It has been over a decade now since I wrote for East Wind — although 2005-2006 does not seem so very long ago. Today I only write about northeast India in my fiction, but back then, I was full of fire for journalism, to tell stories about the northeast and its people to an imaginary audience of mostly mainland Indians. I don’t remember exactly how I met Nona Arhe, the editor of East Wind, but I remember being a little smitten at our first meeting. Until I met her, I had only written/worked for men. Nona was everything I wanted to be when I grew up: a strong, beautiful, and independent woman. She straddled both worlds — northeast India, and the mostly uncomprehending mainland, where people wouldn’t think twice before calling us northeasterners “chinkies.” But that’s all old news.