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The Protagonist's Plight

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On the big screen, when we watch the cinema
Truth alone triumphs because we can create an aura
Of truth like we can find from the Khwairamband a Honda

Tho' even in the artificialty we can see
Tho's life's lost in scripts, in limitless boundary
The plight of the protagonist, is she drowned in her own tears
Unconscious of the villains who invent the fears

—Even before when she knows she is drowned
But that's no issue, drowning the agonies in the background
It is so possible—all it takes is some imagination;
She fits not, for life's no tragedy, in obscure pathetic condition

No matter how much she hides in the name of her character
But she can be happy; her condition clearly can she alter
All it takes is some twist in the tale,
If not, has the hero a lot of things to do; high he has to scale.

As The Poems Go

as the poems go into the thousands you
realize that you've created very
little.
--Charles Bukowski

Just a Few More Words

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If there were enough words to express it,
We would not have been writing,
If there were enough words,
We would not have been painting,
If there were enough words
We would not have been dancing,
If there were enough words
We would not have been performing.
If there were enough words,
Could we have been eating the menu at TaChaoba's Pork Paradise?









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Event next week

Saturday, 3 August 2013, 16:00 IST
@ Indian Social Institute Main Auditorium (Ground Floor)
10, Institutional Area, Lodhi Road, New Delhi
PERFORMANCE: Irom Sharmila’s Poetry by Maya Rao, Actor, Dancer, Educationist
Inder Salim, Performance Artist

OUR STORIES: Seven Families and their stories of loss and grieving

PANEL DISCUSSION: Extrajudicial killings and AFSPA in Manipur and other states in India
Moderated by: Urvashi Butalia, Feminist, Publisher, Write…

Manipur Blues

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These three poems are translated from
Jimmy Thokchom's Manipuri poems.
He blogs at the Silent Whisper
❶ ❶ ❶ ❶ The puppy image by George Hodan,
from Public Domain Pictures
❶Goverment: An Ode to the Officers


There was once a dog called Goverment
Such a dog, always it was dazed and confused,
It gulped the wastes from each household
It never ignored any household
Such a wild animal it scattered the filth everywhere
Loyalty be cursed, it was held in scorn—such contempt
All the punishment for mischief was more lenient than the last,
But it did know how to put up, faking be blessed
It faked to such degrees—such a shameless creature
And such disregard; we knew it from its mating season
Such filth, such foul smell;
And we knew it did not know how it was
And we knew it was a fake, how it can fake,
But it faked not where it took shelter
in the drinking den
in the gambling place
in the gossip house;

One fateful day, on the frying pan Goverment was roasted
Each piece was chopped into several…

Get High, Dig Deeper

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Brothers and folks—let the world be shared,
Spades and shovels and trowels and buckets, for today,
We have too much to dig and we have too much to bury
Out of our sight; so many things that we have to keep,
We have to dig deeper, deeper than it was in the last moment!

We could have just burn them down, but the fire’s so far away
They say the kids have taken the torches and the candles and the fire
They are burning their books because they are burning their books
They are burning their books; so we have to dig deeper for there is no fire
Let the diggers be paid handsomely
Promise them—for their hard work, for what it is worth
They will be compensated, if not for us
The Delhi is waiting with sacks of money; dig deeper

Now, right now
Let us bury and waste no more time
This will be the last day, pray
On the serpentine roads, dozens of trucks will be coming soon
On the trucks, then they will take away these lands of grime and grunge
Pity those who worship the land;
And we will have no pr…

Silent Sureties

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In as little as I've now, life rolls on somehow
Hunger has become synonymous to anger
And anger, to hunger

My grudging paunch is on protest, ever
becoming as explosive as never before;
My life's been indebted,
This I owe it, for everyone's freedom;
Hear it from the white ibises what's that;
So would you please take these sureties?
—please do, surely I would pay back
with my blood and sweat
For these twenty bullets and two grenades.

If you could see, this is
more pricey than our entire race.
I would need nothing more, I beg,
But the money only for a day's meal
Another small amount for a second-hand guillotine.

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Translated from Bandhan, Numit Kappa
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The Scheduled Caste Plan of the Meitei: Rewatching the Theatre of the Absurd

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A few impression on the recent lobbying by some concerned Meiteis to include them in the SC category


The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (MSJE) has the authority to look after the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes (SC/ST) in the union of India.

How much the government is sincere is clear from the fact that it has inserted several provisions, offering privileges under the irrefutable constitution of the country. The breaking news is the lobbying from some quarters in Manipur to include the Meiteis in the officially declared underdeveloped class.

The politics of SC and ST started during the British imperial rule—then, these people were categorised under the Depressed Classes, or the tribal in simple terms.

Considering the much needed space for these people to improve their living conditions in general, the constitution offers a path for improvement, continuing the legacy of the old master, read the Britishers. There is no doubt how much it was ‘brooded’, considering the…

The Fugitive Comes Home

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In a light grey pony he rides in the valley
He gallops at the speed of his hopes
What he desires, he does; what he does, tis' his desire,
This evening, he has given himself to the vale's intoxicating ale;
Sadly though, he is a fugitive, him many wouldn't forgive
But what does it matter in this universe so worse
If not for him and his horses and his ponies?

In episodic busts when the enigma spreads, the stigma disappears
In the pneumonic airs of those December nights
In the sultry sun, like today's, of the monsoon skies
The fugitive rides, he swanks his swords and guns
In a rate his detractors would believe only their gods could do
In his signature style, he lives, to hell with death!

