Monday, October 24, 2011

Moments captured during Publication of "Tattoed with Taboos"

Tattoed with Taboos-an anthology of poetry by three women from North-East India

Dear  Friends, 
You all are requested to kindly share the publication of our book "Tattooed with Taboos", an anthology of Poetry in your blog or facebook or twitter. This is a strategy we have just thought to reach out to the people. We have not approached any publisher or distributor to do marketing of our book. But our main purpose to reach out to people become a hurdle without a platform. So, I'm requesting to all the friends who visits my blog to kindly upload the picture of our book or this particular post to extend your support and help.

Anyone who is interested to our book can email at and

Sunday, July 31, 2011

When the time freeze?

Home is developing. Some people lived in the heart of the city giggles at seeing the flyover, the new market, newly build assembly house and upcoming Imphal High court, NIT, NLS etc.

Whenever they giggle about the development, I’m left with unsolved puzzles? Where is it developing? I could see no development whenever I go home. I felt the time is freeze and stop moving ahead, except that I realized it is moving ahead while seeing the grey hairs of my parents. When I get down in the Mayang Imphal Market, it is still in the building stage just like I saw many years back. The vegetable vendors are still facing the merciless heat of summer and storms of monsoon. Only those who can afford to own a concrete roof can enjoy without affecting their life, irrespective of the muddy road they travel. While crossing across my locality the women are still struggling to pull water from river and pond while there is a water supply department which is established from years. Nothing has been changed, seems like the time is freeze forever for people in small town or villages. Decades back I used to follow my aunts with a bucket it my hand while they are going to locality pond or river to pull water. The generation is changed but the same ancient trends have not changed in my home. No one complaints and no one think they have a duty towards the people. People are always calm and non-demanding. That’s something make me jealous of them sometimes too. Are they really leading a spiritual way of life, sacrificing basic needs of a comfortable life or are they habitual to compromising the hurdles. Only they can answer. While going to my married sister’s place, I come across my school where I start dreaming and seeing for the first time in life. I have so much of fond memories, my dedicated teachers who want nothing but our commitment and success. Among those floating memories, what I miss the most are those rainy days, where we used to get enveloped by the muddy road while going and coming back from school and sometime not able to drive our bicycle. Sometime, we slipped off but we just forgot everything with laughter at those days. But seeing the same muddy road today after the decades upsets me about the life of the people, whose life is nothing different from an orphan. Yes, we lived since the beginning without supervision of any govt. / department till today. Coming back to the road adjacent to my gate I still remembered me and my cousins used to cross the gate till the road by putting stems of banana plant. When we were about to go for school our mother used to hold our hands till we reached a safe and dry place. Still my younger cousins repeat what we have done decades back just to cross the road. The roads which have been traveling by more than halve of the population inhibited in Mayang Imphal and their livelihoods depended on the Lotak Lake is still under construction since then I walked upon this road.

Just chatting with my sister she narrated me about her lost friend who was unable to reach hospitals in the Imphal so died on the way. It was just like a dream for me unable to realize how miserable life we are living. I remembered my sister friend who lost life while she was brought to the hospital in the Imphal area due to complication in the child birth. It was disheartening to see the shattered walls of the hospital in my place where no one can be visible even in the working days. No doctors and nurses are visible after 2 pm. They are visible only in the sunny days and if somebody fell sick in the monsoon season then it’s their fault and they have to deal with their faith only. Many more to mention which make me numb sometime even by thinking though I don’t live there from past decades. But I just keep praying for my parents and love one never to fall sick.

How can I easily forget the govt. school next to my house where I spend 8 years of my life without even able to read A, B, C correctly and believe me, I was the topper of that school. Everything was taught in Manipuri medium including the English subject. Sometime the Manipuri literature teacher struggle so much while reading Manipuri language everyday I had to ask my father to teach me so that I could help her in the class. It was just fun for me to reciprocate her in the class. While just standing in my gate I was just watching the school and learnt that the school name has been change to boy’s school! For a moment was puzzled and just smile thanking my aunt for keeping my name because it doesn’t differentiate my gender!!

Yes, I forgot to mention again just like before cows and buffaloes are still enjoying the school courtyard and students who can not afford a private school still played with them during the break unlike those students in private schools where they played with the modern gadgets.

It was mesmerizing memory I loved to carry with me forever and something which draws a line of developing Manipur now and then.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Kanchi gi leikol!!

