How I Beat “Northeasternitis” and Lived to Tell the Tale

Social Commentary

How I Beat “Northeasternitis” and Lived to Tell the Tale

Illustration: Shruti Yatam


o, you are from Assam? Do you need a visa to come to India?” The admin officer at my college in Pune asked me solicitously, as he stamped my admission form. I had only heard about this deadly disease, but this was actually the first time I was encountering a severe case of Northeasternitis. You might have heard of it: It is a condition where someone is suffering from complete or partial lack of awareness about the northeastern states of India.  

When I arrived in Pune fresh from Guwahati, I found that nearly everyone suffered from Northeasternitis. It was a fucking epidemic. Only Guwahati was universally recognised by almost everybody, thanks to the fact that it was a venue for several one-day cricket matches. But, yes, Guwahati could very well have been the capital of Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, or Sikkim. Or all of them.