The 26th Column — Age No Bar

It struck my mind on a late January evening while lazily sipping a cup of tejpata flavoured chaangang at the balcony of my sojourn here in the capital city of India. As usual, I was pretty confused about a decent topic to write on for next week. I gave a second thought about the first thought and decided it should be something I must write on no matter what, why or how. So, here I am with the 26th Column.

This time I have nothing to talk about our Cheap Minister. I do not have any grudge against the Maiba who sold away Manipur to Hawaimaan. I would not bother to talk anymore on any social networking site and its popularity. I don’t even have to talk much on elections or on any other social or political fundas. Let all these topics be cast aside. I have something else to share this time. Something not surreal or fictional but what we often call the reality bytes, especially from the perspective of a girl/lady.

On a self-introductory note, let me simply introduce myself as a regular girl (read lady) with not so expensive dreams. My dreams are pretty affordable and anyone would find them very mundane. When it comes to the real me I must be honest enough to say that (sans the age factor) I love to flaunt as a kid in the heart.

Like my friends, I still hate to admit my real age. The very thought of turning thirty scares me to hell. I am still on the safer side of thirty but it doesn’t mean I am never going to turn thirty. No matter how much I hide my age, no matter how much carefree or damn care I get along with my friends, the reality byte is that I am old enough to be childish and mature enough to be dyed-in-the-wool to my obligations and of course consider of marriage as one of the social norms to be followed (did I really type all these?)

Though I haven’t yet tried Olay cream or thought about a facial beautification therapy either, I know it would not be far when I really have to start worrying about aging and its various syndromes. Most of us are used to consoling one another with encouraging filmy quotes or remarks such as ‘Sweet sixteen forever’, ‘Young at heart’ ‘We live in deeds not in ages’ etc. At the end of the day, however, the mirror never lies. Should I call it the first reality byte?

For the second realty byte, there is no surprise factor. It is about the wedding phobia that most of us have. Many jokes have been cracked on it, many hilarious opinions have been shared, many remarks have also been heard but the phobia is pretty infectious among those who are not yet ready to tie the knot.

Fairy tales have always encouraged us to believe in those whims and fancies. We (girls) have always loved dreaming about our own ‘Knight (s) in shining armour’ who would one day come to rescue us from the dungeon of solitude and all those stupid exaggerated anticipations. Well, it’s sheer stupidity to really expect a filmy or fairy tale like sequence in our lives. Films are to entertain us and fairy tales are sweet when they are told to kids (I wish I could attach a smiley here).

The reality has always a different facet and we get hooked to it knowingly or unknowingly.

It is pretty obvious that many of us have an emotional hangover of the past, many of us get stuck at a snail snarling traffic jam of life clueless of which way to head and many of us are busy working on tight professional schedules. The only seasoned habit which is common among each one of us is whining on petty issues. But in the middle of all this brouhaha, we are gradually aging, our youthfulness is slowly dwindling away and the gusto is also becoming feeble. Perhaps this is the norm of life, perhaps this is how things go on.

Well, we cannot deny the truth any more than we have been denying it already. In some good years, everyone’s life would be changed. Many of us would willingly or unwillingly tie the knots. Many of us would finally consider of making the next move. Many of us would win a lot of laurels in our careers. Change will be one common thread that will tie us all in the next few years.

I am not going to tell anything new when I would talk about how it is significant to value time, value relations, value the moments from all the three tenses. But even if it sounds stale, let me conclude my 26th column assuring you all that the past was as beautiful as the present and the future is going to be more beautiful. Let us shoo the ghosts away and be more real and enjoy life to the fullest living it queen size. After all tomorrow is not just another day.

This article was published on 29 Jan 2011

Election Fever 2012

‘You know what, today is the flag hoisting ceremony of our kendra’s candidate who is also a family relative.’—this is what I got to hear when I mundanely called up my married sister on her Nupamayumgi phone number to inform her that I have booked my ticket for Yaoshang and that I will be home. I was remotely amused by the excitement in her voice. I heard the sound of speakers loudly playing ‘Maikei asomda leibiriba ekai khumnabada matik charaba ahal laman lai guru...’ and all those nonsense stuffs. I made an excuse to call her up later as the noise was disturbing too much. The next moment I found myself satirically smirking and an interior monologue started playing on my mind, ‘Is this one of the syndromes of Election Fever 2012’?

I called up another childhood friend, and no need to guess anything, but there she was also busy attending a feast with some of her Leikai friends. (Of course! The kind of feasts sponsored by the election through the agents!) I could not endure the same pestering noise so I had a brief talk with her and hung up. The next step was pretty obvious. I switched off my mobile phone, fetched myself a coffee cup and parked myself in my work station (in a delusive state of mind). ‘Oh this is really what they often call the election fever’— I consoled myself later, gulping the last sip of coffee. Phew!!!

With just a few days away, the election fever is perhaps spreading fast at each and every corner and kendra. Forget the monthly salaries, the pending exam schedules, the thika-bills. Forget the electricity, forget the roads in rubbles, forget the highway 53, forget everything. Even the half-baked breads are waiting to be baked for the D-day on January 28. ‘Vote loiraga taarey’— I have often heard people telling one another in the past (and I am sure this is the most common assurance given among people at present too). Only the wisest fools would believe in such a stupid assurance. Has anyone ever introspected why everything is election-centric in Manipur since the last few weeks? What’s the big deal about this election? Why are our people easily lured by the seasoned tricks and tactics of those self-styled political parties and candidates? Why is the election fever given much hype in the state? Let the wrong or the right ones come to power. They are not the ideal demagogues in the state who can promise us a new Manipur. Their manifestos are all sheets of wasted paper with never meant to be implemented bullshits as the contents. We suffered, we lamented and yet we are electing them again. Oh, the dearest morons! Just shoot yourselves with a cheap gun instead of fooling yourselves over and over again.

If personally questioned, I am so freaking happy to admit that I have never cast a single vote during any of the elections held in Manipur. I self-boycotted them, I boycott it now and I will always boycott it in the future until and unless the deserving candidate is contesting for the election in my kendra. But as far as the scenarios in Manipur are concerned, the existence of the deserving candidate is just a myth. Everyone becomes corrupted. Everyone plays politics and everyone is so well-versed in giving excuses or explanations. One of the stupid excuses ever heard from the intellectual class in our society on politics is ‘You either become a part of it or become a prey of it’. Is there no third option?

It’s better to waste the vote than to cast it for the wrong candidate. In this regard, I have no regrets of wasting my vote in the past. I will keep wasting it every election. This is perhaps a pie of freedom and liberty I have enjoyed as an individual and this liberty is pretty precious to me. No one can ever bribe me on this. I bet that.

Nonetheless, I have some special messages for everyone out there. My first message goes out to that voter who cast the vote in the past or is going to cast the vote as my proxy, ‘Hey there, may your soul be dysentric and may you never find a single packet of ORS’. My second message goes out to all the election fans (especially to the so called khongbaan chenba parties) out there, let the fever continue. You guys do not need paracetamol tablets for this fever. Enjoy the chaaklems, yoorems and remain meerems forever. Your votes are cheap, your votes are misused, and your votes are never meant to bring a change in the society. Stop lamenting on further bomb blasts, stop forming JACs and no more rallies or protests in the future.

To the rest of the masses, let us heartily thank Sidhaba Mapu or Ema Laimaren Sidhabi that Child births, Nature calls, Dev-Karmas etc. are luckily not succumbed to the election fever. The get well soon cards will anyway be parceled for every patient but without any bomb attached with it. Take Care.

This article was published on 22 Jan 2011

The Numbing Waakching Episode

‘Waakching’ is considered one of the most romantic months in the entire year and a rejuvenating season for many literary aficionados too. I have read in poems and in prose books about ‘Waakchingi Ulen’ or ‘Waakchingi Nong’ and its literary reflections. Even during my confinement out of Manipur for all these years, I have ardently enjoyed a dream-trip of my mind somewhere near the Ningthi river listening to the sounds of silence and serenity after the Waakching drizzles. I have romanced with the raindrops, danced to the glory of a beautiful Waakchingi Purnima night albeit the sweet disturbance of the cuckoo birds. It has been a flabbergasting experience for me until the sounds of bombs intruded…

Just imagine, how would one feel if one’s dreams are interrupted or predictions are proved otherwise during the most romantic month of the year? Depressed, right? Exactly! I have never been this much depressed in my life. This is not done at all. 2012 is supposed to be a romantic year for everyone but the bloody bomb merchants and hooligans loitering everywhere in the State, wreaking havoc all around and terrorizing people, are a few pathetic reasons of my depression in such a lovely season.

I know now why ‘Ebenpok Emoinu’ is so unwilling to stay in the State. Perhaps, she has done the right thing by taking a long unplanned sabbatical. Who would anyway love to reside in one such place where you have to worry about an unclaimed bomb hanging at your gate or being thrown in your office? It’s such a gloomy situation there. It’s a nonsense versus null-sense battle between morons for some petty power to rule (not govern) the people.

The numb/dumb struck ‘micham’ are easily carried away by their retarded gimmicks meanwhile the intellectuals are struggling because of a severe logic-attack. (For your reference, logic-attack is a new terminology which means the numbing of the human logic. A unique syndrome of logic-attack is reluctance to fasten on the sanity belt or high chance of burning away the same. Non-medical researchers are yet to cure such a fatal disease. The after-effects of this social disease are still open to question.)

Dark nights, orphaned bombs (whose lousy parents claim no responsibility), tug-of-war among the political parties/candidates for the upcoming General Election are three main characteristics that mark this ongoing Waakching month. On the other side, the ‘Praja suumnaba kadar-fadar’ magnetic tricks such as allotting thika and special funds for feasts, cinemas or ‘out of the blue’ sudden developmental plans of each and every leikai etc. are serious chores for the ‘haabi-jaabi’ election agents of the respective kendras. Over the last few weeks, many homes might have been allotted free sacks of ‘meitaan’ and kilos of free rice or other basic commodities. It’s like a free-loot for some smart ‘khongbaan-chenba’ gangs. For those who are struggling for two meals a day this is perhaps the much awaited time when they are fed on free rice, booze and what not? They are feeding themselves for next five years to shout, yell and protest on the many unwanted incidents that can be easily forecast in a state like ours.

