TODAY -

Some cairns from the way: An artist's retake
- Part 2 -

Aribam Syam Sharma *

9th Dr Thingnam Kishan Memorial Lecture at Imphal Public Library, Urpok Sorboan Thingel :: 28 June 2018
9th Dr Thingnam Kishan Memorial Lecture at Urpok Sorboan Thingel on 28 June 2018 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



(Text of the 9th Dr Thingnam Kishan Singh Memorial Lecture on on 28 June 2018 )

I have had trainings in music. Though I cannot claim an institutional training in film-making, I had been 'trained' through serious involvements. And I make it a point to re-iterate that there has to be 'training', apprenticeship in the craft aspect of the arts. Intention is not enough.

This is underlined by a negative appraisal of a performance as "Radha Keina Chahoure Hairabhou Mittagi Pi Tadehe!" For a devout vaishnav, the very mention of "Radhe" evokes spiritual emotions. If the singing that Radha is being eaten by a tiger fails to even water our eyes then something has gone wrong with the artistic effort. The saying, though from a particular context, has a larger bearing. And that is, how you say is as important as what you say.

That is one reading. Another reading is to identify emotive response as the parameter of success. That it cannot be the sole parameter comes from an observation that all of us here can relate. I have heard many times a movie or a lila, drama etc. recommended with the justification yam kappani, 'there was lot of crying'.

Whether the crying was done by the audience or the actors, or both has to be decided. While deciding, one can keep in mind the amount of crying in dramas on radio, films on cable T.V. etc. I asked myself whether we are a nation of cry babies. I believed otherwise.

This crying business could also have come from another direction i.e., from a mistaken sense of realism, the idea that art has to reflect the real. During my involvement with theatre, I learnt one very simple but important lesson – never put a real tree on stage to represent a real tree.

We have faced destructive forces from within and without with a different kind of cry, the cry of challenge. When we are angry, really angry, our eyes don't flare, they squint. In the stereotyping of crows in a game that we played as children, we identified ourselves with the not so loud crows.

The meitei kwak is a silent one, perched on the bamboo top not demanding too much attention, not creating too much fuss. However our times demand that we become discursive, we participate on talk shows, and of course …deliver lectures. We fear the rare crowing of meiteikwak. Yet, it is not bereft of rashi.

This word "rashi" might have been an import but the content that we have given to it places it in a different semantic field. If it is an import then originally it could have been something to do with the patterns of the stars and what they have in store for us. But we have given it such adistinctive meaning to the extent that it has become a unique aesthetic concept and category that cannot be translated successfully into any other language.

This reversal has happened in some other areas also. I now see that this ideal was working in some of my works too. When I want to be expansive, to be more detailed, to work on a large canvas something pulls me back. This has to be the ingrained sensibility of rashi. The works of some of the masters of Cinema are of epic proportions with fantastic visions drawn upon ever enlarging canvases. They work consciously to change the grammar of Cinema to claim a language.

My works and the works of the masters cannot be compared for that would miss the mark by quite a breadth.We say of a marksman that misses the mark as someone whose aim is not 'right' (makhutchumde). Our word for 'right' and 'truth' is the same. And our conception of beauty has within it the mark of what is right and true. This is what is captured in our aesthetic concept of machutaba. This is also revealed in our not so charitable appraisal of a work as "khadrakni da" or "khadrakmallida".

I am perceived as someone asking for opinions from each and everyone but at the end do what I wanted to do at the outset. As with perceptions, this can be a wrong one. I do not work in a vacuum. I ask for opinions because it gives me traction and footholds. Another trait that irritates others is that I change my mind at the last minute.

It's not a pleasure to irritate others but sometimes I do what I have to do on the realization of what is to be done, even if the realization of what is to be done comes a bit late. One of the most fruitful of my creative processes has been the discussions I had with none other than Sanaibemma Maharajkumari Binodini.

