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North-East ‘India’??

At Mandi house metro station, 3 CISF Jawans entered the train. उनमें से एक का नाम सुमंत कुमार, दूसरे का राम सिंह और तीसरे का K. Laithangbam था । The third one sat on a seat vacated by young boy (23-25 yrs) who was earlier sitting there. he tried to read the name, the jawan got it and smilingly asked, नाम पढ़ रहे हो ? the boy smiled weakly but said nothing. However another young boy sitting near the jawan asked, Sir, आप Indian Citizen हो?
The Jawan clearly felt a bit uncomfortable but maintaining his composure, he asked the boy, कौन-सी class तक पढ़े हो ?
“+2 तक”, boy replied. “अगर कोई यहाँ से America में जाकर Job करे तो वो private sector में job कर सकता है, लेकिन public sector में कर सकता है क्या” ? Jawan again asked. “नहीं sir, idea नहीं है”
“चलो ये बताओ, कोई Sri-Lanka का citizen भारत में public sector job कर सकता है क्या ?” the boy was clueless again.
The jawan told him, “नहीं कर सकता”  After some minutes of silence, he told the boy, “मैं मणिपुर से हूँ.’
the boy was absolutely still and silent. Jawan asked, “पता है, मणिपुर कहाँ है ?” the boy shooked his head in negation.
The jawan felt completely betrayed. With a clear sign of desperation, he said, “फिर तो बात बचती ही क्या है”. By then, boy was clearly feeling guilty. थोड़ी देर बाद जवान से उसे प्यार से समझाया, “जब किसी से पूछना हो तो, ऐसे पूछो, आप कहाँ रहते हो आप कहाँ से हो , ऐसे नहीं पूछते जैसे तुमने पूछा।” the boy understood his mistake and accepted it by nodding his head. उसके बाद जवान ने उस लड़के उसके बारे में पूछा, क्या कर रहा है, कहाँ रहता है, a nice conversation between them. He even told boy that he has worked in some place in UP west, co-incidently quite close to boy’s hometown.
On lighter note, jawan also asked शादी हो गयी तुम्हारी ?? both of them laughed on this question. इतने में आ गया Rajiv Chowk Metro Station और लड़का उठ कर जाने लगा। जाते वक़्त उसने जवान से “Sorry Sir” बोला, K. Laithangbam ने धीरे से मुस्कुरा कर उसकी Sorry ko accept कर लिया. i felt immense respect for Laithangbam, the way he handled the situation was so nice. अब मुझे भी उतरना था, तो मुझे लगा कि मेरा part तो story में कहीं आएगा ही नहीं (*grinning) तो उतरते time मैंने उनसे कहा, काफी अच्छे से समझाया आपने। उन्होंने हँसकर जवाब दिया, कभी-कभी समझाना पड़ता है . Though the scene ended well (and all is well that end well) but still it raises a concern about an important issue.
This happened around 2 yrs back, but recently the inauguration of Bhupen Hazarika which is longest river bridge in India connecting Asaam and Arunachal Pradesh resurfaced this article in my mind. From the limited conversations about North East, Connectivity, within the region and with rest of country has always been talked as a serious concern.  Hopefully this bridge would cater to former part nicely. And hoping to see many projects catering to latter part. More we will get to interact with people from North-East, more we can visit their place, such incidents will become lesser and i persoanlly feel it will lead to better integration of that region with rest of country, geographically as well as emotionally.
Jai Hind !!

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