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Showing posts from February, 2016

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Made in Yunnan

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An essay by Subhir Bhaumik, originally a lecture paper, motivated me to repost this poem from August 2011. The political observer had lectured on Indo-Myanmar Relations and Northeast India: Peace, Security and Development on the occasion of MOSAIC Festival in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai in January 2016. One of the paragraphs read as:

By the end of the 1990s, the rebels of the Northeast had turned to the Yunnan mafia. In an attempt to turn the state-run ordinance factories into profit centres, Chinese state-run Norinco started selling huge quantities of weapons to even mafia groups based in Yunnan—groups such as the Blackhouse. By 1999–2000, these mafia groups had become the prime source of weapons for the Northeast Indian rebel groups like the ULFA. A top leader of ULFA, now surrendered, told this writer that the weapons from Yunnan are at least 50% cheaper than those in Thailand.

You can find the four-part series of the lecture note on E-pao (http://e-pao.net/epPageExt…

In the Name of Holy Ejaculation

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In the past
I saw Parvati’s hand disappeared one day
Those were lesser divine as the hands were lost yet found
The hands were under the tiger’s skin around Mahadeva’s groin
The god fondled a snake around his neck
All he wanted was not a hand job
All he wanted was a bowl of beef delicacy;

In the present
As the cold season makes its entry
Krishna is still a pig,
Albeit he wouldn’t even touch onions
Just like my pious grandfather
All he wants is a pot of vaginas
Better, if those are marinated with curd and butter.

The believers are lost in divine orgasm
As their world is flooded with bloody godly cum.


The Patriot

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I’m too small an animal
I got no skin either
To show any animal pride
It’s as funny as the honesty of a politician;
So I hunt with the pack
I’m what the pack is
I don’t even need anything more
But my pack can be so dumb at times
That’s when I want to go to Burma
I want to sell my soul and buy more patriotism.



A Tribute to the Teachers

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For the divine image we see in you
The light we see in things we do
We would have offered you one hundred and eight dishes
But you are in the mood for experimentation
The pontification is crisply provided in short notes
The disciples are distributing them around
The lines in long essays we find
That divinity that makes you godlier
Yet all we want is to cope with reality
And all you do is to wait for salary
With fucking gratitude etched on stones
Any dissatisfaction on sand
I lay prostrate upon you
Swear in the name of dust-riddled books
Your hopeless guidance will take me places
And I’ll always remember you and your everything.


Li Hao Chu

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A translation of a Manipuri poem of the same title by Laishram Samarendra which was originally published in Waa Amata Haige Telanga (1962)



Li Hao Chu!
Li Hao Chu!
Are you a ruler or a farmer?

Li Hao Chu!
Li Hao Chu!
I’m no ruler and I’m no farmer

Li Hao Chu
I do Li Hao Chu.


You’ve Got Punctuated! Stories in Strokes and Dashes

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Steps of Construction

I have taken the body text of these popular novels and novellas from the public-domain Project Guttenberg (www.gutenberg.org/) except Sylvia Plath’s Bell Jar from GPortal (http://letters.to.stephanie.gportal.hu/). I copy-pasted the text on MS-Word files and removed all the elements leaving only the punctuations through the following steps:

1.    Ctrl+A to select all text.
2.    Ctrl+H to open the Find & Replace dialog box. In ‘Find what’, type ^p^p. The ^p means a line break. In ‘Replace with’, type === to make sure only single line breaks are replaced.
3.    Click on ‘Replace All’.
4.    Do another search and replace. For ‘Find what’, use ^p. For the replacement, use ‘’ (space).
5.    Finally, replace the replacement above for two consecutive hard line breaks. Search for === and replace it with ^p.
6.    After removing all the single and double spaces plus the breaks, replace the letters alphabetically one by one. Ctrl+H to open the Find & Replace dialog…

The Indian Winter Blues

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I

I’ll be there at the break of the dawn
Sing for you in the sun and the music is set
The army band is already in the town
In blood all the words are written down.

Your thousands of military men be praised
For good their strength be raised
As they compose odes and hymns for you
While killing and raping everybody in our caged zoo.

II

I’ll fake my nationality for you
But I cannot go on without ado
And you go on forcing and manipulating and cheating
Now I cannot even tolerate your fucking name and should I go on faking?

It’s all lies; your name and your nation and your freedom
I can see only bloody gunmen you sent and more gunmen and more
I cannot even find a place to stand when you play your anthem
Not that I would—but your everything is becoming nothing with your war.

III

You wage a war; your flag is covered with blood
You make me a prisoner; are your eyes sinister
Yes, I’ll be there at the break of the dawn
Sing for you in the sun and the music is all set.

