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Where silence speaks volumes

Muthukumar Kandasamy, like anyone who has not been to the Northeast, was apprehensive about relocating to Guwahati.

The decision was not an easy one for Kandasamy. “At first, I was a little scared to shift to the city, given the disturbing news that I used to keep hearing,” Kandasamy, who hails from Salem in Tamil Nadu, said.

However, it took him only three months to realise the fact that the things he heard back home about Guwahati and the Northeast were all exaggerated.

“During my stay of nearly two years in Guwahati so far, I have never faced any incident that has been life threatening. The only major incident I have heard about is the ethnic clash in Kokrajhar this year,” he said.

Instead, according to Kandasamy, Guwahati is a very serene location with greenery all around. “I think one should do enough to propagate about the unexplored beauty here,” he said.

Kandasamy, who settled in the city towards the end of 2009, is currently the deputy director of National Power Training Institute, Kahilipara.

Despite being impressed by Guwahati's natural beauty, Kandasamy reckons a lot can be done to develop the city.

“Of course, the industrial infrastructure of the city is yet to develop. More opportunities should be given to the masses to reduce unemployment. I’ve seen many people from this region ready to go to places like Kerala to earn just Rs 200 a month. This is due to lack of opportunities here. There is hardly any,” he said.

Language was an issue initially though. “Language was an issue for me, more so, because I did not know Hindi. Hence after learning the little basics of Assamese, now I can communicate decently with the locals,” he said.

Kandasamy is presently residing at the institute's campus in Kahilipara. “Since the location is a little far off from the heart of the city, it is relatively quiet and peaceful,” he said.

The man from Tamil Nadu has taken a liking to Bihu husori (the practice of singing paeans to Krishna on every doorstep in a neighbourhood).

“I really like the idea of groups going to people’s homes to perform husori. During Bohag Bihu this year, I had been to a number of Bihutolis till late at night. Similarly during Durga Puja, I went pandal hopping across the city till 11pm,” he said.