To A Shining Star From Manipuri Cinema!

“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.” - Thomas J. Watson

Well, someone has rightly quoted that failure is a stepping stone to success. There were/are many celebrities across the world who failed in their initial stage of career and struggled hard to achieve their dreams. One cannot ever imagine how the iconic Charlie Chaplin was initially rejected by Hollywood studio chiefs because they felt he was not worth for any role in the film industry. World famous writer J.K. Rowling who has rolled out a lot of Harry Potter dough today was nearly a penniless, severely depressed, divorced lady who tried hard to raise a child on her own while attending school and writing a novel and not to forget Oprah Winfrey the most iconic face on Television who is now one of the richest and successful women in the world, someone who started a tough journey then. Oprah had numerous career setbacks that even included being fired from her job as a TV reporter. And from a local context, we do have many struggling artists in our very society. Their untold stories need a space to be told again and again.

Flipping through the pages of my diary, I realized that I missed out certain things worth sharing about a particular artist in question. This column is in continuation to one of the earlier published columns with the title- ‘From Amamba Lambi to Phijigee Mani- The Journey of An Artist’ As I earlier mentioned, he (most of you already know who) is one of the most talked about actors in Manipur Film Industry. He has been profiled as an actor and singer. His fans go crazy about him. Young boys imitate his style. He is a trend setter not just in our film industry but also among today’s youth. He is a big brother for them. On the whole, old and young Manipuri audiences love him for his originality and sincere attitude.

‘I will act till my last breathe' - This is what he has got to tell about acting as a prominent artist in Manipur Film Industry. It was the same day when I had a chit chat with him when he related me all those bitter accounts of his past life. He wore a depressed look sharing the memories of those days when he almost failed in his struggles to become an artist. Poverty further took a toll in his life because of which he could not travel a smooth journey as an artist in his earlier days of career. He blurted out ‘Akhoi emung na fuutlaga chaaraktaba insaang amata leitrey matamduda’ and cried. For a while I could not believe I was having a chit-chat with one of the prominent artists from our film industry. My heart almost broke listening to all his accounts on that day. He did relate me one particular incident when his family was eagerly waiting for him to return home with a few bucks to buy medicine for his ailing father and also to buy food. He returned with just 10 bucks in his pocket on that particular day. I could not help imagining how he might have felt on that day, but it sure pained my heart over the thought for reasons not known. Fighting all the odd battles of life, he has evolved as an artist and also as an individual today. Kudos to him for his courage, patience and strong willpower that have collectively made him an evolved person today.

We are always in the pursuit of something in our lives and for a true artist it’s nothing but the appreciation of his or her true worth as an artist not as a celebrity in a crowd of hundreds or thousands. He has this strong opinion that every artist in our society deserves at least one opportunity to culture his art. He did relate me again and again about how many artists in our society never get a chance to culture their artistic skill set out of poverty. I have this opinion that the society has a primary role to play in shaping the life of a true artist for whom his art is also the means of livelihood. We must try to support or encourage them in whatsoever way we can. Be it singing, acting, dancing or any profession, every artist must be given a chance to culture his skill.

My primary motive of coming up with a similar theme today is to ensure all the budding artists in our society that they can live their dreams only if they do not let the very dreams waver amid the humdrums of life. I do sincerely wish that many promising artists in our society get inspired by Da Bonny’s story (which is not at all imaginary). No matter how rough and tough the road ahead seems, one should never ever give up. Da Bonny puts it in his words ‘punsida singnaba ama thamgadouni’.

Wishing him many luck and success in his life, wishing him all the happiness under the sun on his birthday- which is today. Before I wind up this write up, here is a stolen verse from Da Bonny, who is also a poet in the making-

ahing amadagi ahing ama,
ayuk amadagi ayuk ama;
matam madi chatkhi,
nong nganbani eina ngairiba

Cheers to our Manipuri Cinema’s Shining Star!

This article was published on 27 May 2012
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