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

(Imphal and Its Environs)


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

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 day I had went to the Loktak
But its majesty was no match for the love
One man was making to his woman in the bush
The Imphal Grand Fuck had broken through bedrooms.

The mothers are going with their daughters to trade flesh
Outsiders are sucking out the fleshless bones of the natives
People are giving birth to bastards and forsaking the newborns on the streets
More people are on the streets, protesting, squeaking, against anything

The leaders, in cahoots with businessmen, are lost in orgy and merrymaking
And people are losing their voices, albeit giving in to sporadic animal yelling
And people are drowned in their hypocrisies
And more people are dying like me, unsung and unknown.

Imphal is melting with its vapours of verisimilitude:
And any tragedy is more atrocious when it befalls us,
And the cracks in the holy land have branched out across the environs
Such was the place I had believed, and I saw it.


*Random Novels Distilled into Short Poems (RNDSP)
is a collection of bloody verses extracted from some favourite novels.
The series includes:

RNDSP 1: Post Office, Charles Bukowski (1971)
RNDSP 2: Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh (1993)
RNDSP 3: Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut (1969)
RNDSP 4: Fear of Flying, Erica Jong (1973)
RNDSP 5: Imphal Amasoong Magi Ising Noongsitki Fibham, Loitongbam Pacha Meitei (Imphal and Its Environs, 1972)

Check the entire RNDSP series



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