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|by Ananya S Guha|
I was looking out of the window, window to the world. I sighed in rumination.
Just then my friend entered: 'What are you doing?' he asked, 'finished work?'
I was about to wind up my work, so I found this intrusion welcome. But I was afraid of his volatile temperament, after all he was an activist.
'I am looking east' I said peremptorily.
'Why?' he asked tersely.
'Haven't you heard of Look East?' I asked.
'You look North East you see Mizoram, beyond Mizoram is Silchar, beyond Silchar is Bangladesh, beyond Mizoram is Myanmar.'
'You look North East you see Guwahati, then is Garo Hills, beyond that in East Garo Hills, beyond that is Bangladesh'.
'Then look further East beyond the Chicken's Neck is Nepal. You keep on looking East, North East, further East'.
' I don't know what you are talking about, this is all claptrap' my friend blurted out.
Today he was truly at the receiving end.
'Then' I continued.
'If you look further into North East you find Arunachal Pradesh. Beyond that is China'. 'And if you look further east from Assam you get Manipur, bordering Myanmar'.
'And then from Agartala up North East you get Bangladesh. If you take the road from Megalaya, you go to Silchar, then to Agartala, then Bangladesh. All East, North East'.
By this time I was getting befuddled.
'Stop it' my friend shouted.
'So what is this LOOK EAST'.
'Don't you know' I replied.
'This is the Look East Policy. Soon we will have roads, rope ways to Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, and maybe even Singapore. And then there is Bhutan'.
'Look East is the only solution. The further we look east the more we will prosper, economically, socially, culturally'.
I fumbled for and with Words.
'But we will be deluged with refugees' my friend replied.
'Bangladeshis, Myanmarese, Chinese, Nepalis, Chakmas, Brus, Hmars- all, all' he said.
'Kipling was right' I concluded.
'East is East and west is west, the two shall never meet'.
'So Look East and East and East...'.
'And that is what I am doing now, looking East' I said triumphantly.
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