‘Smart Foreigners’ of Asom
Smart Foreigners- you must be thinking- what does it mean? Its meaning is as simple as its formation- Foreigners who are also smart. Now the questions arises- Who are they? In Asom? They are some people who had migrated from their own country and settled here, in Asom; and not to miss that they retain a smart sense. This is the reason behind their ablity to slow-poison themselves in our state, carefully and cleanly. Also they had replaced us in many fields in our own state. You may not agree with me and criticize that they had entered our state in a way which is illegal. They had snatched our jobs by bribing. But I think that their smartness lies in it. Entering such a big province as ours without valid permit requires good planning and at the most intelligence- which was successfully proved in them. And the ‘Bribe’- Is it not smartness to bribe in one of the most corrupted nations? I think it is.
So should we go on suffering in this way- we should not but we have no option. There is a way which may be enough strong to stand as a high wall between their way of success but I am not sure about its application in our state. In his book, ‘Addar Xonali Xapon’, Hridayananda Mahanta clearly says that Assamese people (mainly youths) are lazy, they do not prepare themselves for the job oppurtunaties originating in the state, they are not at all focused at their aims and much more. I think Mahanta is absolutely correct in his saying. If we can make ourselves smarter than the ‘Smart Foreigners’ we can easily regain our replaced jobs.
Today the situation is such that you cannot point out a person as foreigner. They had cleverly blended their culture with ours. But still we are aware of their presence- they are present in every fields of work- from rickshaw pullers to businessmen, daily-wage-labourers to politicians. Do not ask me to verify my words- I cannot.
You may like to hear some examples of their smartness from me. Once I was accompanying Riya, my younger sister to her singing classes. We took a rickshaw, probably a foreingner one- guessed it by his language and look- and asked him to take us to the desired venue. We also remined him of the ‘No entry’ put by the Traffic enforcers in the Daily-Bazar-Bypass lane and told him to carry us through a longer but different route. We said that we will pay him for the extra travel. But surprising both of us he started paddling through the barred route. As the “No entry’ board came in sight- boldly standing in the middle of the road with a traffic cop guarding it- I asked him what he would do now. After a little pause, he turned back, looked at my sister and prompted- ‘Sinta Khoiro Naa- Aami Aasi Naa- Bhoin Tumi Bohita Dhukaiya Deau- Bhai, Betatai Jodi Dhore, Koiya Diba Civil Ey Jaai’ (Relax. Am I not there? Sister, please hide the copy. Brother, if he catches us, tell him that we are going to the Civil Hospital.) I replied (in good Bengali)- ‘Naa, Dada, Aami Ai Sob Miththe Kotha Bolte Paarbo Naa- Tumi Rickshaw Ghuriye Niye Cholo, Khargeshwar Road Diye Cholo.’ (No, I won’t lie. You please return and take us by the other road.) Then he said, ‘ Aachcha Aamiee Koiya Dimu.’ (Okay, I’ll tell) and he moved on. As soon as the front wheel of the rickshaw crossed the board, the cop whisted and drummed the back of the rickshaw with his service-stick. The rickshaw halted. ‘Iman Daangor Board Khon Dekha Nai Ni? Aagote Goi Aaso Je?’ (Can’t you see such a big board? Why are you crossing it?) ‘Dekshi Sier, Civil Ey Goisu, Patient Aase’ (I saw it, sir. We are going to the Civil Hospital. I am carrying a patient.) The cop put a glance at us and signaled the rickshaw-puller to follow him to a corner after which followed some whispering discussions. I saw the rickshaw-puller pull out a five-rupee-note and forward it to the cop. The cop grabbed it with a complete different expression showing in his face- as if he had just landed from the blues. The rickshaw puller came and continued in his way. ‘Dekhla Bhai, Shaala Taye Paanch Taaka Loiya Loilo’. At that moment I realized that they were indeed brilliant and gave a short smile at my sister, she too smiled back. After a short time we reached the place, got down, payed fifteen-rupees. Now you see, when they can cross the barbed-wire-fences and move in our state, is a ‘No Entry’ board a big issue for them?
At other instance, I met another batch of foreigners- some labourers. I went to visit my friend, Lohit at his town (may be village)- Bahadur Chariali. I love riding my bicycle through the greenery of the tea-gardens. To reach my friend’s place, I have to cycle through the entire breadth of the Itakhooli Tea Estate. His home shares a common wall with the platform of the Chariali Railway Station- though I mention it as a platform, many would not, as it shares a different look with the grass growing in it and little boys playing cricket on it. The day was a hot one but there was a cool breeze blowing under the shade of the giant trees which spread it branches and made a good canopy over the whole of the platform. The scenary is just awesome. We decided to have a little walk through it. On the other side of the railway lines heaps of coal could be seen. One would not believe that this small village station deals with lakhs of rupees everyday. Everyday about fifty Punjab Body trucks would arrive with coal loaded in them to the height of the heed. This would be unloaded and then loaded into a goods train that arrived in the evening. All these requires a lot of manpower and hard-work. About two hundred labourers worked day and night. They got a good sum there. But the sad part is that most of the labourers working there looked like the ‘Smart Foreigners’. And this time I was sure of it- for they themselves claimed it before us. ‘Arey Bhai Gorom Laagse! Aamgo Deshe Toh Aaro Beshi Gorom, Ei Jonnoi Toh Eikhaane Aisi’ (Oh brother, it so hot here! In our country, the situation is even worse so we came here.) I was stunned by the brave comments by them. Next they noticed the celphones in our hands- Nokia in my friend’s and Samsung in mine- and asked us to share some good songs over bluetooth. We agreed and gave them some good songs- I remember of sending ‘Maula Mere Maula’ of ‘Anwar’- they thanked us and told us that they would have a good time pass now. At that moment Lohit asked them that if they have any songs from their land- they nodded. We then took some of them. I remember a few- ‘Aamar Maye Tomare Bhaalo Faaye Naa, Tain Koy Tumi Ekta Bhaalo Fula Naa...’, ‘This is Sui right from Bhengladesh (Bangladesh)’, ‘Oi, Khaali Daakis Naa Sai, Ghumaite Dili Naaye, Khaali…’, ‘Kaazir Baazaro…’. Now think what gives them the braveness of speaking in their own foreign language, claiming themselves that they are foreigners, openly listening and sharing their foreign-songs- Yes! You guessed it right! Hands in glove! Protection from some high official. But the million dollar question is that how on earth do they device these out? How SMART!