Thursday, April 18, 2013

My another first day at work

I don’t know if it happens with others too. But that weird feeling of reluctantly shaking hands while introducing and being introduced to the who’s who of the company and everybody, I was also apprehensive if I would be tagged a snob if I didn’t wear a smile additionally. My manager promised me a tour of the facility and I had to mentally prepare myself to shake a lot of hands – clean hands, dirty hands, sweaty hands, greasy hands and frozen hands while putting on a grin all the while. As we went walking up to their bays and started the routine, I realized I was the less mortified one. A lot of them narrated their work of the day. I am quite unsure if that is an appropriate thing to do. Overwhelming a new comer with things they have been handling for ages. I had both my eyes and ears opened and my mind like a sponge, trying to absorb whatever I could. But poor me! I didn’t get the head and tail of most of their stories. On sharing my plight with my manager, he consoles I can take my time to understand the business and how it works out here. But I doubt if he really meant it. Sigh.

At lunch of course I was alone. Not that I cared anymore. But it sure was a new experience eating alone in a crowd. I told myself I am getting used to it. The sooner the better as it saves me a lot of time sans the chit-chats. After a light meal, I was at my workstation, staring into nothingness. I looked up on their websites and tried acquainting myself with their branding style. Unlike my previous organization, I had the advantage of having the design team in-house and the best part; they were already well-versed with the basic guidelines on the usage of the logo and approved fonts, making my life much easier. Or it seemed so at the first glance.

After a while, my manager wanted to walk me through various slides of three heavy presentations of our business. It was extensive. I wondered how he expected any human mind to capture everything that he shared in those 4 hours of downloading. Mine wasn’t capable of it. And I wondered again if I should be embarrassed for that. So I kept wondering one after another. I had few questions. A little more than few and I kept interrupting him. And I couldn’t ever make out neither from his expressions nor from his composure if I’d come to a point of irritating him. When the slides ended, both of us were equally relieved I think - me because I couldn’t take any more of it and him because he wouldn’t have to keep answering to my silly questions.

On my way home I realized I was too tired to even make a call. My eyes hurt and strangely so did my legs. But I was glad that I would have a peaceful sleep after long 10 months of unemployment.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

My very Meitei hometown

So a friend visited home for a week’s vacation recently. The last time she landed in Imphal was 6 years ago, to attend her sister’s wedding. Since she was coming home after a long time, I decided to play guide and take her around in and around Imphal city. The first plan was to visit few places and feast on local delicacies – singju, bora, momos at famous eateries in the little dust ridden city.

We started off first for Awang Potsangbam in Sekmai. The moment I picked her up from her place, the first eye sore she complained about was the garbage dump on the Nambul river all along the Keishamthong stretch. She had a scarf of a length that would wound her from head to toe, almost. She covered her head and face lest the dust and stench would seep into her system and start ruining her anatomy. She was paranoid. It wasn’t easy for her, or perhaps. Once we crossed Khongnaang ani kaarak, the dust had settled down and the hills far away were visible. This did the trick all along the slightly winding road until we reached Sekmai bazaar which was like another Paona Bazaar in Imphal. The place rustled with people and their load to sell and purchase. An unusual crowd caught our attention and we walked there to find out what was happening. And lo! We heard biddings on one absent ‘tekko gekko’ a chameleon look-like supposedly believed to bring in good charms if owned. Now, there’s a reflection of my Manipur there.

After asking for directions a couple of times, our driver was disappointed we hadn’t gotten to the destination yet. So we gave up and headed home after momos and very watery soup at Nikhil’s.

The next day we went for a typical Manipuri chaaluk at Narsimha temple. Dressed in sombre white clothing, we left behind our walled up attitude and otherwise reckless behaviour before entering the temple gate. After offering prayers, all were seated waiting for the ‘luk haabiba yaarani’ announcement. In that solemn gathering, some guy had to flaunt his iPhone and another his galaxy note with that ‘oh look at me’ loudness and had all heads and eyes turned towards them. Oh so typical. So Meitei that was. For God’s sake, that was just a phone and not a gold medal you won for the state. The traditional chaaluk was good and so the experience of sitting down on the floor to eat off from the banana leaf.

As a last one, we decided to visit Uyok hillock in Kakching before she left for Delhi. We effectively petrified her with stories of how vehicles that ply on that route were expropriated with threat. Lest we run into a similar episode, she announced we head home before it got dark. The Kakching garden on top of Uyok was spectacular. It was a resplendent view at sunset with seasonal flowers in full bloom after the dry panoramic scene enroute. We hurried ourselves for few clicks when we heard a bunch of guys droning at us...‘nangdi thamoi kanbini, nangdi minungsi khangdabini.’ So much for a trip to see some flowers bloom. Our Meitei paakhangs would never let go off an opportunity to tease a leishabi, even on a hillock. The brazenness was bold and unabashed that left us gawped.

