Showing posts from May, 2016

Get the Latest Updates On Your Email

Against Going by the Book: A Glance at Student Politics

In mainland India, there is ABVP for RSS/BJP, AISF for CPI, NSUI for Congress and so on. It is no surprise that we live in a different world and this is apparent from the existence of a parallel world of student organisations. If we go by the word on the street, the UNLF has AMSU, the KYKL has DESAM and the RPF has MSF, which call the shots in our town. Before we get lost in the abbreviations, I should make it clear that this write-up is not about the ideological or structural difference in the student wings of mainstream political parties and those of rebel organisations but a glance at the world of student politics.

ABVP: Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad NSUI: National Students’ Union of India AISF: All India Students Federation CPI: Communist Party of India UNLF: United National Liberation Front AMSU: All Manipur Students’ Union KYKL: Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup DESAM Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur RPF: Revolutionary People’s Front MSF: Manipur Students’ Federation
From t…

No Cherry for Old Men

Ere I was old?—Ah, woeful ere,   
Which tells me, Youth’s no longer here!   
O Youth! for years so many and sweet,     
’Tis known that thou and I were one,   
I’ll think it but a fond conceit—   
It cannot be, that thou art gone!

— Youth and Age , ST Coleridge (You might be confused with his name. Especially for proactive grandfathers and grand-uncles, ST does not stand for scheduled tribe as it does in our recent street politics. The name’s Samuel Taylor Coleridge.)
We live in a conservative society and as a part of the deal we are supposed to respect the elders. A person, who doesn’t, is considered to be indiscipline and called a son-of-a-bitch. If we go by this logic, we are not different from the Japanese people, who believe in the wisdom: ‘The nail that sticks out is hammered down’. However, the joke will be on us if we dare to compare ourselves to the Japs.

Apparently, conformity and a false sense of decorum do not measure the level of growth of a society. Listening to t…

10 Things the Manipur Government Will Never Say

The Manipur government can speak out for or against all sorts of issues ranging from unfair defection law to the union government’s plan to scrap the plans for special category states. Last time, our cheap minister almost shat in his pant when he heard the news from the expert observers of the universe based in Imphal, who informed him that New Delhi is planning to scrap the plan for these ‘special’ states.

Closer  in our town, the entire political class is the lion, in a typical Manipuri’s wisdom of ‘nongsa’, and this is regardless of which political party the lions are affiliated to—and the pitch is higher when the closer is the election. But there are a few things the government will never say, leave alone let you know:

We are made for the people, of the people, by the people. Not! Don’t be so naïve to reduce our complex form of governance to a one-liner meant for your school-going kids. Democracy exists on the surface and underneath there are assemblies and councils and delibe…

The Anarchist Way of Life

Anarchism is the ultimate form of living. It is even more powerful than idealism, which solely focuses on our aspiration and imagination. But we live in an unjust world and unfortunately, anarchism as well as idealism are grouped in the same category of living that we aspire and imagine but which is not only practical but also a matter of insult. This is even more pathetic than the popular perception, that relates anarchism to anarchy, but which we know are poles apart. In the meantime, George Carlin hit the bull’s-eye when he said: ‘Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist.’ That’s the foundation. In its entirety, anarchism means to say to hell with the government. And Manipuri anarchism means to say to hell with the Capitol Complex and Babupura. It means to say to hell with the politicians, contractors and the bureaucrats and their bastards and illegitimate sexual partners, who the onlookers see regularly in orgies at Babupura.

On a Mission to Find the Different Types of People Who Are Involved in Protests

Last year superstar Bonny was on the street and not on any set
He would suit better in the latter
But for all the omens, we are no Hollywood
Aye, we are not even a Bollywood type
Earlier this year the aspiring civil servants
In pursuit of their looming good days of clerical works
They have sacrificed the time they would spend elsewhere
But for the examination to assess their clerical magic
And now, worse than Bonny,
And apparently after reading a dozen of clerical exam’s guidebooks
And what else would explain their name:
The JAC for the Rectification
Of Eligibility Criteria to Protect the ‘Sons of the Soil’?
They have just started a hunger strike protest just after lunchtime
Earlier in the day, a few teachers had lost their mind
In the scuffle that broke out at the holy site of protest
Was it a protest for the salary,
Was it a protest for the condemned lives of the land?
Before I found any answer
Around the government electricity department in Keishampat
I saw the group of actresse…

Sunday Facts: Truth Reacts

For the Manipuris, today is one of those days when we realise a truth of our lives. To put it bluntly, we have army colonels who would never become a general, chairmen of state commission who would never head a national agency, but who would instigate the young people to kiss ass and at least get to the national level. They are a group of freeloaders who would want to redefine the very term so that, in reality, we do not appear to be a freeloader. A few people from the dominant group, the Meiteis, have a public gathering, which is, if we look up, I believe it could be the largest gathering of freeloaders across the globe in the Guinness World Record for a shitty categorisation of people like the scheduled tribe of India under the Constitution of this half-formed nation-state.

