Imphal Telanga Festival 2014 ― The Imagination of a New Vision!

“A kite is the last poem you’ve written / so you give it to the wind, / but you don’t let it go / until someone finds you / something else to do.” ― LEONARD COHEN

Today, the second day of February, we are going to celebrate the Telanga Festival 2014. All the roads lead to Dhobi Lampak in Kongba. For the first time in the history of Manipur, we are going to have a festival, independent of any political and religious crap.

A day might be too insufficient for such a gala yet we are making it special. Steal away a day from life’s mundane affairs. Indulge in fun-filled activities apart in addition to merry-making with your friends and families flying kites. This Telanga Festival is a celebration of life in a simple yet enticing way.

The festival has many surprises waiting for you. Unleash the creative juice in the innovative kite design contest. You do not have to be a kite expert but the passion is all you need for the kite making competition. If you are simply desperate for the fun to begin, we also have a kite fighting event. It is going to be a day of redefining fun.

More than the fun, the prospects of such a festival have been the guiding force. One, it entails the celebration of life in the most colourful ways like the varying shades of papers that we used in making kites. Two, it is a part of the holistic approach to re-energise the potentials of tourism in our hometown. It is only a humble beginning.

We don’t have big industries here but that should not be the end of the story. We can start with what we already have, howsoever little it is. We can make the most of our indigenous resources to promote tourism with such a festival. That’s the bigger picture we have got from tourism being an economic development tool.

The flight and the plight

Tourism, if we talk about it in Manipur, is so interlaced with the present living condition. Both in the hills and the valley, there are two obstacles that are glued to the society. First, the factor of fear and insecurity has been always a gatecrasher to any hope of a new beginning. Wonder how it would be if these issues fly away like a telanga atatpa! And second, it is more ironical that we would boast of the breathtaking natural places of tourist interest, but we don’t have the place for them to stay. The lack of infrastructure is simply heartbreaking. If only a fraction of the wealth that our ministers have plundered is invested in infrastructure, only time can tell what it can bring for us.

The problems will only make us more skeptical. For all the joys and happiness that we have lost in the existing social mess, we can try and compensate a bit in a day of fun-tastic fiesta of the Telanga Festival. We also believe in the days to come, such a kite festival can do wonders for tourism.

As much as the objectives are local, the Telanga Festival 2014 is a part of the personal endeavour.

From the home front

When I was in Delhi, I was quite reluctant about relocating back to Manipur and starting a venture of my own. I did not expect a bright career option in a state like ours where the bombs are cheaper than the yongchaak. ‘MCS thajinlu, TET peikha thajinlu, SSA gi oja oinaba hotnou,’ the list of suggestions — from elders and friends to pursue a career in Manipur — has been never ending. All those options appear to me like the mathel lukoi in a typical ushop of a birth celebration or a death anniversary. My friends would say those are like the items in a shop with specific price ranges. How much is it for the seat of a chief minister, by the way? 

Boarding a flight to Delhi had always been the easiest way to escape from the ennui that prevails in Imphal. I had in fact done that many a times. But then, it cannot be the only solution. This time, I wanted to test my patience. Hiyangei, Poinu and Waakching arrived and eventually left. And here comes Fairen. The past few months have been an unlearning phase for me about many things, from personal to the professional. I should take a short break now. I should fly a kite too.

Postscript The Telanga Festival 2014 will be held on 2nd February 2014 from 10AM to 5PM, at Dhobi Lampak, Kongba, Imphal East.

This article was published on 2 Feb 2014

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