Showing posts from December, 2010

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An old year diary

LIFE IN POETRY AT THE END OF THE YEAR Another year is in its final stage, and I’m waiting for my poetry to draw the curtain on the year’s slow death. Our lives earmarked with a calendar, each event separated by a date. In the end, the days did not matter as much as the people, events and some thoughts. Of people we met, of events we saw, of what we thought—and our life enriched from some purposes that we serve to humanity. Yet it’s the dead-end, nothing is beyond the cremation ground, no rhyme, no reason; so merely it’s to fine-tune this illusion. Everything is good in life as long as we accept and let them go. And nothing is just good if we accept and let them go. That contradiction! Now the time's for the new year: there are so many mountains beyond the picnic spot at Koubru Leikha. Many more pegs to follow the empty Old Monk bottles. And many more distance we have to travel beyond our drive back home. And the pessimism is already lurking in the horizon. How many years, and how m…

Great expectations

The sudden outburst
of the winter sky
The surprising news
from a land afar
The sad breaking
of a guitar string
So expected is
this unexpected
history repeats itself.

One day
Out of the blue  
The earth splits open
to eject its essence
Deeply agitated
as the storm
And slowly it sinks in,
Leaving no traces
of its madness
The rage,
it had feigned.

Eternal quest
it has become now,
Robbing itself of
its unexpected happiness.

An open letter to India

For the wonderful things that have happened in our lives, I'm sending this letter to you. Thank you.

I have been in your galaxy of being the colonised and the developing and then your emergence. Your russification then, and your americanisation now. I have evolved along with your transformation. I adore the tall northern Himalayas that clothe you with greens and whites. The rich fertile of your south, and your plateaus and deserts. And I love your foods as exotic as the spices were to your former masters. Sometimes I want to fly across from Kashmir to Kanyakumari on the wings of didactic, my India, you have given me:

The Indus Valley and the Mauryas and the Mughals and Natya Shastra and Taj Mahal and Sardar Vallabhai Patel and Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat Singh and the economic reforms and Ratan Tata and Narayan Moorthy and Azim Premji and statistics of Sachin Tendulkar and Mallika Sherawat and Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha and ourselves that you haven't. (Would you call it imagine…

Of the misanthrope

As I walked across the street
    Towards the target area my legs wobbled
    Yet I knew I have to shoot
    Clenched fist inside the pocket
    Sad memories on the mind
    Angry clouds across the neighbourhood
    While the metal bruised my groin
    And penalty or impunity didn’t count
    I took my weapon out
    Loaded with secret mystical powers
    And I fired point blank
    And I fired one thousand times
    Through the unfeeling hearts
    Through the unthinking heads
    Through the untouchable bodies
    of pain of violence of injustice
    of blood of bullets of bombs
    of dishonesty of greed of unholy desires
    of a fucking society of fucked-up people
    of government of authority
    of money launderers of land dealers
    of religion of tradition of convention
    And I felt like the ibises
    Near Langol I had seen them
    As pure white as they can be
    Against the blue and green mountains
    I felt like them I felt so happy
    For the unwanted are no m…

To the rented alley

People say we become wiser when we live outside the simple and familiar milieu where we grow up. That I agree but there is a feeling of unbelongingness in this land, where I have taken my shelter. Too noisy, too garish I feel about the place and it is unfortunate, when I feel it is out of sheer necessity that I have to stay away from home. Okay, please pass me that book on The Art of Living in the Present while Planning for the Future and Globetrotting.

With so many dreams, so many aspirations, many of our folks come to this part of this world; a lot of them also live in a particular village of the city where I stay. It struck me that there are so many people I come across every day, every night. It is funny when you don’t know their name, what they do, and anything but can recognise their face which you see daily. You start imagining they are birds, that they are the hazy surreal shades you see in your dreams. But in this verse, I saw all of us as one: a flock that has been chased awa…

Feijom jagoi

Koti kunthrahoomdoi,
Baaton namba nupa aduna
Mamit mana yoong-khatlaga hangak-khi
Mapukning da maka lamliba adudi ukhi
Batonbu asuk yamna namnabra,
Eina amuk khummi,
Koti ahoom amasu watli
Adubu masak ka maming ga khangdabana touraroi.

Eina ejei:
Nanaida pinabire maktraba thoujal
Ekaikhumnaraba oja mayamna lengbiraktuna
Nanaina katchariba jagoi asi mityeng tabiyu
Lafoi katchage
Yubi katchage
Tairen mana khikchage
Katchage mapu gi mafamda jagoi amatangsu
Lengbirak-u, chaalaba nanai, ei.

Eina pelladuna, thoujal fangladuna
Mapu mabungo mabemma makhoida
Makhoigidamak sinjakhi jagoi thouram ama.
Thourangkhi, hotnajakhi yamna kanna
Yaifaraba numit adugi damak.

Ngairammu haiba yadaba matamna lakkhi
Chaoraba lai lampak aduda tillakhi
Lai mayam: akanba lai, masak fajabi,
Angouba, amubi, awangba, atheeba,
Mamai seet nanba, mamai pandaba lai kaya kaya
Lapna yengbada khoi mahum goom mankhi
Asomdana eina kanna loisilli
Khamen chatpa feijom, Ley-son phurit
Namthang khuthat fiban chanba.

