Goodbye Nostalgia!

My Mom asked me, ‘How long are you going to stay out of home?’ She did when I recently shared my plan for leaving Imphal. I did not have any reply to her question. I gave her this and that reason, with a feeling of guilt in my heart to leave home again. I knew not why I had to leave behind the most loved and cherished place on earth. My reason was something beyond earning a mere livelihood or searching for a better career option. Maybe I badly wanted to run away like a bride whose marriage had been fixed to the wrong guy. It might sound a little filmy but I have reasons of my own. Though it is right that I love everything about Manipur that includes my family, friends, various places and faces; it is equally true that there are many things that irk me every now and then when it comes to our home state.

At times, I do seriously wonder if I have started considering myself a tourist in my own home. Perhaps I share this feeling with many who have stayed out of home for more than a decade. I used to have this notion on my mind for all these years that home is really where the heart is. I had infected myself with an incurable nostalgia for all these years. And this time I thought I should stay back at home among my people. It took me only two months to prove that my decision was wrong and utterly illogical in a way. I must not forget to affirm that as far as Manipur is concerned ‘Home is not where the heart is but the hatred is’. And what is scary to imagine is that this hatred can take any shape or contour in the course of time. I know not what is really wrong with us but in the quest of power or easy money, most of us have become soft-feathered beasts.

We are uncomfortably numb and also dumb about certain issues that tickle our attention almost every day. We feel insecure seeing security personnel around us, when they are the ones in whose presence we are supposed to feel safe and protected. We are scared of a bomb blast that would occur anytime, anywhere across the town and elsewhere. I collectively consider it as a result of hatred. We abhor one another as if we are obliged to do so.

We do not mind wasting all the time, standing in long queues at petrol pumps — it happened even at the rumours of an impending economic blockade. A fools’ paradise that we are in, we have to endure ‘taaheidraba uheidraba’ words and incidents on a daily basis. Sometimes our nerves are more chilled than those waakchingi ullen, as a result of the never-ending brouhaha that takes many shapes every now and then.

Every cloud has its silver lining but when it comes to the deep-rooted issues of our state, we can see only the approaching storm. Those who are starved for power and easy money do not have any shame crossing any limit to appease their wants. From a mere thikadaar to a high-ranked state official, it’s difficult to figure out who is more dishonest and in what terms? Corruption has become a favourite naachom for most of the public sector employees, irrespective of gender or rank. It’s a perfect disorder that we are so used to and we do not mind it at all.

Most of us talk big about wind of change but it’s not surprising to find out that it’s the wind of hatred that is churning across the state. Thanks to this new-found wisdom, I am supposedly cured of nostalgia. But this does not mean I am going to stop missing my most favourite place under the sun. It’s just that nostalgia turns out to be a bad disease indeed but for my new found understanding, I must be thankful to it. I must also admit that I would reconsider taking a hard core decision of settling in Manipur in the near future. All in all, Goodbye Nostalgia!

This article was published on 9 Dec 2012
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