Showing posts from August, 2016

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Real Fake - Animals with Degrees and Diplomas

Recently I came across a term called ‘diploma mill’. It’s American and probably that’s the reason why the term sounds unfamiliar. Without any nomenclature, the trend has been quite a ‘news’ in and around our hometown. To put it briefly, in this part of the world, the forgery masters have been working as a one-man army rather than as an institutions as in other places where a term like ‘diploma mill’ is a hashtag-able name—with the sole motive to offer fake certificates at a certain price. For instance in July 2016, the Manipur police arrested four miscreants who were involved in making fake documents and selling them at a price. But this was not the first case.

According to an Imphal-based senior journalist, Khelen Thokchom of The Telegraph, ‘The gang created fake Aadhaar cards, driving licences, PAN cards, among others and opened bank accounts in SBI in Imphal and Guwahati using the fake documents. Then they sold the bank passbooks and the ATM cards to criminal elements. They used c…

Typography Quotes 101

Typography is the art and science of making text as much legible as attractive. The term is derived from the Greek words τύπος typos ‘form’ or ‘impression’ and γράφειν or graphein ‘to write’. There are three engines that drive typography: (i) legibility, (ii) readability and (iii) aesthetics. Considering the English language, type foundries used to rely on lead alloys. That was around the 1450s. Now, three decades earlier, digital type has become the order of the day. Here’s a little tribute to the typographers and artists who have digital design a world on its own.

For more information

We Love Typography
Incredible Types
Fonts in Use
Typography in Web Design (Awwwards)

A Declaration of Death

I’d desist from going to the municipal corporation to get a death certificate
I’d desist from going to a newspaper office to publish my own obituary

Get no sorat for me
Get no firoy for me

I’m dead
I live no more

A bit of this remains
A bit of that

I can see life no more
I cannot even see my own death

My consciousness for you is down the Imphal
My consciousness wouldn’t even flow down the Loktak

The people I love and the people I respect and the people around me and the people that I know and the people I don’t know and the people everywhere are a people no more
The people have died with my own death, and all the love and all the respect and all the folks and all the strangers and all the unseen people have died with my own death

See no love
See no respect

Only ghost
I only see my ghost now.

Manipur Merger Agreement 1949 (Full Text)

Manipur was annexed to the Union of India in 1949. All along the Government of India stays adamant that the decades-old armed movement as a law and order situation, as an internal affair that should be controlled and abolished. It is amazing how a colonised people can become a coloniser just after the departure of the original colonialists. In the brouhaha, a lot of natives, with their indecision about taking a political stand on an individual level, annd the ethnic animosity and ceaseless social unrests on a societal level have been utilised optimally by those who are involved in the glorious project of Indian nation-building processes. But the truth cannot be hidden, as in we cannot fool all the people all the time. If India has the gut to admit its ignorance and arrogance, things would have been quite different; or maybe not, but as of now we are living in one of the darkest periods of history. Anyway, the following is the complete text of the Manipur Merger Agreement 1949 that wa…

A Nihilist’s Nightmare: The Personal Is Professional

Thoughts on being too professional to be political

The battle cry of The Personal is Political was conceived during the heydays of student movements and feminism in the hippy-istic Sixties in the West. Far away from that epicentre, in the hinterland of Manipur, the inventive Meiteis have not only appropriated the term but also rephrased it: the personal is professional. Belonging to another epicentre of armed conflict, ironically, the people in this region are war-weary from the ceaseless armed movements for the right to self-determination and hence the transformation of the political into the professional. I wish this reason was logical. Everything’s got a reason but not every reason is logical.

I talked to a friend in the morning. We were talking about a recent ‘cultural bomb’ that an acclaimed filmmaker, Aribam Syam, had literally dropped at the Government House in the Imphal valley, after a representative-resident of the union, nationally called the governor, teased a few art and…

The Bourne Bust

The newly released Jason Bourne has taught me one thing: your favourite team does not win the match all the time. After watching the first three original adaptations a dozen times each, the number has reduced to a half with The Bourne Legacy. In the latest avatar I almost dozed off at the cinema. The latest film is like a repetition of Ultimatum, but without any additional story. In ‘Part 4’, Treadstone was over, only to be reintroduced in here. Besides, the anti-hero, Jason Bourne, still remains an experimentally failed man but who still possesses the métier to bring down all the bad guys.