While just lying inside my small cottage I dream to see through the freedom Khwairakpam Chauba expressed in his poems. Sometime I went around the "Kanchi gi leikol" planted by Lamabam Kamal in his Madhavi novel. I spent so many sleepless nights with his Urirei when her lover Biren left her without anyone to listen and mend her heart burning like those restless fire in the far sites of the hill. Dream was so huge and vast I felt like catching and hunting those fighter jets making noise in the sky and destroy them to bring my mother land her lost peace, after she was evaded by her enemy called "namesake civilization"; as anticipated a future which lost a human value and loss of human existence and dignity by R.K Surendrajit in his peom "Sabhyata gi Phum".

The poem "Meitei Chanu" by Lamabam Kamal has awaken the people of Manipur from their deep slumber and call to realize the importance of their own language and script after the great Bengali Giant Santi das Goshai brunt the sacred book of Meities "Puya" into ashes. How beautiful it would be if our own language is like a beautiful garland of colorful flowers, spreading its scents throughout the world. Today we express our own feelings through a borrowed language. I can't even recognize the scripts of my own language. What is civilization and what is development when we are even depended for the language we speak and communicate? When the British came to India to make its colonized state what have they done at the first place was spreading the English language in every nook and corner of India  by introducing English as a subject in institutions. No wonder if we all realize someday that we are still colonized people and still depended on Bengali scripts to express our thoughts and writings.

Reading Hijam Angahal's Khamba Thoibi made me agitated instead of being nurtured by the love story of Khamba and Thoibi, the Hero and Heroine of the true love story, though it is believed to be a myth. Instead of condemning the culture of untouchability introduced in our society after the Hindu religion conquered the then King and elites of Manipur, we are still happy to address and take it as an honour to call Khamba as "Shree Shree Khamba". What a sad moment it was for me, though I mend my broken heart with a poem dedicated to the famous writer, regretting him for a making this beautiful myth just an image of religious epic. No words of “Moirang Parva (Meitei version of musical opera)” have ever indicated Khamba dominating Thoibi or his sister Khamnu as subordinate because of their gender. Rather Thoibi enjoyed her freedom to choose to live in exile for her lover and sacrifice the princess title despite being a daughter of then King Khagemba. Does it show that our people are more liberated rather than caged with the religious believe, subordinate system and untouchability among the communities introduce after the invasion by the Hindu religion.

People in Manipur are believed to be nature prayers unlike the idol worshipers like Hindu, from ages and once in a year there is a celebration of such God's of nature and called as "lai harouba (festival of nature God)". Suring the “Lai Harouba” all the girls and women groom themselves, adored with the "leihou leirel (special type of flowers making a bunch to decorate in a women’s hair style)" and trying to attract the man they love or Liked. They dance together in front of the God with their dance moves and by joining hands with their counterparts. It was another platform for them to meet each other and express each other's love as depicted in Moirang Parva about the beautiful dance of Meitei Lovers Khamba and Thoibi in the courtyard of the God Thangjing . Love was never an offensive word and sex was never treated as sin in Manipuri society just like it is treated today in the present sacrosanct society blinded by religion.

Every Manipuri dream to fall in love just like Khamba-Thoibi, Henjuna-Laikhurembi, Tonu Laijinglembi-Kadeng Thangjahanba and Meinu Pemcha but where are we now? But where is the "Ningol-Ka" and where do we have freedom to meet our lover and play "likkol (a game of lovers played in the old times)" in the full moon night?

Toady no one wants to buy a Manipuri book which cost Rs. 50 bucks written by not so famous writer in home. The poetry books of Khawirakpam Chauba were already eaten half by the rats when I found the old copy lying in an old bag in my house. I pity for those writers who spent so many sleepless night for people like us. Can anybody imagine how many nights the Poet Kamal must have sacrifice while writing his novel “Madhavi”? Have anyone dream about the beauty of Urirei and Madhavi making garland in "Kanchi Leikol (in the garden of Kanchi)"?

Where have we lost? No one knows it. We are living with lost identity and dreaming for a false path where we don't care about our language, literature, folklore but never fail to read the great America story, the country which didn't even recognize the existence of Manipur. No one bother to think to spend Rs. 200 for English novel and we are proud if we can't read and write our language. No Cinderella live in Manipur, no Harry Porter hasn't driven his broom in the magic sky of Manipur.

Is it the time for us to sit and think which path we are choosing. Literature is taught in the schools and colleges just to bore the students, social sciences are introduced in the school and colleges for the students with low marks. Literature is not something to be taught but something to make feel. Social sciences are not just about theory of code of conduct but something to be adapted and change as the society walk ahead. But on contrary all professional analyst of society just to love filling the newspaper space with foreign theory which cannot be adopted in a place lived by people with different looks, language, food habit and climate....!!

