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Showing posts from August, 2014

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The Son of the Soil

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It’s time again to get up and for its sake
The cocks crow and the sparrows chirrup for daybreak
But what is there when the sun is so young
Untried for the grunge and grime of the day
As well as for the day, before I see the numberless teachers,
Numberless gods
Numberless assholes
Numberless sons of the soil etc?
It’s time to stay on for sometime.

Cigarettes and tobaccos are already set for a cordial reception
They make my day: No words will do, the first thing in the morning
All I want is them to be there by my bed.
If our early lunch is ready I should have a few morsel of rice
And I can go out like a loafer I’ve always been
And I can hang around with my mates in some street corner.

For once, for a day I do have the errands to run
For anything that people do I have to be a pain in their asses
Pick apart their craps; if not I’m incomplete
I feel the pain not to damn them, for once, a day
The kind of pain that resurfaces on downcast days
If not for this anathematising, how do I id…

An Ode to the Great Nation

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Military columns march in unison
Bagpipers and national songs in conjunction
And billions of people cry
The echoes of chest thumping ring dry
No machine gun, no howitzer would rival
As each file accentuates the orgy of ultimate love so artful
Between the brothers and sisters of a nation,
Nobody admits it though — that could be an incest definition.

The long forgotten national anthem rises its tempo,
To the peak its 52-second long climax grow
No matter that it was written for a foreign emperor
Now in the new kingdom we prosper 
As the zillion salutations shame the ungracious lots  
That’s all we need!
For we can live on his benevolence and his creed.

I cannot see beyond one such expression
The boundary created by fathers and mothers of the nation
It’s just not consummate,
And the length and breath of the flag await;
I’m obsessed with its purity
I cannot be a friend with someone who uses it overly
Like sex workers carrying condoms latexed in a Chinese sweatshop
— The country is supreme; that we can see …

In the Name of Freedom

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The beginning ended a long, long time ago; the scum remains
When the flag was hoisted on a shaky ground
While in the name of future generation
Some patriots started revolution
And now the independence day is a day of general strike
More evident in Januarys and Augusts

In the name of freedom
I took a dump outside the authority’s building
Everything is permissible
I only found no water

In the name of freedom
My neighbour has built a mansion
He is a lineman with the face of a gigolo
He is a millionaire as well — he is

In the name of freedom
A lady in the locality goes around
With a purse full of condoms
Independence is another name for whorehouse

In the name of freedom
We have learned to believe all’s well
Even when the rebels hurl grenades
We wag our tail seeing them the so familiar shitpacks in our courtyards

In the name of freedom
I have rhymed army, whisky and country
But like the most patriotic armymen, and their shits and nuisance
The whisky shop opens only after 12 midnoon the liver e’en knows not

In the…

RNDSP 5: Imphal Amasoong Magi Ising Noongsitki Fibham, Loitongbam Pacha Meitei (1972)

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(Imphal and Its Environs)




I

What I believe is what I see
But what I saw was not what I had believed
At the adopted home faraway from my fatherland
Once I had the idea of its innocence naïvely

That special land my forefathers belong to
That charm of the unseen land I had imagined from anecdotes
That special feeling of seeing the most beautiful girls
Who can in the entire world be prettier than Moirang Thoibi?

Thence it was a time for revolution
It was a time of degeneration
The folks were raising their guns
The folks were changing their gods

II
How heavenly it would be to live under the skies in Imphal
I would not have ask for more; alas, it was different; yes, it was
Just like the ubiquitous temples back in my adopted home
— —Debauchery and revelry, can the visually impaired see plainly

If those were not enough
I saw in the different classes of people
Layers of dust and grime equally over the masters and slaves shrouded
Amongst them, Imphal was losing its holiness by choice

One fine …

RNDSP 4: Fear of Flying, Erica Jong (1973)

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Zippers can fell like flower petals
Like in Laphu Makhong, sex workers fall for Chinese toys
Any kind of falling is scary
It’s scary to think about flying when I have pteromerhanophobia
It’s scary to get off the ground
But the trouble has been dictated already
If I don’t risk anything, I risk even more.

