Young and restless? No, this is a cliché. The axiom that should be is ‘young and high-flying’ because that is what they are. Alfidarie Kharsyntiew and Arshee Dey live up to the axiom as, at a young age, they have achieved a laudable feat. While Alfidarie is creatively flourishing, Arshee has a promising academic career ahead. They are talented and beautiful and anything but restless. They are aimed at the sky with their feet firmly on the ground. They are confident and yet humble. They are going global but nurture their respective cultures too. They are the GenZ that does not thrive on dreams but has a concrete plan to bring about a change. Here’s their story.
Alfidarie is an actress, artist, a poet and author. As a professional, she is in the airline sector but as a creative individual, she is aware of her roots. She has already authored a detective novel in Khasi, Tilokbashisha, and is currently shooting for a Khasi film. But more than everything, Alfidarie is a poet and finds her solace in verses.
“I love poetry. My next book, the title of which is not yet decided, is about folk poetry. There is a collection of folk poems in the book. The release of the book was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said the 29-year-old versatile artiste on phone from Sohra where she is stationed for the film shoot.
Alfidarie, lovingly called Alfi, also has a passion for acting and has been part of several documentary film projects, music videos and feature films. She has been part of a number of series and three features on Doordarshan and semi-documentaries. “I was also part of the docu-series Ki Mawbynna and have done anchoring for ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) and handled its folk concerts and events,” she said.
She often helps her mother, Professor Streamlet Dkhar, in her creative projects.
Alfidarie is an alumnus of St Anthony’s College and went to All Saints’ Higher Secondary School in the city. She started writing at the age of 13 and was a voracious reader as a child. Her acting career also started when she was a teenager. The detective novel was released in 2015. “After that, I stopped writing as I got busy with work. But whenever I get time, I go back to my pen and notebook,” she said.
Tilokbashisha is probably the first detective novel in Khasi language. On writing in Khasi and about the readership of Khasi literature, Alfidarie, who is part of the All India Poetess Society, said, “Nowadays youngsters love reading a lot but they avoid reading Khasi novels. They would prefer novels in English by Indian and international writers. My initiative to write in Khasi is a way of encouraging the youths from rural areas here to read and write in their mother tongue. I think we can express ourselves or send our message through any medium of art or any language.”
The young performer has acted in many Khasi films like Ngan Wac, Haban, Da Shem, Ki Ummat and Wad Shyiengkrung, among others. “The Khasi film industry is quite small but that does not bother me. I take up projects because I love acting and I do not work for money,” the actress said.
Alfidarie, who shifted to Bengaluru for work, came back to Shillong in January. She has other creative interests and utilises her leisure time doing handicrafts and do-it-yourself projects. She said as an artist, she “definitely felt” the pressure of the ongoing pandemic as have many creative persons around the world. But that was temporary and Alfidarie is back on her feet with new projects. “Now I am really busy with the new film and the entire crew is in Mawmluh,” she said.
Arshee has an independent mind and way of life. She loves adventure and has a knack for odd adrenalin rush. She also loves to travel and is a “hopeless foodie” with an eye for all things luxurious. Born and brought up in Shillong, the 24-year-old student of London School of Economics went to Loreto Convent here and later completed her high school with Humanities and Economics from Loreto House in Kolkata. Her parents describe her as a hard-working and persuasive human being.
“She works hard to fulfil her dreams. She has been living independently since the age of 15 and has been working since she was 17. She is very loving and caring towards everyone and is a darling of our entire family,” said mother Deepika Dey.
Currently, she is doing her Master’s degree in Human Resource Management with a CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel Development) accreditation. She completed her BBA from JD Birla Institute and post-graduation in Human Resources from St Xavier’s College, Kolkata.
The graceful and charming young lady has also been part of several fashion projects, one being with the high-end wedding apparel brand Manyavar Mohey. “My parents have always been supportive of my choices in life. They have worked very hard to help me and my sister fulfil our dreams, and I love them for the wonderful human beings they are,” Arshee said.
Apart from academics and fashion, Arshee is also an avid reader and spends her leisure time reading. She dislikes people who are fake and is petrified of rats.
From Shillong to London is a long way to traverse but Arshee is a bold woman and has already set her goals high. She aspires to become a “problem solver and leader” in the global corporate culture. Her aim is to develop strategies which would help developed and developing economies work together in creating a world that works not only closer together but also one that is more equal.