Nevertheless, here is a list of the facts of the day that have nothing to do with the freeloaders and ass-kissers:

In Defiance to the Demand for ST Status

The Imphal Free Press in today’s edition (21 May 2016) published a longish essay by one of the well-known journalists based in Imphal. With respect, I would say Yambem Laba, the writer, must be a senior citizen but I don’t read newspapers and have no idea about his exact age. In his write-up, ‘In defence for the demand for ST status’, YL* explained some important points, and convincingly as well, on why the Meiteis should be an ST group. But then I have a few responses out of my disbelief in this whole charade.

[* I have abbreviated the name knowing how it is a mark of disrespect for the Meiteis to use an elder’s name without a proper suffix. I have used the shortened form of the journalist’s name for the sake of the language I’m writing in, and partly to show that we are not discussing a family matter here.]
To begin with, one of the criticisms of this demand has nothing to do with the Meiteis losing their pride, going backwards or sideways and being primitive or super-advanced. Rat…

KCP Wants to Know What’s On Your Mind

One of my neighbours in Sagolband, he is a man of letter. A long time ago, he had written a dissertation on Emily Dickinson, he told me, but nowadays he is consumed in the dull prosaic and pragmatics of life. He has become so practical that he believes the condemned lives of the Manipuris have a hope if we are made to categorise under the constitutional hierarchy, particularly of the scheduled tribes, which India has constructed generously to uplift the underprivileged groups. 

After all his plagiarised dissertation and receiving the doctorate degree, today, my neighbour talks about fresh and original worldviews that would help all of us. That is, if you have a grievance, you stand to win favourably if you are officially made a certain group of people regardless of any historical, cultural or civilisational narratives. I can understand his stand for two reasons. First, he is a government employee; and second, because as one of the respected filmmakers wailed in front of me recently,…

Brothers and Sisters, Unintentional It Was

Wise men say we have to balance the two:
Light and darkness; joy and sadness; the yin and the yang
          Yes, we do; we do

Now the first general strike is for unrealised dreams
And we are blocking only the four-wheelers
Except water tankers and ambulances, those are allowed
The second general strike is against nightmares
And we are blocking only the two-wheelers
Except bicycles, these are allowed

          It was mere confusion that we lose the balance.

For the confusion on unrealised dreams we apologise
On the behalf of 10,750 JACs
It was not our intention to deflate
The tyres of your Vespas and Activas
But we forgot we were supposed to ‘do’ only four-wheelers.

For the confusion, and nightmares’ sake, we apologise
On the behalf of 12,750 JACs
It was not our intention to pelt stones
At your fancy cars and SUVs
But we forgot we were supposed to ‘do’ only two-wheelers.

We are too blind to see the light
We cannot see anything in the darkness
We simply cannot express our joy
We a…

Out of Business

A tale of two different cities

No tears to cry, no feelings left
This species has amused itself to death
Amused itself to death
Amused itself to death
— Amused to Death, Roger Waters

We are what we talk about. Elsewhere across the world, people talk about technology, development and leisure and so forth, whereas for us—living in a hinterland of Asia—all we have is politics, which is also one of the worst kinds. We are not deprived completely of technology, development, leisure and all these things but no matter what, all we have are issues, often critical and vicious, affecting us on a community level. We are too occupied with minding our own business!

Staying far away from my hometown, on several occasions, I could not help but notice the gross difference in our lifestyle and world views between us and them, between my folk and I, and other people, regardless of our present location. Qualitatively, it is comprehensible because throughout the contemporary history of Manipur, we have…

Of Superstars

For those smelly smokers I’m not going to speak about Gold Flake Superstar, of which I need two packets a day
For those followers of godmen I’m not going to speak about the chant and rant of Wangkhei Panthou
For those European football fans from our shithole I’m not going to speak about Suárez or Rodríguez
All superstars, you cannot deny; but I’m not going to speak about them because they are superstars already

In our backyard when the policemen murder people
In our backyard when the army men rape the women  
In our backyard when the place becomes a dormant time bomb
In our backyard then we saw the rise of small stars

For those who are killed make a list
For those who are raped make a list
For those who are abducted make a list
For those who are harassed make a list

That’s how a star grows
That’s how the ‘stellar evolution’ occurs
That’s how an activist becomes a superstar
That’s how the superstars start speaking for us as if anybody care

What does it matter how people care or not?

Less Is More: the Origami Manipuri Style

A bird does not sing because it has an answer.  It sings because it has a song.
-A Chinese Proverb 

Pun Is Fun: A Ton of Graphic Design Puns

A collection of graphic design-related one liners, collected from all across the www and a few statements that I have tweaked from popular English proverbs. The puns are really fun! Here’s the collection:


Show more