We the People (or should it be the Wee People?) are easily tricked and tipped by corrupted politicians. In advertising, it is exemplified as the art of selling comb to a bald man. You have to convince him at any cost to sell your product. It’s a trick, tactic or technique that always works wonders for the advertiser to convince and encourage that bald man to buy the product. The same case can be half-applied to what the philandering politicians are doing with us. They are taking our votes away promising us ‘never existing solutions’ and we are still ready to do that? The only related question that eats my mind every now and then is whether we are cheaper or unworthy than those lifeless brands? Can the political parties and candidates buy us so easily without any bargain? What the heck?!

Nevertheless, my mention of the art of selling a comb to a bald man was a mere example and I do not even remotely mean to imply that advertising is a philandering art of communication. But, all is damned! It’s quite a shame. I sincerely thought 2012 is going to be the most ‘Romantic’ year of the century but some shit-minded hooligans have left no stone unturned to prove me wrong.

It’s raining bombs in the State meanwhile the shootings for powerless Dark Night (s) (sans K) in Manipuri version have also started. The political parties, candidates and their supporters are all the while hosting comedy shows trying to cheer up the depressed, oppressed and suppressed people with fake (never meant to be kept) promises. Everything sounds so grungy to me. And amidst all these, the collective role played by Ema Manipur is that of a Lukokpi, Napangbi and Meettangbi.

Bhalo hey!

This article was published on 15 Jan 2011

Memory Chips — Of Past and Present!

Remember those ‘Doordarshan’ days? The early morning Rangoli programs on every Sunday, the Mahabharata episodes, Chandrakanta series, Jungle Book and others, and not to forget the regional movie telecast at 1 PM plus the several evening musical programs—all those fun and frolic moments of watching television with siblings and cousins were unique. Watching television has always been a favourite hobby among us. From kids to age-old aboks or edhous, we have always enjoyed cuddling together before the television set just to watch our favourite programs on Doordarshan. Most of us love recalling those days because we all know that they score a better mark in our hearts as compared to today’s technologically advanced world. Cable television has provided a gamut of options for audiences. However, it is confusing to choose from the list of channels to watch a particular programme or show.

Life seemed so easy, carefree and was, in fact, more enjoyable than watching Doordarshan those days. With just five bucks, we could relish as many varieties of achapots we could. During abok’s times, achapots were much cheaper. I still remember how my bubok used to tell me that an ‘anna’ was more than enough for anyone’s pocket money. Achapot was commonly known as ‘ngamok’ then. It had been almost a custom for kids to stand at the ‘thongaal’ and ‘konthong’ waiting for abok or edhou who would bring home an ‘ngabongkhao’ of ngamok (flavoured with love and affection). I do have a long cherished memory of achapot or ngamok. A distant relative from Lamlai once stayed with us for quite some time. She used to sell vegetables at a local market at Wangkhei commonly, known as Khongnaang Makhong. Every evening, I and my siblings would wait eagerly for Neney Tombi. Packets of snacks brought and kept back at home by Mumma or Baba were so uninteresting to us. It was that particular ngamok Neney would bring home. Once in a while, when she didn’t bring any achapot, it seemed as though my heart was broken and I was on the verge of crying—I had the first ever HEART BREAK of my life. Neney is no more and bubok has been relocated to heaven since a long time ago but whenever I unlock the memory bank of those good old days, I feel so proud and rich in my heart to have such precious memories.

The times, they are a-changin’. It is indeed a world of fast-food, fast-communication and fast-fad.

Sharing a joke or story with a friend is just one SMS away. Communication has no more got a gap but relationships sure do have that unbridgeable breach (if I have to say so). To cite an example, the other day I had a word with a long lost childhood friend. She was almost complaining about how she had lost one of our mutual friends’ mobile number because of which she is not able to keep in touch with her. I was a little taken aback and my thoughts were somersaulting here and there with questions like—when and how have we started relying on that ten-digit number to get in touch with a friend?

Earlier, the road to a friend’s home was never long. We would barge in at our best friend’s home and shamelessly eat anything offered by his/her mom. With the introduction of mobile phones, I suppose, one needs to decide the particular time and place to catch up a long lost friend these days. Whatever! It’s just one hell of a yawning topic to exaggerate on.

When it comes to fashion talks, it’s pretty amusing to notice an upsurge of Korean fashion especially in Imphal sehar. With the fast spreading Korean flu that has infected the modern generation of kids and even adults to copycat anything about Korea, I guess the day won’t be far when there will be a Korea Fan Club in the vicinity of Imphal sehar. Some are wannabe fans of emo fad. I wasn’t aware about the very term ‘emo’ until I saw a cousin of mine on Facebook changing his new profile picture. He coloured his hair in terrific yellow colour. Tell you what, wearing an ‘emo’ look is not an easy task. A long list of accessories such as colourful bangles, hair-bands, and metal jewelries for piercing eyes or noses are needed to have an emo look.

Another interesting observation among modern kids is their lingo which is simply fantabulous. The use of any F lettered word is universally approved and Manipuri kids are not far behind any other race in the usage of this very F lettered word. The more F lettered word one uses, the cooler he or she sounds among his or her friends. A fast spreading flu, I guess the day won’t be far when the nursery kids would even spell ‘F for F### instead of F for Fish. This topic is anyway a turn-off for many ‘F’ fans.

Last but not the least; early marriage is another rampant practice among modern generation of youngsters. It is not surprising to find out an eighth standard girl getting married to a ninth standard boy. With ‘nupi chenba’ almost a cultural trait among Manipuris, most of the kids can’t wait to get married. The irony here is that the eligible Pakhangs and Leisabis are reluctant to tie the knot while the kids can’t wait to get married forsaking their studies, career and what not?

Que Sera Sera! Any of these has got nothing to do with me. My memory-chip from the past is virus-free (sighs). And as for the present one, I think I need to download the strongest anti-virus software. IT-cian friends, any suggestion?

This article was published on 8 Jan 2012

The Incorrigibly Inscrutable Race Called Manipuris

For many reasons, I sometimes prefer staying in Delhi than in Manipur. Life here in Delhi, as compared to the drudgery and ennui in Manipur, is freaky cool. Yes, it’s tedious to work the whole week anywhere. The buzzing alarm, the laziness to wake up, the rush to reach office on time, the eagerness to reach home no sooner than office ends etc—all these mark the daily routines for most of the professionals in the city. The difference is that we don’t need to bother about economic blockades or dramatic rise in the price of various commodities, though this is not the case in Manipur.

It is true that nostalgia is a chronic disease that each one of us is equally infected with. We miss our homes, our people. We love talking about good old childhood days, those local games, those fun-filled school days, festivals and what not. The smell of u-morok that triggers our appetite simultaneously makes us miss home badly. And if we are lucky enough to relish dishes like chagempomba or tharoi thongba, we fondly tell one another ‘Yumgi insaang yam maandra?’ This is the norm; this is the contagious homesickness that all of us mutually share. And that’s all that we got to amiably talk about Manipur.

The rest as we all know is history in the making in which we are directly and indirectly involved. 100 plus days of economic blockade, woes of people on price rise, the communal malice, the shattered emotions of this and that community—these issues are more than enough to make us all pissed off during our weekend together. We would debate with one another, give our personal opinions, sometimes indulge in quarrels to prove our opinions more noteworthy… but at the end of each and every Manipur-centric discussion, we find ourselves a little annoyed or disturbed. Debates could take the shape of anything. What bothers us most is who is going to preside on our debates? Who is going to listen to our grievances? Who is going to be accountable for what is happening in the State?

The best solution sometimes seems avoiding the discussions on Manipur with a pledge not to start it ever again. But that is next to impossible. We know we will keep talking about Manipur. We will keep quarrelling on issues that affect our people, though it is a different cup of tea whether our people know consciously if they are affected or not?

To a lot of Manipuris who are home based, it would not make an iota of sense staying miles away from the State and talking or discussing on issues that are faced by them back home. Well, the reason that we don’t stay in Manipur doesn’t mean we are less concerned. I doubt if maximum numbers of the Manipuris in Manipur are indeed bothered about the issues at all? If yes, then how? They do not protest, they do not raise their voices on the price rise. Come what may, they are ready to celebrate any festival with great pomp and show. If cooking gas is sold at Rs 2,000, they have alternative means of cooking meals. Instead of protesting or resorting to collectively act or react, they enjoy sober meals and stay quietly within their homes watching ISTV news or watching movies (if it is not a load shedding day). If there is any probable bandh, they get damn excited because another ‘chaak chanaba’ is on its way. Who cares about the economic blockade when one can afford a sumptuous nganu-thongba and yeah some booze (local or imported ones). The day will pass on merrily with some friends and that is more important. Let the problems burgeon day by day who gives a damn? Let an invisible virtual crusader descend on earth from ‘atiya’ and fight on their behalf. Meanwhile, enjoy the boozes, enjoy the delicacies!

All of us are either too cynical or indifferent and there lies one of the starting points of all the problems. It is DISGUSTING to know that political consciousness is a pale joke among the maximum population. I am sorry to say so but our people seem to be pretty OK with what is happening in the State. I do feel that we the outsourced lots are unnecessarily worried and concerned about the situations back there. No one complains, no one cares and everyone supports the situations instead of figuring out doable means and probable measures to solve it together.

Manipur is a living hell, Manipur is a failed State, Manipur is this, and Manipur is that. Everyone loves pointing fingers; no one is ready to lend a helping hand to resolve the problems. It is like ‘People, people everywhere, not anyone to act’. How long will this happen? How long will it take for our people to wake up from the slumber? “FRANKLY, My Dear, we don’t know because we don’t give a damn” would be a probable answer from our fellow Manipuris, the incorrigibly inscrutable race. Oh! Poor Change, it seems it will take years for you to make your presence in the State. Why don’t you plan a world tour first? Manipur will keep waiting for you till forever comes. Ciao!

