Why, Nona, why?

By-Haumuanlun Samte [Vaphualization]

Another racist remark, yet again. This time i wouldn’t just be a mute spectator. I’m gonna fight back and make my voice heard. Nona Walia of Times Group writes something terribly ugly about us Northeasterners. “Walk into a spa which has music, scented aroma candles, but you’ll meet a professional doctor rather than a Linda from the Northeast,” writes she in her story,”Spa with a difference” in March 2,2008 Times Life, Times of India’s Sunday supplement.

A Linda from the Northeast. Why is this phrase added? Is it necessary? Why Linda? Why Northeast?

This is what i’ve written to her.

Why, Nona, why?

I’ve been a silent, appreciative and avid reader of yours for quite a long time now. I liked your style of writings. It’s catchy. It’s cool. I truly enjoyed every bit of them.

But that’s passé now.

Sunday, March 2, 2008 began just like any other day. As I flipped the pages of Times of India, Delhi Times, then Times City, your name caught my eyes, like it did every other day. This time you were writing about “spa.” To tell you the truth, I never really gave a damn about spas. I read the piece only because it’s written by you. Nona. A name I’ve always admired.

As I began to read, I ran across a line that says “a Linda from the Northeast.” I didn’t quite grasp the connection between “Linda” and “Northeast” and “spa.” I reread the line. Still an uncertain shadow of doubt fogged my mind. It took a long moment to register.

Then in a moment of stark realization, your words hit me like a shot. Right in the heart. The implications came way too fast for me to fully comprehend. You were mocking and ridiculing us. I screamed the hell out of my lungs. Brute Indian majority. Brute North Indians. Brute media. Brute journalists.

That’s the only thing I can do. I was so helpless. I’ve been screaming and yelling like this for so long now and I don’t even know where it all started. I don’t know who or what to blame. I’ve always asked myself “Who the hell am I? Where the hell do I belong? Just what the hell am I doing here — in a country that boasts of being the largest democratic republic, and of the existence of diversified cultures and religions, and yet, perpetuates the idea of racism, prejudice and discrimination?” We’ve been fighting a tough battle trying to dismantle the mental constructs that perpetuates the great myth of racism in a country we fondly call ours.

Let’s get real here. You don’t want us. Fine with us. We never ever wanted to belong here either. It’s just that history has been cruel to us. English imperialists ruled over India for about two centuries, and after that Indian imperialists rule over us, till this day. But, let me tell you, our hope has not yet been lost. Our hundred-year-old hope. To be a free nation in our own land. Where the clear spring of love, peace, prosperity and unity flows. Where every man respects the dignity and culture of others. That moment will come. Someday. Someway.

As for you, Nona, I wish to thank you for enlightening me through your several articles in the past. Reading your articles has been such a great experience. I don’t really blame you for adding the phrase “a Linda from the Northeast” in this particular write-up of yours. It’s just that you disappointed me.

And March 2, 2008 was the day you lost a fan. For ever.

http://zogam.com/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=why-nona-why.html&Itemid=1

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About Zou Sangnaupang Pawlpi Delhi

Zou Students' Association Delhi Branch
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