Post # 14 # On Solitude

/ /
I have started longing to live a reclusive live. Again. I have been too numb whenever there is a cacophony, every time there is a tragedy in my hometown. But now I have some thoughts.

Ironically, I'm loving the fellowship among the wailing and howling people, even during this kind of tribulation. When May and June went by so quiet, there was a great chance of having no disaster out here, but August came and have made this year unintentionally committed to another annual great mess of our home. It's been a long time that peace and serenity were our lovely guests.

Every year, we have this great mess: street protest, activism, hoarding, more violence and all sorts of things that make up a turbulent society. This year, all of us were so quiet until a bomb blast and an impending highway blockade, which is now underway. This blockade is equal to getting a kick on an empty stomach. But we are helpless.

Nobody has claimed responsibility of the blast. The blockade is because of a 20-year-old issue, about creating a new district out of an existing one. (And this very existing district is also a volatile area and a major epicentre of blockade for other socioeconomical an political issues.) This is not all. There is another blockade coming up on another highway in a day or two in another district.

New found consciousness
From every annual great mess
Recoil again soon.

In this mess, the most irritating thing is this cacophony of the people. Sometimes there's a feeling we are just like this. In other times, this is what makes us. This is our reality. Doomed to fail. And knee-jerk reactions. And painfully reactive instead of being proactive. Now I want to build some hope in a reclusive calm of my inner self. How can be a society in the 21st century too primitive?

Post # 13 # The Place I Belong to

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Manipur in crimson
Noam Chomsky, Stephen Hawking, Karl Popper and their ilk would have been living listless lives, in obscurity, had they born in my native place. The intelligence of these few men is, no doubt, extraordinary but yours truly just want to convey what a non-conducive atmosphere can spoil the mental health of the individuals and of a society at large. That's my hometown, in one of its darkest ages in history. Pity that we are a part of this contemporary generation. But there are hopes and aspiration for change. There are a lot of many things that we want to do and that we would be doing to put a full stop to the unending crises.

A modern society. And there are things like post-modernism. Going by the literal meaning of the words, we have been doing a great injustice to these natural/creative/artificial phenomena. Because we are struck in between in some turning points of a civilization. We saw the first trace of modernity around the mid 19th century, amidst World War II and the independence movements and the subsequent periods. And till now, we have been dragging our foot to eternity or simply, have not been able to get out of a certain ancient cocoon. The situation is, however, quite complex. From around those 19th-century days, some parts of our social lives have also been under a primitive cloak of mindsets and attitudes. Put simply, we have never been able to get rid of medieval disposition nor have able to move forward to leave behind the sub-modern legacies.

Another major hindrance to this unintentional effort to better ourselves is our geography. Once we have a thriving business with the Far East countries, now we are a landlocked state after becoming a part of the Great Union of India.

Now the government is only capable of committing brazen crimes like unbridled corruption and state terrorism. The authority is non-existent when it comes to governance and administration. The insurgents who started an idealistic pursuit of self-determination are also now becoming like the elected government: corrupt, uninspiring and a pain in the ass. And us, the common people? The less said the better. Greedy, lazy, violent... How true nobody is perfect!

The only thing which have remained is the natural beauty that bestows the land. Green and blue mountains, colourful skies, breathtaking spots. Nowhere would I find such wonder and awe and such things so close to my heart than this raped land.  

    

Post # 12 # The Anonymous Identity

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With love, people call me Molom
I usually write with a kolom

I love eating kolamni
And my real name is Sanamani.



___________________________________

Learn Manipuri in 45 seconds
Molom - Antiseptic cream
Kolom - Pen
Kolamni - A vegetable, I don't know what it's called in English but its stem is delicious to eat it fried
Sanamani -  A real Manipuri male name (sana: precious, gold ; mani: again precious; stone)

Post # 11 # On Friends, Facebook and Fellowship

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Friendship, at times it's funny, how a keyboard and a mouse have redefined its meaning entirely. From Yahoo Messenger to Facebook, this journey of wonderful fellowship has come a long way. Don't you think?