PS - I do not have any slightest intention to hurt the sentiment of my people. It’s just that I want them to be a little sensible before it’s too late. I also don’t put myself in the shoes of any Vendetta who is trying to reform the society. I am in fact no one to talk about change or reformation. I am just a mere individual struggling for survival and sustenance in a metropolitan city. But trust me; I would love to be proved wrong on my above views.

This article was published on 13 Nov 2011

A Few Reasons Why I Adore Our Cheap Minister

Sometimes hillocks of problems cannot be solved by bullocks of strategies. Sometimes it is hard to digest a fat lie with hajmola pills, sometimes things are out of our good control and we cannot simply blame an individual for all the uncontrolled state of affairs. I hereby in full consciousness admit some reasons why I adore our Cheap Minister despite his flaws in proper governance of the State of Manipur. He is the man, a true son of Kangleipak, who can do anything to rule and safeguard his State from enemies and trespassers. My heart goes out to him for his endless endeavour to become a struggling super-ruler in the State. Instead of ridiculing or rebuking his flaws, it’s time we support him and encourage him to take Manipur to a next level; competent enough to compete with other States in the world (forget just India).

Is it wrong supporting a struggling King? All he aspires to become is the King—The Ultimate Ningthou of democratic Manipur. Is it therefore erroneous to support his interest? So what, he doesn’t have a surname that reads RK or MK, so what he doesn’t act royal in his manners and diplomatic skill, we can still crown him the king of Kangleipak for many reasons more than one. All in all, a democratic king needs not bear a Royal Surname. So, he is more than eligible to become our ‘King’.

Another reason why I adore our Cheap Minister is his patience in dealing everything that happens in the State. He keeps his cool and tries to control every chaotic situation in a calm state of mind. Isn’t that an encouraging attribute? It is perhaps a high time he earns a sobriquet as the ‘coolest CM in the history of Manipur’. His endurance level and patience are beyond anyone’s good comparison. He surely has vicarious guts to resolve issues that other CMs could not afford to resolve during their time. Keeping a cool frame of mind is something that a genius can only do. So, from each and every angle he is a Genius. Maybe he is an aficionado of Parle G—g for genius. Maybe he has got a super-brain that can outwit anyone and come up with drastic, dramatic solutions from time to time.

We cannot blame him for the famine in the State. Unnatural, ghastly and deadly though the famine is we still cannot hold him responsible for the sorry state of affairs. This famine that is likely to take the shape of any issue will continue for a long time (has to continue). Blame-games are not ideal solutions to fight this famine. We should give him suggestions or instructions on how he can fight this ongoing famine instead of rebuking or ridiculing his every single step in State governance.

He is not the super-hero who can fly in the sky and reach out to the vulnerable individuals. He is not a magician who can wave his magic wand and let miracles happen. He is just a human being with all his akanba and asonba qualities. He leads a pretty normal life like us. He doesn’t have any extra power to transform the State and bring everything to normalcy. He is doing his best in handling every situation and issue. Though he seems a little laid-back in his approach and also in taking up measures, we all know that he is equally worried and disturbed like us. He doesn’t have a remote control to put everything in control at its place. He cannot even chant a mantra that can pacify burning issues. Had he known any, things would have been otherwise. He is just a mundane mortal being like you, like him/her, like everyone so why the heck should we blame him?

Let rumours and mills spread everywhere, let people call him names, I am always going to adore him because he is the only Cheap Minister who has the calibre to run the State machinery for all these years and thus deserves our attention and support. Whatever he is doing is for the welfare of the State to bring it up on a global platform. So, we cannot mar his spirit to conquer the whole of Manipur and step ahead towards a new world. Let us stop whining, let us also stop playing all these sickening blame-games. If we don’t support our ruler, who on earth is going to support him? If we don’t stand by him through thick and thin, who is going to motivate him? Let us start creating positive vibes and start supporting him in his humble cause. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us stand united for the sake of boosting our Cheap Minister’s morale.

PS: I herby admit that I wrote this write-up in a hallucinated state of mind.

This article was published on 28 Oct 2011.

Guard(s) of Dishonour

Of late, a new breed of dogs has taken birth in our home State, which has taken up a noble undertaking to guard Imphal City. What is unique about these Dogs is that they cannot bark, but rather ‘meow’. Before their unblessed birth, the vicious Jackals used to loiter in the streets, roads and lanes, guarding their owners, and were ever ready to attack anyone on their way. They so far seem to have either fed up or pissed off with their unwanted presence amongst us. It also seems that the Jackals have been tamed by the Animal-Ministry and its trained arm of doctors not to howl, indulge or yelp and yip. So much of their barbaric or unruly acts or deeds are less heard during the last few years. The meitaan-coloured Jackals used to scare us like hell then. Their presence, in the town or village or anywhere, was a curse.

All the way, we have been glad to miss the Jackal’s presence around us but have been sad to see that they have passed on their legacy to the new breed of meowing dogs. The most shocking revelation is that these ‘meowing dogs’ are not foreign-bred or unfamiliar ones, but those with whom we have grown up together, shared plates of rice during childhood days, stood by us through thick and thin. From Leikai thaabal chongba to nupi program chatpa, they have been with us for all these years. We have shared bitter and better moments of life with them all these years, counted on them for anything.

Back to this horrible time of our civilisation, weren’t we happy the day we heard about them joining the system and that they would help clean some of the filth and trashes? Weren’t we hopeful, wishing them heartily on their new venture of being a meaningful part of the State’s machinery? All wishes and hopes in vain, they have turned hostile in their attitude and so far reduced to mere ‘meowing dogs’ who simply follow invincible masters’ orders. If their masters tell them to ‘meow’ they are shameless to meow anywhere, when their masters ask them to meddle up, they know no bounds to irritate or disturb the innocents. A shameless breed of creatures who can even yell out to aging ladies at the keithel or Leirak Khulak—the same aging ladies who might have once fed them with love plates of rice and scrumptious insaangs with their sons, the same old ladies who have treated them equals to their own sons or daughters. Another shameless deed they have mastered so far is eve-teasing. They have crossed the limits too far.

It is annoying to see these meowing dogs all around us. They got a damn good justification from their part when it comes to misusing power. Yes, misusing power is another art they have impeccably mastered so far, in as much as they have in being so loyal to their masters. The moment their masters shoo them away, they start meowing like anything. Cantankerous though it sounds for us, they are the masters’ favourites, the pampered-pedigreed lots, in a nutshell, the inglorious bragging breed. Akin to their attribute and attitude with the jackals, they represent themselves as the law-keepers of Modern Manipur. They are equally responsible for the bloody state of affairs that’s happening in Manipur.

It’s disturbing, it’s scary, it’s alarming to have them around us when we are supposed to feel safe and protected with their very presence. They have changed their colours like chameleons, they have been trained as otherwise-not mere police personnel with duties and responsibilities, they cannot think and act logical. All they react at is fallacious ‘orders and commands’. In short, they are owned by the lousiest possessors under the sun. Instructed and insinuated to indulge in blatant acts, trained for misconducts, well-versed in eve-teasing, they think they are performing their duties dedicatedly, baah!

It is not going to matter how much we despise them because they are simply insensible creatures. Their minds are boggled, their conscience does not work anymore, they cannot figure out wrongs from the rights. In short, they have been promoted to a new breed of unruly buggers and gundas instead of mere law and order keepers of the State. The local-bred dogs (REAL ONES) have so far been shamed to death seeing these meowing dogs.

There are rumours that most of the local-bred REAL DOGS have sought for retirement plans and have been relocated at the far country sides much aloof from the vicinity of the town. They have perhaps done the right thing. Someday, I would love to pay them a humble visit and share a sumptuous feast together. Let them enjoy their solidarity away from the hustle-bustles of city life. To Hell with the Meowing Dogs!

This article was published on 22 Oct 2011

Vote for Change: A Rock Event—For Those Who Want to Give Change a Chance!

How long can you endure the bullshit that lies at your shumaang? Would you wait for it to become dry or simply wait to be eaten up by worms further spoiling the shumaang? Would you ask your neighbour to clean it up for you? Or would you personally shovel it away to a nearby khongbaan? If you belong to the fourth guild, maybe you are among the sensible Manipuris who at least dream of seeing a better Manipur—one such Mani-pur where callous politicians do not indulge in mindless political tricks, one such Manipur where there is no unwanted chaos or social unrest, where economic blockade becomes history and price rise is a gone case. Sounds pretty enticing, right? But to turn it into action, we need to get involved and start fighting from the scratch—don’t you think so?

For many, I know that it would sound boring (not challenging) and the obvious ‘oiroidaba, kaanaroidaba’ reactions may strike the chord of most of their unused brains. That is very natural. Cynicism has always been an achievement amongst us. We are very much prone to negativism. But if you dare (yes I said DARE) to break that cocoon of cynicism and at least lend a helping hand to reconstruct and reform our society, trust me you would forever feel proud to tag yourself a Manipuri. A change is desperately sought in our State. If this change doesn’t happen, let us happily share a ‘paangdaba’ as a suffix or prefix with our names. Let us also sell our self-respect and morale at the keithel at a price much cheaper than onion or potatoes. If we want to win the battle, we have to fight at the cost of anything. Superheroes are mythological, they suit better only in comics and will never ever turn up to fight on our behalf. Let us get real, let us get acquainted with the issues and find means to let the wind of change blow in Kangleipaak.

If you are still cynical and not yet ready for this change, you need not waste your time reading this article to the end. Give up, and tag yourself a loser and go to hell. For those who believe in change and are ready to be a meaningful part of it let us share this affinity, find means to connect one another and YES, voice our grievances together. Enough is enough! Let us stop being a prey of mindless politics, let us also stop playing the blame-games. Let us together sow the seed of ‘Change’ for a better Manipur.

The Assembly Elections 2012 is knocking on the door. It is a decisive time when we will get the opportunity to make our representatives accountable for the nature of our collective life that we lead in Manipur. It is the right time to raise our voices to fight for our well being and dignity. It is the right time to spread awareness in our families, leikais and kendras, and not to get carried away by the buttered talks of candidates or political parties—not to buy their votes and not to support proxy voting. Our issues should also be their issues, if not then they should not contest for the elections. I know it sounds challenging to generate awareness amongst the hoi polloi. But need we worry when there are various means to do so? Music is a lingua franca that connects all of us across the world. Why not use it as a principle means to sow the seed of change in our State? We have a good taste of music. Why don’t we fine-tune this taste and spread awareness amongst ourselves to bring a change in our society? In Manipur, for all these years, rock music has always been misconstrued and tagged with drug and sex. Let us evolve ourselves from that mentality. Let it be rock, let it be pop, let it be any genre—why don’t we make music a common thread to connect and reconnect with one another?

