Folk Tales Forever: Morals of the Stories

Bubok used to narrate many funga wari when we were kids. We eagerly listened to all the tales without skipping a heart beat. The enthusiasm was evident from our curiosity to listen endlessly. Those sheer excitement!

The moral of most of the funga waari used to carry a similar idea — the triumph of truth over evil in the long run. To cite an example, in the story of Sandrembi and Cheisra, despite Cheisra’s umpteen attempts to torment Sandrembi, she continuously failed. In the long run, though after much hardship, Sandrembi emerged as the true victor.

In another funga wari of Mabung Taretki Thabaton, the Hingchaba who killed Thabaton had escaped easily after committing the heinous crime. In the end, however, Thabaton’s mabung taret caught him and punished him to death.

The same moral is also found in the story of Pebet and Houdong Lamboiba. Pebet, with her wit outsmarted the cunning Houdong Lamboiba, and saved herself and her kids. Read/watch Kanhailal and listen to Tapta for their amazing renditions of Pebet.

We cannot pinpoint, who is the Cheisra, Hingchaba or Houdong Lamboiba in Modern Manipur, even if Kanhailal and Tapta have made their interpretation quite convincingly. This is considering the complete mess we are in, where the police indulge in so many illegal pursuits as much as the outlawed rebels.

There are perhaps many of them prying here and there; who knows there are many of them running the state machinery, safeguarding the moral and culture of the land. It would be unsurprising if we ever find it.

It would take the simplest demographic study to figure them out. I agree that it’s their reign now; I do agree that they are invincibly powerful for the time being. However, a time has to come when all of them would share the same fate of Cheisra or Houdong Lamboiba. Mark my words on it. My confidence metre is full on.

What all can we do to make it happen?

When you continuously tell a cat that it is a lion, it starts believing itself as a ferocious lion. Let us reverse the trick, when you keep praising all the wrong doers, they will either be morally discouraged or embarrassed.

So, from now onwards, I am going to praise all our mantri-mandols, babu sahebs, thikadaars, angaang faaba churan thaabas, leibaak ningbagi mingda senkhaiba groups, drug lalonbas and so on. I would encourage everyone in Manipur to join me in such a crusade. More folks would imply more effectiveness. This is again contrary to what we believe, in our popular belief, about more people surprising the dogs because there is too much crap!

So, next time, when there is a drug scam in Manipur, let us not criticize the drug dealers. Let us instead consider them as pioneers who provide a cue for a prosperous thika. And for the various (paisana leiba yaaba) gobberment jobs, let us suggest them to increase their rates as well.

For the tolop free da chaaba teachers in government schools, let us do some crowd sourcing to organise an annual award for the best teacher of the year. The only criterion to bag such an award is simple. He or she needs to maintain a clear record of not visiting his or her school at least once in a year. As for the tha-gi tolop, it can be drawn through any acquaintance from the bank.

I must not forget to mention about our ekai khumnabada matik chadraba security personnel. Let us encourage them as much as we can. We should start listening to their khonda-waoba style as music to our ears. And if we are stopped on the way for frisking, we must not forget to tip them with as much money that we can afford.

So, guys let us get all these done within a few years from now in pursuit of a better Manipur to live. I don’t think most of these would be difficult for us to accomplish considering all the experiences we had in all these years.

Let us also keep reading more funga waari to extract the life-changing morals from time to time. This is the only means we can placate ourselves from the lousy gimmicks of psychopaths and greedy Houdong Lamboibas running the machinery of the state, preserving the identity of our race and what not.

This article was published on 12 May  2013
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