Celebrating Leisabi-Aribihood

We make it a ritual to celebrate the International Women’s Day on 8th March every year. We should keep showing there are things we can do good and things we can do better, much better than the ‘unfair’ sex a.k.a. men. This is a day we remind ourselves of our world and those around us.

As the years pass, as the whole world commemorate this year’s women’s day recently, I have this recurring mixed feeling if many of us are simultaneously celebrating womanhood and leisabi-aribihood. For a change, Manipur Masala through this column will be taking a noble initiative to see what lies behind and beyond the leisabi-aribihood days of ‘matamgi’ Manipur and ‘matamdugi’ Manipur.

When I was child, I had my own notion about a leisabi aribi. There were in fact many of them in my leikai. Those eche- and eney-like ladies were the ones I always looked up to for some fun and interesting event in the leikai during any type of festival. Come Yaoshang, for example, they were the ones who would organise thaabal chongba at the leikai lampak.

I have the fondest memories of Yaoshang with all of them. Many local games such as chafu thugaibi, pafor chabi, cha thakpi, thouri chingnabi etc. were specially organised for the so-called leisabis. As kids, we were not allowed to interfere in the games and events categorised for them. Then, the organising committee, usually those club members, would bark on the microphone like they were a Nazi group, at least, it looked like that.

Remember those long, long time we had to wait for the various angaang-gi thouram. Deep in my heart, however, I felt good that they were having their own share of fun. Well, that was a slice of how things were during ‘matamdugi’ Manipur.

In ‘matamgi’ Manipur, kids cannot wait to grow up so fast. We do not have a huge generation gap, but at times, I feel like a dinosaur when trying to understand the current trend of modern kids.

As far as Yaoshang is concerned, I have totally felt out of place. Taking part in various games and events of Yaoshang ‘sports’ held at the leikai lampak have a totally new meaning nowadays. The same goes for thaabal chongba. Things were different when we were kids. ‘Hujikaan gi thaabal di leisabi amata chongnadare, angaang ngaakta ngaire’. I wonder if this is really true.

Do modern kids grow up so fast? If yes, what is the secret behind their growth? Has the innocence of childhood days gone with the wind?

I do not have ready-made answers for all these questions that hum on my mind. I had been absent from my leikai for many Yaoshangs. And last year when I turned up there trying to recollect the memories of the wonder years, I felt like a fish out of water. No one can be blamed for any of these. This is perhaps the cycle of life that goes on and on. Perhaps, it is also time I get enrolled at the club of leisabi-aribi, bidding adieu to the wonderful memories of childhood and many festivals I had taken part in.

So far, many friends have joined the marriage club. Many of us are still having phobia about tying the nuptial knot. And there are people like me who lead their lives without a plan. An independent career and sole dictatorship of our lives are two main reasons why most of us are reluctant about tying the over-rated knot.

I do not intend to sound like a Nazi and do not even consider my married friends as the Jews. Yet I must admit that being a dictator of one’s life is a hell lot of fun. I do not take any bullshit from anyone and I make it sure others do the same. Things sound perfect this way!

Tomorrow things may be different but today I enjoy my freedom and that’s more precious to me than the most expensive jewels on earth that I would never ever dream to buy. It is important to celebrate our own life before we think about celebrating or commemorating a particular day. We have many things to celebrate every day.

Come what may, live life queen size sans any regret. Hail Leisabi-Aribihood! Cheers to life!

This article was published on 3 March 2013
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