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As the Year Draws Towards Its End

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In its one-goal march to eternity
The year is here again, cold but comfortably
To give man another reason to be man.

As immortality looms
As the year draws towards its end,
Fighting forever in few fleeting moments
The world is waiting for another annual obituary.

A couple of shots would herald the new year:

Whiskies and rum will overflow, Though much lesser than the blood on the street;
and the final murder of the last 365 days, Welcome the first death of the hopeful new sun For dying secerns living, a new living.


Election Justification

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If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal. --Emma Goldman

Nothing can be more ironical in Manipur than having a general election in January, when we are supposed to be hopeful of the coming days. At the beginning of a year, it is also a cruel joke that we have been ordered to listen to, but somehow we have managed to tolerate it with the fact that it occurs only once in five years.
On the other hand, a participation in a popular online campaign (which is set to go offline that is in body and spirit and across the ground in a day or two) has tossed in some disturbing questions: about where we see and locate ourselves within the Indian political space, for simply taking part in this animal feast means we accept the status quo.

One who thinks practically, not necessarily a realist—those who are aiming for a piece of the loot, who are hoping for a favour from the election candidates, who see no other way but to jump in the bandwagon and fit themselves in and those who see nothing…

Hospital Haiku

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A strip of fifteen haiku that I brought from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi

...................................................................................... I hate going there The medicines’ smell’s vulgar Let me go elsewhere ...................................................................................... Right in front, she cries Left, the little girls giggle The men are pensive ...................................................................................... They have the papers Their death written on them, clear Where are the doctors? ....................................................................................... Between life and death, our home and the hospital, We smile and we cry ....................................................................................... Now there’s an old man He stares as if he knows us through his big black glass ....................................................................................... Hard, the m…

Sunset Blues

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I saw it,
          right before my eyes,
The vast, western horizon swallowed the big red sun;
In a prisoner’s garb,
                remembering its final wish,
                waiting for its death,
                lying listlessly,
The old dying light of the day
On the ground, it had to give in to the night.
And the dull tract was far and wide,
               becoming dark and gloomy,
               helping the night to strike.
And the world turned invisible,
As the night screamed might is right,
Amidst the loud wails, until I can see
The only cerise light from the fag
As I puffed the twentieth time,
Until the stars gave in to the day.

India, I See Blood in Your Hands

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______________________________________________________ by Imphal Talkies n' the Howlers LyricsAkhu Chingangbam ______________________________________________________




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India, have you ever crawled down enough to smell the soil of Kashmir? India, have you ever heard of a lady named Sharmila?
India, can you explain to me what happened in the land of Gandhi, in Gujarat?
India, what are the charges against Dr Binayak Sen?

India, I see blood in your hands
India, I see blood in your flag

India, are you waiting for the stone pelters to become suicide bombers?
India, why are your farmers so fucking suicidal?
India, why the poets in South are mourning for the Tamils killed in Sri Lanka?
India, why did you let Narendra Modi walk free preaching genocide?
India, what have you done to the villagers after Salwa Judum?

Is there a dream that we share from east to west?
Is there a song that echoes from north to south?


________________________…

Heirang Leirang in the Write Direction

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Heirang leirang, a Manipuri phrase, means a bunch of flowers and fruits, their assortment. But it connotes more expression than its meaning so roughly translated above.
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heirang heɪrɑːŋ  a bunch of fruits
leirang leɪrɑːŋ a bunch of flowers
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Especially in writing, heirang and leirang fuse well as a fruitful and flowery term, uttering a sense of tenderness. We usually equate it with a romantic worldview and with a prior clarification that it is devoid of any sexist comment, that heirang leirang has an effeminate overtone with plenty of rooms for unfavourable judgment; because both of these connotations, unfortunately in our present socio-political order, are so contrasting to the harsh reality.
To put it bluntly, in a room full of noise and smoke, a glass of hard drink weighs much, much more than your refined, gentle and dignified demeanour. So when there are …

Slam Normal

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It’s a dime a dozen, in foreign slang, we can yell
Killing and crippling that man like the lions preying on a gazelle
Oh, it’s perfectly normal to have slipped on the shits sometimes,
inside the crumbling, unclean toilets of our existence;
and to have, to see, to taste blood in the flood of blood
that we are drowned in, because it’s just normal.
And that man is just another man, —Don’t care who he is.

What say, I’m not drifting from the mainstream,
What we kill is what the butchers do to the cows
What we loot is what the sun does to the days.