This is the age of digital friends. Too many cliche has been written, too many appreciation of the new-found relation and too many damnation of its futility. But in the last couple of years, I have met some of the most interesting folks through Facebook, Twitter and of late, Google+. How different was it in the early days when we used to befriend only with those we study together or those live in our locality! I'd like to emphasise again that it's not dependence or seeking sympathy from the virtual world, still, it's quite amazing to meet the folks, first on the screen then in spirit.
I have a dozen of folks in my mind; all of them are great souls that I would not dare think about unfriending them. All along we have enjoyed our camaraderie. Out of them, I have the privilege of meeting around five of them -- large on the screen, larger on the life.

A friend to all is a friend to none, it sounds quite a quality of those crooked politicians but the aphorism has found new meanings too; for a person having 1,000 friends must be an attention-seeking moron or someone who hones his/her social skills through the net. It's not a good quality, nonetheless, there has been a lot of alteration in our everyday vocabulary and understanding of supposedly wise sayings.

Change is truly the only constant thing. We are finding new fellowship in our journey of life. It's more important how this phenomenon is affecting our happiness and development. Otherwise it's better we just log out.  

Post # Ten # From the Election Camp

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I feel pity for myself and for my folks. General election is round the corner, scheduled to be held early 2012. This is one of the major votings we have, among the several smaller ones that we have, in the name of democracy. Many of us are drunk with the free drinks, many of us playing caroms as if life is a game, and many of us are participating in chalking out the plans and strategies for tomorrow. As a part of the election campaign. But...

For more than sixty years, we have been living under the cloak of democracy. Let's not go back to the beginning of time when Manipur was forcibly inserted into the union of India in 1949. Let's know something about neo-colonialism. The textbook defines the term in several ways. But back on the ground reality, it is a totally new thing what the term neo-colonialism implies. It can manifest in a single country, regardless of its long winding explanation of the developed-undeveloped-countries' phenomenon in 1,000-page academic books. As a metaphor, the issue is as boring as a textbook. But the issue is eating into fabrics of our society that we cannot simply ignore.

We have an adopted religion, Hinduism, which we have followed reluctantly after it was forcibly imposed on us during the 19th century. We have came a long way from those times. Now the gods are dead. And now, in a new incarnation, in political and economical matters, we are surviving on borrowed ideals of election and democracy. We don't have any revenue but the freebies from New Delhi, the national capital. This is a reality, howsoever we try to lose ourselves in a fantasy for a better tomorrow, even inside this election camp.

But we are not wise. It is simple as that. The only thing we are waiting for is to bitch about our representatives, who will disappear from the public eyes as soon as the election results are declared. We can find them in whorehouses and gambling places but we are too naive to visit them in those places. More bitching when we return back after they refused to listen to our grievances.

But the question is why we are not wise. I want to burn down this camp. But I'm too tipsy. And I will not ever resort to violence to meet the ends. I would cry for collective, common consciousness. I want to persuade the people about the truth. We are living in a frontier area, which in military jargon, means a region that needs to be guarded with guns and bombs and barb wires. How do you define this kind of democracy in the 1,000-page textbook? When are we going to wake up from this nightmare?

This election is just a side-show. How long are we going to tolerate this intolerable injustice towards humanity? I doubt I will ever find the answer inside this camp.

Post # Nine # At the Wishing Well

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"Be as you wish to seem"
Last evening, some friends had visited me for some quiet time among ourselves. We celebrated in the dusk, as the sun shone like a gold and later immersed into the mountains. After a sumptuous meal at a nearby meat hotel and a brisk loitering, we went to a local wishing well situated at the foothill. (For the record, we have several chains of small stalls in each locality that we call meat hotels, where we can get roasted meat, dishes and others. Pork, chicken and duck are the favourites. It is also a haven for those drinkers. Some of the stalls serve a tasty hooch that we call ashaba in local lingo.)

And a wishing well is a term, as explained by Wikipedia, from European folklore to describe wells where it was thought that any spoken wish would be granted. The idea that a wish would be granted came from the idea that water housed deities or had been placed there as a gift from the gods, since water was a source of life and often a scarce commodity.

Well after a nice time, after wonderful moments with friends and after a hearty meal, life is seemingly complete. But we have thousands and thousands of limitless wishes. Reasonable, somehow reasonable, illogical, utter illogical wishes.  When I took out some coins from my wallet, though, I didn't feel like wishing for the heaven and the stars but I only wished that I will not suffer from diarrhea or some gastric problems.

Luckily I got my wish! I feel as fresh as the morning dews when I got up today.