Vote for Change: A rock concert is on its way this 10th November. If you think it’s just another musical concert, you are hopelessly WRONG. Starting with this event, if we make the most of concerts like this, themed on a common cause, the push-button to take our common cause to the next level is as easy as learning ABC. Phoenix, Brothers featuring Jagdish, Fringes, The Dirty Strike, The Wishess featuring Basav Dutta etc are the performing bands of this musical solidarity show.

If you abhor violence, if you detest bomb blasts and killing of innocents, if you hate callous politics and economic blockades in the State—SPEAK OUT, BE A PART OF THE CHANGE. Let us work it out together. We can start dreaming of a better Manipur without the bl-oodsheds, without the hatred, without the mindlessness amongst politicians. We just need to unite and create a common cause. Let us make a collective pledge to avoid leading wretched lives, let us also make this rock concert a means to voice our grievances. Come be a part of the change, be a part of the musical solidarity. Cheers!

This article was published on 5 Nov 2011

The Fable of the Maiba Who Sold Away Manipur to Hawaimaan!

To shamelessly begin with, we have been noticing since the last few months that the ongoing economic blockade is betrothed to Manipur like a ‘Yawong Inba Peeba’ who shamelessly resides at the bride’s home taking for granted everything that comes his way. He forcibly asks for his own shelter, eats everything from the nupimayum and even spends all the money of the bride’s family. Insensible though he sounds and bawdy are his ways, the nupimayum can’t afford to ignore him as he has become a saagei-naatei of their family. It is what they call ‘Emotional Aityachaar’ in which one cannot do anything at one’s own will. One cannot even escape from the emotional catastrophe, the restlessness and the irritations and the only choice is to disable the rational thought process and remain quiet and calm without any possible sign of retorting to anything all the way enduring the uninvited ‘Yawong Inlariba Peeba’.

Well, the festivals are around and its time for people to rejoice and exult in jovial spirit. For the rich and the affordable ones, the economic blockade hasn’t severely affected their lives. So, they are ready to welcome the festive season with open baakshis. Forget the rich or the poor, everyone is getting used to the economic blockade as if it is a part of their families (with lots of puns intended). We must admit that economic blockade has become a mundane thing for us so far. Every year, an economic blockade hits the state, yet people do not seem to have any issue at all. Things always move on, festivals are celebrated with great pomp and show.

Issues have become an ordinary concern among us. None of us are aware or keen to know the real reason or about when and how all these issues started. Maybe the fable of the Maiba who sold away Manipur to Hawaimaan is inaptly- true. Maybe it has got some linkage with whatsoever is happening today in the state. For reference, the story reads this way-

Some bad years ago, a Maiba from Jiri visited Manipur one day as summoned by Hawaimaan- one of our present Cheap Ministers. The Maiba was asked to carry out a particular ritual that is locally known as ‘Khaiyom Laakpa’. He asked Hawaimaan to arrange everything for the ritual. It was a fine evening on one ‘nongma paanba’ of thawaan month. The Maiba meticulously performed the rituals for the prosperity of Hawaimaan, his family and relatives. Once the rituals were over, the Maiba decided to leave Imphal sehar the next day quite unaware of what lies in store that night. As planned, he was once again called by one of Hawaimaan’s men that night. Hawaimaan had something else on his mind- something that changed the fate of Manipur forever. It was the fateful night when Manipur was subjugated to Hawaimaan and his supporting party through a mere ‘Khaiyom Laakpa’. They hatched upon a dirty plan to bribe the Maiba in question. As per the plan, the Maiba was being told to perform another ritual that very night for which he was offered a handsome- ransom. His logical hesitation was over-ruled by the bundle of notes that costs a fortune for a struggling Maiba like him. Cheng, thoiding, kabok and heibok were all ready. He chanted those mantras one after another. The ghost of one patriot interrupted the ritual that was later shooed away by Hawaimaan’s men with the much needed help of the Maiba. By dawn, the rituals were finally over. The confused Maiba took leave. The moment he crossed Hawaimaan’s locality, some miscreants abducted and dragged him to the nearest paddy field. After two-three rounds of gunshot, the miscreants fled in a hurry. The lifeless body of the Maiba was later discovered by a local-farmer at whose paddy field the incident happened. The farmer was questioned again and again. Charged with murder of the Maiba, he was jailed at Sajiwa. Meanwhile, Hawaimaan celebrated his victory with his party getting rid of the only man who knew the head and tail of his overall plan.

The soul of the sorry Maiba who sold away Manipur to Hawaimaan still laments and when it is thawaan month, his spirit haunts the field where he had been mercilessly killed. (The End of the fable and lo and behold the start of the real problem in Manipur)

About Hawaimaan- A heady minded self-styled ruler, a man with an alter-ego, a leader who can’t even spell the word leader – Hawaimaan represents the head of modern political system in Manipur. He bought the state through unfair means and is glued to his position as if it is impossible to dethrone him at any cost.

About the Maiba- Famous for his impeccable skill sets in Maibahood, he knew all the secrets about Manipur and also about the techniques of selling the state away. He was bribed and blinded by that bundle of notes that night. Had it been otherwise, Manipur would still be in safe hands.

DISCLAIMER - The above narrations are purely fictional and bear no resemblance to any person living or death. If anyone finds it personal, then that’s his or her problem.

By the very way, forget the economic blockade, Happy Festivals!

This article was published on 15 Oct 2011

On Choosing Advertising as a Career!

I humbly accept the very fact that I come from one such State where we are used to addressing everything with an accent of our own. For example, kerosene is referred to as teresing while chewing gum is popularly known as sengum or sengum-bon. Sidelining the norm of accented branding, majority of our people are not clear about the concept of various brands. To cite a simple example, the concept of toothpaste is confined to Colgate, which is one of the brands available in the market while for washing power it is still ‘Surf’. Strange though it may sound to an outsider, for us, it is pretty OK as long as we are able to communicate with others. Communication gap is the grandpa of most of the serious problems amongst individuals so it is acceptable to a great extent that even with an accented understanding of brands and their names, we are able to smoothly convey and communicate what is there on our minds, right?

Ever since those Doordarshan days, we have been fascinated by the various brand commercials of various products telecast via television. We, in fact, grew up singing and humming various brand anthems and slogans such as Yahi Hain Right Choice Baby, Dhaara Dhaara Shudh Dhaara, Tandooroosti ki Raksha Karta Hain Lifebuoy, Lifebuoy Hein Jahaan Tandooroosti Hein Wahan Lifebuoy etc. How can we ever forget those commercials with which our childhood memories are closely entwined? We still remember the slogans, names and even the dialogues of some of the best brand commercials we have watched then. All thanks to advertising!

Advertising is one of the full-fledged sectors that contribute a major share in the Indian economy. However, in Manipur as well as in the entire North Eastern States, it is a less popular sector with just a few players in the field. For those who are already in the field, they must be pretty aware about the revenue that advertisements generate for a particular brand or business. Advertising can never be termed as an unwanted tool of marketing. We need to digest this very fact that without advertising, brands are dull and lifeless. Entertaining and informing us about various products, services and even ideas, advertising is an art of communication however at a tagged rate. An investment to generate revenue—this could be one of the simplest understan-dings of Advertising.

The lookout for a secured career and also the limited understanding of people from our society are perhaps two accountable reasons that haven’t popularised advertising as a career option in our State or in North East India. But it is not a big deal as long as we can discover new means and measures of promoting advertising industry in the State. One cannot predict like an Amaiba or Amaibi that ‘Advertising industry will do wonders in Manipur’, yet if we give a thought on it maybe we would come up with an IDEA THAT CAN CHANGE everything. The most expensive thing on this blue planet of ours is IDEA. Even our CM has got plenty of ideas on his mind which is the sole reason why he has been ‘fevicoled’ to his post for all these years (Punch Line: Fevicol ka Jor Hain Tutega Nahin). Well, from my humblest point of view, he is one of the pundits from whom I can learn many innovative strategies on advertising (in a different perspective though).

Well, choosing a career in advertising was perhaps the last thing that crossed my mind. However, I must admit, it is one interesting field where one is not restricted to think within a square room. The best part of being a citizen of advertising planet is that any weird idea or a crazy tactic can be deployed to impress target customers. And from A for America to Z for Zimbabwe, the mind can travel places, choose its own theme and come up with the right tricks and techniques of communicating the brand message to a particular target group. Freedom of thought and expression, implementation of liberal ideas and presentation of inimitable yet copyrighted stories of one’s own—all these are possible on the advertising planet.

I happily share my fraternity with every advertising professional who eats advertising, sleeps advertising and dreams even advertising. The euphoric journey is so far worth anything. Though it is a new challenge to come up with a new theme, trick, tactic or even a tip of branding, it is sheer fun to be a part of this breed of crazy-minded professionals. If we observe around, there is always an advertiser within each one of us—one who wants to share or promote his or her hidden skills, one who wants to be noticed by everyone, one who loves to be praised for what or how s/he is. I did once share an update on my favourite social networking site Facebook that everyone is an advertiser in disguise, some advertise their emotions, some advertise their humour while some advertise their frustrations. So, my bottom line is that we all share one affinity when it comes to advertising.

Let us cherish it forever!

This article was published on 8 Oct 2011

Does Facebook Save Your Mobile Bill ?

Places and Faces become old, yet you are always fond to see them after a long time just because you share with them a bond that of affection, adoration or nostalgia. However, on Facebook, it is a different story with a different theme. You don’t need to see real places or faces and yet become fond of so many people whom you already have/know in your life and also about those you newly befriend. Though the connection or friendship with the latter section sounds a little odd, you would sometimes be startled to find out the strong adherence you already shared with them.