Let's stop making bored of people through literature and social sciences instead let’s try to change people's thinking and ultimately their life through our poetry, stories and the folklores.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Home Sweet Home!!

"Writing and writing is my happiness". I'm simply jealous of this line said by Nobel prize winner of 2006 Orhan Pamuk. Haven't read any of his book as I got no time but like his interview in the Hindu.

Reading the review of his book made me do a round trip in my head. Aha my recent trip to home was such a blessing to myself. I came back from home as a peaceful person which I lost 10 years back from now. I thought I have regained everything name, dignity, human pride and sense of living by simply breathing in my homeland Manipur. So true "home is where the heart is" and finally I'm so lucky to feel this and realized that no gun can kill the peace inside a person. Moreover I met the right people who influence me to love this land which has been abandoned by thousands of her children just because someone turned her out as a whore 50 years back.

Now, I'm struggling hard to make a path for myself in my homeland and to buy my own comfort which I have sell off years back to the metro cities to gain a status of a refugee.

Reached home after two years and saw mom,aunt and cousin waiting for me in the airport. Also good to see my friend who came to see me and his friend landing on the same day. With many plans and dreams to do some pending work I went home but came without touching it. Though I have no regret as I spent most of the time with my family and my friends and playing with my two nephews.

It was the colour of holi which already made me too excited to recall the past and those days where I used to run after my sister for "nakhathengba". Met my best friend in class IX who eloped and married at the age of 17yrs, unable to bear the atrocities of poverty. Her daughter almost 11 years run after us calling "mamachoubi yousang paisa piramo". It was a nostalgic moment recalling those days when  I used to carry her mother in cycle from Yumnam Huidrom to Shamurou for morning tuition. Still my best friend Nandini is filled with so much of love, sacrifice and beautiful gesture just like she did in school time. Though she survives by running a small grossary shop in her house itself she used to welcome us with a warm gesture and was so eager to meet me as we are meeting after 12 years from those day.

The schooty ride with Tampha in the empty road of Mayai Lambi was memorable. She is still same. No ego of being a doctor and her ceaseless smile make her so beautiful. Unfortunate that I didn't meet her to be husband but want to tell him that he is the luckiest man on this earth. I planned to attend her marriage but it was postponed. Wish I can attend and fulfill our school time promises to be present at the marriage. Driving down the empty roads of Mayang Imphal to Shamorou flash back those memories of school where I used to ride cycle whenever there was a bus strike. I have been working here from many days but I could not gift anything for those people who helped me without seeking anything return from me. How could I forget one of the most influential person in Manipur especially in Mayai Lambi. That's none other than Sir Thoiba. The founder the school "The Little Master". He is the one who bring the wave of quality education in the Mayai Lambi by establishing a school which is compatible at the state level. My family had no capacity to send me in any of the schools in Imphal but for so many students like me are in Mayai Lambi who are given a shelter and opportunity to raise themselves. I have not admired him for establishing a school but his humanity. One could see only the anger and sometime abusive language from his mouth but if you see deep inside his heart you can realized the person he is. He raised up Tampha like his own daughter after Tampha lost her brother and father together in an accident. When He saw me and Tampha in front of him he narrated all those stories we used to talk 12 years back from now near the fireplace in the cold winter morning. He gets older but he is still so lively and filled with so much of hope and dream. He wants to established a hospital just in front of his school. People talked bad things about him but I wish every human is just good as him only. At least he gave life to many students in the Mayai Lambi who are deprived of quality education due to paralyze government schools.

Meeting so many of them which still owe a value in their heart already drag me into home. Every day what I pray to God is that please take me home soon and let me get that peace till my last breathe.

Home Sweet Home!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mama what is Love?

Is it too late to ask this question "Mamma what is Love?"

Aha!! Seeing too many things in a day make me so confused. The best question I can ever asked is only to "ME". These days biggest question is what's love and marraige? Just like I have written my status in my forehead people would ask me when are you going to marry? Hmm no one is understanding like my parents...they never asked me when do I wanna commit for the big step? Beacause they knew what I want from life other than a trophy husband. Sometime I surprise and asked is it getting married solution for everything. There is one advantage of living here in Punjab. That's I can realise how important is marraige to them. People go crazy with the name "marraige". If one is not getting married at the age of 26yrs, its like a crush...don't tell me now I'm critizing and looking at the negative side..!!! This is not my pre-conception and I'm not living in those era where man has to go the jungle and cut woods for cooking and hunting animals for food. I'm now living in a place where the corporate employees are filled by 60% of women?

