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My Buddy, Mr Bush

Bring Them On
Thangjam Ibopishak, before he became 
Shrimati 
Tomcha Babu, had met George W Bush at a hotel in Lilong

A translation of Thangjam Ibopishak's Eigi Marup Mister Bush


Last evening
In a hotel in Lilong Bazar
I had red tea together
With the president of America, George W Bush.
We gabbed
On terrorrism in Iraq
On the changing landscape
in the relation between India and Pakistan.
He said: "To fight the global terrorism
The Meitei martial art is the only way,
No nuclear warfare, nothing will do."
That's true;
We have the Meitei theng-gourol
In a flash of the sword
that a flyspeck seed of sesame cannot slip in
that five English heads had literally rolled!
Bush is bright
But brighter am I.
I asked: "Have you heard about the Manipuri art
called chainarol mentioned in the ancient puya?
The Maoist revolution in Nepal is going out of control;
How would you solve it?"
He replied: "Listen to the Bhagavad Gita
Spread the Hindu wisdom."
Towards the end of the meeting, I said:
"Mr President, I have no money
I have to go back to Imphal by bus
Give me Rs 10."
He answered:
"I have only American dollars
Not even a single rupee;
But my friend, Tariq Ali,
He has moved in to a house near the Ahanbi,
Tell him that I have sent you."
Then he hopped onto his Hero cycle,
Promising we should meet again at the White House,
He bade goodbye.
Oh! Bush had left his bidi packet!


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Originally published as Eigi Marup Mister Bush, in Thangjam Ibopishak's Shrimati Tomcha Babu (Writers' Forum Imphal, 2007). 

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  1. Meitei - A major ethnic group in Manipur
  2. Lilong - A Muslim-dominated area, 15 km away from Imphal
  3. Theng-gourol - The art of using swords and spears
  4. Chainarol - The art of unarmed combat
  5. puya - A collection of historical books / sacred text for the Meiteis
  6. The Ahanbi - A river in Lilong

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