One afternoon in New Delhi

Samananda Meitei *

The time was 2.30 pm and it was very hot summer day. I was just returning from some work and I saw my uncle Anil's Trackon Courier Office opened. Every day whenever I have free time I go to his office and we gossip on any topic.

Uncle was not there and he had gone for lunch to his room for a while. Three four staffs were there and they had started asking about my new book that I was going to release very soon. I had explained them about which message I wanted to give to the people of our country. Our topic was very interesting and I was very happy to know the interest of the staffs about my book.

After about five minutes, uncle Anil had arrived and we stopped our discussions. He was very busy that even when he had come there, he had no time to say even a word, " Hi!" to me. He had started scolding a staff who was responsible for the loss of a parcel which was sent from Mumbai.

But the boy requested to forgive him as he was a new comer and promised that such mistakes would never be repeated again. He forgave the boy and warned to other delivery boys too to do things very carefully to avoid the mistakes. After that he had explained them where they had to go and collect the parcels and letters.

All the boys had left the office and gone to do their duties. Then, the room was at peace and uncle started to take the breathes of rest and peace. I was just a silent spectator in the office for about 20 minutes and spoke nothing at all.

Then, I saw uncle has remembered that I had come there and sitting in the corner since last thirty minutes. His two eyes slowly turned to me and said , " Hi Samananda, How are you ? Is everything O.K.?"

"Yes, I am fine." I said and continued , " I think this work is very tough".

" Yes, This work is very risky and mind is always full of tensions whole day. If the parcels are lost or misplaced, I have to pay the cost of the lost parcels. I have lost around Rs. Ten thousand last month only." Uncle expressed his problems of his work.

I suggested him to tackle the problems lightly and otherwise all hairs on his head would leave his head very soon. There is always better and effective ways to solve our problems.

"This problem is nothing compared to my job of collecting EMIs form the defaulters. Imagine a Manipuri guy who knows a little Hindi urging and quarrelling with the customers whose EMIs have not been paid for two months. That is very tough but I have to do it to achieve my targets." I also shared some my difficulties too.

Uncle Anil is very kind and gentleman in my neighborhood. I met him very soon when I came here in Delhi in June, 2007. Since then we have been in touch and sharing our experiences in life. He is 55 years old and has only one son called Chirag.

Chirag is very simple and is always polite to me. Aunty is also very welcoming and simple in nature. I have visited their room many times and taught lessons to their son Chirag. In Delhi no one trusts a stranger like me but not to them. He told me that he had come Delhi in 1983 and he had worked as a delivery boy at the salary of Rs. 325.00 only. The value of three hundred at that time is worth around Rs. Four thousand at present day.

I said , " your office very cold but my room is very hot, its on the top floor."

" Samananda, You need a cooler in this summer otherwise you would be facing a lot of problems. By the way how is the weather of Manipur?"

" There weather is always very cold. Many houses don't have even a fan at all. We can easily stay inside our homes without ACs or fans. Many people have not heard the name of cooler at all. Then, you imagine how good the weather there is."

" I have no complaints about you people from Manipur staying here in Delhi but I have one thing that really disturbs to some people." He said. I was sad to hear such words from a very close person of mine saying like that. I thought myself about for a moment what it may be that people here in Delhi wont like about us…is about our food habit , is it about the dress of Manipuri women or is it about the live-in culture of some youths working in BPOs….I was thinking next by next …what it would be ? I took it very seriously. So, I asked him,

"what's that you don't like about the people of Manipur staying here in Delhi."

"You see, the prices of rent houses had been increased suddenly so high because of you people. Three or four students share only one or two thousand and give five thousand as a rent fee for one room and the landlords had increase their rents from Rs.2000 / Rs. 3000 to Rs. 5000 or Rs. 6000 in the last one year. This hike in the rent prices has made many families coming from other parts of the country unable to pay the rents."

That sounded very funny and I laughed for a moment. What Uncle said was very true. The number of students and other working people staying in Delhi is increasing day by day in a large number. This sudden increase in the number of people who had left Manipur indicates a number of meanings to me. This shows positive as well as negative impacts on Manipur as well as the on the India Government.

The number of educated people is increasing in an unexpected manner and the communal understanding and interaction is also increasing.

This two things are the positive impacts while the negative impacts are many. This shows the high rate of corruption and malfunctioning of the government agencies in Manipur. Educated youths don't want to give bribes and do the job in Manipur.

Another factor is the inability of the state and the central government to provide the jobs enough for increasing number of educated youths in Manipur and the neighboring states. On the other hand, the central government can no longer go on neglecting the underdeveloped regions like north eastern states.

Now, we see the huge concentration of the big factories and multinational farms in a few metropolitan cities. If the government tries to allocate these factories and firms in a proper manner across the country, the people of our country will be benefited in an equal proportion. This will be the first and the ultimate step against the unequal distribution of the public wealth.

This is very huge and complicated issue in our present society but we see NGOs, Media and other government agencies are not paying enough attention towards this issue.

But we can no longer go on in this way. We have overcome it today or now if we want to make "India shining" not in words but in our real life.

* Samananda Meitei ( a resident of Delhi) contributes for the first time to The writer can be reached at samananda(dot)sam2010(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was webcasted on June 05th, 2009.

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