Simple question is where are we going? Question is that why are women still lived with such a big sense of insecurities when they are enough to stand for themselves? There is no emotional bonding, if so how is it possible when somebody is marrying a man/woman after seeing a photograph or after a few days of show casting each other?

My roomate, a software engineer lived her life in frustation because she is 26 yrs now.Every weekend she has to showcase herself in front of a stranger. If he liked her then she will get married, otherwise she has to tolerate about people bitching around of man disapproving her. Why I feel pity is that they are not born with the fredom to dream. She would sometime cry like why is God not making me married me so soon and keeping my parents in so much of tension and stress. Another girl living in next door would come every night and chat with my roomate, what  has she learnt about cooking and what her gonna be husband love to eat. I'm like "this is too much" . If the self proclaimed feminist listen to their conversation, they would have been ostracised. Every night the only concern in my roomate mind is that she should get married before she reached the big 27 yrs. She would say her  beloved  boyfriend that she is ready to get married within 20 days if the guy is suitable for her. I surpringly aksed her what about your boyfriend if you both are not getting married. She simply answer "arre don't know anything. we are going around for more than ten years, we can't forget each other but caste problems and I don't want to hurt my parents."

Just a big sighh and long hmmm from me and just replied like "badhiya hain..mast life hain".

Another senior of me going around with her boyfriend since then they were in class IX. they are going around from past 15 yrs. The guy was a poor and a lanky fellow at those days. The girl was rich and beautiful. The girl stood by his side for 15 yrs but now the guy is in good job and he is running away and he is commited and will marry her just for the shake that "what will people talked about me if I don't get married to her". Sometime I told my senior that just sit together and try to find out those essence of emotions when you guys met 15 years ago, but sadly those essence were pricelessly destroyed and they can't be together again and never be happy with each other. But I know they will get married for sure because I knwo very well this guy..he is afraid of the world and what people will talk about him if he dump his girl friend of 15 yrs. Now everythig is lost and where is the love? Can they find out again?

So now tell me... don't you still get confused and don't you wanna ask your mama the same question?

One fine day I called up my mother and asked do you really feel that I should get married now? Wow, my mom was so cool unlike other's mom..she was like..stayed at least fro  2 yrs...I think you should enjoy now.There is no life after marraige.

I jsut say Thank God. At least they are not in tension beacuse of me. When was growing up Mama used to advice me..don't go for money, looks of a man but the one who is honest and educated. I used to say..Mama I like handsome guys. Then Mama says looks will go with ages but honesty remains...but I didn't follow her words, I run after the most handsome senior in school, also most brilliant student. It ends up with a broken pieces of my heart. Some years later I fall a cute friend, then again I found his cuteness more irritating..further I enjoyed my singlehood for some years then I again caged myself with the love of a man "not so good looking", but he seemed to be an honest guy just like Mama mentioned. Aha..this time I'm following what my Mama said and I was happy thinking that finally I have become mature and understood real feelings. It again proved me so wrong and result was almost fetal...I still don't know how should I conclude this time...but I feel lucky to be escaped instead of feeling the pain of loosing him. Should I conclude finally like Mama he was not good looking but he was not honest too in my terms...

So this time I'm going home and I'm gonna sit next to my mama and ask promptly "Mama what is love?"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My miracle motherland....

It was just like yesterday how much I was frightened with the noise of gunshots just next to my gate...even the July rain was ashamed to compete with these artificial rainfall of gunshots. I was angry and thought this land has no share for me. I hate to remember what happened to this land. I feel like it is a crush even thinking  that Oh!I'm born in this place and it made me suffered with so many troubles. It made me work like hell..and it let me faced artificial calamities of poverty and stagnant life which leads nowhere.

But I realise lately that I was wrong and I'm also among those cowards who loved to complain and romanticised the misery of the people in home with a bottle of English wine, cigar and idolising the famous Cuban revolutionist Guevara. What about thinking ourselves to change? Let’s forget about being act now? Acting comes later after we think something..It depends on how we think but we need to think in the right way first to act correctly. Complaint enough about politicians, bureaucrats, teachers, engineers, doctors and peons etc etc. But what have we tried to correct it except shouting? Are we really helping to correct the system when we don't wanna get dirty of our hands and we are just coward that we are enjoying here a secure life while our parents are left amidst the blanket of stray bullets? Aren't their life not worth like ours or aren't we giving an excuse saying that there is no work?

Yes, there is no work but not for those who wanted to work? By the way who is complaining about corruption in home? Do we ever point to our parents if they are among those corrupted people? Nope, we don't then why are we shouting today when people who lived a distress lives and whose right to life has been exploited by one of our corrupted father in some years back?