The only new ‘twist’ is Bourne realising, after partly discovering himself, that his father was also CIA operative who was killed in the line of duty. A modern touch has been also added on the line of Wikileaks but it hardly adds to the substance of the movie. To cut it short, Jason Bourne will be good if you watch it after forgetting entirely about the three originals. The latest version is direc…

The Artist

A translation of Ratan Thiyam’s Kalakar—the original poem in Manipuri is from his anthology Mangkhraba Sahargi Loikhraba Wari (The Concluded Tales of a Ghost Town), which was first published in June 2014

He’s the artist par excellence
He’s as always invited to every function
Admired, respected and what not
Call some people to talk
Let them discuss about his greatness
He’s the artist par excellence
The pride of the land
He belongs to this tiny land
Talk about what has become of him, etc.

With such a ‘burden’ of admiration and recognition
The artist was on his way back home
Just as he reached home he remembered
Rice and cooking oil to buy, and debts
School fees for his children, their school uniform
Their shoes and all that he needed to pay for
In the maze was the mother, in misery
—His name and recognition were getting blurred
For the loss of words it was a shock.

Once at the construction site of a big government house
I thought it was a familiar face and had approached the man
He was wearing an old and …

Of the Governor’s ‘Calendar’ Wishes

The governor has a calendar
The governor has a sleek calendar
The governor has the most beautiful calendar
In front he would sit, lost in thought
Pixel-perfect images of rowing by the Loktak
And fresh and misty mountains and tribal art
The fluorescent highlighter in his hand screams:
‘Hail the fests! Revel in the best of this hinterland!’

Bewildered by the holler of the highlighter he colours
August 10 brightly
He wishes:
‘August 10 is the Independence Day
This sovereign, socialist, secular
And democratic republic
It has made strides
It has made progress
My wishes go to all the people
Old, young, brainwashable and unbrainwashable
Men, women, children, pimps, robbers and morons
On this auspicious day
Let the nation be free forever.’

A suited and booted attendant politely turns down
It’s five days to the World General Strike Day, aka
The Indian Independence Day.

Innocently the governor admits his forgetfulness and stares
Into the lines and boxes separating the days and weeks
And two…

in brief: excretory irony in the imphal valley

a man was shot point blank
however he lives
as if Death was fed up of
all the excretion

a woman presents us
her artful design
but too verdant for deserts
all just excretion

The Asians of Lesser Gods

On an illegitimate comparison of the Asian entire races by a racist

Anytime you see someone more successful than you are, they are doing something you aren’t.
—Malcolm X
After the Chinese invented gunpowder in the 9th century, it took another six hundred years to reach the then Asiatic kingdom of Manipur, formerly known by several other non-Sanskritised names. If we talk about nomenclature, China was known by different names throughout its long and rich history: Chixian Shenzhou is considered to be the oldest; then it was also called Hua and Xia in different times. On the other hand, for Manipur, we also have, amongst others, Kangleipak, Tillikoktong and Poireilam. At first glance, this might look like a comparison of greatness of this province, now in the Union of India, with China, but the intention is just the opposite.

The purpose is to see some of the basic differences between the various Asians: some of them like the Chinese, Southern Koreans and Japanese are living, competing a…

On Reading

A translation of noted theatre personality, Ratan Thiyam’s Lairik Ouraiba—the original poem in Manipuri is from his anthology Mangkhraba Sahargi Loikhraba Wari that was first published in June 2014

The lazy boy he was alone
He was asked to read his books, unassisted, alone
With a boatload of books
And there he was reading his books
Waiting for time.
He flunked his exam
And he was blamed for his failure
And he became a brat
Indocile he was—
He became a low life in the locality
And he was blamed again for the blunder
The police were called to catch him
The police locked him up in the prison
And the police were bribed to get the boy out
Such a lazy boy, he was alone
He was asked to read his books, unassisted, alone
But he was never, never taught;
The boy made a run for it
And on the road a vehicle ran over him,
A whole society was admitted to a hospital.

Manipur State Constitution Act, 1947

Truth be told, the Manipur State Constitution Act, 1947 is a piece of shit. Less than two years after it was formulated, the Indian supremacists, just after the British left, overtook the region called South Asia and parts of western Southeast Asia. There had been dissent, as we know from the formation of the then new nation-states of Pakistan and Bangladesh but fortunately India had successfully merged the kingdoms of Manipur and Tripura and others into the union. Before we glorify the Indian nation, which is still a WIP business, here is a the text of a Constitution of an Asiatic kingdom, one of its first kinds, which lost its legitimacy even before a fat, foolish king and his subjects knew about it.


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