Skip to main content

Cheirouba

Lat weekend heralded the dawn of the Manipuri new year, at least for a few of us. The new year officially falls on the 14th of April every year and coincides with the new year of the Bengalis, the Assamese, the Tamilians and the Keralites too. But the diaspora in Delhi chose to call in for an early celebration for matters of convenience. I was woken up by an enthusiastic relative who came all dressed in the traditional wear because the invite said 11 am sharp. I managed to convince her, going by past experiences, that nothing would happen before 1 pm. So, lured by the idea of a typical Manipuri lunch, we found ourselves seated at the venue – the conference hall of one of the lawyers’ association in Tilak Lane, Delhi. Well, just before lunch.

As predicted, only half the guests had turned up. Manipuris generally don’t socialise as do the Nagas or the Mizos. When I asked one of the active members why the turnout was poor, he replied, rather ruefully, that the original Delhi Manipuri Society had broken up into factions. Which means, there were also two or three more such groups in the capital. Now this is the only society I have known so far, so news of the offshoots came as a bit of a surprise. Skipping cultural programmes, the guests on the dais, which included some of the oldest Meitei residents in Delhi, and the rest of those present had an interactive discussion on the break-up and how to patch the groups into one. After a lot of ‘compatriot bashing’ , the discussion closed on an open-ended note. Hopefully, the thinking members in the group will soon find the path to recoinciliation. Hmmm, that’s a pet word of late.

And after probably one of the best indigenous food fare of nga athoiba, ooti, kangau, shoibum eromba, and kheer, my cousin, a friend and I headed back home sleepily that hot Saturday noon. But my mind was a little preoccupied. Back in the hall, I was talking to a rather young civil servant who completely agreed with me when I said such social gatherings should be treated as a fun thing, where people of the community take time off to exchange pratlings, form newer friendships and just have fun. That way, the bonding and the affinity to one’s people and culture will always remain.

Problem arises when we tend to intellectualise such forums and expect revolutionary changes to our own situation. For instance, what I gathered from the discussion was that the non-materialisation of a housing society was the cause of ire among many, Hence the divisions in the group with each claiming to bringing about a speedier growth to the plan. Agreed accomodation is everyone’s pet peeve, but in a highly bureaucratised system like ours, things do take time. Besides it takes more than one earnest member to run around, spend energy and resources for public benefit. And how many are willing to take on that onus?

Bottomline: it's time we learnt to unwind a bit and not get too serious about ourselves.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Mad Man Or A Boor

What does one do when one encounters a mad dog? Or what does one do when one encounters a man with pre-fixed notions about everything in life, most specifically of women who live alone and give him some importance? The two are equivalent to me and basic intelligence says avoid the paths they tread like plague. But I chose to tackle them head on. I almost got rabbies.

The mad man said [sic] "You sound like a very desperate person. A single and frustrated woman who is looking for anyone to leave a comment on your blog so much so that you wouldn't even spare a spammer." Spammer being, the first comment on the previous post is apparently a spam, an advert for T-shirts. Bummer! I thought it was a handsome Spaniard or Latino, so I had replied "Hi Rodrigo", hoping to take the conversation forward offline. Anyway! All this the mad man found out. I didnt. Sure, I dig comments because I love the spontaneity and intelligence of my friends. And I didn't invite the mad m…

Them Versus Us

Taking off from the Shilpa 'Shitty' issue (I love the surname and that comes from my ever so humorous and intellectual friend Latha or Lotty with love and Angel No. 1 to some :)), here are some reflections on being a north easterner in the capital of the world's largest democracy. Also, Lotty, on a serious note, says I should have a NE angle to what I write. She has a point. I have enough material there, enough to give vent to.

I begin with 'oye Chinky'. When I came to Delhi in the mid 1990s to do a professional course, I wasn't sure what the word meant. Maybe I was too busy paying heed to my new found independence and the certain sense of security -- the fact that I could go to the market even at 10 pm without the peering eyes of the army or the CRPF personnel patrolling the streets and stiffling our existence. It wasn't until my course was over and I got myself a break as a sub editor with the country's premier news agency, that I had my first hand exp…

Glam Gurumaa

Have you ever met a so called godwoman or godman in person? Well I did and I have to talk about this one. On Tuesday night, I got a call asking if I would like to come and meet Anandmurti Gurumaa. My knowledge about ‘spiritual people’ as they would like to call themselves is zero because I have never taken interest in their ilk and India being full of conmen in the garb of spiritualists you tend to look at them with suspicion. I had a friend who stayed for weeks at a house cramped with people in a shady lane in Delhi and they were all fighting and scrambling for the baba’s attention. The baba would perform pujas during the evenings, make them drink and wash with ashes and they would pour heaps of money buying the essentials. The people went to him for all reasons – to sort marital discords, business failures, illnesses, and even vengeance on enemies! It was frightful. I had gone to meet the friend but after a few hours scooted away more scared I would pick a bug from the unhygienic su…