For a wrapping up meet before she took off, I paid a final visit at her place in Keishamthong and that’s where I met her aunt. Though I had nothing to do with her aunt, strangely she was very proud of my ‘officer’ tag. The next normal question she had for me was how much I had spent for that job position. 8 lakhs is absolutely nothing for a job like mine, or she thinks so. Even a primary teacher’s job would cost anyone 10 lakhs depending on the contacts one had. I knew she spoke the truth, but I found it outrageously attacking my sanity. I was suddenly being pulled and looped in that category. So much for a Manipur government service! My pride and honesty was being attacked. But I kept quiet. It made me think. Until the time is right to stand up and fight, I shall keep mute. I’d just hope it won’t be too late then.

Oh what is to become of dear Sanaleibak Manipur! my friend sighed. We both agreed on the urgent need for a dawn that would awaken Kangleipak. Until that morning we all toil through the night, for truth to rule as the glorious rays of the sun shine equally upon the hills and valley. Until then, we hope.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The beginning…

I lived and saw good 30 years sail by. And I would readily admit I learnt very less compared to the average 30 year olds. Like some friends say I must be shelled and cocooned. I accept that too. Perhaps I enjoyed being treated that way. Perhaps my childhood lacked that so I sub and un-consciously sought the attention. I could be wrong though. But that's what my current thought process says.

Nevermind. My current thought process also says that I have my entire life road ahead. I can start and gear up once am all set. It’s not as early as everyone would think, but that’s okay. I’d rather live my years according to my whims and fancies than someone else’s. Nevermind again if I bloom a little late. It will be but beautiful when it does. And that will not be the end. It will be a start, a beginning to a different journey and exactly how I would want it to tour or detour. Until then, it’s just hope and perseverance that I would all need. I will prepare the chance if at all am not given one. So this and here is definitely not the end…

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Dauntless and daring. You are a charm.
Your eyes ever sparkle with erudition
Head held high with self-fetched pride
Kudos! You bring home accolades in score.

Bask in glory as the paeans echo
Dance and rejoice as the noise lasts
Once out of the trip. You're wretched and lost.
Shortlived and gone. Such is the ecstasy.

The journey's been good and not yet done.
Cheers that stroke your ego will get louder
But when you're done and deserted
Old and tired. I will catch you then and there.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

the missing connect...

Sweet darling, let me tell you this.
I'd have myself speak and heard
And carry on with the tete-a-tete
Oh Alas! you're deaf somewhere
Though you so much express care
Claim that I should do the same too
But as I start and by the time
I articulate and put across my point
You're incapable of hearing the words
Wouldn't understand my gestures either.
Your deeds are polished and fine,
Heavenly gait, eased with style
But you are coated in conceit, you stand tall
Egomaniac wouldn't be a lesser name.
Happier still. If you braved like a man
But something somewhere is amiss.
So, don't accuse me of not loving thee
You are sweet and nice. And chivalrous too,
Let a spineless man overwhelm and hold
thats not me; thats defintely not me...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Vagueness revisited...

Clouds of thoughts, prolonged gaze into nowhere
What rushes within and without; emptiness again
Sheer voidness. No feelings. Numbed and lost.
Is it a new feeling I have to go through?
Or am just being visited again?
Will it stay here for a while or it is passing with time?
Questions that failed to ever fetch answers
Woken up by the pile that lay before. and a call.
Shaken from a reverie, almost a slumber.
It's my life. Back to the canvas again.
Very little time before the dawn breaks again
I have to paint it bright and gay before time fades away!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

one of life's strangest ironies...

Recently, Isak Muivah, the General Secretary of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN, IM) planned a trip to his hometown, Somdal in Ukhrul district and lo behold, the chaos that oozed out. The entire state of Manipur was suddenly gripped in tension and disorder. Meiteis, the Manipur government and Nagas were hell-bent in getting into rows and riots. Manipur in the news, yet again and normal life got badly affected. The worst hit - petrol and LPG's price rocketed sky high. How much would my poor old parents have to go through at that age with no one to help around?

With schooling from LFS and high school from TGHS, I had friends from all possible communities inhabiting the hills and the valley - kuki, hmar, nagas, kabuis, paites and the list goes on. The best part, all my closest friends happen to be nagas. So when Muivah's supposedly planned visit incident tore apart the state, me and my tangkhul friends joked about me having peace talks with Muivah and my tangkhul friend talking to Ibobi. We shared how the public suffered massively because of the conflict between the meiteis and the nagas. Had we been back home, it would have been a different scenario altogether. I really don't know what is it that binds us - decade long friendship or like-mindedness or something else. It's a pity that the clash of the two communities has bred so much animosity amongst the groups. Thank God that our friendship still stays intact and do not let the forces take over. If only there were more people who thought alike...