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.