The other voice on the other side condemning our killing
and condoling is too normal with time-honoured nothingness,
Day and night; killing and mourning
Predictable. It’s all normal.
It’s all normal. It’s all normal.
Kill the mind for a change and let us mourn.


Firan Haiku

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Colours of my land
Like the rainbow it delights,
Yet it never soars.


An Ode to the ‘Fucklong’

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In its worst condition lies its best representation,
Dusty grey, in a tatterdemalion position;
As much as the fucklong can brave the frigid Decembers,
No man would stand the sight of commandos in street corners.

Something is more complicated than the thousands of bamboo pieces,
The parts that make a fucklong whole;
Only in cold-blooded obstinace can you fracture the fucklong's fleshes,
In this ripe age of brick and coal.

Greedy eyes would dare not glare across,
Violent streams would dare not flow across;
Again, in its worst condition lies the best representation
Of our lives well fitted in these jungle, drainage and commotion.

In the morning when the air is light,
The fucklong is too gloomy, and that's our general feeling;
On our best day, on our best night.
We are so closely related, by blood and look, to the fencing.

Bamboos be designed,
Shackle all the politicos and patriots and police and the people
Beneath the debris, inside the grunge and grime, something outside this…

7 December 2011

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I

There was no light last night because of load-shedding
And today we have no light and we don't know why
We don't know why there is light at all
We could have done without it in all;
So we gathered at the club tonight
We don't know why we gathered at the club
We just gathered there
And gabbed, and we don't know why but we gabbed.


II

In total darkness
Red and buttless cigarette lights punctuated the obscurity
Whispers and voices sprinkled the tuneless melody

As I had been away from home, my friends narrated
The stories of time, past forward and future backward:
of a local gambling den,
How the dilapidated government school had changed into;
of the several rehabilitation centres,
Where there are new meanings of addiction;
of a government so lifeless,
Which we should be electing to power again;
of a life so listless;
Is it why this December is so dispirited?


III

The flowers of discontent are blooming
while we withered unscrupulously;
The pawn is colliding with mortgages…

On Sunday Becoming Sunday Suddenly

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When the sun of our eyes rises from  the west and the north and the south but the east
There is something in it that we see not so bright
and something in the direction so wrong
But for their being bright or wrong is just a reality

For all the people are not people
for they are people only when they are people
There is something so strange in calling them people;
Yet it is also so strange realising they are people
After all, they are people who have always been people.

For all the lives we are living
Suddenly when we realise it’s a life we are living
It is strange, for all these days, death was only alive
There is something different in being dead
and then alive, and it’s not dead but alive we are.

When the gunman talk about love for his land
When the politicoman talk about love for his land
When the armyman talk about love for his land
There is a difference, as if talking about different lands
Different kinds of love, but their love it is for the same land.


And when you talk abou…

The Cover Story

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Scene I: The riff of Black Night started so suddenly in a characteristic style of the masters. Just after the intro part of the song, it stopped unexpectedly and Sando, the vocalist of Phynyx, announced it was a sound check. The crowd went wild.

Location: The BOAT, Hafta Kangjeibung
1,000 people approximately, Nov 29 2011
Rock show, Sangai Tourism Festival

Scene II: After a warm-up session with the choicest delicacies at Moojikhun, we had come straight for the concert at the Sangai Tourism Festival. Otherwise we could have spent some more time on the drinks and further loitering around the various stalls set up for the festival at Hafta Kangjeibung, just adjacent to the concert venue.

When we arrived, Rewben Mashangva was strumming his guitar on some high Naga folk blues notes. The Dirty Strikes followed with the Strokes-inspired numbers. Both of these artists are original on their own right and that’s what makes them special performers of the night.

Scene III: In as much as Hind…

Scream

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We are used to a very familiar voice. The voice of silence. Its stories could have been a great plot for fiction but the fact is that it is a fact, rather the fate of a group of people in India, whose presence much like their voices are felt only once in a blue moon outside their suffocating compartment.

In this deadening reality of speakinglessness and muteness lies the never-ending tales of utter neglect, abjection and conflicts. Northeast India, it is a generic name for the people and silence covers their main plot in the great narrative called India. However in this tiny outline, for the sake of cutting the story short, we should be introducing only the exposition of a strife-torn Manipur.

Has the body politic rendered in its citizen a decision to have a bleak view of everything and hence a sense of futility in articulation? Are there psychological reasons why we are used to this kind of silent existence? Are there cultural factors that we could have bank on this reserved nature…

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