Dimapur | November 5
Meet 23-year-old Nungshimeren, from Dimapur. A graduate in Visual Media from ICAT Design & Media College, Chennai, he has recently published his works (flash fictions) in two collaborative English anthologies. He also won a one-minute inter-college film contest during the pandemic.
The young student is also the creative hand behind designing the uniform for the male members’ of The Nagaland Chamber Choir during their recent gold medal winning trip to South Korea. Taking a liking to reading, and writing at a young age, he grew up reading comic books and graphic novels.
His “idea of fun” during those early days in Dimapur was visiting his cousins’ for sleepovers and getting to “read and read.”
Nungshimeren fondly recalls his mother buying encyclopedias, as salespersons came knocking, door to door. These seemingly little traditions, he believes, led to his love for the art and the creative world.
With illustration, editing, writing, graphics and logo designing etc as his specialty, he is a freelance artist and has worked with popular streamers, influencers, companies and Youtubers from across India.
The young artist, who is preparing for his move to Canada to study Film and Media for his Master’s degree is now taking a break from art-related work. He plans to continue once he is settled.
Speaking to The Morung Express, recently, Nungshimeren expressed joy in being able to blend his passion and work together.
The youngest of three, he is grateful for having supportive parents, who were not “well off” as they grew up, yet, who have been encouraging in his pursuit for the art, in a place where a white-collar job is a predominant goal.
At the age of 23, he now enjoys earning and studying at the same time, even as he describes himself as someone who is always up to something, in his words – “The busier I am, the better I feel.”
After his move to Canada, he will be mostly on his own, he says. “I am now old enough and more than capable to support myself.”
At present, he will be attending Fanshawe College in Canada to add another year to his graduate course, while he hopes to get into Toronto University, Canada for his Master’s degree.
While his writing style is still developing, Nunghsimeren likes writing simple and clean, as seen in his first flash fiction called ‘Heavenly Inc,’ which was published in an anthology called ‘Life’s Like That.’ He draws inspiration from Ernest Hemingway, Tolkien and Stephen King.
His life experiences, thoughts and the people he has met are reflected in his short stories and he hopes to turn them into books “very soon.”
Envisioning a rising new generation
As a society, the Nagas “always had it in us to thrive,” he observes, yet the execution has been far from ideal.
Citing reasons that are beyond one’s control, such as lack of resources, Nungshimeren however regards “our way of thinking” as a major obstacle to a society that is not yet, “thriving.”
On the brighter side, he envisions a new generation rising. With better education and the right skills, better access to resources and a progressive way of thinking, he believes that today’s youths can make their grand plans a reality.
Coming from a family whose parents are both government employees, he says the Civil Services are equally important for the State to move forward. The obsession around it, he observes, however, is a “little excessive” and detrimental to the society.
“We do not have enough jobs to sustain everyone in Nagaland and most people chasing government jobs are jobless at present, and with the rate of population growth, most people will likely stay that way.”
He questions the logic behind the “craze” for it as he stumbles upon people saying, “Even if it’s a peon’s post, you should take it because it’s from the government.”
Talking about creative arts in its varied forms, Nungshimeren notes that Nagas have far exceeded expectations in the field of paintings and drawings, music and photography. However, when it comes to filming and visual media, we are still moving at a snail's pace, he states, while maintaining that there is a lot more we need to catch up on. “I believe we will get there in ten years time.”
He believes that the Nagas have it “in us” to pursue such creative art forms as a profession, and “one day the world will recognise us for these talents.”
His dream job is to work in the film industry in the West and eventually come back to Nagaland to start a “proper” production company.“I want to bring the things I have learned from the West back home. I have never wanted to study abroad to ‘escape’ from Nagaland, rather I want to contribute to my State in my own way.”
As a way of heartening the younger generation, he advises them not to stop studying.
“Try to study in the field of your dreams or take up a course that has your dream subject. If that's not possible, take online side classes as you do your main education. Chasing your dreams has no drawbacks, so go at it.”
He further prods the youths to always have a point of reference in life and avoiding doing things without a vision and waiting for opportunities to come. “You should be ready before the big moments,” he says and that every opportunity given should be taken seriously. With a lot of bad influences around, especially on social media, he urges all to educate oneself and know what one should be watching and what to avoid. He further urges the parents to trust and have faith in their children a little more.
During his free time Nungshimeren reads, play videogames or watch movies. Other than that, he also likes visiting new places to eat and unwinding with friends. He will be leaving for Canada this December.