One of the best things about travelling is staying at people’s houses rather than hotels. This is when one gets a real sense of the space. We have been extremely fortunate to have had this opportunity many times over.
Arunachal wouldn’t have been what it was for us if not for Tongam Rina. We met her at a time when we were almost completely broke. She took us in to her house, fed us clothed us bathed us, ok fine, she allowed us to eat, clothe and bathe ourselves. But more importantly she put us in touch with many of her friends who made Arunachal feel like home.
Meet Jogin Tamai, his wife Dualu and aiyoo we didn’t write down his daughters name. Jogin loves having people over. He loves to hear stories and share many of his own. Quite frequently travellers come over and spend a few days at their house. Very rarely are these people regular travellers. Usually it’s a researcher, or bird watcher, a journalist or two random people out in search of a song.
Jogin took us for walks around Luiliang and every now and then he would walk into someone’s house and say, hey I brought two people over, let them see your place. This would lead to conversations over many glasses of rice beer, and then onward we go before stopping for more friendly chats and more rice beer.
Jogins parents also live with him. We couldn’t really communicate with them as we speak only Hindi, English and a smattering of Tamil. But they would keep walking over towards our room and checking up on the fire, making sure we had eaten and were comfortable and warm. Many a times they would just sit in front of us and smile. We would smile and nod and this would continue for many minutes many times a day. It was incredible to have long conversations without saying a word and everything that needed to be said could be seen in the eyes and the smile.
We were also incredibly fortunate and honoured that his parents sang for us. For more on the song see tomorrows Friday Release.
Uramili is an entirely crowd funded project and film. In the first phase of our fund-raising we raised over two lakhs through individual donations ranging from 100rs to 20000rs. We are now in the process of trying to raise 13 lakhs by September. Your contribution will help us continue filming and sharing stories from across the country. For more information, see http://www.uramili.in and to make an online contribution, go to http://www.orangestreet.in/Projectdetails.aspx?id=1