the way they lived hundreds of years ago, and still do. It is of importance to learn and realize this super value of the Naga society. Their needs are not much , and generally adheres to things that can be found with in the grasp of their natural habitat. The people here know how to make things and utilizes there time in every kind of handicraft possible from natural products, leaving no after effect on earth. The question is, with the advent of high consumerism , till when they can hold to their satisfied living?
Nagaland can also be called a state , where the rest of India must look up to for some inspiration , to diminish its conventional patriarchal miseries. Its a state ran by female power mostly. The Naga family heir is generally the youngest daughter of the house, and yet mostly family feuds are rare here, since their is a benevolent atmosphere. The homestays, where I lived in ,were all managed by women and they did a tremendous job. The women are also very productive here , since they create every house hold things necessary in the homes itself, rather relying on markets. Optimum utilization of time and nature can be seen, which needs to be implemented in our modern lives as much as possible too. Being a feminine driven state , the vibes are much more peaceful and relaxed here.
Nagas are primarily a non vegetarian population. The meats vary from tribe to tribe , but almost every tribe depends on that consumption. They have a healthy cuisine with lesser use of salt , as per my personal observation , which also helps their strong built. Chilies are heavily used , and cuisines mostly have meat as its primary ingredient. There is a negative obsession with what Nagas eat , specially the meat they consume. For the rest of India it is borne of classical conditioning. This curiosity behind the obsession , rather than being genuine, can be termed as a product of ethnocentrism of the Indian society.
A lot of this acceptance , that everything of a culture and tradition is because of the Geo political situation of a region and place , can be seen once you visit and live with the Nagas. This acceptance can breed tolerance and help our diverse country in bringing the ever glorified unity we so boast about , just like the different tribes of Nagaland has successfully practiced for modern coexistence.
Let me know your thoughts if you have been to Nagaland. If not, do plan up once, and let me know if my article motivates you to do so.
March 16th, 2020
Covid-19 or Corona virus could be called the most talked about issue of the present times. Countries taking huge measures of shutting themselves up and locking it's people , have variety of reasons, some valid and some assuming. But I believe , what made Corona such a big news is it's power to affect the economy.
Every year millions die , unnatural death , through war , starvation and poverty , yet our lack of interest and ignorance is fueled by the amount of media attention and our respective government policies upon it. As Corona could affect the famous and rich , it was able to land up in every corner. Actors , politicians and people with spending power are affected , neither their power , fame or money could act as an immunity. Such a thing derives publicity , at least more than what "global climate change" could.
Even as now , clubs and pubs are closed , schools and colleges are shut down , The construction sites are still functional and running. I see the labourers working through the day , with same toils of hard work as any Normal day would. The poor are ignorant and stupid indeed, and the panic hasn't reached them yet. They don't make a huge portion of our " consumer class" population after all. They don't book the flight tickets , do not take vacations, do not eat in the restaurant or hangout in the exhorbantly charged pubs. They do not work in corporates and pay taxes or go to the malls having materialistic life, resulting being not so valid for the economy. They don't even bother to buy a mask, even now.
Does the Corona only affect the middle class and the rich ?
It does seem to be a Communist Virus !
Corona is putting our perspectives into place too.
A lot reduction of air pollution can be already seen throughout the locked down countries, people are forced to give more time to be with Themselves and have time in their hands unprecedented. People are taking in good habits of keeping themselves clean and more conscious about their health. People are also putting thoughts on what they eat , really matters.
Corona is also showing the consequences of our actions that was long due.
Our greedy impact on the planet , making tons of development in the narrow measure of money has backfired , and as per statistics, corporations and countries will hit a very Low growth and eventually financial losses in the coming fiscal quarters.
A hell lot of development ( as society thinks) , trying to move to new planets , achieving scientific brilliance , argument over our God's and stupid riots have all come to a pause. However , thanks to the panic created , we have also acknowledged that however educated or intelligent the most advanced species on Earth may be , when it comes to crisis , they are as selfish as any other organism on Earth. Hoarding , blame gaming and xenophobia are some examples of our super intellectual existence in this present crisis.
For now , it is futile to say , that we have learnt the lesson. When Corona has done what is due , it will become a normal part of life. Corporates will again start making profits , countries will again compete in the superficial measures of GDP , and we as humans will again exploit earth as we always have.
But for a time being , it's good to see the changes and I for one, is surely enjoying it.
Humans are only identity obsessed creatures to walk the earth , who in every way has discriminated and categorized every living being in the name of understanding them better. Futile as it is , yet we follow this categorization and fight wars, inside and outside in our inconsequential time of existence. Such a war is between the man and woman, and it is highly defined neither one understands the another.
I don't agree to this, and in my journey with influence of loads of men and woman I learnt quite a bit about both the genders. Specially the misconceptions we have about our own gender. In this post I try to write only five of the Myths which I feel the women need to know and Not believe in to become the best human version of themselves.
