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
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