Friday, November 21, 2008

Samaritan Village

Samaritan Village: A virtual Shangri-La

By Lalita Chettri

SHILLONG: If there is a Shangri-La on earth, it could well be a seemingly nondescript hamlet where disputes and alcohol are taboos, where human values and ethics rule the roost. Welcome to Samaritan Village at Lum-Mynri, Mawser, Ri-Bhoi district, about 50 km away from Shillong city: it's home to the poorest of the poor who live in peace and harmony regardless of the language they speak or the community they belong to.

Any family belonging to the destitute lot can stay in the village as long as it wants to, provided it upholds the rules of the village.

Spread over an area of 40 acres, Samaritan Village houses 25 poor or financially weaker families. They enjoy almost all the basic needs without giving anything in return. Families are allocated free land to build houses and cultivate on. Their children receive free education, besides the facilities of church and prayer hall. Residents of the village will forfeit these services if they fail to strictly follow the rule 'No Alcohol, No Disputes.'

The families residing in Samaritan Village have been allotted a plot of land of 3000 sq feet each. In fact, it is a "cosmopolitan" village where Khasis and Nepalese co-exist, with all of them bonded by a common faith - Christianity.

Niru Magar, a Nepali resident who has been residing in the village for the last two years, says she is happy living a peaceful life there. She is married to a Khasi man. They have three children who speak both Khasi and Nepali fluently.

"We nurture no antagonism against any community. Here, everyone enjoys the same freedom and equal opportunities," another resident K Hujon Sing says.

Inspired by the lifestyle they have had so far, people of the village are cherishing the dream of making it a 'Good Samaritan Village.'

Samaritan Village derives its name from the Bible story of a person from Samaria who believed in helping others. Good Samaritan Trust, which takes care of the village and its residents, hopes to increase the number of families from 25 to 250.

Much of the credit for this noble venture goes to J Kharphuli and his wife R Kurbah of Mawlai. The couple have set up the village under their Good Samaritan Mission. The Mission banks on responsible individuals who wish to make a difference to the lives of underprivileged people by providing them with financial support.

Recently, Mr Kharphuli and Ms Kurbah donated Rs 20 lakh to help improve the living standard of underprivileged people.

It is also at the initiative of the husband-wife duo that Samaritan Village got its first English medium school -- Good Samaritan Lower Primary and Upper Primary School - exclusively for poor students. The school was inaugurated by former Chief Minister DD Lapang on 30 March 2007. Today, the school has 100 students, from nursery to Class VII, and five teachers. (Source: The Shillong Times)

Kahin To Hogi Ho

Jaane tu ya jaane naa, a movie that almost all my friends love. I watched the movie, liked it but I'm still in love with Jab we met. I love the movie and I've lost count of how many times I've seen it.

Going back to Jaane tu, there is one thing that I love the most about this movie. Even though I wouldn't watch the movie again! I'm head over heel about the song which is also the current title of my latest post.

I'm so attached to the song that I have to listen to it everyday and you wouldn't believe that it's continuously looping in my player. My craze for the song is extraordinary! I've never felt like this even when I listen to my favourite band. I can just listen to this one song the entire day. What more? I even have the song as my caller tune.

Believe me I don't understand half the lyrics of the song but I still love it!

Jane na kahan woh duniya hai
Jane na woh hai bhi ya nahi
Jahan meri zindagi mujhse
Itni kafa nahi

The above is the only part of the lyrics that I understand and can sing over and over again :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Long Road Home.

It's only been three years and it felt like forever. The first time I left my hometown, not knowing that I will never be so close again but I still strive for that one dream that one day I would do something for my land (Ri U Hynniew Trep- Land of the seven huts). I often wonder if it will remain only a dream never to be fulfilled?

During my graduation, I always thought that I will do something on my own and start a unique company that provide media solutions for the various media. Well, now I'm stuck in the middle! Each time I think of returning home and leaving my job, I keep asking myself if I'm ready to face the unknown. However, all that I dream of have not translated to reality not one bit.

The usual comment whenever I share my thought with some friends or with my brother would always be "We will support you, just tell us the idea and we can work together". So my idea is still an idea!

What do I do now? Well, one thing I can always go back and dedicate myself to work in social organisations. My mother will not be pleased if I did that. So, I've decided to stay and compete in the rat race for a while and enlighten myself on what I'm currently involved.

At the same time, I'm dying to go back home and be with my family again! However, I've got to find ways and means to sow the seeds for my dreams to do something that will make my fellow Shillongites and especially my family proud of me. So I have to wait for sometime for my journey back home as it's not going to come very soon!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jingtmang

Jngai na la ing nga don,
Man ka sngi nga iai puson,
Kumno la jingim ban sharai;
Ia la lawei ban pynphyrnai.

