TODAY -

April Wise

By Sanasam Umananda *



April is not a fool. Nor is she the cruellest month as dubbed by TS Eliot. In Manipur she is a lady in green sprinkled with red, violet and other dazzling colours. Tidily dressed amidst exhilarating perfumery, April stalks the nook and corner of Manipur particularly the countryside with clusters and bunches of "Kombirei" and "Kusumlei" flowers in her hand. The red faced sun and the dust of March vanish now with a new Avatar. The sun becomes bright-white and the dust succumbs to the drippings of the raindrops.

Night showers in early April sometimes with howling winds and terrifying hail-storms give electrifying changes in the calm faces of April mornings giving cheers to the cheerless and hopes to the hopeless. The April rain animates living beings with new hopes against the backdrop of sprouting twigs and blooming flowers on the treetops as well as plants and shrubs. Everything is alive in April.

From the meanest to the most majestic, all flowers give the most sparkling smile and enjoy the air they breathe.

April thus seems to hide a wisdom a practical wisdom of life to achieve great goals. Her two faces—one, ghoulish with horrifying cyclones and hailstorms only to be replaced by a calmness that pacifies troubled souls the next moment is indicative of a practical path that leads to tame mankind and reach cherished destinations of humanity.

Her seeming destructiveness is only a magnificent ploy to make a new beginning with a new birth. Her storms create the freshest springs in spite of its thunders and seeming fury. It seems to show that benevolent violence is always better than malevolent non-violence and also that where monks fail to settle an issue, kind violence can.

Is not the stab of a surgeon's knife, the stab of love? April's wisdom thus surpasses any of the sage's. It serves as a practical guide to achieve great heights of success. It is a noble means for a noble end.

April's enigma does not end here. Her hidden self with an enigmatic visage defies definite definitions of her identity. Call her summer but the moment it rains she becomes winter again with woolen clothes exhibiting sartorial elegance visible everywhere on the bodies of both sexes. Again, call her winter, but the moment the sun shines in the sky all the woollen clothes will hide in the wardrobes. A wise strategy to hide its identity and strike profitable deals.

But the true self of April is associated with its romantic essence. She is Miss Clean with the best complexion, the most sparkling eyes and voluptuous lips. The "Chingthrao" and the "Kurao" flowers along with the bluish blossoms of the Neem tree and other multi-hued flowers of the season enchant souls of all ages with romantic orientation.

She is the darling of poet Dr Kamal nay, everybody old and young, man and woman which is why she is the month of Manipuri New Year. Our fore-father's choice of Shajibu as the first month of the year speaks volumes about their mastery of right choice. The 1st of January cannot surpass the jocund liveliness of April. Nature's life seems to start from Shajibu. Hats off to our forefathers for their wise selection.

New Year's Day in Manipur is marked by a mandatory offering of two kinds of flowers - Kusumlei and Kombirei - the former with bristling petals in orange colour and the latter with captivating violet colour dyeing the softest petals.

Interpretations are galore that "Kusumlei" represents the last flower of the year and so "a farewell flower" while Kombirei takes the lead in the series of flowers that will bloom in the coming year thus extending a warm welcome to all. May be the out-going flower and the incoming flower together enjoy a hearty meal on this day with a promise of a bloodless year.

We only hope that this year the two flowers had a happy rapport and a warm exchange of gifts bringing a new year of love, fellow-feeling and good governance in Manipur.

The people of Manipur have so long been waiting for a taste of good governance which, unfortunately, is still an unfulfilled dream. May this New Year bring in the honeyed taste of good governance to the Manipuris so as to find the true meaning of existence.




* Sanasam Umananda wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on April 23 2011.


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