Post # Eight # Trigger Happy

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Anyone with a gun can go out and commit an act of terrorism,
even without a political affiliation.
Aaron McGruder 
"Ideas pull the trigger,
but instinct loads the gun"

Policemen must be hanged if they are found guilty of a fake encounter incident. The Supreme Court (SC) of India has said. A bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Chandramouli Kumar Prasad observed in court that encounter killings can be classified as a rarest of rare crime because the protectors of law become murderers.

That's the fact. The news. And what's the reality? For the record, Uttar Pradesh and Manipur top the list of fake encounters, involving high-handedness of the men in khaki. Utter indiscipline. By ratio to its population, my state, Manipur already affected by insurgent movements and ethnic conflicts, will be the notorious numero uno. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) recorded 32 cases of fake encounters in 2009-10, 12 cases in 2010-11 in the trouble-torn state.

But what does all this mean? For a long time, Manipur has been up in arms against the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which has been supposedly imposed to curb the militant menace but the fire of resistance and insurgency has only spread like wild fires, in the last three decades after the act has been put into place. More unfortunately, so many innocents have lost their lives, so many maimed, so many raped, so many abused, so many depressed and Irom Chanu Sharmila has entered the eleventh year into her fast. In this context, an observation in the court that the law-enforcers should be punished means next to nothing.

There's something so wrong in the Indian democracy. If not for the election, the image of things like sovereign and republic is fading from the people residing in its peripheral regions. The crisis in Manipur is just the perfect case study. What is needed is a complete overhaul of the system: policy intervention, help the affected people and persuade them to bring to the table, strengthen democratic mechanism, understand the issue completely and not to go by the interests of other things like defence strategy only, et cetera. So finally, the observation is appreciated but it should come out of the books and courtrooms.  

Post # Seven # Simple Living, High Thinking

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I believe in the formula of simple living and high thinking. It sounds so simple, yet so high. On one hand I'm suffocated with the ideals that I have been building on. And even if I find it hard to reduce my basic minimum requirements, on the other hand, I believe simplicity is what differentiates the hues and contrasts of life. Well, well, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Perhaps I have always tried to focus on the high-thinking part though my IQ is hovering only around 80-100. I have recalled this formula after finding myself in a deep, unknown soup. The story is: I'm always led by the ideals. Remember I told you about a bomb blast days ago that killed no only common men but two little schoolchildren. I have always held the belief that the first thing we need is to cleanse our collective consciousness, though I don't know how or when. This confusion makes the formula of simple living and high thinking so out of sync of the reality and all these bullshits about philosophising the issues so absurd and meaningless. This makes me realise again what the Jonathan Livingston Seagull's writer's saying that the simple things are the truest.

But there is a predicament. If I join the mass protesting on the streets against everything and anyone that can be protested, I would be like just swimming with the tide. In the contradiction of life, my stories are flowing in a serpentine path while I'd love to sit back and look into the issues immaculately. Just sitting back is not enough. Not Enough!!! But the question and method of starting my revolt against the destroyers is still open ended. I want a radical way of protest.

A peace demonstration in the national capital city, New Delhi,
organised by a student organisation *

[ * Image originally published by Manipuri Students' Association, Delhi on their Facebook wall at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002616454871 ]

Post # Six # Clash Inside a Civilization

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I went to visit an uncle who is diagnosed with Hepatitis C in a hospital. My aunty was worried because the doctors have advised them that my uncle should be shifted to another hospital, that it’s better if he can be transferred to a hospital outside the state. The reason: lack of medicinal oxygen supply.


The Bra Protest: Economic
blockade, in early August 2011 *

For the past one week, there has been economic blockade on the highways imposed by some organisations demanding for separate districts. First, we have only two highways we are connected to the world and secondly, barbarism knows no bound here. Even in war times, lines for medicines and food stock are kept clear, educational areas are kept clear and there is a limit to everything. But the rules are different in my hometown, Imphal. And this is the second time in two years.

In 2010, the highways were blocked for more than two months by another organisation. For plain information, our land is inhabited by more than thirty ethnic groups, each having different agendas and some of them are fighting for homelands and some others fighting for self-determination and independence from the union of India. In this part of the world, luxury is having a cooking gas to prepare food. Luxury is having electricity for at least six hours a day. Luxury is having food stocks to buy.

Things are still manageable till now. But last time, we had some hard-earned money but had nothing to buy. Life’s a tragedy.

