- Geetsikha Ruly Pathak
Coming to Assam Convention was kind of a last minute decision. But it definitely falls into the category of decisions we make where after everything is said and done, we say “Wow that was awesome.”
I was able to reunite with my friends from the Chicago convention, which is something I treasured since it was nice to have that common ground with people I relate to and genuinely enjoy being around. Watching them perform and catching up on our lives definitely warmed my heart and provided me with the inspiration to carry on strongly in the pursuit of my own hobbies and aspirations.
The guest speakers and esteemed attendees were outstanding, to say the least. Each and every one prompted me to re-evaluate my hopes and dreams in favor of being a better person for not just myself and my own ambitions but also for the people and lands I love. I was able to talk to Dr. Deva Borah, Dr C Mahanta, and Riddhiman Das about their work and was definitely further inspired to follow my dreams as well. I am happy to say I have not only rekindled an interest in the awesomeness of our culture, but have also conjured up and amplified a drive to take it further and make sure everyone knows that Assam and the feats Assamese people accomplish in India and abroad are not to go unnoticed. On that note, I loved the “proud to be Awesome-ese” tagline. It made my convention experience because not only is it clever and novel, but the Michigan host community really exuded that sentiment in everything they did. I hope to internalize the phrase as well and watch it manifest itself in my own successes, hopefully to come.
Of course, I can’t talk about the Michigan community without talking about the artistes they invited. Simanta Shekar, his wife Preety Kongana, Doctor Kandali, and Prarthana Choudhury were amazing. Simanta Da and Preety are one of the cutest pairs I’ve ever met and they are both so humble and warm to everyone around them, despite their respective successes in the singing and modeling worlds. I’m glad I was able to meet and befriend them. Talking to Doctor Kandali reminded me of my own Bharatanatyam teacher, whom I adore. Dr. Kandali’s words have made me realize that no matter how busy our lives get, we should not and cannot let go of our artistic inclinations, or we lose a part of ourselves. She’s inspired me to go back into that world, and to balance it with the business world I’m so ingrained in now. Last, but of course definitely not the least, is Ms. Prarthana Choudhury, my lovely cousin. Growing up listening to her sing whether it be on the cassette player or in person to seeing her perform live to a very welcoming audience made me incredibly happy. I wish her all the luck in the world, her talent and her humility makes her worthy of it. And that goes for all the esteemed guests at the convention, artistic and non artistic. Everyone was so down to earth, it was refreshing to witness.
All in all, I reconnected with my culture and reached out to many old and new friends at the convention. Quick words of thanks to AAMI, for hosting such a thoroughly delightful event, and Himadri Uncle, Brian, Debojit Uncle, Ruma Auntie and Sameer for being such wonderful hosts to your amazing city afterwards. The memorable experience makes me super excited for the next one in the New Jersey-New York area. See y’all there! Warm wishes from Texas!
About the author: Geetsikha Pathak ("Ruly"), only child of Gitartha and Sikha Pathak, currently studies supply chain management and marketing at The University of Texas at Austin. She enjoys sketching, singing, and dancing. Her current goals include eventually taking over the world. With fond memories in her heart and current events in her head, she wishes the city and its people her best.