She had written of our discussions as a creative process resulting in an end which erases the authorship of the ideas that initiated the discussions. Discussions in our collaborative artistic process has been one of evolution and deliberated decisions at important junctures. These discussions, in the time of mangoes, ended with her giving a basketful of mangoes from her garden for my children. These would travel on the cane-basket on my cycle from Yaishkul to Thangmeiband.

In my life there are two women who were born princessesbut in my estimationmore than queens. Without Sanaibemma Manipur Matam Eshei, Theatre, Literature and Cinema might have been a different story. The other princess who is more than a queen to meis my Kakaibemma, Maharajkumari Phandengsana, daughter of Chandrakirti Maharaj.

Her compassion changed the course of the lives of a family and its descendants for the better. It's pretty sure that I won't have been here delivering this lecture if not for her.

Everytime I go to Nambol, I bow in obeisance to Lainingthou Khorifaba on the hills "between heaven and earth. And I am never tired of telling the storyof how he was separated from her mother. Whether one is mortal or divine, to be separated from one's parents is painful.

It must have been painful for Bhagyachandra to exile himself from the navel of the earth – Kangla. We believe that the land was submerged in water and we made the descent from the hills when the valley was drained of flood. Kangla was the area to dry first. There were floods during our times as was the case recently.

But the difference is that our time was when Naga was a turel(river) not a nala(drain). There was life in this river. Every monsoon we witnessed the migration of different fishto spawn the next generation – Ukabi, Pengba and others across the adjoining fields.

If we are a few lakhs of people now, we can imagine how many it would have been of our ancestors. Our ancestors who have handed down the Lai-Haraoba, the myths, the epics, the many Puyas on every imaginable subject written in a script incomparable, the Nat-Sankirtana, the Ras of Manipur must have been a few thousand heads.

Those few gave the world the sports of Polo, the Thang-Ta.

How was it possible for such a small population; how could they find the time and creative energy in between sowing, harvesting, fishing and going to war? Such spurts of genius happened in other parts of the world. It happened here too. That would be the only explanation. To sustain that genius is a challenge of extraordinary proportion.

For me, whose faculties have grown old, who now have difficulty in hearing the harvest songs carried from the Kabui community on clear winter dawns; for whom the bells of ShriShriGovindajee have been drowned; for whom the radio no longer air the remarkable Marifat, the feeling is that time has indeed changed.

With that comes the challenge of another era. We sang Anouba Jugki Anouba Asha in acceptance of the challenge thrown to us. That particular epoch is passing but what the song was about still remains. The present generation cannot afford not to sing it. The only freedom they have is that it is for them to sing that song in a register of their own choosing.

Concluded...