Now my uncle’s worried. But I think he will feel better if he can go to, like, Guwahati. We are living in trying times of the Manipuri civilization. We are proud of inventing polo, developing a classical dance, being the sports powerhouse of India and things like that, but this pride means a big zero when it comes to life and death. After running here and there for the medicines for my uncle, I came back home feeling exhausted.

[* Image originally published by E-pao.net (http://e-pao.net/) at http://www.e-pao.net/epGallery.asp?id=37&src=News_Related/Archived_News_Photo/NewsPhotoArchive_2011_4]

Post # Five # Loyalty and Things like that

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"There's something so common between having sex and going shopping with you," one of my ex-girlfriends had told me. "Fifteen minutes into the 'act' and you start running away while I keep pushing you on." Perhaps she was right about shopping. Only shopping! She has exaggerated on the sex part. Anyways. Now I have learned, after all those heartache and heartbreak, it's quite an experience to live with committing to no one. For the record, only fools rush in to take sides. You might say I'm too individualistic but the fact is I'm a lover of independence, I would fight for unrestrained freedom if it is only possible. In the rule book of power, it is also mentioned in emboldened typefaces: 'Always stay away from commitments and allegiance; these are the tools of another person to put you under his/her power.'

But I don't want to demean the power of love. I believe in the power of love. I believe in the power of a soulmate. As one of the local editors updated on a social networking site, "One soulmate in real life can make you stand firm and confident like a tree, while in the company of a 1,000 Facebook friends you can still be desperately lonely and desolate." This Facebook and Twitter things!

From commitment to social networking sites, life is quite a hotch-potch. Believe it or not. Let me explain: after updating the wall post, the editor got around 50 comments and one of the replies goes something like, "The behaviours of quantum particles have added new dimensions to the understanding of reality, but has not changed it. Maybe there are multiple planes of reality and life, but these are esoteric considerations. I am not discrediting the possibility, but even if they exist, the present reality will remain our tangible reality. For all you know, even in the physical world, our immediate world may be the only reality." Interesting! Indecipherable! I would love to add an emoticon but I'll do away with it.

Redefining communication

Commitment and things like this redefine life. It seems like only yesterday, life's all about friends and fun. But now it's about taking responsibilities and applying for a life insurance policy and many other things. In some years down the line, I can see that there will be more nuances to deliberate, more things to understand, more responsibilities to take up and so many other things. For instance, after a few years, I might be having my own family and kids. I don't know what life has in store for me. My life's a journey. The journey of change.    

Post # Four # Killing in the Name of

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Only the death is the loser

An hour ago, I was brought down from my creaky ivory tower when I heard a few gunshots. One of my neighbours went by shouting... I could understand the frustration in his voice but it was not clear what it was all about. And there it was -- the unexpected event but which is not unexpected at all: An old man, believed to be around 50 was lying in a pool of blood. I have never seen him before, but I heard some people saying he worked inside the mission campus of the temple at the street corner. We hired a cab and took him to the government hospital but the doctors only uttered their favourite line: Brought dead.

It was all gloom and doom and I hate it especially in the morning hours. Some of the guys who stayed back and his family members have lodged an FIR to the district police when we came back after we were told that we can fetch the body from the mortuary. We saw a police Gypsy around the spot, doing some inquiry about this and that. But I doubt for it's too early to predict who did it and that the police would ever catch the culprit. Things are just like that. But I don't doubt the FIR report will find its eternal place among the dust-covered, moth-eaten racks of the police station. And I feel sorry for the old man. His family said there had been no enmity with anyone of late. My voice got blocked with nothing to say.

I heard now, they are staging a sit-in protest. We call it 'wakat meepham' in Manipuri. It has become some kind of formality to express that we do care about decadence of our values but the only thing we can do is to sit, with some catchy banners and coconuts, at the roadside while the concerned authorities will become deaf, dumb and blind. Pain and gloom are all lingering in the air.  

Post # Three # Social Consciousness

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If only our environment is as serene
as that of the nature's
The new morning light brings some fresh light of awareness. What's a day without something new to learn? Out of the thousands of thoughts that come and rush down every minute, it is quite a worthy try to catch on a couple of them and elaborate them in a plain language. Precisely, the light of awareness this morning hours, is some muse on recreating ourselves from what our environment has been creating in us.