And the ads and whorescopes appear
You just take care of your smells, your hair,
your boobs, your eyelashes, your armpits,
your crotch, your stars, your scars,
your choice of Scotch in bars
And the knight in bloody armour will arrive
And fly away together to the moon

But what I wish is not what it is
Not what I want, not what I want not
In the name of fidelity, I sleep with my partner
Fuck the one you don’t want to fuck
And pretend he’s the one you do
And ignore the one you want to do.
That’s fidelity. That’s monogamy.
That’s called civilisation and its discontents
Oh! let the men bear my babies
But they are only interested in women in spurts 

The zipless fuck is absolutely pu…

RNDSP 3: Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut (1969)

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So it goes
The bombs and battles
One and a half million people die
There is nothing special in telling about killing
It only makes truer how fact and fiction blend seamlessly

And then life began
Everything is beautiful and nothing hurts

A war took me out of my comfort zone
I was in Schlachthof-fünf, a slaughterhouse
In the enemy’s land, as a prisoner; and my people
They were bombing our enemy
I might have died with the enemies
All bad things, though, did come to an end

How nice — to feel nothing,
And still get full credit for being alive!

I take the folks’ saying, to make love not war, to heart
And a family, a wife, a dozen of kids, an insurance policy and a TV
It is just the way of living for billions of men
All this happens, more or less
And it is far better than our stupidity to wage wars

And no one knows
Who might get lucky in life, living life more than others

But I’m unstuck in time
When the aliens take me to their home in Tralfamadore
I might die and I might live and I’m no …

RNDSP 2: Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh (1993)

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You hurt yourself when you fix the stuff but you carry it on
You hurt others when you fix the stuff but you carry it on
The reasons? There are no reasons.
Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?
Take the best orgasm. Multiply it by twenty.
It’s still fucking miles off the pace.
And it’s all in the hand of Mother Superior.
’Tho she knows not the thousand junk dilemmas
And the kick lasts less than the minutes it takes to shit.

When I hit rock bottom, all I need is the last hit
I can go for rehab
I can go with methadone
I can lock myself up in a hotel room
I can tolerate the wankers
But all I need is one single shot.

Morphine, diamorphine, buprenorphine
Nalbuphine, pethidine, pentazocine
Cyclozine, codeine, temazepam
Nitrazepam, phenobarbitone, sodium amytal
Dextropropoxyphene, methadone
Dextromoramide, chlormethiazole
Spasmoproxybon, Lobain, Nitrosun-10
All that does . . . — anything will do now
Fuck they say relapse’s a part of recovery
Sobriety shows me dead bodies on the wall…

RNDSP* 1: Post Office, Charles Bukowski (1971)

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A million of mails and none is mine
I’m not even a messenger, but just a worker though it’s fine
Fucking fine — it’s work and on the way to work I drink
Sometimes all I need is a quiet place to think
But it’s fine, perfectly fine, like when I have to visit my girl
Never mind these drinks always that make my head awhirl.

A good lay, a good drink; what else do you need?
If only from drudgery his bloody god lets my boss and I be freed
Fifty jobs, running, and all I got from life is a reason to booze
And all my partners I have been sleeping with to give their dues
Life is unfair when you’re poor;
What’s the sin in being poor?

I wanted the whole world or nothing; but these hellholes
The whole world is full of billions of assholes
Twelve years of this shit is done, I repeat it’s done
Tomorrow I’m going to start writing and get out of this donjon.



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*Random Novels Distilled into Short Poems (RNDSP)
is a collection of bloody verses extract…

Mounao Thoibi’s Heartache: On Watching Manipuri Cinema

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The literal meaning, for the want of an exact word in English, would be too funny, however ‘mounao’ implies a young housewife — albeit, with a disparaging tone because of the age. In Mounao Thoibi (2013), Bala plays Thoibi, a mounao, in which she gets married when she is in IXth standard: that is roughly when she is around 13–14-year old. That’s the beginning of the problem. Spoiler alert: It is not the age factor, but rather the entire treatment of the film. It shows everything that is messed up in the present Manipuri film industry too. 

Mounao Thoibi is interesting, on one hand, because it shows a part of our social reality. The only problem is that, like in our real patriarchal society, the film exposes the ills, but from the perspective of someone who unquestioningly conforms to that kind of system.

First half

No known maichou had spoken on this particular issue but a long time ago in faraway Greece, Diogenes despite his cynicism and despise for social conventions, had preached …

Of Leaves / Telegraph (Translations)

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The following pieces are a translation of Hijam Irabot’s two poems — Oona and Teligraf, from Seidam Seireng — an anthology which was later bought by the Manipur State Durbar circa 1929.


Of Leaves
(Oona)

Once its verdancy was on the eye easy
Such a beauty it was of a grand tree
Now it’s all over so suddenly
    Now amongst the dust it lies with no dignity

Once when you’re young, when you’re strong
When the whole world struggled with the sultry sun
Then you were the saviour; and now you are down on the ground
    Their gratitude is their feet on your face.