One of the endearing aspects of social networking through Facebook is the narrowing communication gap amongst people from all walks of life. The kid from your leikai whose swasti puja you once attended sends you a friend request, that boring guy/girl from the next leikai suddenly sounds the most interesting person you have ever met and what’s more, your very cousin or sibling prefers to write on your wall or pass comments on your posts instead of talking over the phone. Needless to be surprised, with more than 800 million active users across the world, Facebook is perhaps the mother of all the social networking sites ever introduced on the worldwide web. It would not be a surprising factor to know that Facebook is more than a mere site through which one networks with friends and acquaintances. From breaking news to broken relationships, from the latest fad in town to the most conventional discussions, the site is one of the in-demand places on the ‘www’ where everyone loves to spend a good time either connecting to new friends or reconnecting with long lost old friends or acquaintances.

If you have lately missed watching television or reading books of your interest, you need not worry at all because you have been spending a pretty good time on Facebook? Reading and commenting on interesting posts from various friends, watching hilarious videos and yes accessing minute by minute news updates on any issue.

One of the hilarious updates ever read on the site was ‘Manipurda Yu-haar haarey hujik’. One would bother less about how his/her family or near and dear ones during the earthquake, but YES it’s very important to share that breaking news with friends on Facebook. Now isn’t that a magical effect of Facebook? Like an outsized yet flamboyant umbrella that shelters all and sundry, everyone stands under it waiting for some fresh updates with ‘like’ buttons ready to click anytime.

On the funny side of the site, it is sometimes weird to find out that there are some face-bookers who are either busy creating fake accounts or trying out different means to hack others’ existing account. Uncanny though they sound to us, that is their ideal manner of social networking. So, can any of us dare to blame them or call them names? Forget it! We should be glad of this very fact that we can make thousands of friends and at the same time block or report abuse hundreds of them. We have a liberal choice that is not even provided by the State or country to use the right buttons through which we can balance or justify anything or everything that is happening around.

As mentioned earlier, Facebook is one such favourite site where one can connect or reconnect with new and old friends. Known strangers, forgotten friends, a long lost colleague or a distant cousin, one can search anyone on Facebook. No blamed-shame, no damned game, it’s just a place to have sheer fun with friends—both new and old.

The best attribute of Facebook is that it doesn’t discriminate people. One doesn’t need to feel low or high. A copy-pasted sense of humour also works wonder for any individual (try at one’s own risk though). And most importantly, it saves your phone bill to a great deal. Try and believe me. Let me cite just a simple example. The other day I was talking with a cousin on the phone. We were talking on random topics about our very leikai and other usual titbits. Without any astounding reason, the topic somehow switched to Facebook. We giggled telling each other how almost everyone from our Leikai is on Facebook and how its fun to pull one another’s leg there on various dedicated groups about our leikai/Kendra. We abruptly ended the conversation telling each other ‘Oh come on its waste of money talking over phone, let’s pull others’ leg right there on Facebook so be online as soon as you can’ Stingily-strange though it may sound, I almost consider that Facebook is one good means to save your phone bill.

Pale jokes apart, I earnestly believe that it is a high time we finally admit it and rejoice our keen association as interesting citizens of the ‘Republic of Facebook’? Hurray!! Internet Lairembigi Mapaari Mark Na Yaifarey!

This article was published on 1 Oct 2011

My Vote Is Precious, What About Yurs ?

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
— Mahatma Gandhi

Defying a Mahatma’s citation would be the last thing anyone would ever do. So, I humbly accept the above saying without a nagging if or but. Nonetheless, it is a different cup of tea that the dates and seasons keep changing in Manipur while the situations remain the same. Sorry Bapuji, it’s indeed a successful-failure for us to refrain ourselves from being encouraged by such a moving principle. Heartfelt Apologies (with an accompanying sad smiley).

All is not well at all. It has been a continuous sequence of pestering and perturbing experience to read news and views on the current issues in Manipur that are without any solution. No matter one is confined in the home State or not, the concern remains the same. We all love to go through pleasing news and encouraging stories as far as the home-State is related which have become missing columns on most of the news-sites and dailies that are accessible through internet.

Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months and it won’t be long before the months turn into a year but no change has been ever observed so far and no change can yet be anticipated. The ‘Assurance-theory’ seems to have successfully failed again and most of the plans are almost getting foiled and flopped. Nevertheless, people need not worry because the Government will further work on more ‘assurance theories’ after all that’s the only thing they are good at.

It is at times a clear-doubt or a puzzle for me how the Government keeps it’s cool at such intense situations. No matter how many Bandhs or General Strikes that different groups call for, no matter how sky-rocketed the prices of daily commodities are, it is ‘paangkhokla eshing chaiba’ effort from the public’s side since none of the issues are ever resolved.

Nonetheless, we should still be hopeful right? We cannot be too pessimistic especially when some fleeting impractical solutions are probably on the way. YES! The elections are around. And when elections come, can fake-agendas be far behind? At a time when the whole State is burning and equally suffering amidst chaos and unexpected hoo-hahs, the upcoming election is perhaps going to be a pseudo-respite for people or at least I mistakenly think so? It would be a tricky situation for the ruling Government to act or react on any burning issue as they are prone to be severely criticised by the Opposition party. But yes, they will tackle things tactfully with the same old tactics. By the way, I believe campaigns have already been started. Many promises will be refreshed, many agendas will be framed and many social works can also be expected at each and every leikai. Local feasts will be plenty in number funded by the political candidates. Some families will also get monetary assistance personally funded by the same candidates. The love, care, affection and concern that have never been shown for all these years will suddenly outburst because it is campaign time and winning their love and affection is the primary agenda for them.

Ever wonder how open bribery is warmly accepted in our home State? Needless to mention that when it’s free anyone doesn’t mind having it (money). It is an open secret that Democracy is an honest joke as far as Manipur is concerned. It has always been Government off the people, bye (the) people, not for the people. The comical paradox however is that people are aware about it. They know the wrongs and the rights equally and yet they become easy prey to the pseudo-promises of undeserving political leaders that are refreshed during every election time. My earnest consideration therefore is that people need not complain at all when they are the ones who are solely responsible for bribery much before the political leaders come into power. It’s not just a vote that is sold away; it’s the self-respect that is being openly sold. It is all in all kind of dukandari system– give money and buy the vote—that’s it? If such is the norm that has been followed for all these years, why the heck should they complain about problems that rise later? Let the mushrooming number of problems burgeon, who cares? On a very personal note, I am honestly glad that I have never ever voted even once for any of the election campaigns held in our Kendra. I am not against plebiscite system in Manipur but I am totally against the misconstrued understanding and practice of election. If election is all about selling your self-respect just for the sake of some free money, I would never ever do that. If election is all about choosing a wrong candidate who cannot represent the collective voice or grievances of people, EXCUSE ME because my vote is really precious, what about yours?

This article was published on 4 Sep 2011

On Angry Young Men and Women of Our Generation

One generation bids adieu to another. This is but the norm of life that is being followed ever since those primitive days. Well, the changing time, trend and tradition have collectively given birth to a brand new generation. And this generation is mostly represented by a new breed of young men and women who have so much angst on their minds. They are impatient, aggressive and very reactive to any kind of situation. They do carry venoms in their hearts about wrong-doers in the society. However, what’s the most endearing trait of this particular generation is that they do not take any shit from anyone. They react and speak out through many ways more than one. They stand up for a cause, fight back, and resort to protests. Sometimes they hoarsely whine and let their voices be loudly heard. Through poems or proses or through songs or sonnets, they speak out their grievances and make sure that they don’t do any injustice at least to themselves and their own self-respect.

Angry though they sound, they are the promising lots, who are ardently inspired by Bob Marley’s songs and yet love to hum ‘Nangbu Adum Ningsingduna Leire’ whenever they get really quixotic. There is something very promising about this generation though most of the torchbearers sound like angry young men and women who are prone to act and react on various socio-political issues happening around in the State, country and the world at large.

They look so fumed yet they keep cool at their workplaces or institutes and make adjustments with all and sundry with an acquired art of relationship management. Frustrated though they look, they are down to earth when it comes to mingling with people from other communities. They represent the spirit of Manipur politely with a 1,000-watt smile.

Music and Art are their best friends. They love music and anything which is articulate. Sometimes, it’s simply startling to listen to a few of their songs that tug the heart and make us tearful. ‘Ahaangba chakhaodi haangkhini humaangdi humaang oina leiri’ (courtesy Imphal Talkies) is one of the moving numbers that satirically talks about an impoverished son of a helpless poor mother. So much angst has been expressed through most of the contemporary Manipuri bands especially that of Phung-Ga and Imphal Talkies N the Howlers. They represent the overall voice of the hoi polloi who have unwillingly succumbed to a hell lot of social and political injustice prevailing in the society. Listening to them is but a way of consoling ourselves—or should I define it as an ideal dose of sanity-saving drug?

Yet another interesting trend is the Keyboard Revolution that these young men and women have been heralding all along. They love to spend quality time on social networking sites to connect with friends and fellow Manipuris to talk, discuss and share ideas amongst one another. Virtual addicts though they sound, they always fasten their reality belts on time. There is no such annoying record of anyone bunking office or college as a side-effect of this kind of connection. It’s a sweet addiction for them, with an accompanying emotional belongingness to their own people, though they are equally pestered by the stupid gesticulations of the same hoi polloi.

Coming to the musical theme again, if Music was Money they would have been multi-millionaires. As mentioned above, the taste of music for these young men and women is sans any comparison. However, it’s not ‘Listen only to western music’ kind of thing. They listen to heavy metal like crazy breeds yet know how to appreciate ‘Pena’—a musical instrument that is so closely related to our culture and tradition. Rock music is their favourite, yet they most often become nostalgic listening to ‘Tha tha thabungton nacha moirangbi pobige’.

They are angry but they make sense of everything. No matter where they reside, no matter how filthy rich they become, they cherish in their hearts a sense of belongingness to their home State. Some of them even stay in foreign countries and become highly influenced by Western culture but they still address to their moms as ‘Ema’ not Momma and address a friend ‘etao’ not dude/buddy. They make sense of what they speak out. They do not talk blah blah on social issues. It is just the angst on their minds that has been forcibly instilled on a fallacious ground under unwanted circumstances. So, they are not at all responsible for what and how they are.

