Tradition: A Go-Getter Champ in the Manipur Syllabus!

Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.
- W. Somerset Maugham

Mr. Langban has bidden adieu for the year passing on the duties to the Ministress of Seasonal Affairs – Mera Tha.

A pleasant season, the return of hungaam and yongchaak in the chakhum and of course the festivals that queue up for their turn one after another, mark the advent of Mera. Fatso Langban relished all the tarpon feasts and offerings that we prepared for the departed souls of our ahal laman and saagei-naatei. He needs at least a year to digest everything that he had gorged on during his stay. The last time I saw him, he was buying Enzyme and lots of Hajmola sachets.

Meanwhile, Mera Ministress cannot wait to flaunt herself. She has impeccably donned herself with the Fall-Winter collection from some wannabe designers. Cajoled by her elegance, she gracefully makes her seasonal entry imbued with the right hues.

As bamboola sounds mingle in the festive air, the young and the old are bracing up for the coming days in high spirits. I pressed F5 on my mind for a few memories of festivals that we ardently enjoyed during our childhood days. One of the reloaded memories is that of the Durga Puja festival. Five days of fun and frolicking, lots of bamboola to crack and lots of esei-leela to indulge in. Puja vacations had always been a second Yaoshang coming for us. The festival is still celebrated with great pomp and show at present (especially in my leikai).

Beat Yaoshang or Durga Puja, we love celebrating every festival with great pomp and show. The only difference I have personally observed over the years is how we now celebrate a festival. The same old excitement or jovial spirit seems faded. Perhaps, it’s the years playing tricks with us or it’s the continuous mayhems that have stuffed our attention around the whole year.

Well, I suppose we need a break from the depression throughout the year. Which is why, the major festivals – Duga Puja, Diwali, Ningol Chakouba, Christmas to name a few – mark the ending of every year.

However, from the murky side, it seems nothing changes in our state except the dates and the festivals that mark their annual return. It’s the same old ugly brouhaha, the primitive laid-back attitude of our people, the sycophancy of the system and the list goes on.

Wait, wait. We have seen a few additions in the syllabus over the last few years. In the last couple of years, reports of rapes and molestations plus cases of missing housewives have added a few more. Once these used to be nauseating news from the metropolis, but not anymore.

In the midst, I am at least glad that we still nurture the tradition of celebrating festivals.

Possibly, it’s time we admit that it is only tradition that always scores letter mark in the Manipur Syllabus. It is something that revives us from depression and restlessness that engulf us the whole year.

Tradition inculcates belongingness in our heart to the blood soaked land we call our home. It still makes us yearn to go back and mingle up again with our forlorn friends, brothers and sisters. It provides us an original identity of our own that the rest of the world would not even care.

Que sera sera, we should be glad that the guns and bombs cannot destroy the tradition that we have been religiously following all these decades. Tradition is a go-getter champ in the Manipur Syllabus. Let’s hope it scores a Gold Medal someday provided time and technology do not play a trick with it.

Long live tradition. Happy festivals, everyone!

This article was published on 6 Oct 2013
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