We are what our environment is. Our family, parents, friends, people we talk to... The television and radio shows... The websites we go to usually... and things like that. But the most important thing is to control how these environment are shaping us. There is an artist in everyone of us. We have to mold the influences, recreate ourselves and the fact is we can do it if we think we can do it. But is simply the awareness that we have to or can create anew enough? Nope. But the very consciousness is the first step towards a new holistic living. And we have to learn to to control our action and emotions. Then we can try creating a new character in us. Something interesting and memorable. And finally, flexibility is the 'in' thing: to be light when it is dark and to be dark when it is light or to be what the situation demands.

A lot of blabbering so early! I have been constantly bogged down by the things happening around us, a lot of killings and murders, several bomb blasts here and there, spineless government, corruption unabated, or else excruciating ennui that eats the emptiness that ever fills the landscape. I want a life out of this miserable cocoon. So it's worthwhile, I believe, that some kind of awareness can take me out or take the wretched things out of my life.

Post # Two # Movies, Friends and Drinks

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Cheers!
Last night, I was with some of my friends. We usually condemn the establishment when we are drunk. When we are sober, there are only frustration and depression. We feel so helpless that we feel all of us should be conscious... conscious of the things that are happening around us, should be objective, should continue the deliberation and take a concrete decision and things like that. Decisions like how we we should be behaving and thinking, how we should elect our representatives in the election, how we could live in a just and peaceful society. But the ideals are quite another thing: for example without comparing, Adolf Hitler had an ideal, Karl Marx had an ideal, Aristotle, Hobbes, Rousseau, Emerson... and in contemporary times, there are so many people in diverse fields from Schopenhauer to Carl Jung. Yet it is unfortunate to note that the reality is a farce that ever churns out the most contradictory things.

Well, well. The discussion should not be an upset.

Nothing taste better than a few drinks and a nice dinner with delicious fish dishes. And what could be more better than a nice movie after the meal. Movies can be a hot topic for discussion and can be a sort of lullaby-type for their sleep-inducing quality. And yesterday, we watched "Fuck the Documentary," which left us with nothing much to blabber but was amazed at how this wonderful word 'fuck' has a lot of connotations and denotations, more than a big, fat poetry that talks about the trees and woods and flowers. We watched the docu and dozed off. A new day in the horizon.   

Post # One # The Story of My Life

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This is the story of my life. Unpredictable. Unabridged. Un-everything. This is a simple digital diary I have kept to keep track of my life, in a non-linear way, to tell my tales and to discover what life is dishing out all along. There is so many things happening and it is quite ridiculous all of these would mean just a naught as soon as the last nail is hit on my coffin, when I bid adieu to you, to everyone on this earth. Anyways. But I'm glad there are so many things. And these things somehow manifest themselves to give my life an essence. Otherwise, I would have been a suicide bomber a long time ago and would have been sleeping with one of the goddesses in the heaven. 

Yesterday, there was a bomb blast in my town. They exploded the bomb because they wanted a new nation. But two little girls died when they were returning from their school. Some other people were also killed. Sometimes these political people are more than a pain in the ass. More than a swell in the ass. New nation. New freedom. So funny when all I want is to eat, drink, sleep or have sex when I want. Perhaps you might know what I mean if you belong to, or have some idea about a conflict zone, where elected government and violence-inspired insurgent groups mean the same thing, where so many ethnic groups are fighting for their freedom and their homelands and where you will be alive if you are only lucky. Too much violence and killings and  bomb blasts. But I'm glad again I'm still alive to tell my tales.

While I'm so apathetic to these things like killings and violence, it is a contradiction that I keep mentioning about the issue so often. Maybe, it has become a way of life, a part of narrative that incorporates the life stories of so many of us living in this place, which is just thirty degree short of hell. We call hell a 'norok' in my native language. By the way, I speak Manipuri.

Life's a highway
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— The Blog-diary of an Unknown Man Living in the Virtual World

THIS IS THE STORY OF MY LIFE. UNPREDICTABLE. UNABRIDGED. UN-EVERYTHING. FROM A SIMPLE DIGITAL DIARY, A BLOG I HAVE KEPT TO KEEP TRACK OF MY LIFE, IN A NON-LINEAR WAY, TO TELL MY TALES AND TO DISCOVER WHAT DELICACIES AND DAMNATION THAT LIFE IS DISHING OUT ALL ALONG.




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