Sans any difference of age, caste, creed or gender, if you think you belong to this generation of angry young men and women, you are a blessed being.

PS - I would love to show a proud badge to introduce myself as another angry young woman who is betrothed to this league. Cheers!

This article was published on 17 Sep 2011

Maximising a Few Maxims from Manipur

Masak fajabana mayam-gi, maramokpana leikaigi, nungsibana eigi... Denoting the sense and sensibility of an ideal dream Pakhang, this maxim is one of the best of its kinds I have ever come across. Any Leishabi would but love to have one such Pakhang as her beau or perhaps her dream Knight in shining Thaang-saang. Whatsoever exaggeration over this very maxim is clearly exempted from any kind of criticism and what’s more endearing to acknowledge is that this dream Pakhang in question could be any Hongba, Chaoba, Tomba or Ta Nando from next leikai for whom the Leishabi needs to provide is just an innuendo.

Leaving aside the Leishabi/Pakhang centric maxim, there are a few more maxims that are perhaps a weathered means to pamper the temper of any Lalita, Ibempishak or Tababi. To cite a few of them ‘Chaada saasina chakhom chaobi, U-da Saasina Meetlaobi’, ‘Pemma yelhou fabi tungi poloi yengnasi’, ‘Mapaam chaaksu chaada Mawa Chaaksu chaada’—all these maxims for sure cannot tickle any girl/woman’s funny bones. In fact, any Manipuri girl would not love to hear any of the above maxims staunchly directed to her even if she badly deserves the same. If I would be excused for a while, I would love to bluntly admit that these maxims at least to me reflect a typical patriarchal norm that is very much relevant with our own Manipuri society. Despite the fact that I am totally ignorant about the very origin of these maxims, I have formed my own prejudices about them however at my own risk.

There are again some hilariously-humorous maxims that are not gender specifics. ‘Mashagi Shumaang Sitana Meegi Shumaang Sitpa’ is one from the category. Reasonably apt and up to the point to describe any talkative, good for nothing black sheep in any leikai who dares to get drunk at the cost of 10 Rupees forcibly taken from his poor wife/mother, this is one hell of a maxim. I am quite sure that we have habitually used it during many conversations especially to outwit someone who tries to pin-point his/her dirty finger at us. The sardonic note of this very axiom is more of a direct thump below the belt.

‘Dolai Tongbigidamak Waikuup Pubina Waabiba’ is again a very funny one that clearly reflects a damn care attitude that reads something like—‘Mind your own business baby’. And Yes! ‘Sa-bina Mama Noknaba’ is possibly the best of all aphorisms that are directed to pull someone’s leg. The English version ‘The Pot Calling the Kettle Black’ is as amusing as the local-centric one. I have never seen a ‘Sabi’ in my life. From its features I have heard from my mom, I can only visualise it as an ugly creature whose ugliness is beyond any good comparison except with its mother what an irony? I can undoubtedly acclaim again that most of us have used this maxim umpteen times from time to time. Isn’t it funny how we can indicate our conscience or react to someone’s abusive or witty comment with just a single maxim? In the absence of these clichés, we would have been dumbfounded to counter someone’s ill-will or cunning-mannerism. So, as long as one isn’t diagnosed of verbal diarrhoea, it is fair to use any maxim that one prefers and acts or talks very shrewd or smart.

All in all, on a serious note, if we believe in aesthetic-literature, maxims are also a meaningful part of it. Sometimes it could be in the form of a riddle, sometimes it could be a witty deluge of cunning words and sometimes it could be a humorous uproar of carefully chosen vocabularies, if you know when and how to relevantly use any of the maxims, the microphone is all yours. Good orators no wonder take help of many maxims and metaphors while delivering any speech. Can anyone prove me wrong here?

Well, as far as Manipuri Maxims are concerned, I guess no formal information or literary sources are ever associated with any of them. Some of the books on Manipuri Maxims are randomly published by some publishers in Manipur. Kudos to them for their initiatives. For most of us, we learned all these maxims from our elders and teachers and later relate them with our own lives, to be passed on to the next generation. Every community, society or State has its own maxims as far as I know. Would it therefore be too overstated to enlist them as a part of our own literary-seed?

If a maxim a day keeps literary-deficiency at bay, I would not mind learning at least 100 of them every single day, provided I have an affordable time. For those, who are eager to maximise few more maxims from Manipur, please don’t mind to bother me anytime. We should never underestimate any aphorism because you never know a mundane dictum randomly directed to our dearest political-leaders could someday give rise to a drastic or dramatic revolution in Sanaleibaak.

Happy Maxim-ising!

This article was published on 10 Sep 2011

A Letter From Miss Peace

A few weeks back, I received a very special letter (in one of my dreams though) signed by someone called ‘Peace’. Here’s the letter that moved my heart:

Dear Eta,
My name is ‘Peace’. I hope I haven’t become alien to you or anyone in our lovely home State. If I have been long forgotten, I bear a deep pain in my heart. I was shooed away from the State some years back and have been taking refuge in a bizarre place where I am not much at home. Eta, do I need to tell you how much I miss my home and my people out there? I want to come back and be with the folks again but no one is calling me back there. I wish you could do something for me. Or are you also sailing in the same boat?
I think no one ever wants me back in the State, especially when people seem to be busy rebuking and detesting one another as if they are born with a loathsome obligation. Sometimes it’s quite a puzzle that dazzles them each and every time they look forward to finding the real problem to seeking the right solution. But yes, the valleys and the hills—they know it all. Though they can’t speak out anything, they all know who started what, when, why and how.
While the real perpetrators boisterously loiter around, our people have so far resorted to blame games all the way triggering the problem to a more elevated level instead of finding the means and measures to resolve it together. Well, it is quite shameful to admit but this hatred seems to be gradually killing them all before the real death that is ordained for each one of them. Meanwhile, the dogs keep barking though no one let them out. A funny revelation is that the dogs were innocently imported, trained and tasked to hoarsely and rowdily bark and scare the hell out of them. Oh! Dear, it’s better to forsake the poor dogs that are at least loyal to their owners. God Bless Them At Least For Their Dutifulness.

By and by, amidst all the mayhems, more than my absence, I feel terribly sorry for the ‘Once upon a time happy valleys and tranquil hills’ that are unknowingly compelled to involve in all these sickening messes. Of late, people have created many despicable ghosts on their minds and these ghosts haunt them every time they want to dream of me. Smokes keep flaring up from the valleys all the way making the hills tearful and the same valleys are but flooded by the tears from the hills. The times, they are indeed changing from bad to worse. From cheerful to tearful days, everyone has seen it all. And what’s more saddening is that the seasons have even changed their colours so far. The wind of erroneous animosity sweeps to and fro the valleys and the hills and vice versa. It seems like things are not going to stop for a long time or is it something like some mongers never want these unwanted things coming to a death-end? I am not sure, Eta, if I should ask or discuss this but why don’t they just adjourn the court forever and let these mongers rest peacefully somewhere in a mental asylum? Maybe they need a ‘Judge’ to suspend the case, but this judge in question seems to be nowhere in sight.

Eta, I am really sorry to relate you all these woeful accounts. I just want to share my grief with you dear that it simply doesn’t make any sense why I have been shooed away from home like this as if I am so unwanted. However, I blame none but my fate and I am still hopeful no matter what, why and how. I will eagerly wait for that day when I would be called back home and be with you all again.
Till the D Day, please pray for me.
Missing you all badly
Peace


Duh! That was quite a dream, quite a letter too and I got a little confused about the dream letter from Miss Peace. She just mentioned her name as Peace without any surname, without any insinuation of a clan or a community. Maybe she was trying to be politically correct using just a name, maybe she belongs to none of the communities in Manipur. Lucky Peace as for us it is a different case. A Hindu or Paangan name is as much different from a Meitei name. Like wise, a Naga name is as much different from a Kuki name. Thenceforth, we can easily figure it out whom to befriend with and who to ignore just from a mere name or surname, right?

Forget it all, we should instead try to launch a ‘Call Peace Home’ crusade. After all, the valleys and hills do have hearts and they will wholeheartedly support the cause. Let us wipe away the tears and hold festoons in our hands to call Peace home and give her a chance to breathe in the Shirui breeze or just let her relax beside the Kangla Fort, what say?

This article was published on 3 Sep 2011

Waiting for Gorobi

“We wait. We are bored. (He throws up his hand.) No, don’t protest, we are bored to death, there’s no denying it. Good. A diversion comes along and what do we do? We let it go to waste... In an instant all will vanish and we’ll be alone once more, in the midst of nothingness!”
An excerpt from one of Samuel Beckett’s plays, ‘Waiting for Godot’ 

Sometimes, I wonder if the situation in our State is more or less similar to the tragicomedy of Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ in which the two protagonists, Vladimir and Estragon keep waiting for a person called Godot, who is not much familiar to any of them and whose presence or arrival is going to make zero impact in their lives. The ironical note with which the story ends is that Godot never turned up and the two protagonists annoyingly gave up sans any other choice. The overall plot of Beckett’s play would be totally irrelevant as far as the scenario at Manipur is concerned so, ‘Waiting for Gorobi’ would perhaps be the ideal way of impersonating a not so important character like Godot whom we think is going to be an ideal ‘Lamyanba’ for us, one who would be probably sent from ‘Soraren’ (as they say/believe so).

Well, my dearest Kangleichas, can any of you let me know what would be the value of nothingness, infinitely multiplied for innumerable number of times? One hell of a stupid question, right? But quite ironically, all of us try to do this multiplication most of the time. We generally know it is sheer stupidity to talk or discuss about certain problems that only keep increasing, meanwhile, we do not have even a single solution for any of them. And even if we have any probable solution, we cannot implement it because of another problem. Tapta’s ‘Problem ni Problem’ already explains it all so far.

At times, I seriously cannot help myself getting amused to come across the endless number of unwanted incidents that are incessantly happening in our state. Bandhs interrupt blockades, while curfews are still in the waiting list to interrupt the bandhs and general strikes. Que sera sera, there has to be something happening around in the state, if not, it would not sound so Manipuristic.

