Manipuri Moms — Adorably Sweet!


Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the wide world over.
— George Cooper
Ema — just a three-letter word but the essence is incomparably meaningful. There is a special charm about Manipuri Moms, with their idiosyncratic nature. And this typicality is something that is adorably sweet about them. Well, it would be fallacious for me to say that Manipuri Moms are the bestest moms in the world. But I would seriously not mind if I ever have to acclaim one such opinion. There is in deed something special about our Moms. We find most of them naïve and pretty slow to pick up in many fields but this is equally true that we adore them, the way they are. Their typicality is perhaps an intriguing reason why we are so fond of them. I dedicate today’s column to all the ema in Kangleipak.

It’s perhaps true that with each passing year, we grow older and wiser yet our old habits die hard. How old have you become does not really matter as long as the angoh in you cease to grow up. After all — growing old is inevitable, while growing up is not. So trust me, there is a child in each one of us who would whine on petty issues of life and would even cry bitterly till our mom comes to rescue with the most soothing words under the sun. Especially for many of us who stay out of home for study or professional reasons, missing home and mom are quite synonymous. When it’s a bad day at office or college and when you even feel like calling it a quit, you remember her and badly wish she could just sit by your side and console you, “Life is not so bad ebungo/ebemma, this too shall pass”. When you are in pain or in a frightened state, ‘aiyo ema’ defines it all. Our society boasts itself of its patriarchal norms but I must admit the real norm is set by our women folk and the exclamation of ‘aiyo ema’ does the talking.

It is equally true that we, at times, find their typicality quite pestering. They have their own views about what we wear, what we eat and where we go. They get over-sensitive at many petty issues of life. Irritating though they sound for a while, we never get tired of their quirk nature.

From my own perspective, it’s an endless list of memories when we talk about our mother. I believe my memories would share affinity with many of my friends and brothers and sisters of my own generation. When we were toddlers, she tightened our naohong then and sang for us the sweetest naosum esei. Later when we grew up and started running on our feet, she would come chasing us, just to make sure we relished our last chakhom. When we dozed off to sleep listening to funga wari by bubok, she made sure we all slept at peace at the cost of her sleep. When we were sick, she nursed us without catching a single wink the whole night. She has taken all the hardship while preparing us to become who we are today. With less or more achievement, life would be unimaginable without her.

I want to spend a good time with mom not long before I have to relocate forever at nupamayum. And that’s one of the main reasons why I have decided to leave my current city. I want to make up for those many moments I could not be with her. She has been a beacon of hope to me so far. To the rest of the world, she is just someone but to me she is my world. East or West, Mom, you are always the best. This one goes to my mumma:
I’ve seen your face a thousand times
Everyday we’ve been apart
I don’t care about the sunshine, yeah
‘Cause Mama, I’m coming home
This article was published on 2 Sep 2012
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