1. Women who are physically attractive are likely to achieve more than who is not.
A huge myth marketed well and executed so that, you buy those expensive products and accessories to make yourself feel and look better. You are promised a job , a good man and a successful life on the eventual usage of the products and turning yourself in to a physically attractive person. And though I know how much you know about this lie , yet somehow your brain failed to cope with it. Because they have successfully made a myth , Your Truth!
Countries with darker skin are sold things that make them fairer , and countries with blatant white skins are sold tanning creams to make them darker. They never want you to feel good about yourself, they want you to be better. Because in better you will find the best Job , the Best Partner , the Best love story , the best successful life.
Do you think this is the truth?
Absolutely not! Physical appearance has nothing to do much with what you go on to achieve. The only time physical appearance should matter is when you are not healthy or fit enough to persue things you want. You will feel good if you are physically presentable , but that does not mean , you can't achieve what you want if you are not attractive on the exterior to some common notions of acceptance.
In the vice versa , women who are physically attractive did not only achieve what they did with their exterior beauty, but with hard work and brains. They look more attractive because they achieved what they wanted to , and what makes them happy.
In the end , just realize, How do you make something beautiful , when it is already such!
2. Women are physically weaker than their male counterparts.
A baby elephant is kept in chains as a child, and in is brain washed that it can never break away from the shackles, and it stays so, throughout it's life. Even when it is a massive beast, it never realizes the power it has to set itself free and goes on, to live a captive life, as in it's brain , it still believes those chains are unbreakable. Same is when a woman believes , they are physically weak.
This is one of the best propaganda played to make an entire gender believe they are weaker in physical strength. It is definitely not true. When I studied mountaineering , the topper of our batch who could climb fastest and do the most hard work was a woman. Even now when we organise hiking, a many of our porters are women taking huge amount of loads in their back , along with men by the side of them. They don't find any excuse, that they can't do that because they are a weaker gender.
Their lifestyle never allowed such a thought process. So hit the trail , lift the weights , practice martial arts or whatever you want to , and realize that you are physically as much strong as the other gender.
3. A marriage , kid and family completes a woman.
Another bullshit well played by the society to keep their laws. What completes a woman or any person is their purpose and their journey towards it. A relationship , another male partner, a legal sanction of that relationship and definitely a baby , will substitute it. As a woman , you are more prone to be judged if you aren't having a steady relationship with a man , a marriage or a baby. I know we need to change it , and am sorry it is such a way, but the best way to deal with it , is to accept , you are still amazing without a partner , a marriage or a baby.
Some of the best women I know are either self chosen single , divorced or separated who refused to take the shit dealt on them. They have more purpose and kindness to give back to the world and make it a better place.
This is not to say , that you will Not find happiness or purpose if you are married , with a child or having a family . But if you do, Do NOT JuDGE other women who doesn't fit in your condition and certainly do not propagate your ideas of marriage and kids in any uncomfortable manner.
The only validation to be complete is when you are absolutely doing nothing , having no one , just being yourself and yet not stressed or sad about the life that you're leading.
Some women find stability in a marriage , a family and baby. And some will find it , in her own endeavors, adventures and journey towards her purpose. Both is okay and acceptable.
You need to know this yourself.
You need to give this validation from yourself. Not from your family , friends or least of all, a man.
4. Being emotional is problematic.
Women are emotionally emphatic and that is also because of the timely hormonal shifts in the body. And due to this occurrance , you as a woman might have taken decisions that went poorly, or gained only pain and hurt in the past. But it is definitely not a bad idea to be emotional about things that truly matter to you. If something is a big deal to you , you should act on it. You are allowed to feel afraid , vulnerable and all kinds of mood that might scare your people around.
As a woman, you might have thought or been advised to be less emotional. You might have thought that you're emotions are a root cause of the failures or mistakes. It might have a part to play , but it is not entirely true.
Being emotional also gives the creative zest to creat things beautiful. It is a matter of knowing where to spend your emotions on. Also being emotional or accepting what emotions you feel truly , might be a good filter in longer run to know people in your close circle. People who are okay with you being what you are , emotionally erratic even , are the ones that are worth keeping. So feel all the emotions you feel , after all that makes you a human!
5. It is very hard ( not safe ) for women to travel Solo.
Probably the biggest myth that is stopping you from knowing who you are. You might love solo trip or you might not , but you will know yourself a lot better only when you take a journey all by yourself. And sorry you going back to visit your friends and family alone on a flight or bus , doesn't count!
One of the biggest reason women tend to stop from this amazing experience is for safety. I am not saying everything is perfect in the world , but it is not as bad as your parents , news paper or media reports it to be. You can ask any solo women traveler about this , and probably all of them will agree , that it may be stressful sometimes but not impossible.
Simple actions like keeping a pepper spray and a well researched plan for traveling before embarking can make all the difference. You don't need a man or another woman to travel safely , or even to be safe , you are enough. Easy to read, hard to realize and hardest to accept. As per as all the dangers that are considered risky while traveling , like being mugged or raped or sexually harassed, all of them have same chances of occurance even when you are Not Traveling.