The problems seem to be burgeoning day by day in the state without any clue. However, life has to go on, so we adhere to our daily routines, continuously worship Lainingthou Laimaren every morning and evening wholeheartedly and with ardent devotion that our family and relatives be protected from any ill-incident and also ensure that each and every member of the family is home safe and sound by dusk. And that’s what matters. (Eigi eigi emung amadi echa eshu soidradi yaare).

Over the years, we have come across many a problem. Many months were meaninglessly wasted for school kids, many innocent lives were lost during various unpredicted incidents, prices of various commodities were/are sky rocketing and the list doesn’t end. None of us has ever come up with a solid solution during all these years; we were always used to waiting for something/someone till who knows? We eventually became bored in due course of time, didn’t feel like sticking to the same cause or reason and eventually started looking for other causes and means and the cookies keep crumbling like this for all these years...

My humblest question here is: ‘What/Who were/are we waiting for?’ A Lamyanba named ‘Gorobi’ or perhaps a magician who can spell his miraculous tricks and promise us a wind of change in the state? Now some additional questions are: Who is this Lamyanba going to be? Is he someone who is really going to solve all our problems? Is he someone who knows the solution to all the riddles? I have the biggest doubt under the sun over the existence of this so-called Lamyanba. It is so lame for us to actually keep waiting for something or someone, who would never ever turn up. Though the hope is endearing and sparks up our spirit, it is but sheer idiocy to dream about something that is next to impossible. Whether we digest it or not, the biting truth is ‘Manipur will always be Money Poor and a Blockaded Crippled State at the flick of anyone’s finger.’

If I have sounded pretty discouraging so far, I am extremely sorry. And do let me assure you all that ‘Everything is going to be OK’ (a white lie). After all, many meetings are in the pipeline, our respected political delegates are going to discuss every problem in detail amongst themselves and also with the Central Government; the blockades will come to an end soon very soon... etc etc. And if none of these ever happens, our ‘Gorobi’ is on his way. So, ‘Waiting for Gorobi’ is yet another ideal solution for all our problems. Please bear with what is happening around in the state for the time being (as if there is another means).

This article was published on 27 Aug 2011

Where Have all the Local Games Gone?

Has it been a long time passing? ‘Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities’—I partially agree with Mark Twain, especially for this quote. From the context of our own Manipuri society, civilisation in fact seems to have multiplied many unnecessary wants and necessities amongst us. Citing just a mere example of the local games, modern kids have grown up playing with China-made electronic toys or computer games. Thence, they have zero idea about various indigenous games that were quite popular some good old years ago.

Come evening, we used to make our own play groups then and to decide upon which game we should play on that particular day. The Leikai Lampaks were frequented by kids from the nearby localities. Every evening it was quite an exciting experience—for each one of us to gather up somewhere with our favourite cousins or friends and indulge in playing anything or everything—till the evening transcends and till our worried moms would reach the playgrounds calling our names, shooing us homeward.

The annual (final) exams, during winter season, were greeted with open arms not because we were ready to conquer the questions but because a long vacation of almost three months was on the way. Sooner the exams ended, the better it was for us because we would not miss playing those games anymore. And especially on the last day of the exam, we didn’t mind being beaten up by our moms simply because we were caught playing in our school uniforms. Those were better than the best days of our lives indeed; and even if those days are never meant to come back, the memories satiate us, and at times, help us flick an innocent, unnoticed smile on our faces.

Today, we hardly see the kids playing those local games anymore. Computer games, play stations, tekken games—all these have become the favourites amongst the kids nowadays. Maybe their parents are rich enough to afford them all these civilised games; or maybe due to the exploding population and the mushrooming homes and buildings in each locality, there aren’t local grounds left for the children to play. Perhaps, the town has become quite a terrorised region that the parents are scared of sending their children to play somewhere at the local ground. Whatever may be the reason, it saddens me to a great extent that our local games are almost alien to the current generation. Though the age-gap is not even a decade, things seem to have gone haywire in all these years.

The other day during my latest weekend getaway at Lansdowne town with a few friends, we really enjoyed talking about all those games we used to play as kids then. I also discovered some pretty fascinating local jargons for one of the games which we usually know as ‘Swa’. The play norms at Khurai vary a little from Wangkhei (that I got it from our interesting conversations about this very game on that day). ‘Swa’ used to be one of the most favourite games we have ever played almost every evening especially during so many winter months. A game that used to invoke among us a thrilling gusto, I am gladdened than glad to admit that ‘yes it was the most enthusiastically played game amongst us during those carefree childhood days.’

Besides the swa-ful memories, the maarbon (Manipuri accent for marble) games used to engross us for long hours. While Swa was meant to be played during the evening, maarbon games were meant for the whole day. There is an ‘Emashi’ in our leikai who never allowed us to play maarbon at her shumaang. And of all the available shumaangs, quite ironically, hers was perhaps the most fascinating place for us to play any maarbon game. She used to shoo us away like anything but we were so damn care. Every morning we used to gather at her lawn and play the games until she would yell at us. Many a maarbons we lost frantically running away from her home, many a maarbons she didn’t return, but did anyone care about it? As long as we had another morning, another kouta of maarbons, we didn’t mind being called as shameless kids.

I don’t know the reason exactly, ‘Where have all the local games gone?’, but from my personal point of view, it seems to be an open threat to a meaningful slice of our cultural norms. I would be more than sorrow indeed to tell tales about our local games to my grand kids someday. But it seems most of us have to do that. It is more or less some kind of helplessness but who has a choice?

By and by, on a sweet note, to all my contemporary friends and acquaintances, let us keep cherishing all the good memories of our childhood days and about all those games we have played. Cheers!

This article was published on 20 Aug 2011

Quintessence of Kangleipak in the Capital City

Home is sometimes so close; it seems, even when you are living in the National Capital City. It is quite an exciting experience to feel the essence of Kangleipak whenever and wherever I travel across New Delhi. A sense of being at home is instilled in me, which has been gradually tinctured from several factors. To cite just one of the reasons, for starters, it’s the delicacies in the Manipurised eating joints that can match the same delightful level that we usually enjoy at home. Indeed, it’s more than just food for thought.

There are so many things why life is so typically Manipuri in Delhi, even after a distance of 2,443 km from the valley. Maroi nakupi is available at the INA market for just 20 rupees per 250 gram. From lafu, lafu tharo, thambou, sougri to kolamni, all of these vegetables—that share a blood relationship with the Manipuri taste buds—are available at most of the local vegetable markets, usually referred to as ‘sabji mandis’ across the city and which are never issues for us to just drop by. After all, there is never a trouble of economic blockade too.

If the maroi nakuppi is insufficient, there are ample choices and several other stuffs to try out. Just a visit to Munirka, our own ‘Churachandpur’ in Delhi, offers an easy way to make a monthly kitchen inventory. Out there, vegetable vendors sell imported original Manipuri vegetables and those matchless products from Moreh. There are some particular shops at this area, where one can visit and grab some fresh vegetables or food items from home.

The prices are no doubt a little high, but that’s no issue when the stuffs have travelled more than two thousand kilometres to tickle our taste buds. For example, a packet of dry u-morok, containing five to six pieces, costs around 30 bucks and a tin fish (what we call a ‘nga kouta’) is sold at double the MRP. Also when it comes to ‘yongchak pantha’, we never mind buying a ‘yongchak’ piece at the cost of 50 bucks.

The North Indian cuisine is a major hit in Delhi. But for the Manipuris, for us, nothing can compare the aura of a plate of steam rice served with a tengkot (bowl) of kaangsoi, with some fried vegetables (what we call kaang hou).

Typical though it sounds, this is quite an observed style amongst the Manipuris in the Capital City. And the trend ever prevails. What is further interesting is that some Delhites are pretty influenced, as we observed, by the North Eastern delicacies, especially those of the Manipuris.

There is a meat shop in Kotla, one of the crowded ghettoised corners for the North Easterners in South Delhi. The meat-seller has played around with the name of his shop, calling it the North East Oaksha/Vawksha Shop, quite a witty way to attract his potential customers. People from North East (especially, the Manipuris) throng the particular shop almost every day, enabling the seller to sell away his stocks like scrummy singju.

Never has the tongue twisted, to recollect, when it comes to relishing any homely cuisine—be it a bowl of ooti or eromba. I am more than sure that the same trend prevails in each and every city or town outside Manipur where our folks reside. Hear the drumbeats, the trumpets: we carry the essence of Kangleipak, no matter where we reside or go. And we are so proud of this fact!

It’s not all food without digestion. Apart from the cuisine talks, it is also encouraging to observe that some of our folks have been celebrating various religious and traditional festivals here in the Capital City. I have personally attended a few celebrations organised by one of the groups called Khonthang in Delhi. The last ‘Khongjom Day Celebration’ was no doubt a cool way of get together. It was also a nice way to remember the ‘Athoubas’ who sacrificed their lives during the Khongjom War and infuse in us a sense of responsibility. I’m also glad to know that the thoughts—of belongingness and the love for Kangleipaak—deeply reside amongst most of the Manipuris who are living outside Manipur.

Apart from food to thoughts, in my personal view, I have also ‘Kangleipaak-tised’ my daily commuting route from Maharani Bagh to Safdurjung Enclave, taking it in the same way I would travel from Wangkhei to Khwairambandh Keithel. Likewise, South Ext reminds me of Konung Mamaang most often, while AIIMS reminds me of Veterinary Hospital (kindly read vetinary hopspitaan for Kangleipak’s sake), the flyover at AIIMS retells me of Sanjenthong and the right cut from Ring Road to Sarojini Market reminds me of Nityaipat Chuthek junction that turns to the Kangla direction.

It may sound stupid to a lot of people to exaggerate things like this but who cares? This is my style of what I usually call ‘Kangleipak-tising’ things. Maybe it has become a seasoned means of consoling or compensating for everything I have missed about home. Maybe it is the rightest way to let the outsourced era pass away swiftly. No matter it’s Sajibu or Lamta-tha, I feel good to bear in my heart such a ‘Quintessence of Kangleipak’ even in the Capital City.

