Showing posts from December, 2014

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With Badass Buddies in the Bazaar

After school, late afternoons were a good time to hang out with friends in those days. Our joint was located in a stinking alley in Paona Bazaar in the heart of Imphal. The place was called Mahesh Hotel but it was more of a stall than a hotel. In this part of the world, nomenclature is different, for instance, any eatery or a kiosk can be a restaurant. A narrow passage, dark and damp, that reeked of widdle-piddle and foul drainage led us to the joint—yet no smell could cut back the excitement and the series of adrenaline rushes we had from the daily outings, which called us forth day in and day out and much to the worries of our parents. Inside, half a dozen sets of wooden, ramshackle tables and chairs maintained it was still open. Besides us, sex-starved old men frequented with their one and only objective: to get a hooker. They would linger around and leave with a mate of another group of visitors, the hookers, who looked like priestesses with pan-stained red lips and hairs adorned…

Uninvited Design: Popular Film Characters’ Visiting Cards

Visiting cards are essential for branding, though here when we are talking about the big shots, it looks almost redundant unless Jason Statham or Matt Damon still carry their cards around. However, it is most likely that their reel characters could carry it because America is not the world, despite all the hard work by Holywood and how it has been trying to show it otherwise over the decades. That’s another story. Again, these are the cards of some popular English film characters: first, their familiarity makes for an interesting idea, while we can easily relate to them, and second, this is a random collection, which with my impulsiveness I have created it spontaneously with a theme that clicks right away when I recall these characters.

Merry Christmas

Out in the Cold

Poverty knows neither hunger nor cold
On this December morning, while I’m shivering I’m told
It could not be true; leastways it’s not my mean neighbour
Outside the mist has covered everything in the dullest colour
Believers dare not say they see their gods in the haze
It’s so obvious from their empty gaze
Only now I know, only now I see; it’s only in me
And an empty stomach knows not where the boundary ends
And a cold body never cares about weekdays or weekends
And all these are no different from the most useless wasteland
Civilisation has no place in this living so unplanned
It’s all written in destitution yet nothing matters
Except a plate of rice, a bowl of dish and some warm wears

...........  .... .... .......... ..... .......... .... haiku for the beatniks
the world has arrived ginsberg’s got no underwear society, it sucks ...........  .... .... .......... ..... .......... ....

A Personal Statement About Tradition

Traditionalists are usually conservative folks, but as expected from the contradiction that defines contemporary Manipur, they can be hellish radical too. For them, there is nothing above traditions, social mores and customs—not even the fragmented laws of the land. These social elements mould their world views; however, the meaning changes entirely in a political setting where there are armed movements, a strong current of revivalism and general mess induced together by the government, non-state actors and the civil society.

The Meetei Erol Eyek Loinasillon Apunba Lup (MEELAL) or loosely, the United Meitei Association of Language and Literature, demonstrates the duality of tradition crisply. It works for the revivalism of the Manipuris—specifically the Meitei’s tradition and culture and it is too politically incorrect to use the Sanskritised word ‘Manipur’ though I have used it here for convenience. When we hear about these keywords related to traditions, we can imagine old folks wh…

New Year Wishes, More Wishes

Another year, only more rituals
December does serve coldly
Heavier clothes and all and the good food
Heaps of mustard and peas and stink beans

And some whisky and some rum
With a toast to the approaching suns,
Let there be. . .

More bullets and more bombs and more blood
While we hope desperately for an end point
Unlike here and now—we have been grinding at a point of no return,

More army men and more, more army men, more worms
With their special books on peace and serenity
And their ammunition and their love for the nation,

More expressionless school kids out of the classrooms to crowd the streets
With unclear banners and insane adults’ demands
Doing everything but what they are supposed to.

Let there be more heroin in BOC, let it flow ceaselessly
Let there be more sex workers in each alley in Paona Bazar
The tomorrow has never lose its significance like this
Only the powerful people see beyond the horizon

How about a suitcase of money and a dozen of guns for the farewell party

It Matters No More

The golden fields may call again
But I’d be far away—I have been walking since morning
I’d only hope that the calling does not reverberate
Just like the incessant wailing of the people of the land
Maybe I’m just making it up as if it cares
But nothing matters anymore
My vagabond life has no root
It matters no more
Azure skies and cloudy days have become one
The bloody rivers have formed a unidirectional stream
And it’s most unlikely the blends of clouds and skies
Or anything else would stop me, re-offer me a chance
Live like a normal person, getting rid of this crouching back
But nothing matters anymore
My vagabond life has no root
It matters no more
But for the blue and green mountains I long
White ibises that appear when March arrives
No, it matters no more
My vagabond life has no root
Nothing matters anymore
And I’m not coming back. Anymore
If only your god can help me fall off the Earth
I bet I’ll start worshiping for anything that heals separation
With no life we are just the same: living or dead

On the Road

I’m not coming back Even when the sun rises; Vanished, my home’s gone
Now I’m on the road again.

A collection of mobile-phone shots from Imphal taken in Nov-Dec 2014
Check ‘On the Road’: An Illustrated Scroll


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