Sekmai gi machin do anirak ahoomlak yotli

A tourniquet for the land

It’s a good business
If not for the extortion
If not for the intimidation

It’s been long
I have been working in this hospital
Right at the centre of Imphal
For my ilk, it’s the paradise
And the people, their slaying never suffice
And some maimed, some deranged
And some who looked they were hit by warheads!
And more sick souls on sickbeds
And the filthy liquid they shed
And my only spirit of service.

It’s a good business
If not for the extortion
If not for the intimidation
They say we are only bleeding
When we are only building
Tomorrow and beyond.
Get a tourniquet if all of you would chime
But I see only greed and lust that grime.

It’s a good business
If not for the extortion
If not for the intimidation
See, see it clearly here
There, there, these are mere fluids
Of hate and pain and avarice
And if you would still say it’s real blood
Tattoo my forehead:
People are gods in a democracy.

A clarion call

THEN As I was sitting, reading inside my room one night
I heard the people shrieking Seemingly unceasing were the sounds of fright And then followed the barking Of dogs and the cops. On the street the folks had had hooch in torchlight Away from their pitiful wives and unruly kids On the moonless and silent, load-shedding night It was a curfew too—oh, the god-police forbids Curfew and bandh and general strikes cause no affright Yet the night was not right that night.   More boots thudded against the concrete road And more whipping, more shrilling cries, more barking followed While I got up from the chair, and knelt down Gritting my teeth and clenching my fist I resolved this was just the struggle for existence, And fighting—this violence fuels our essence All the happiness killed with the aborted child of the night And how I wanted to piss on the night’s face!
NOW How long should we sleep with these nightmares? With our half-awaked consciousness, with our own errors It’s no more time we count our lives on pr…

The prisoner’s dilemma

There was once a fellow inmate: a man of forty
Burdened with life’s absurdity
He made a plea to confess
For in his heart, he bore a guilty conscience
Not for bombing the state assembly building that he committed
Not for corruption while holding office that he was incriminated
But he wanted to admit the truth and
Get rid of his guilty feelings
That he was disgraced for he cannot metamorphose the world.
In his sedated voice, he said:

    “Darkness ruins my life
    while the sole thing in life I ever wanted was
    the lightness, the feeling of joy, the pride.
    A selfish love still binds me
    to my native place, where I belong.
    Inside this jail,
    my life has grown worse but I will try,
    until death does me apart from this world,
    to break free from the shackle.
    I had read the story
    of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption,
    now it inspires me to plan my jailbreak.
    Inspirations there are many, however,
    there is only one more thing to accomplish

For Nupi Lan, the women’s war

One of the major landmarks in modern history is the Nupi Lan, which can be translated as the women’s war. It took place not only once, but twice in 1904 and 1939, waged by the Manipuri women against the imperial faggots of those times.
Nupi Lan took place in Manipur, a strife-torn frontier state in northeast India. It must be noted that these wars were, to a great extent, concerted campaigns against socioeconomical injustice. The first war was a protest to defy forced labour, and the second—which is more significant than the 1904 version—was a dissent to the unfair trade policies that caused an artificial famine in the erstwhile princely kingdom. In both cases, the womenfolk took the major role and hence the name.
In this age of gender equality, women empowerment and emancipation, it has meant more than just being a protestation. It shows: (a) how women have helped in shaping our society; and (b) how suppressed voices, when they can tolerate no longer, can silence the shrieking of the a…

Eager soul, eager dreams

Deep inside my heart, I carry along A load I wish to see in the open The desires that one can fill lifelong
Of living in peace, where truth and justice are written In the mind and spirit, and in the air we breathe In times we spend, in love we make In people we meet,  in all-round views we enjoy In the societies we live, on the road we walk And on the journeys of life we have taken.
Aah! If that be, I would live and I would die Caring not a thing in our world And no more I would vie For ways to clear my conscience The shadows if they ever are the dreams itself I would not mind dreaming on.
For I believe when I got up I can rely upon The fresh mornings of glory that would be awaiting itself And the efforts to make things right I would not mind showing all my might For it is the essence, and these words I would ever recite.

This lyric was inspired by one of  N a t h a n i e l   H a w t h o r n e  quotes: 

English Eeba

If you know only one language, you live only once 
A Czech proverb, which has also been  translated that you live a new life every time you start speaking a new language

Dedicated to Dai Heikham—who thinks I’m his opposition to the idea of Manipur and unfriend me for my counter-aggression—and whom I had blocked for sending me troglodytic messages

A recent activity on a social networking site made me feel an unexpected White Man’s burden. One of my friends had been commenting cynically on my posts. He said that I have merely inherited the legacy of the British (?), that I stay far away from home without any concern for my roots, and that I feign about knowing without knowing. These are not the exact words but surely what he meant to say with his chic online lingo. These are seemingly some trifles about two friends, who grew up together smoking grass from the same pot. However, this whole issue points directly to our identity crisis and many other things.


On Religion and Humanity

This piece elaborates my understanding of faith

❝Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.❞ Steven Wienberg

We have been hearing the words of wisdom from religious texts. But when we turn our earthly judgments into divine commands, according to Georgia Harkness, religion becomes one of the most dangerous forces in the world. Religion is also one of the things in our life that does not depend on its right or wrong, but rather how it has been implied in our daily conduct. And it will be in the interest of the humanity to discuss its essence as a whole.

This article does not posit that ‘god exists’ or ‘god does not exist’. Personally, I believe in god’s nonexistence and that religion has no role in my life. However, it is irrefutable that the gods and religions play an indispensable role in the human society. Believe or not, there are mor…


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