Telegraph
(Teligraf)

A little bird flew into my room uninvited
It did the best it can: sitting on the table
Even in the blinded room, I can see it was bloody bleeding
Perchance a poacher had hit it with a bullet
Or maybe it had just fled from a trap
And it was shedding tears, which again I saw, was incessant

A newly wed couple was having the time of their lives
Teasing each other, laughing, playing, over an ocean of love
Always young…

The Poet & the Merchant of Dreams

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This is a translation of Thangjam Ibopishak’s Mang Lallonba Amasoong Kabi from the poetry collection, Mayadesh, published by Writers' Forum, 2009 


Hope, let me get some hope
Let me get some hope; I want to buy some dreams
“Can you hear me, the merchant of dreams?”

Replied the merchant of dreams:
“No dreams, no hope I have
It’s all over,
You are fifty years old
You have finished half of your life,
Why do you need the dreams now?
Why do you need the hope for?”

And said I: “Fifty years is not the end 
There is, indeed, no end to desire in living
When I was a kid
I had pieces of hope
Like a blanket made from old clothes of different colours
It has lessened, though, day by day
The more I use it, the more it senesces
Like I have become bald slowly over the years.”

And he continued:
“What is gone is gone
What is lost is lost
Let it be the end.”

And refused I: “I want to live
I don’t want it to end
I want to suck the flavours of life, anew
And old juices, those I’m just fed up of.”

The …

Life’s Little Ironies

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I
A year is supposed to be four unequal parts
The leaves and flowers know it well
And yet, in one long year of whiteness & iciness
The prison guard in one corner of Siberia waits
The unlikely sunshine of the next day in mid winter
He is less freer than the inmate, Dostoyevsky
The only difference is hard labour Dostoyevsky cannot ignore
But he can somehow — what a relief for the man with a gun!
But life has its own acidulent temper
Freedom can be so sarcastic about us.

II
Beyond the Hindu Kush
In one of the metropolises
A construction worker has the specialty
In many an impressive building — building, finishing
Architects’ masterpieces. Engineers’ pride.
But when the sun sets there is only one way back home
His sole achievement might include his being on the literal top
He has been on the top of the world at the 100th floor
When he is giving a finishing touch to the facade
He looks down, with ease, upon the bloody humanity.

III
Further east amongst the forbidden land along the …

The Protest of the Oppressed

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When protest and violence become the only solution for people to fight for peace and against injustice, it is a given that there is something very wrong with them

What do you do when you have grievances against the government? Grievance redress mechanism is such an alien term. This is just the beginning. What do you do when you lose a dear family member due to some doctors’ negligence in a hospital? What do you do when you find a dead body in your locality? What do you do when the authority ignores public issues without any shame whatsoever?

For such varied phenomena, it appears there might be as many approaches and perspectives to find agreeable solutions. However, that is not the case in Manipur, no matter it is in the hills or the valley. Nothing strengthens authority, we suddenly heard Leonardo da Vinci saying, so much as silence. The only way is to protest, and on rare occasions, use any means even violence and aggression, though this does not always mean that we achieve the goal…

Shoot @ Sight in a Week

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A Day’s Random Statements

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8:09AM    ..............................
some reasons kicked me out of the bed
i knew not, but the nightmare;
reality, as if it’s a better bet


8:45AM    ..............................
now sadly our words count not
the money is just papers;
nothing matters: even life


9:20AM    ..............................
we seek justification
when all we want is a revolution
when we realise we are our own enemy


9:26AM    ..............................
we cannot knock ourselves down
we can only hurt ourselves
ask the lovelorn college kid


10:33AM    ..............................
shot or hurt, in Hundung, Lalboi only likes
the best pork and an acoustic guitar
fuck the highwaymen and their motherlands


10:35AM    ..............................
Lady Justice is blindfolded
she cannot even see which is which
no wonder always the authority grins


11:27AM    ..............................
i was waiting for a reply
nothing beats...
but waiting


11:50AM    ..............................
we can recollect in a l…

For Mariam

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Dear Mariam,

I hope this email finds you in good health. I appreciate you took some pain to write me a long mail in such a traditional way, which I cannot help but write back to you, despite the fact that communication has gone through a massive change over the last decade. Those days of taking delight in longish hand-written letters seem an eon ago. Thanks for stoking the ember in the back of my mind to recollect and see again a personal mail. Information revolution has transformed the entire world in these days of anti-attention Facebook messages, Twitter tweets and instant communication. And your letter has proved otherwise.

In no way, should I think about just fun and affairs like you fear; but share the pain you are going through in that pathetic place where you are staying. It gives me a very bad feeling to hear you are putting up at an orphanage. Still, I’m glad you believe in me and that you think I’m in a good position to help you. By the way, if you are single, then you do…

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