The Waakching Diary — On Welcoming the New Year

This New Year started with a bang, so to say, and with a few uningdaba-taningdaba incidents. While many of us could not even afford a packet of bamboola to welcome the New Year, some exceeded their limit of afao saaba or gupthi touba by exploding bombs to mark the celebration. In the same breath, we can add it’s not a new thing.

Well, it is perhaps a matter of pride to admit that ours is a land where a pre-nursery kid can even distinguish the sound of a bomb from that of a bamboola. Again, it won’t be too far when we can buy bombs from a grocery store and use them anywhere, anytime for our own personal reasons; logical or illogical, it matters not. So, you had a tiff with Tomba or Chaoba or when someone said no to a request or command or whatsoever, hurl a bomb—that’s the best ever way to settle a score. And that’s a lesson our society has been teaching us. Who needs a ‘reasonable’ reason in our leiraks and leikais?

New Year, Old Craps

Anouba chahi, anouba manglaan and anouba wakhalon sound so good to listen to or read about, but when it comes to the reality in our state, one should clearly hear it and read between the lines. Comfortably numb; we have started expecting any untoward incident with this deep-rooted psyche that we are meant to endure all these bullshits all around the year.

We are being told and convinced that we are the citizens of the largest democracy yet it is almost like a pipedream when it comes to our rights. Why is there a black maikhal when it comes to exercising our democratic rights in our homeland? Why should we be immune to any unfavourable incident that happens every now and then? Bans, restrictions and more bans and restriction—sometimes the prevailing claustrophobia is too hard on our senses.

To cite the simplest example, if you go out with friends in the late evenings, you get frisked mandatorily by the security personnel. There is no implication that we only want to go out in the evenings but you get what I mean; after all we are the united people of the united land. And whether you have proper documents for your vehicle or not, you will be charged, at least a Yaangkhei or Chaama note for their allowances, read their cha thaknaba. I wonder if we should start carrying cha in a Moreh flask to avoid giving cha-thaknaba sen to the thirsty lots, eh?!

Old Habits Die Hard

Paying bribes is a noble chatnabi in Manipur. The more you pay, the better you are and the higher post you get in the lone governmental jobs and the faster a task is completed. Well, which chatnabi are we referring to? Are we not the ones who have been promoting this chatnabi in the first place? What had started should come to an end. It’s the high time we re-look at the aged-old formula of economics’ demand and supply and restate this way: Where there isn’t any supply, demand will ultimately stop.

So, from this year onwards, let us start making some sense (not necessarily in a factory or some sort of an assembly line).

If you have proper documents for your vehicle, have the guts to tell a straight ‘No’, if they ask you for a Yaangkhei or Chaama-chapi note. If you are eligible for a particular post, never ever think about mortgaging your lou or ingkhol just to pay lacs to the ridiculously sounding ‘concerned authorities’.

It is the high time we continuously remind ourselves that this is our own homeland. We are not supposed to feel like an alien here. Why should we be afraid to loiter freely in our homeland? Why should we be scared to drive anywhere in our own city no matter the time of the day or night? Why should they have a price tag for a job opening that we are eligible for? Let us start questioning ourselves with such questions from time to time. It is easier said than done but again, there has to be an end and there has to be a new beginning. And the New Year is just the right time.

On other occasions, it is sheer stupidity to yell ‘Akhoigi ngamkhei kaiba yaaroi’ when we are busy building walls fencing ourselves away from our neighbours. All we need is a daily dose of sanity which is available at free of cost. When we talk about these issues, the list will be endless. A small beginning has the potential to make a big impact. Let this New Year enlighten us all and help us have our stand. Let our state rise from the slumber and shine.

Wishing all of you a very happy and sensible new year!

This article was published on 5 Jan 2013
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