Changlang, a district in Arunachal Pradesh, on mountain, where you will not find even half a kilometer plane straight road. It’s all ups and downs, hilly, curvy, with greenery all over and water falls in between to amuse you. Needless to say it’s North East India.
This was my first visit to North India. And I thoroughly enjoyed my stay there. The place is awesome, people are so innocent, helpful, relaxed. But they have different kinds of challenges there. And I was there to take ‘The Art of Living’ workshops.
When I was in Chennai I already googled Changlang. And though it’s a district place, population is still less than my hometown, a village in Maharashtra and there is only one college for graduation. So it gave me an idea that it’s not going to be so advanced. And I was already told that it’s Cristian dominated area. It anyway doesn’t matter as I was there to bring back smile on their faces! Also I came across some of the problems while browsing about Arunachal Pradesh – Arunachal Pradesh and Assam border dispute, China and Arunachal Pradesh border dispute, opposition to hydroelectric power plants, etc. and on my way to Changlang, people told me about insurgency problem.
But when I actually reached there, challenges were little different. By the time I reached Changlang, there were three check-posts (after entering Arunachal border). And armed forces ( gun men) checking everybody. And I already started feeling little different! The place where I got down, opposite to SBI ATM, there were gun men. It made me little insecure. But I knew I am taken care of :). After 3-4 days, these gun men didn’t bother me anymore ;). I was habitual to them!
I was staying there with one of the middle school Principals who already had done Part 1 and Part 2 courses of Art of Living . And as unexpected it was house made up of Tin!
And then as I was meeting people to organize the course, the first big challenge that came was walking. In fact it’s not walking, it’s climbing hills and getting down. As I already mentioned it’s situated on mountain. So it was so tiring and time consuming! And then I came to know that more than 90% people there are drug/alcohol addicts!
The only thing I used to think was let me be hollow and empty and give my 100%. And rest all is in HIS hand.
And so I got Amakaji’s number who helped me more than expected. And in few days I just became like family member. Mingtu, her
hubby, who has already done the course, and left drug habit, gave me the bike (one challenge solved :)) and introduced to many people.
People there are so relaxed. They so casually take break from school, for a year! Students in higher secondary are 18-19 years old. Office timings are morning 9am to 1pm and then lunch break for an hour or two and then by 4-4:30 office gets over. Shops also gets close by 6pm as it becomes so dark by then. People have so much time, free time! They hardly have any source of entertainment, no theatres. So probably they tend to take drugs, etc. however people are very helpful. They prepare their Bambu house on themselves and almost everybody from young to old, know how to make house. And there are no carpenters!………………………………………………… to be continued