No one wanna listen to the big questions and No one like the truth but everybody these days dream to become an activist in his or her own right at the cost of the money which their corrupted fathers/ forefathers exploited by executing illegal work in the govt. offices.

I was chatting with a friend in the evening. He got frustrated listening to the news of CC higher secondary and Model Secondary being burnt by the unknowns. He said he never wanted to go back to home and he has no share to this land. Understood enough of such feelings of frustration and even I used to get frustrated before but was it a solution? Or does it make any change to me, my family or society at large? Not at all then what is the fun of getting frustrated?

Simple question I wanted to ask is that in case these unknowns have got the enough facilities and sent them to higher education and have a respectful life...will they come and burn the CC higher sec and Model school just for fun? Are we born with some extra balls so we are so kind  and seems to know humanity today or these people are born as nuts? This is just an example. It doesn't justify their act but why are we so brave of pointing finger on those people who do illegal activities and declare themselves as unlawful. Life of people of Manipur would have been different if it is a routine from the ages if protest against those people who governs the law and practice illegal work legally. No one protest so far if an officer asked for the extra money to execute a file in a govt. office who has been paid from the money of the people. We think it is a pride and we should give it and nothing wrong in doing so if my work is done? From years it is habit for them to continue in the form of custom and who is the looser? Those people who are at the receiving end and their kids are today on the road and expressing their anger and not so respectful life lived by them by burning and destroying everything.
Whom to blame now? Those class X failed militants who are abusing every moment and are just a toy of those politicians and bureaucrats and rich maniacs? Or those politicians, corrupted fathers who asked for the extra money to execute his work and duty? By the way do we ever ponder to think that these class X failed millitants are also humans and have a soul and mortal like us?

Time to think. If require quite the foreign wine, cigar, stop reading Marx theory, communist theory and applying them in home. It's our miracle motherland, not Russia, French, or a Japan. It's a land we live so let’s put our brain instead of applying communist theory and let’s forget Che Guevera for a we know no Guevera is possible among us because Guevera’s father was not a corrupted politicians, reckless doctor, mean bureaucrat, engineer.

Let’s not talk about raining gunshots, the merciless militants, corrupted politicians, bureaucrats, engineers and teachers. If you want to change then it's time to tight your sit belt and leave for home and be a participant instead of being a spectator. You don't need to challenge the politicians, militants and bureaucrats but only being as a performer in your field.

Whatever we say and people romanticised in the misery of Manipur, we can't forget how we grow up, how we sang those rhythm songs without a music in the vast fields, No one can enjoy those feelings of how our Ema's narrating those stories of Laikhushangbi, Kabu keiyoiba, mabung taret thabaton whenever we irritated her in the late night and denied to sleep. Can I forget those late nights of Krishna Jarma..when Ema and I would wait for the radio drama program in the midnight and sleeping in her lap. Nothing can buy such peace in life..not by luxury of the city and a life full of achievements, money and modern equipments. I no longer enjoy the air conditioned room in a corporate office where human dignity is raped every moment ....rather I would love to sleep behind those bunch of bamboo plants near my courtyard listening to the songs of births and watching those ants fighting so hard and collecting their food for an anticipating rainy day!!!

Isn't it so beautiful enough for us to remember and miss the land we are born?

Aha!! Thats why I called this land as "My miracle motherland....!!!"

Dedicated post to my gutsy  and beautiful friends in home. Kudos and salutes to you guys...I'm joining you guys soon.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I want you to pay for this!!!

Why sometime I became so weak and weird? Why sometime I lost control over my tears? Why I distrust the word "trust"? Who would pay for this?

It would be you who have to pay the due. I'm no longer the one who should bear the burden of your wrongdoings and cover you up everything from everybody, thinking that everything will be fined. Nothing is fined so far. Trying to cover up so many wrongdoings of people I have become just a volcano of emotions. I no longer burn me silently and left as nothing.

With so much of innocence in my eyes and with so many dreams I build up every relation but what I recieved it just a betrayal which still awake me every single night and living like a melancholic. I also wish for a peaceful sleep and I never wanted you meeting in my life and giving a name to the relations and broke every dream and play with my innocence.

It's so easy to forget and I tried hard because I don't blaming myself and you my friend but now I need to step out of your life and lead a life giving you any space. In fact you deserve space in anybody's life and space. What you see from a person is how much you can gain from that person. How wish to live life without betrayal. How wish to smile and laugh so loaudly without pulling myself with the feeling of doubt and fear.

Just like the ripples of waves repaeted strike the bank of the river, your betrayal, presence , absence and love, care, hatred, everything is just a useless space to me which I no longer wish to keep within me.

For everything you did I want it you to pay now.