In blood all the words are written down
You make me …

Us and Them

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The demand from some Meiteis to include the ethnic group of Manipur has several takers but the strength of opposition is much higher, in the most farcical manners




I eavesdropped into a conversation in which I heard that the Meitei’s demand for inclusion in the category of scheduled tribes is tinged with tragicomedy. For starters, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, shortly known as SC and ST, exist officially under constitutional protection and privilege in India. In the 2011 Census the SC and ST make up 16.6% and 8.6% respectively of the Indian population.

The government’s initiative for these groups lay on the foundation of protective arrangements, as in enactment and implementation of laws and regulations in the latter’s interest; affirmative action, as in providing reservations; and development, through which the SCs and STs are privileged with certain resources and benefits as in quotas and reduced form submission fees in various institutes.     

If we go by the Census again…

The Essential Saul Bass

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If you have seen the movie posters of The Man with the Golden Arm, Vertigo, Anatomy of a Murder and North by Northwest from the 1950s Hollywood then I should stop here. The iconic posters were designed by Saul Bass (1920–96), the American artist. Bass donned many hats: he was a graphic designer and Academy Award winning filmmaker. He has been more popular for his title sequences, films posters and logos that he designed for various organisations. Industry experts credited Saul Bass as the designer who has changed how the audience view film credits. 











All Rise! Here Comes the Hindutva Junta!

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Man is the only Patriot. He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy expense to grab slices of other people’s countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his. And in the intervals between campaigns he washes the blood of his hands and works for ‘the universal brotherhood of man’ – with his mouth.
— Mark Twain
I usually stay away from mainstream Indian politics. I’m not interested in it. Period. A very democratic discourse, for instance, on eating or not eating beef does not appeal to me neither the ‘hottest’ debates on which cricketer should go to which bidder. However, a few events in the past few months have not encouraged me but compelled me to give a glance. I would not be surprised if it is as annoying as the political events in mainland India that I keep hearing through the grapevines or seeing on media, especially on the Internet and newspapers.

Today, one of t…

Dieter Ram’s 10 Principles of Good Design

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Dieter Ram is an acclaimed German industrial designer. He somehow believes that design is absolute—that the more you remove the unnecessary parts the more essential things you get from an entity. He has left some designs that show he walks what we talks. For me, he is one of the best minimalist designers. Here, we have his ten principles for good design that he developed through self-introspection about how good his design is. The text of these principles was sourced from Vitsoe (www.vitsoe.com).















Meira Paibi: A Brief Story of the Women Torch Bearers from Manipur

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In a world of sexual objectification and gender discrimination, the phenomenon of ‘Meira Paibi’ is remarkable on many counts. It literally means a woman torch bearer, who belongs particularly to the deeply conservative Meitei society of Manipur where the issues relating to objectification are out of the question. Yet discrimination and violence, those exist though we claim to be a relatively free society for women. In fact, we are a patriarchal society in which the men only have to understand—but not listen to—the matters concerning women and children, or those of nupi-angaang like we have in our lexicon.

Meira Paibi is a kind of social movement. It is a sort of traditional institution or an informal group in each locality, which emerged on the scene to fight against the social ills of alcoholism, drug addiction and sexual violence in the Manipur valley. That was in the 1970s. However, some observers assert that historically the foundation of Meira Paibi movement can be traced back …

Nationhood: A Reflection on Ethnic Hostility in Manipur

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Ask any Manipuri, someone who belongs to Manipur regardless of whose nationality s/he wants to be and it will not be a surprise if the answers vary as many as the number of individuals you ask. We are a confused lot and our lives are riddled with contradictions (The Generation of Contradictions). Amongst us the most vocal will be two groups: those who root for India and those for Manipur or Greater Nagaland or Zale’n-gam.

If we look back into our history, Manipur never existed as a nation but rather as a kingdom. So much is at stake here in differentiating between these two concepts. One of the most visible consequences of using these concepts interchangeably is in our inability to understand the rising ethnic hostilities between the valley and the hills. The Meiteis of general category in the valley have a romanticised version of Manipur, an erstwhile kingdom with a civilisation of two thousand years. The Naga and Kuki tribal categories of the hills, however, do not buy this story. …

Fab Five - Rock & Roll in My Town

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Tapta | Rewben Mashangva | Eastern Dark | Imphal Talkies & the Howlers | The Koi

Without music life would be a mistake. 
- Friedrich Nietzsche

Some play the game as hard and passionately as usual; while some change the rule of the game and make all the difference. This is about those who dare to change the rules. We have five bands/singers with their distinctive, inimitable styles, which have entirely redefined the meaning of music.

So many of us have so many philosophies about music; and there are so many choices, about this and that kind of genre, but music in my town will be incomplete without these guys on our playlist. A few of them are singing and reminding us to get back to our roots and some others are ready to defy what the most sophisticated armed forces cannot even do. This is just a list of my five favourite bands/musicians and you will be disappointed if you don’t find here a textbook approach to study music, an analytical study of style or lyrics and so on.

Here it g…

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