Obituary: Oinam Ibobi (1948–2016)
Last Sunday, 18 September 2016, even in his death, our dear Oinam Ibobi made it clear that he is no god and his good soul was burnt to ashes at a crematorium by the Nambul riverbank. When the funeral was underway some of his friends whispered he will reach the place of angels and saints in his holy yet unknown reincarnation in that imaginary place located one infinite kilometre away from the Kangla Fort. Meanwhile, his family members remained silent and many of them were choking from tears and smoke from the blazing funeral pyres and the burning bodies of Mr Oinam.
Gone, Oinam Ibobi has gone and he left behind three wives, fifteen sons, six daughters, an unknown number of grandchildren and four mistresses. Perhaps he had achieved everything that he aspired and wanted his descendants to continue the legacy but not everything can be predicted—unless of course you are those astrologers that Burmese military leaders refer to, particularly in times of trials and tribulations. Perhaps he had foreseen the next government coming in early next year and it was his intention to do away with the monkey businesses of democracy, and took the last mortal breath.
In his adolescent days, Oinam Ibobi was the mastermind behind several gangs who indulged in stealing cows and dogs from every locality in and around the Imphal valley. Then it was unfortunate that once he was caught red-handed, but that was one of the turning points in his life. For instance, he learnt he can easily get away from the confine of the law if he can manage to pay for it, with the amount depending on the whims of the police officer who’d nab him. As a sidekick of a local hoodlum, he started earning respect until he reached the age of thirty and decided to go solo. In the succeeding three decades, only his personal chartered accountant, or maybe a couple of income tax officials, can count how much he earned during the period. Death knows no money but his sons are elated that a living soul does.
As he had dictated from his deathbed, his ashes should be taken to Mao and the urn has to be hurled towards the Manipur–Nagaland border. His two sons, one wife and two mistresses have agreed to pay respect to the departed soul and carry out the last wish of their all-in-one husband, father and lover. Oinam Ibobi was a kind person as long as the relationship had nothing to do with money. Once it was rumoured that he killed one of his sons for asking money to start a drug business, but in these difficult days, let’s at least pretend that we care for the dead man.
Oinam Ibobi was a man of the earth and he was deeply rooted to his native place. The dons in Dubai would call Bollywood superstars to dance on their formers’ kids’ birthdays, but Mr Oinam would take only highly matured Manda and Bala to his apartments in New Delhi to spend time when he was bored with killing people and robbing from every available sources.
Some of the unique talents of Oinam Ibobi included his ability to fart in three different kinds of sounds in as many seconds, puke whenever or wherever he wanted, eat four yongchaak-charong at one go and tell the exact amount of money in each bundle of notes in different sizes and dimensions. His favourite hobby was to play hide and seek with all sorts of gunmen: those from India, those from the town and even those from Burma. He loved it as much as Ron Jeremy loved the American conservatives.
Oinam Ibobi was the Khun Sa of his locality, a negatively cast James Bond of the region and the Pope of the underworld. Everybody says we have to leave this world one day or the other. We are glad, and we would like to appreciate that—though he is no more—he had always led us by example. Besides the useless people, Oinam Ibobi had also leave behind two Kalashnikovs, twenty-five apartments spread all over South Asia, a truckload of Khatkhatti-made whiskeys and six suitcases of which nobody has a clue about.
Our deepest condolences. Goodbye.