10 Step Primer for budding (North East) Writers

1.

Write simplistically about “North Eastern” stuff like villages, mountains, sacred groves, tribal customs, you know pristine crap like that.

2.

Also don’t use crap in the text.

3.

Write poems at some point (because the land is so magical) but make sure when you do write poems_____________

break

the                             little

buggers

up in                                               this                              (ART)sy

way.

 

4.

Do not EVER write about the metros. That is for ‘Mainland’ writers to do. You might have an opinion about what it feels like, what you think, what you hate, what you love about Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai but no this is not for you. This rule can be relaxed for the Assamese.

5.

Do not write to or about other tribal and Adivasi groups or Dalits if you are a tribal yourself. God, knows we don’t need solidarities!

6.

Do not write about Hinduism or Islam. This is because all people from north east India are animists or Christians who are unable to contribute anything new to discussions about religions other than their own. Leave this to “dark” and “white” people.

7.

You could go a long way by publishing some militancy tales but you’d have to seek out militants and that is quite scary! Contrary to popular belief, all people from the north east do not have militant uncles. I have researched this thoroughly.

8.

Do jokes and sarcasm instead of fieldwork and interviews. Or listicles like this one!

9.

Do you remember that Subaltern thing? Remember, it was something they used in the university to make the British feel bad? Well, that is not for you. I mean that is for ‘Indian’ people to use at seminars abroad. No, you can’t point and use it on ‘Indian’ people.

10.

Praise writers in local languages publicly, exploit them in private. Thank god the bastards can’t write in English, or you’d be out of work!

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Avner Pariat Written by:

Avner Pariat is a poet and chronicler of Khasi Jaintia Hills.

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