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Showing posts from November, 2010

Self-assurance

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Don’t they need no education?

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Demanding the Government of India to disclose the whereabouts of UNLF chairman RK Meghen alias Sanayaima, students of the Imphal Public School, Canchipur formed a human chain in front of their school gate today. The young protestors were seen holding placards inscribed with slogans like ‘Disclose where is RK Meghen’, ‘Manipur-India political conflict should be resolved democratically’, etc during the demonstration.The Sangai Express Nov 25 2010It’s quite a common sight in the state in times of major crises, schoolchildren coming out of their classrooms to protest against the establishment. Let’s brush aside the main issue—the arrest of Sanayaima and New Delhi’s intolerable silence—for a while and take a look into this trend. Maybe the people, regardless of their age, have got used to the culture of political protest.
It would be ideal to let the kids learn their lessons instead of allowing them to hit the road on their first experience of the grim reality. Some of us might argue that …

Five steps forward, one step back

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When we know the destinationWhen we have the aspirationWe can march ahead Our eyes on the goalOur heart on the flagpoleNo looking back till our deadFor we are no eonianWe do have to catch our breathAnd we have our poetry and pena and plebeianAnd the idea of moving forward in itself our wealth














In the name of the dog

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The Jackson guy said it’s the only creatureSeeing the gods in its master And I love it when it is humbler, it is calmerAnd bark away the worries of its possessor. But one day, I saw its night of desiresBeastly it became as much as it can beIn this land of thousand masters.Eating the shits breathlessly,It lives so bastardlyBorn in the streets, with no line of descentIn October nights when the autumn air is crispyOn the road it fornicates, without any lamentLike the commandos can kill the people Like the prostitutes can sell their body Like the public servants can loot the public treasury Like the ministers can lie without suffering ignominy.And growling at everyone, it frittersAnd lose its sweet worth sourly.
As I draft the epitaph of its early dead, For it was lifeless sans its loyalty, its blithenessFor I saw in its eyes, the image of insanity widespread,I notice the true colour of the authority, their impunityThat they are more wretched than the animal. Leastways the cockeyed creatur…

Ring Road Rendezvous

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There are some things that you got to do once in a while. And when you do it, you have a feel-good sensation. That’s exactly how I felt after taking a ride on a bus along the inner Ring Road of Delhi. I had been longing to take such a trip for quite sometime, so it was some kind of indulging in double delight from doing an unnormal thing and making a wish come true. 
Have to admit but it was out of sheer frustration and irritation—nothing related with the outing though—that I had boarded the blueline bus. I would rather skip this part and

I WOULD RATHER CARE NOT TO FIND THE MEANING IN THE ABSURDITIES OF THIS JOURNEY: THE ONE I WAS IN, OR GENERALLY IN OUR EXISTENCE AS A WHOLE. WE ARE SEEMINGLY LOOKING FOR REASON IN EACH FACETS OF LIFE AS IF WE ARE SO LOGICAL. WE ARE ONLY SENSIBLE WHEN COMPARING TO OTHER ANIMALS. PERIOD.
I took the bus from Maharani Bagh, one of the main link points in South Delhi. I was still confused and angry while trying to concentrate... As the bus moved towards the …

After the spat

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Smuggling stones for a story

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Imphal: The sun had got tired of the crimson sky for the day and had went down the nongchup mountains—getting ready for the next day—with new ways to make fun of our theatre of the absurd. I felt the sedation of my environment so soon that some remnant of the sunshine might have seen me experiencing the sensation. I live in a land far away from cacophonic holes of humanity called the metros; ours is a decadent place where darkness after sunset is more tranquilizing than the most powerful psychotropic substance.
I was sitting in one corner near the yumjao-thong, fagging and drawing a map of El Dorado. In these days of stiff competition, I have to pile up material goods, for I believe the better a life is when there is more accumulation, and have chalked out my path to glory. Robbing was too illegal a thing and the petty human part in me refused me to join the bandwagon of trendy people in town who are plundering the public resources; neither I want to resort to the easy scheme of thing…

The Doors

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“There are things known, and there are things unknown, And in between are the Doors”

Jim Morrison [inspired by Aldous Huxley]





The early differentiator: tools set apart man from animal

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“Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art”  Leonardo da Vinci

This article has been paraphrased from Anton Pannekoek's Anthropogenesis: A Study
of the Origin of Man, 1944
There are several things that separate us from the animals. Anthropological studies show that all the living creatures—except the plants—possess some power of mental faculty in varying degrees but we have the unique power of abstract thinking. Also we have the command of speech and live in a developed, organised society (unlike the irregular animal groups.) Another main characteristic is our flair for making and using tools in as many ways and purposes as possible. Benjamin Franklin, the literal jack of all trade and master of everything, said we are toolmaking animal.
How has this talent set us apart from animals? In our childhood days we wondered how the sparrows use tweaks and leaves to build their nests. Nature and wild life-related TV channels broadcast programmes on how monkeys use sticks …

