The embers were hot and glowing.. It was a really cold night. It was only 7 pm and it looked like it was past 10 pm. My friend Bhim and I were throwing one log of wood after the other into the fire, blowing wind through the old metal blowpipe to keep the fire going. It was challenging, fun and new.
Right then walked in Ratan with a big smile carrying two bottles of fresh rice beer, Avantika walked in with snacks, Abhishek with his big smile saying Hi Guys! And there was Vhizo, the awesome Naga who joined in with us.
So here we were, an eclectic mix sitting together, huddled around the fire. Each one of us coming from a different mindset, culture, thought process, background and somehow we were one. Completely Whole. And if that mix wasn’t enough, in came a Bangladeshi couple, Ransaaf with his wife from Dhaka, joining in and adding their own element to this group.
Just a week ago if somebody told me, this would happen I would laugh it off. Seriously? A tour to Nagaland would lead to this? No way! And yet here we were, sharing that long cold night in a remote village in Nagaland.
Needless to say, Nagaland is a diverse, rich and complicated region. We were ending this journey with a new insight. No, let me rephrase this, it was more than an insight. It changed how we looked at our country and it’s people. The trip to Nagaland made us face a lot of realities. Time and again it made us believe in goodness. And most importantly? There were people out there, our kind, that was crazy, that took risks, that didn’t believe in adhering to a society and it’s stifling norms, and truly believed in living in freedom.
If you don’t breathe freely even once, what’s left in life? To be continued…