There are a myriad truly amazing things about being Naga. Today, the menu is all about serving a platter of both sweet and salty facts. It is all on you to ingest and digest the observations with a dash of humour.
Being a part of the Scheduled Tribes in India as a Naga, life has given you quite some opportunities where you could smirk with your head held high unlike your not-so-lucky distant neighbours. Well, to begin with, you don’t have to pay taxes (which is the sweet part). How awesome is that! But you’re still somehow broke. Because you still pay taxes…nevermind.
The paradox of racism has its own twisted perks. Here’s how: Other people are automatically intimidated by you when you introduce yourself as a Naga, because hey, your ancestors were hardy headhunters and you are a meat-loving, hot-headed uncompromising savage.
You can also easily pass off as that eccentric Chinese or Korean tourist (of course with a superior fashion sense) visiting India. There goes your three minutes of fame, and all credit goes to your “chinky eyes”.
Adventure lies in the blood of every Naga, even Robinson Crusoe is put to shame. Why, look around you. Who needs amusement parks and adrenaline inducing scary roller-coaster rides when a ten-minute ride around the neighborhood can awake the mother of all adventures in you? Shipwreck is so yesterday.
Moving on, you are a born fearless hero who descended from a line of fear-immune warriors so you can always take matters into your hands and teach that bad, bad criminal a lesson because if you wait for the law to do its job, your great-great-grandfather will show up from the afterlife just to whack you for being a coward, and if that criminal happens to be a “non-local”, then there you go, time for some serious showdown!
Many of you are immune to filth and germs since you can co-exist peacefully with waste materials and still manage to look classy while obliviously crossing your not-very-pleasant neighbourhood street that is strewn with last year’s garbage.
Most importantly, here comes your love-hate relationship with the government because every obedient Naga kid shall one day crack NPSC and secure a government job. Let the non-locals do the back-breaking stuff because Pride is your middle name. It has been instructed in the ancient manual of “How to Become Successful 101” that is passed on to every Naga child. It is the one and only way to make elders proud too. And one day, you will have saved enough to go to Bangkok for shopping. That’s the ultimate Naga Dream.
Good heavens! You’re never at fault because come inconveniences, the government is your punching bag. Bad roads, unhygienic public toilets, mountains of rubbish and oceans of overflowing drainage are all the poor government’s responsibilities whom you elected “by mistake” in the last elections.
You believe in living life to the fullest because you only live once. Worry not about going off-limits and hating your neighbour because all your sins will be washed away, come Sunday church services. Now turn on repeat.
What a time to be a Naga!