Rise, rise... rise and shine

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A common man’s plight of living in a strife-torn region and his high ambition of good things in society plus his desire to understand the sociopolitical reality
Is there any sane being who does not long for peace and progress? We aspire for the most ideal condition of living but we have been working extra hard to stay afloat in a vast ocean of blood and pain. There is no likelihood of a magic wand, which can change the situation overnight; nevertheless we must never retreat in our march to collective glory. Unsurprisingly the air is stale and dark with pessimism—only the hope for a better tomorrow lit dimly like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Here’s the paradox: we want peace as much as the beggars want the alms but we live in abject misery, occasionally distracted by some intervals of ennui. You know better how living is in a place like Manipur. Halt for a moment—do we really enjoy serenity and the comforts of modern life, or at least feel we would be happy to have the…

Wakhalgi nachom

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On Reading in Bengali, Thinking in Manipuri

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Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.
Ralph Waldo Emerson As a Major Indian Language study in our high school we had read Manipuri literature in Bengali script. This education deprived us from the opportunity to learn Meitei Mayek in a formal way, but had given us ample time to understand the conflicts of our society. Though understanding is not enough in as much as photography cannot be substituted for motion pictures, it does provide us insights into how history and culture shape our social structure.


Since long, there had been a grudge towards our own language. One of the turn-offs in reading the wareng and seireng was the extensive use of Bengali and Sanskrit words. At one point the very name of sahitya was enough to deter me from reading the rich works of art that we have. The discouragement, though, was not intense enough to inspire me to join the wasters who burnt down the Central Library, nor there is a feeling of orthodoxy and traditionalism.

Disturbed

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he crap in papers from your masterIt’s what you have given us
Piled together in empty explosive boxes.

For too long that you might have forgotten
When you did hurl it across
But do you see—

The tears that flow across the Nambul,
The blood that have turned
The verdant, lush fields into dull crimson?

Tell me you don’t know
The legal framework thing
The crap of colonial constitutionalism.

Two hundred years of serving the sahebs
All the gas of those dry chappatis
Your one-billion-year-old civilization

All of these you have bartered
With the dogshit in blood-smeared papers
Just to suppress

The countless motherland lovers’ feelings
Or to chain us to the frontier?


For an elaborate study on the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 check the pages of the Human Rights Documentation Centre

In “AFSPA: legacy of colonial constitutionalism” [The Imphal Free Press, Nov 3 2010], Sanjib Baruah wrote:

‘Many postcolonial nations were born in crucibles of violence, in the words of a historian of Afr…

Tera kakcheng

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“An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.”   Lao Tzu


We came from the land of Pakhangba
The dragon of the land
Or was he the king of the dragon?
No matter what—he was the ruler.

Now we are our own masters
We kill for the dreamland
For anything we will block the newsstand
So what if we don’t have a leader now?
We can make those people-elect
Run for their money
We have guns
We have bombs
And we are the authority.

Unfortunate it was that day,
In the jungle where we have made our home
Where we sing our songs of freedom,
Our chief was killed
Not by khurak-kee ee
Not by the Indian bullet
That the Shingnaba poet wanted so earnestly
But our rebel hero,
His soul be ever pure as a new Rs 500-note
He was killed, bitten by a tera kakcheng.

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FOOTNOTE
A revolutionary movement, if it is to be successful like we have read in history books, is characterised by the support of the mass. Its definition is as varied as the number of underground outfits in Manip…

On Diwali Eve

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Light, light, everywhere,And all the buildings do shine, Light, light, everywhere,Yet I heard all over, people whine.Now the tale is too longNo mariner can even vie The misery with his song.I'd chosen the place
Outside a minister's gateTo see the light showcase
Yet, more I become so irate.

As I saw artificial disco light
With sweets we celebrate the day
With crackers we start the cockfight
With lolly we go ashtray.
And I realise
I didn't see the illumination
The load shedding that defies
Our life--it's been auctioned.

Now the authority is futile
Now the adopted religion has gone anal
Now Diwali is just another dry day
Now naysayers are predicting the doomsday
Now it's time for another peg.

Light, light, everywhere,
Not a thing I can see.








                      On Diwali Eve With a Few Pegs of Old Monk                          

The wall

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Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains. Jean Jacques Rousseau

There is a sincere feeling that is characterised by the willingness or reluctance to be a part of national reality. It’s quite sensitive too. I have been prompted by several boundaries of cheap politics; and more specifically, the unwilling part inside me that incites me to say: I’m on the other side. The ‘other’ is again defined by an individual idea of nationality.

Many people simply shrug off citing reasons, which are as varied as many individuals I would care to ask to. But there is a covert sensitivity among us that we are apolitical, that the issues of state and government should be taken care of by the able and competent group and that we are for those who do us favours. For apathy, we belong not here nor there. I would add these absurdities --- the mainstream arrogance on one hand, and this apa…
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