An Odd Ode to a Few Innocent Memories

Knowledge has its own pros and cons. Meanwhile ignorance is bliss. Ignorance and innocence, in my view, are almost synonymous. An ignorant fellow is unlikely to be found guilty on many aspects and hence his innocence remains intact.

At times, I do wish to be ignorant about many social, political and historical aspects about our society. What seemed so picture perfect in the past somehow becomes a reason for introspection at present. This introspection has many side effects. To relate a simple example, the ongoing festive season leaves many deliberations open on my mind.

When we were kids, Puja vacation was one of the most awaited breaks from school. We used to contribute our pocket money to adorn the Dol for Goddess Durga. We would also spend our last rupee buying bamboola of all sorts — Alu bomb, Kabok chaibi, Rocket paibi, Uru-ru ungbi and others. And on the Bali day (the third day of the celebration), we would relish a sumptuous curry together.

As for Wangkheilites, Durga Puja means one such festival that lasts for five days. Besides the worshipping part of the Goddess, Puja vacation also means five days of merry-making. Leela, cassette dance, tambola games etc. are events exclusively meant for late evenings. The best part is however the series of live Shumaang Leela played by as many parties.

We would rush to Puja Lampak with moraah in our hand eager enough to watch the plays. Everything seemed quite picture perfect then. We grew up with many memorable celebrations of Durga Puja and of many other festivals. I have missed this vacation for quite a long time and was eagerly looking forward to it until reality intervenes.

Here’s the part of my absence, where I would particularly prefer to be ignorant and innocent. It’s more or less like a transition of a colour television to a black-and-white set. What was once so flamboyant suddenly seems so unoriginal and plain now.

This mindset, regarding the change of heart, is perhaps because of a few results related to our history and origin. It’s like an absurd discovery — something one had never expected about but is accurately true. It would perhaps be not fallacious to state that we are standing at the threshold of an age of awakening ready to step out from the confused era. Once we step in, we have to pay odd odes to many flamboyant memories of those innocent days. And if we don’t, we are prone to become more restless and frustrated by our own choice and action in the near future.

We can never withstand the fact that we would be called the mindless generation without any root if we do not make this move now. And if we do, we are equally aware of what we are going to lose forever. The recoil has however many ill effects than demolishing a few memories. If things are meant to change in the future, this is perhaps the transitional phase. And if they are not meant to, everything will be the same as before. We will live with a false identity, follow a faith that we were forcibly lured to.

I do not abhor any particular religion. What I cannot digest is how we were forced to follow a faith that was never ours. I do not question the spirit of secularism but I have questions a many for abolishing an already established faith and culture that we once had. Perhaps one can say that colonialism found its new meanings then with religion as one of the easiest tools. We have been the dumb, moronic and mute spectators for all these decades. And when the age of awakening finally comes we find it tough to bid adieu to many precious memories and habits. Baah! What an absurd confusion indeed!

This article was published on 21 Oct 2012
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