Solo travel will influence a huge amount of Independence, self caring ability and definitely the power, you are ignoring in your Own self.
Lastly , all that I learnt are mostly from being with beautiful women I have worked with , traveled with , loved and taken care by, brought up by and experienced closely for time being in my life. This myths are what I highly feel irrational and hence I stand by my statement made here. But in the end , it is a personal view and not a universal to be accepted and agreed upon statement.
In any case , if you have a interesting and knowledgeable argument to be discussed upon like wise humans we are , I am all open ears. I will fly to your designated place to talk and know about your point of view , or in messages and chat. Hope you enjoyed the read and let me know for more myths as a woman should not believe!
See you soon on an adventure!
March 07th, 2020
What The Best Kept Secret Village of South India Taught me.
People tend to do something right , even though, they enjoy themselves in something else. And the best example of it is, the fact, that so many people I met love the countryside and village life for it's calm , simple and ordinary ambience. Yet they choose to build their life around bustling cities with their stressful ambience. Why we do it , is a deep resonance of the sub conscious mind and it's will to achieve a perfect life , even without knowing what actually " perfect " means for each of us individually. I won't go into that detail, for it's a detour of how our mind works but most of us do what we feel right, rather than what we actually enjoy. The total nuisance is in the Rights and Wrongs, inbuilt in us by years of conditioning in school , family and society.
Anyways , Everytime you visit small villages around the places you travel you get a slight conviction that it's not always peaceful to be trying to be right. And that is exactly this small village and it's residents taught me , while on my time there.
India throughout has picturesque landscapes. The India villages find their places in those extraordinary surroundings to a wanderer's eye. During my recent tour in South India, in the state of Tamil Nadu , I came to know about this village from a local wanderer and definitely made time to visit here with my ongoing traveler from England. It's an worthy effort to seek beyond the ordinary, and that for a Tour Guide means, better service and recognition from his traveler. I couldn't miss out on that opportunity. For a whole day we decided to live and explore around this well kept secret village.
My traveler and I , both enthusiastic about this bountiful surrounding we were in, decided to hike around the farmlands before heading in to the village . Eric , my traveler from England was a farmer himself and felt at ease and amazement both at the same time. He knew more about the crops that were growing than me. Probably because he is from the same kind of terrain, where as I am more local to the lofty high Himalayas and the agriculture there.
Prominently five crops were to be seen around. Majority was garlic. The whole area can be called a Garlic Haven, which reflects in the local food we tasted later. Second was the carrots. The sweet and tasty carrots. Other than this you find beans , peas and paddy. In a year they have three types of crops and do the crop rotation, which helps them keep the work on land going.
The farm lands are curated and organized in precise accuracy to use up the land as much as possible to most optimum ability. Tiny trails going through them were chosen by us to walk around, as we saw in far , the local men with strong bulls ploughing for the next set of vegetables.
The people of Poombarai are as beautiful as their village from souls. The farmers in the field were so delighted to have us in their field, they offered their produces for us to taste. It was a first time for me to taste carrots straight out of souls and that was delicious. Peas were sweet as well , but I have had it in Himalayas too. Though the love involved in gifting them to us made it special on many ways. I am not a avid vegetable lover , but if I find this kind of it more, I have no complaints.
Lastly every part we went through, we were invited to eat food with them. We could only oblige a few, since of our already vegetable filled-up tummies.
What stuck me most, is though, people belonged to different sectors in financial conditions, that was evident yet all of them lived almost in same ways. Their houses looked the same , and the food eaten. It didn't matter how much they earned , it is their way of living that connected them.
Once we were passing by a house located distant from the main village, in the base of the farming fields. The farmer and his wife was having meal when we were passing by their farm. Without knowing our language, they just with gesture showed us, if we wanted to eat with them.
That was eye opening, to do it to strangers , in middle of your meal randomly. I can't imagine anyone doing that in the technology evolved more educated cities that we are from.
This people work hard to produce the food that we only eat as parasites , and just like me , I am sure a lot of you too, have no idea how to farm or actually create them. It is of no secret that we of all are the most dependant race. The ones that we live in the cities and have no idea of how to produce our own food. And it is such that why we have to keep living there and do things that seem right, just because it covers up our inability to live an independent life enough. Our dependency makes what seems right , and our dependency also does not let us enjoy the things we do. At the end , I am sure most of us would like to know , how to produce our own food, and live this content life that reflects in smiles of the people of Poombarai.
What is your take on this ? Have you ever felt useless because you can't produce your own food ? Let me know. Thoughts are personal and garnered while my tour guiding trip of South India in February last week.
Note from the Author,
" Travel made me rich and free. Magic and miracles are true , once you wander on the roads to places different and divine. I have collected so many thoughts and stories while being a Tour & Trek guide for last seven years. Sharing with you all, those memories and stories , and wishing you all , that someday you guys travel far and wide too. I am not a great writer , so ignore my grammar and spellings, read it with feelings, and you might just be affected with the wanderlust to hit the road"