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If You Love Your Motherland, Live in Manipur

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No matter you are a Burmese or a Chinese or a Thai—if you love your motherland, you have to come and live in Manipur. At least, you have to know all the history and geography of this province. And if you are a Manipuri, there is no other way but live and die here if you have even an ounce of love for the land.

That is how many of our folks define patriotism. Yet it opens more questions than answering the nuances of what an individual has to do for his motherland or altruistic purposes. If nothing else, it shows blatantly how stupid we are and how we live in such a contradictory world, bifurcated with narrow minds and primitive thoughts.

Make a Styleless Statement

Here’s an abstract. We belong to Manipur, a province in Indian frontier bordering Burma. For the last six decades (not years, but in decades), there has been an armed struggle for the right to self-determination. Now violence and corruption are our identities. A fine line exists as well when we talk about India and Manipur as…

Captain America Is No More the Man of Steel

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Superman arrived this year, learning how to wear his trademark underwear finally. Inside. And with that kind of epiphany, America, or the US, has suddenly acquired a new image too.

From playing the role of a superhero as well as a global saviour all along, now there is a big question mark on their authority. As people say, what goes around comes around. America has gone a long way around after starting assembly lines, setting up McDonalds, redefining democracy, exporting baseballs and Hollywood, plus subjugating the Injuns and so on.

The last century belonged to them. The equation has changed considerably today. Change is indeed the only constant element.

Apparently the days of America are numbered—not for anything, but it is just following the law of nature. One of the laws proves that civilisations follow a life cycle of birth and death. And notably, no one can play God to all the people all the time.

Superheroes, Saviours and Cinemas

In my childhood days I was so obsessed with S…

Is it OK to Destroy the Existing Establishment Order?

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It is so fine. It is in the line of some dialectics: after destruction, we have a new construction. Alternatively, we destroy the old life to create a new one. So abruptly, there are more blessings than curses in destroying the existing establishment order.

When, in the words of Dickens, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us”—we can see our society needs a change desperately. The only difference is in the grammatical past tense because we have been going through the ordeal all along. It might even continue, not for years but decades. If contradiction is insufficient, then our collective life is such a pathetic tragicomedy.

Death is the ultimate destruction. But we are here to see the …

How to Destroy a Civilisation in the Most Civilised Ways

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The first human who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization.
― Sigmund Freud

In history, an unrealisable factor, more of a pain in the ass, has ever been creating resentment among our folks. Briefly, an 18th-century Manipuri king denounced the native faith system while imposing Hinduism as the official religion of the kingdom. To make it more formidable, with the help of Hindu preachers, the king burnt almost all the Puyas—a number of holy books that elaborates and explains the stuffs that our existence is made of. What we cannot realise is the number of books that had gone down the drain with extreme proselytisation processes.

So many things were gone with the flames: our perspectives and records on history, philosophy, belief systems, knowledge, and science, among so many other things. It means a lot in a society where mostly oral tradition was widespread, until the days of the Imperialists. Now the only way to forget about them is to move forward with …

Of Half Pant and Long Pant

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Tell me not, your writing in gold, your way
Tell me my way, so mundane, is not yours
And we can live with that
Seriously.

There is no barricade, whatsoever in my way
And if I have to follow yours
And if it is so compulsory, I have to follow,
I will, with my heart and soul, till the end.

So should I?
Or, should I not?
And it’s all written everywhere
—Of what you follow even if I give not a damn.

Should I
Murder, loot, extort, do all shit and scat
And that's the way; we know that's the way—that’s our way!
But should that be always the only way?

Should I
Steal, make a fool of all?
—And live in high castles—
That's the order of the day; we know that is our way!

Now should I wear not
The half pant on eventful days
And be a trouble for the formality-loving folks
And wear the long pant any other day I wish?

I don’t kill or rape to go my way
Albeit I would not be half hearted to go fully yours;
And you most leave me not, halfway through.
If I have to, I have to—again with undivided energy

So let me live h…

Resurgent Manipur Observes Second Anniversary, Launches New Website

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PRESS RELEASE

18 Oct, 2013, New Delhi

A round table “Towards a Resurgent Manipur:  Reflections on Challenges and Prospects” was held at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi to commemorate the second anniversary of the People’s Campaign for a Resurgent Manipur. A new website (resurgentmanipur.org) was also launched in the anniversary function.

Noted journalist Kishalay Bhatacharjee chaired the event. In his opening remark, he stressed on the importance of technology and citizen participation in forming a healthy civil society. The new website, he said, will play a major role in creating a space for discussion and dissemination.  He explained, “New social order and the internet are playing a major role in it, more than the stringent traditional media”.


Speaking on the anniversary, Dr G Amarjit Sharma of the Northeast India Studies Programme, JNU, spoke on the idea of Manipur, particularly on cultural and political ideas as one area that we must address for a resurgent Manipur. H…

Why Insurgency is Just Like a Tickle to the Government

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“Those who tickle themselves may laugh when they please.”
--A German Proverb
We grew up with encounter and stories of the police, the insurgents and their love stories, hardly having any idea who was who. No wonder, we had different perceptions about them. When we were in school, the rebels had a kind of Robinhood image—but that was not to stay for long.

