Citizen Stranger


– Gaigongmei Gangmei

When a stranger asks Obed Newme where he comes from, he replies, “I’m an Indian.” The inevitable remark follows, “But you look…” To that he replies, “Because I’m from the North-East.”

“Which part of North-East?”

“From Manipur.”

“So you’re a Manipuri?”

“No, I’m a Naga from Manipur.”

If the person’s really curious and asks, “Which tribe?” he answers, “Zeliangrong tribe”, usually choosing to leave out the part where he actually belongs to the Zemei sub-tribe of Zeliangrong, out of which the other two are Liangmei and Rongmei…

Obed Newme is a Zemei, a Zeliangrong, a Naga, a Manipuri, an Indian, who can speak 6 languages without a claim whatsoever to any special interest in language, and who has a love for and talent in music that runs in his blood.

Multi-lingual, Asian-looking, having more multiple identities than the average person, Obed came to Delhi 12 years ago to pursue higher studies and has ever since made Delhi his second home.

A testament to migrants from the North-East who have learnt to live with the differences in this other home by becoming a little different himself; retaining his “identities” while recognizing the similarities and respecting the dissimilarities; being more accepting as he becomes familiarized and a familiarity.

Like so many people who leave their homes and familiar, “acceptable” surroundings to go outside it and explore possibilities, learn and earn; adjusting and adapting to that new environment and inevitably becoming a part of another community in which you are accepted again is a part of the whole journey…

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~ by thegai on April 25, 2010.

14 Responses to “Citizen Stranger”

  1. Congrats!!! love it:) Bless u!!

  2. Thanks Nadule! With friends like u, every experience is fuller and better!:)

  3. wow nice…luv every shot….congrats sista!!! ❤ u ^_^ xoxoxo

  4. oh ! man ! i loved it ! keep up the good work!!!

  5. Thanks Shaina!! Thanks for checking it out:) Thanks api Pam!;)

  6. Gai di. it is nice, i loved d concept behind Citizen-stranger, very well told through vivid images.

  7. Hey Shivangi! How u doin? Good to hear fr u:) Thanks for ur comment. Really appreciate it!

  8. Hey Gai, I think you are doing a great job with Obed as your Subject lol… Its good one.

  9. Hi Gai, good work! you are already a pro.hope to see many new stories her.

  10. Dear Sis, this is commendable. Excellent Work and very creative. M porud of u. God Bless U Sista!!!!!!

  11. Deeply appreciate u comin and checking out the story guys! Thanks a ton Tina, Sarah, and api Lupan! Ur comments mean a lot:)

  12. Gai…do i love or do i love…it was a fantastic idea to begin with and brilliant images to support it….:) 🙂 god bless darling..

  13. beautiful this is, gai! the story and the images. you make one instantly connect. its so nice to see such meaningful and rooted creations. keep up the fantastic work! lots of love! 🙂

  14. Hey Charule! Hellos Yasha! Thank u SO much… I hope I improve with time cos I’m so taking just baby steps still:) Thanks so much again!

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