Diengpyngkiang ki kah,
Ban poi sha ka thong nga hap shah,
Jingim ka dap da jingkhuslai;
Ban lait na ki nga iai duwai.

Lyoh dum ki kah ia jingim jongnga,
Jingshai khyndiat ruh kam don,
Miet la bad sngi ym shem jingbha;
Tang jingpang jingswai ki ban.

Sa shisien lano ngan ioh mad?
Jingsuk, jingtngen ban shat,
Sa shisien, sa shisien to wan phai;
U soh ba thiang sa shisien ban ioh mad.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Apple of my eyes!


Scared and excited! Finally when the wait was over, for the first time I saw my youngest cousin brother. 19 years of age difference and we still fight for the same games, the same attention from everyone at home. Funny isn't it? I know that he's the youngest member of our family, but the thought of him getting all the attention which I was used to; was unacceptable to me!

It took me two years to realise that my feelings for him were unjustified. So what if he gets all the attention? He's still my brother.




Each day I grew very fond of him and no one else in the family either my nephews or nieces get so much love from me like he does. Even though I'm far away from him, his pictures are always by my side. I've never been there at home after his second birthday, but the day I reach home; he will stay with me in my grand parents' place and his mother would tease him that he has to stay with my grand parents even if I return back to where I am. He wouldn't want that, so he would go stay with his mother for a day and come back and stay with me till the day I leave.

The only one after my grand dad who I adore and would give my everything for. The day he was born I never thought I'd be so fond of him. He's the most photogenic, most talented, most intelligent and the most talkative among all the kids in the family. The words he use, no one would believe that he's only five years old. He's the entertainer, very pensive but very arrogant. Well, what can I say? For him, I would die going home and take a break if I have to.

You're the apple of my eyes and one day I know the space left by Pa will be filled by you, Rimitre.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Miss those days...

Don't we all miss our childhood days? For me they were boring and exciting at the same time. Boring? 'Cause, I was always bullied by my two elder siblings. I was never allowed to mix around with other children. Sad isn't it? Well, my grand parents would always say that I was a sick child so I can't be going out and I'd fall ill if I would. I never had any problem though! I was pampered by them, got whatever I wanted and did whatever they wanted. But, my Mei gave me reasons to cheer up. She would take us out for morning walks everyday without fail and to my cousins' place when we had winter vacations.

The winter vacations were the ones I cherished the most. Everyday we would all go to the market place and help our grand ma sell cloths in her shop. Even though we never stayed in the shop the entire day, Mei would be glad just as long as we were there. She would never scold or ever raised her hands on her grand children, unlike Pa. So we all love to be with her all the time. Even though I loved Pa the most, even now. No one can fill his place in my life.

Whenever I go back home for a vacation, even though it's for a week or two, the feeling is not the same when I go to the shop. Mei is not there anymore, she's at home and can't walk no more. She'd met with an accident when I was in the ninth standard. But she's still the same old loving Mei who pampers me all the time even though I'm grown up. To her I'm still her five year old grand child.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My First Love


From the time that I was born the only love that I've known is of my grand parents. It's always been this way and I never responded to anything or anyone except to them; especially my grand dad (my inspiration). I continued my education only for him, to make him proud was my only goal. I was not even near close to that goal when he left all of us. He was the Light in my life, what more! He asked me to be strong and take over from where he left. Well, as it turn out; I don't have the courage to go back and explore all that was asked and expected of me. I was secluded from the rest of the family and never to be heard among friends.

In 2005, a year after Pa died, thankfully I graduated and I'm sure I've made him proud. But I was not satisfied, so I applied for a Post Graduation course in Bangalore. When I was selected for the course, my eldest siblings had their different views of where I should go for my PG. My sis approved of Bangalore and my brother was adamant to send me to Delhi. At last, I was happy that they both agreed to send me to Bangalore.

August 2005, a month after I joined the course and I was already homesick even though I had my best friend as my room mate. I developed insomnia in the mean time. I woke up one morning, picked up my diary but didn't know what to write. Finally, I wrote a poem; a year after I wrote the last one.

What's it all about? It is only three or four stanzas, I can't recall. The most important point that I realised then was that it's not my family I miss the most, no, not my grand parents! Even I was surprised that my poem reflected the love for my town. It's small, it's cozy, it's hilly and it's My First Love!


My homeland, my town,
Without you I frown;
When I was there I never realize,
That one day without you I would rise.

A place so different and so vast from my own,
Seeds of knowledge I’ve come to sow;
To you dear God, my head I bow,
Help me survive this fight to grow.

Different people, different language,
Different attire, different engages;
Compared to mine,
Everything’s not fine.


My life was once full of faces,
Now it’s full of different races.