This article was published on 13 Aug 2011

Bloodstained Memories of 1 August 2011

Two young girls never reached home on the fateful afternoon of 1st August. They left their school for the day and were heading towards home innocently and quite unaware of the impending death ahead. The place was Sangakpham Bazaar; time was around 1:40 pm. A bomb suddenly exploded out of nowhere claiming the lives of the two young girls along with three more lives…is it an exciting story for our grandchildren from the future to listen?

Not really I know. The first of August 2011 has imprinted in our hearts and minds an unforgettable ghastly memory that will keep haunting us for the rest of our lives. This bloodstained memory of 1st August 2011 will be hard to wipe away. Forming a Joint Action Committee (JAC), calling bandhs or strikes, organising protest rallies—all these cannot compensate the pain that has inflicted in our hearts with the loss of those innocent lives during the blast. What is lost is lost (read ‘asibana maangjarey’)—this is the most observed trend in our State. Sadly but aptly true!

After some chaotic weeks or months, people will gradually forget the incident. But for the annual ‘lei katpa’ or probable bandh/general strike on every 1st August in the State, people will start worrying more about their personal lives and day to day chores. These norms have been continuously happening in Manipur for all these years and everyone is uncomfortably numb and also dumb to react or act against the ‘ferociously treacherous satans’ who in the bloody name of patriotism kill innocent people and create chaos in the society. These people loiter around us. 

We might have seen them at a local hotel enjoying a cup of tea, we might have seen them shopping at Kwairambandh Keithel, we might have seen them everywhere. I call them ‘contemporary churanthaabas’ who indulge in deceitful acts that are against the ethics of humanity. No court in any country should frame merciful laws for these people. They should be tortured in such a manner that even if they wish death, they are not blessed to die. While extending my heartfelt prayers for the innocent souls to rest in peace and also for the injured victims for a steady recovery, I equally curse the ‘monstrous churanthaabas to rot in hell as soon as possible.’

This article was published on 6 Aug 2011

Contemporary Manipuri Pakhangs — Chauvinistic yet Adorable!

He would sing a typical song to sweep you off your feet. He would try a seasoned trick to win your heart. He would at times make you feel stupid and worth nothing. He would compel you to stay in a cocoon, set a long list of rules and regulations a ‘do this, do that’ and many unendurable demands. However, despite all these you would still find him adorable. A magnetic force draws you towards him and you end up falling in love with him because he is irresistibly sensible.

Presenting none other than the Contemporary Manipuri Pakhang who is chauvinistic yet adorable in many ways!

You may often misjudge him for his arrogance which is a protective shield to ward any unwanted situation. Tell you what? Most of the guys prefer to be called ‘rude-dudes’. And the reason is pretty hilarious. It makes them feel like ‘real men’. It is their inimitable style to wear an attitude badge not to get rid of you from his life but to protect or check trespassers to their shielded existence. So, next time when you think your beau is one hell of a rude guy, try to discover the hidden love and affection in his rudeness. Bingo! The magic is sure going to work wonders. Trust yourself, if not me.

Stubborn, chauvinistic, laid-back, egoistic — these are some negative adjectives that do describe them. They love flaunting their dogmatic attitude as if that is the best achievement they have ever made. However, that is a short-lived attribute among them. They would inflate their own ego and deflate the same, beg on his knees and apologize (even for that mistake you made/make).

When it comes to songs or music, they are one of the eligible lots to participate even on a global platform. It’s indeed surprising that most of the Manipuri Guys play guitar and can sing any Manipuri, Hindi or English number. From ‘Do Dil Mil Rahe Hain’ to ‘Born to be Wild’, they learn the chords easily and yeah aptly too. Born with a good taste of music, our very own Manipuri Pakhangs are always advanced than other guys from elsewhere [sorry for being a little (read big) typical here].

Sometimes he would spoil you as if you are a princess from a fairy land. Sometimes he would become the child himself, seeking lots of attention as if you are his artificial mom. But it doesn’t mean he is immature. They do have this sickening habit of acting pricey. Emotionally taunting is one hell of an art they have mastered and also researched on. But great and good, did the great Winston Churchill remark, are seldom the same man.

Another trait about Manipuri Pakhangs which can be appreciated is their patriotic sense and their ardent love for the motherland. During casual get together or any social occasion, stories of bomb blasts and blockades bind them together. Though usually, most of the Manipuri guys don’t seem to gel well with one another, separated in their own world. Needless to cite the long list of examples from those weekend hang outs or catch-up with friends and quarrels over silly topics, there is something so common when it comes to issues that affect all of us. These norms are pretty popular and almost used to. But it doesn’t mean they don’t have any collective sense of responsibility towards the state. At the prospect of any impending social or political chaos in the state, they unite together and are poised to resort to any action, taking nationalism to a new high. Come what may, they are all for the state. They would sound damn care, irresponsible or insensible during other occasion but when it comes to any matter of the state, they don’t take any crap from anyone. This patriotism in them is indeed very endearing.

The songs that they sing the verses that they recite, the musical instruments that they play and not to forget the lucrative career opportunities they are exploring — I guess our Alpha Manipuri Pakhangs deserve more attention and admiration from us as well. And dear leishabis, next time you underestimate an eligible Manipuri Pakhang, please refer to what all things I have told about them because they are aptly true.

‘Masak Fajabana Mayamgi, Maram Mokpana Leikaini, Nungsibana Eigi’ — would you not love to flaunt your beau among your friends like this? Oh come on! I know you would sure love to right? By the way, we can add it is much to be a ‘hawaimaan’, though it is more to be a gentleman.

Well, my views and understanding of Manipuri Pakhangs exclude those who do not give themselves a chance to grow up. Sorry to say this but, they are the hopeless lots and probably the ones who shoo away fellow Manipuri girls. Pretty Leishabis, I hope none of you ever endures any of the obnoxious and unendurable breed of Pakhangs.

This article was published on Dec 18 2011 

Is It God's Will to Abhor One Another?

I share with my contemporary friends and colleagues’ fondest memories of spending the 12 best academic years at a mission school somewhere in West Imphal. The morning and evening prayers, the school anthem, the words of the Lord from the Holy Bible shared with us by the Sisters and Fathers during the morning assembly—all of these collectively shaped my views on how Christianity is one such inspiring religion. I have always loved studying the principles of this very religion, and have greatly admired its universal approach of sisterhood or brotherhood.

As a child, I had indeed wished to become a Christian quite moved by its beautiful philosophies on life and relationships. I didn’t convert my religion but my admiration of Christian philosophies still remains the same for all these years.

Come Christmas, the festive mood will be naturally switched on. Christmas has always been one of my favourite festivals. I have always believed that Santa Claus would one day surprise me with boundless gifts. Despite the fact that I am now a grown-up lady, I love admiring the myth of Santa Claus and still expect his way every Christmas Eve. The child in me has always adored him as much as the festival is cherished and of course the Lord’s birth is considered one of the auspicious things ever happened on earth.

Besides my fascination with this religion, I have a very exceptional penchant for the lush green hills in our State and also for the age-old fond bond that is shared between the hill and valley people. The Chingmi-Tammi songs, the Langmeis, the colourful ching-gi faneks and ena-phees, the virgin honey bottles brought to the valleys by our hill friends—all of these have woven many special memories in my heart since those childhood days.

Of late, I am pretty annoyed to come across news and views about the various communities in Manipur rebuking and making fun of one another, fuelling loathsome attitudes and churning artificial wind of hatred among one another. It has been one of the most shocking experiences to discover how some people have misused the doctrines of Christianity for the sake of winning public attention and affection.

To cite an example, a few weeks ago, I came across a particular video clip in which Mr. Muivah was giving his speech. My wrath knew no bounds listening/watching to his speech that was all the way provoking his very own community to resort to an impending war. He repeatedly kept stressing on a particular line—‘Esorgi Apaambaney’ (it’s the Lord’s will). I swore many things on my mind and my hatred-metre was about to blow up.

For all these years, I have tried to console myself many a times that Muivah is favouring the common interest of his people like every leader does. Ok, I know (and everyone also knows) that it is not wrong to favour the interest of one’s community, to represent the collective voice and of course to work for the betterment of one’s group to bring it up to a larger platform.

It is indeed a noble cause to do something for one’s community. I have nothing against any community, caste or creed. However, I have all the hatred under the sun for those leaders who provoke his people on wrong grounds. Only a sick mind can sicken the innocent masses on a fallacious cause. And that is probably what Mr. Muivah has been deliberately doing.

‘Nakhoi meenaira?’ was another question repeatedly asked in the speech. Meenai is one hell of a misleading vocabulary that is used during extreme situations. I was taken aback and suddenly reminded of colonialism and of the Africans who had been enslaved to harsh inhumane treatments in the then America. Did any of such things ever happen in Manipur? Were any community inhumanely treated in our State? History is the witness that no such thing ever happened in Manipur. Why then such a sick allegation? Just why…? Yes, innumerable number of years ago, tribal communities and the Meitei community were distinguished on grounds of some cleanliness, religion and blah blah stuffs. I am referring to decades old accounts that are now historical. Why brood on the same issues for all these years?

If it’s Esor’s will that many trucks should be burnt, many innocent lives should be crippled and chaos should rule the roost in the State, I am extremely sorry but I would only flip the bird for your so called ‘ESOR’ and his moronic insinuations that are blindly followed. Or could it happen that you and your followers are not following the principles of Christianity at all? If so, stop calling yourselves Christians, stop celebrating Christmas. Worship your own devilish god, indulge in further barbaric acts. Lord Jesus will never ever bless you and your dim-witted followers. He is no more your ‘Esor’. Worship SATAN because your credos are all satanic.

You educated yourself only to become one such communal leader who prompts his people to prepare for war. Hello? Grow up. This is not a barbaric age and your lame wishes will all be in vain. Stop brooding or nagging like a fool who is seeking for paradise on earth. If you really believe in the existence of paradise and also wish to be there after death, stop paving your way to hell. Stop communal politics; stop this impending war of hatred. Enough is enough.

God never insinuates us to abhor one another. God wants us to spread the message of love and peace everywhere. In the bloody name of some other satanic faith that you follow, don’t dare to mess up with the teachings of the Lord.

This article was published on Dec 4 2011
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