The lack of clarity is synonymous to what a life is in my hometown. The lack of vision and direction for our collective life is no less muddy.

Besides, the plot has become exponentially thicker than those early days and the stories of the good guy and the bad have blanked out. These days, most of the narratives are about living a hellish life in a conflict zone, where ironically a few section of the population are indulging in the time of their lives.

The Threesome

It is an open secret how the minister-contractor-militant nexus is running the show as much as they are plundering whatever they can lay their hands on. See how they can …

Country Songs for 15 Oct: Haiku Style, Manipuri Kok

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The king loves joyrides And his jesters drive, delight And the kingdom conks!
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Oktober Fifteen Thy kingdom come and be done Thy country be fucked
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No country for me No country for the homeless No land for fuck's sake
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Country songs ain't these No rock, no pop, no nothing Hear silent noises
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Annual affairs Bandhs, curfews, general strikes The national days
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We can run errands We can feast on 15 Oct —They blame each other
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The Man Who Must Die Like a Punk

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When K Imoton grew up he grew up like a punk
He was not simply like a punk—he was THE punk
He had leather patches on his jeans
A glob of Enflied engine chain tied his wallet to his pocket
His tight faded metal studded jacket would give the Ramones
A run for their money
Some days he went to his school riding a horse
And back home, he'd got a thrashing from his pop
But he sure know to ride out the storm;
And one day he had to left home
For life is no fair
You cannot be a punk and live in K Imoton’s hometown
You have to be a revolutionary to live
You have to be a doctor
You have to be an engineer 
You have to be a government clerk;
You are a millionaire if you become a contractor.
So K Imoton disappeared for two years.

No one believed he was gone
No one was a punk like K Imoton
No one was sure what was to become of the space
No one was sure if this was the end.

And three years down the line in 1993
When Naba Volcano was singing like a punk
When he was really more like a pampere…

He Deserves the Sun For He Is the Star

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Our man knew the sole reason why he read and studied—why he shouldn’t, after all he had done nothing but went to his masters for 25 years religiously. And now he needs a job. And October seems just the right time.

Parents lecture why the kids should go to schools. Teachers profess the same reason in colleges. Universities, as well. The books maketh a man—a woman too, from the last century that we know from dusty books and preaching of the neighbourhood activists. The sole reason for reading and studying is to get a job. So that is it, this leafless season’s lesson.

Now the man goes to the pond to bath. The east side of the pond is for bathing. The west is for washing, the north for cleaning and the south for drinking. But the direction is of little use.

He has got his brownish pant ready. He has got his men’s shirt and his yellow tie. He has got his leather boot from Moreh. He could leave but he is just here. Just in case he misses something.

The market has all kinds of stuff. Look…

Koubruleikha Blues

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When the rain pours it pelts aplenty
When it takes us here from old times from aeons ago
From Koubru to Kangla, from Kangla to all the direction
Here we are flowing in the tides of time.

On the rainy days we pass, the Koubruleikha weeps
When the wheels of time speed
The never-stopping tears stream
Its friends and folks and foe alike, all recite:

You have forgotten your own story 
Do you even know your name?
Now you can't help but flow in waves like animals in droves,
In this melancholy lies the joy of Sekmai spirits.



Postpoemetry
❶ This is a translation of a Manipuri poem written a looooong time ago in Imphal
❷ Image re-manipulated from an earlier post  Home Is Where the Mountain Is



In Pursuit of Truth

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You cannot capture truth
You cannot in any medium
The philosopher tells the crowd,

A bird's eye view they would tell
The thought is as deep
As deep as poignant thoughts of a broken heart
As much as the thought of the masters
It is as deep as that
Oh, and their deep desire for deception
The truth is there
And it stays there
Hidden deep inside the back of mortal minds

And now, it is only a representation you are showing
A representation of truth and nothing more
And the wiseman concludes to a loud applause
And all the lies scattered; damn the representation
Like shits from 'round the entry to 'round the exit

The real truth is in the homes of the rich
Embellished in costly paintings on their walls;
The truth scents the doors of the powerful
Smell it, in the dogs that guard them, blank minds,
The idiots have found a mate in these dogs;
The truth reeks of scum
The police knows it, it's on their guns;
All the might has stolen all the truth;
All fake and all phony, let…

The Alibi of the ‘World Man’

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From how we read newspapers to go about making opinions, there are layers separating the people of different worldviews; but nothing counts as much as how we get rid of petty minds

People have all sorts of ways on how they would start reading the newspaper each day. Some would read the metro section before anything else. One of our high school teachers made a useless yet memorable and short speech that he would start from the back, where there are sports reports. Possibly he grew up playing cheitek-kotpi while he became an adult and taught us politics is just a fuck that we can leave it to the hopeless representatives.

Different beginning pages, so they can psychological! I have little respect for those who start with the Delhi Times. How can you count the Times of India as a newspaper anyway? It is a tragedy some people pass off prints of advertisements as newspapers. And when it comes to places of reading, I find toilet is the most ideal place. Where else should we read a packaged …

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