There is no sense of community here, I miss that: Sochipem Kashakhttps://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/life-style/there-is-no-sense-of-community-here-i-miss-that-sochipem-kashak/

There is no sense of community here, I miss that: Sochipem Kashak

Sochipem Kashak, 31, music teacher, on moving from Manipur to Delhi.

Sochipem Kashak.
Sochipem Kashak.

Where are you from?
I am from a small village called Zingsui in Ukhrul district, Manipur, near the India-Myanmar border.

When did you move to Delhi and for how long have you been living here?
I came to Delhi in July 2007. I chose Delhi because this is one of the places where you can learn what you want to.

Do you have family here?
I live with my wife, Apenao, and my son, Zach, who will turn three in December this year. Since our parents live in Manipur, we started our family independently. There were difficulties as Delhi was a new place for us and we came from a different culture, so there were lot of things to adapt to. But over time, friends, colleagues and people have taught us many things.

How did you find the people here?
There will be different views on this, but I find the people quite okay here. Initially, I was surprised by how individual-centric and conservative people here can be. There is no sense of a community. Where I come from, we know most people in our community. All the neighbours know each other and help each other. I miss that.

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Do you feel people here hold prejudices against people from the Northeast?
Because we look and dress different and our culture is different, some Delhites think that we come from a different part of the world. Sometimes, they can’t accept us as one of their own. I have heard and seen many friends from the Northeast face problems- they are called names, sometimes even assaulted or molested, and in worst cases, murdered for no reason. But personally, I have not faced any problem so far.

Teaching or making music, what drives you?
I have always loved music. As I grew up in a Christian family, music was a part of my life. I became a music coach by choice and passion. I love teaching,
sharing what I know and learning from others too.

What do you miss the most about home?
I miss the fresh air and clear skies.

Would you call Delhi home?
Definitely, yes.

City Seekers: A series on migrants in urban India.