At one daybreak, in his cagy gait, the fugitive makes
One little chance to enhance his glance
Just once, to live with the conforming folks, never knowing their jokes;
Lo, the going with the flow echoes the woe when he meet the good folks,
Much, much worse than his solitude he sees in t…

How to Stop Time

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When the sun rises tomorrow
Certainly will be there a gloomy shadow
Of all the worlds that have defined us
And now, it only makes sense for us
We have met to part our ways
It was already written all over the wall;

Walk slowly and let the second hand pause
Drive slowly and let the minute hand pause
Breath slowly and let the hour hand pause
And we can delay the farewell fairly well

And then, in slow motion the agonising pain swells;
Stop.



The Ningthouja Company — The End

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Manipur, the erstwhile kingdom now under the union of India, has a record of always presenting itself in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Last month, in June 2013, the government made a decision to interfere with the management and maintenance of a few parts of the palace compound in this tiny yet disproportionately chaotic state. This has provoked a scuffle between the government and the present Manipuri king, while some other concerned citizens are taking the latter’s side.

There has been no conclusion so far.

All along the king has been a titular head; and the actual governance and administration have been under the charismatic leadership of the democratically-elected government.

Leishemba Sanajaoba, the honourable king, has very little authority, as evident from his inability to tell the government to fuck off.

The king and the subjects

This issue could be nostalgic to many people. Like a true monarchy, once upon a time, the kings used to be the divine rulers for a couple of …

of rain, umbrellas and glasses

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now, you tell, in each town is there a guy
with an umbrella, tuck in his underarm, so high
when the rain pours to the drought’s delight
when the season as lovelorn as him—oh, pity his plight!
when the rain makes a stream of the streets?

—for the billion of people, teeming,
for just satisfying your ego, and indulging,
let us say there are ever
men in this monsoon milieu, so eager
with passion to the brim of their hearts

with umbrellas, holding snugly
prepared for the unsure deluge blankly
prepared, tho', to end the day with delectation
in this light-diminishing evening hours, fattened
with love, they are moving even if we can see none of them;

even then, would you find anyone, in distress
for whom you care not to care for your illness
for whom you can stay in the rain
while you just bring yourself up, energy regained
from the bed of seasonal sickness?

in the rain, holding and sharing the umbrella
our glasses are deceiving not; the fleeting drama,
vapour and sprinkles and earth…

summer blues

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at the edge of summer there she waits,
that she knows not;
in the middle of long, oppressive days
in washed-out yellow
i drag my foot, drawing myself to obscurity;
with the smell of surprising sweet sweat
i see her sketching her life; as i feel my uncertainty

—surely tho', their dying for the motherland is unavailing,
we can see the sunburned land so shocked;
their killing for the land is nauseating,
but all’s melted with the wild passion of the season.




What We Can Die For

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All men are born genius.  The hardest part is keeping up the momentum.

The problem of our mortality surfaces when we start living or making a living, whichever way we would love to believe. And the trouble becomes more visible with the temptations that have been separating us from gods. Out of the entire bring-us-down-ruthlessly issues, we can clearly see three factors that can make or break a life. We are going to see these factors up close, and how these have been as well indispensable parts of our mundane lives.

In no particular order, we can list drugs, for the sake of making a start—and these are followed by women and gambling. It is like, as Oscar Wilde put in his wittiest best, the only way to get rid of these temptations is yield to them. Avoidance is such an alien word. The surprise is over!

Men have been dying for these three things, in the most pathetic ways, just like we were born to die for these things. Iron-willed people might scoff at this idea, because they are born…

Shackles and Chains and Fetters

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Ma, I feel this fetter on my flesh, so unbearable
Let me break it, let me break the bondage;
Go and get the gong, then howl
Tell the whole world what's worthy,
Sickening self-righteousness, they'd say
I care not, I say;
What will be, shall be
In this overwhelming positioning, still
All's only an opinion:
What do I give when I go free
What do I take when I come free,
With all but these shackles and chains and fetters?


The Long Marches of Different People

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Mao Tse-tung, declared the Chinese Long Marches in the first half of the 20th century were, ‘a manifesto, a propaganda force, a seeding-machine’★. We have different perspectives here, though it is clearly an insight arising out from these movements.

As in the multiplicity of those historical marches in the world’s largest country last century, there have been apparently a huge number of our pursuits to bring about a fundamental change in the segregated worlds across the globe. Alternatively, it represents the various struggles across the world.

While we are sitting here, hundreds of thousands of insurgents are roaming across the Southeast Asian jungles, suburbs and a lucky few in the towns and cities. An equal number of common people are out on the streets of Egypt and Brazil. Another thousand of Maoists are stirring up the official Indian largest security threat in the eastern and central part of the subcontinent. Some of these, we can easily name here, and there are many, many mor…

Hitting On — Stanza 2: The Special Spot

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Come, play
Arras and showpieces and balloons
The perfect decoration is conscious of your expression
It fears you can crush it, for the beauty is evident
In you
The reason is evident
The time is evident; and again, continue play;
Fair games that your heart's charmed—that sense eternity
You will stay here as long as life, there is;
Perhaps only death will stop;
And specified to fit exactly; you can, you can see,
In me
Sit in here comfortably, unwind and tell the stories
Of hearts and heartaches and headaches,
Now, marked on stone
It will go beyond one month and forever,
Say you will seize this special spot.

Hitting On — Stanza 1: When the Heat’s On

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Up on the face's a hollow
Down a hollow and the back a hollow
Excavation's a sensation;
How would I say I will ignore
When, beyond control, the heat's coming more?



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