* Aribam Syam Sharma gave this speech at 9th Dr Thingnam Kishan Singh Memorial Lecture on on 28 June 2018 which was published at The Sangai Express
This article was posted on July 11, 2018.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • DESAM Protest- remove MU VC : Gallery
  • Konung Kang Chingba #2 : Gallery
  • Unbiased Retake Manipur University Issues
  • BoSEM Imbroglio: Educational smuggling
  • Jobs available in NIELIT centers
  • Commanding Officer-i-c must be punished
  • Public official's escorts assault lawyer
  • Is Govt underestimating MU Community
  • MU impasses : Getting uglier
  • Art Exhibit @Imphal Art College #1 : Gallery
  • HSLC students @ Chalwa, KPI : Gallery
  • Arambam Modhu Kalabhusan-Lairik Haiba
  • Interferences in private school affairs
  • Diagnostic Testing Phases -complexities
  • The Kite Runner :: Poem
  • Call for joint mass protest at New Delhi
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Manipur CM warns of extreme steps
  • Naga civil society playing key role
  • This will be an Acid test for N. Biren
  • Best option : A graceful exit ..for Pandey
  • Kang Khichri chaba @Kwakeithel : Gallery
  • Plastic Surgery Day @RIMS : Gallery
  • Kang Chingba @Keishampat : Gallery
  • Human rights of women in our society
  • AFSPA Gesture and Better Alternative
  • Leisure :: Poem
  • Restore Life After Burns : Plastic Surgery
  • IM accuses AR of 'cold-blooded murder'
  • Konung Kang Chingba #1 : Gallery
  • Dont waste searching for word/phrases
  • Hill People & Merger of Manipur
  • Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 #5
  • U-Mangra for biofuel for economic devpt
  • Painting competition on environment
  • Condemn Moreh terror attack
  • Climbing Shirui Hills, Ukhrul #3 : Gallery
  • Ichangthoubi, Thotmungchan :: eMing
  • Kang Chingba - Rath Yatra : Book
  • Why the impasse at Manipur University
  • Condolence Message for Tamenglong
  • Maharaj parleys Bizando
  • Opt for fruit/vegetable beauty product
  • DG Assam Rifles meets Governor
  • Recreation - a Serious Business
  • Tuilha Kolt waterfall @Kpi #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Lamjing Meira Ningsing Numit #2 : Gallery
  • Who Created the Border Pillar Conflict ?
  • EEVFAM amidst Numbness and Noise
  • Special Olympics Unified Cup 2018
  • Path for youth's bright future
  • Addressing core issues
  • Students Vs Centre's man : MU
  • Thangjam Manorama Anniversary: Gallery
  • A reflection on POCSO Act, 2012
  • Fear :: Poem
  • War veterans laboured to clean compound
  • Free Career Counselling Program
  • NEFIS writes to University bodies
  • Sit-in-Protest Against House Search
  • 50th World Population Day celebrated
  • Something worrying
  • Congress : 2 days session too short
  • Jadugi Chei :: Funga Wari
  • Tribal protest for MU normalcy : Gallery
  • Framework Agreement: What is it ?
  • Some cairns from the way: Artist's retake #2
  • Cry of a Dying River # 36 :: Poem
  • Overview on Manipur University imbroglio
  • Tribal Students memo to HRD on MU
  • India-Vietnam Film Show 2018 at Delhi
  • Why the CM is helpless ?
  • No end in sight to MU crisis
  • Indo-Myanmar Pillar 81 @Kwatha #1: Gallery
  • Global Bamboo Congress @Beijing : Gallery
  • Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 #4
  • Kamesh Salam : Speaker at BARC, Beijing
  • Career in Cooperatives
  • Nagaland CM's speech at NEC
  • NPF Rejoinder to JD (U) of July 9
  • The Killing Fields - 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Unfair Game
  • Expecting documentary proof from villagers
  • Lamjing Meira Ningsing Numit #1 : Gallery
  • Woken Youth Clubs in season of World Cup
  • Converting tourism potential into reality
  • Let me live in your heart :: Poem
  • D-Jent.... Djentleman... Anyone ?
  • Socialism or destruction of humanity ?
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Demand action against KSO activists
  • 3 Manipur girls in BCCI U-19 squad
  • Rights meet on bill outcome
  • Naga integration will be democratic..
  • Ichangi Laidhi #3 :: eRang
  • Modernizing Manipur University Library
  • In the grip of nothingness :: Poem
  • Password protection - I
  • Congenital Heart Defect operated
  • Hill area bandh relaxed temporarily
  • State & central govt must stop conflict
  • Cohesion is sports
  • Explain 'devious purpose'
  • Willong Khullen, Maram #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur merger agreement 1947
  • Wari Jalsa at New Delhi
  • Congress grass menace in North-East
  • M A Thomas National Human Rights Award
  • What does worry do to us ?
  • Is Manipur a part of India ?
  • Rumours of child lifters : Dangerous
  • List of MLA (Jan 2018) #3 : Gallery
  • Forest Rights Act 2006 -context of Manipur
  • Supreme Court Hearing on EEVFAM case
  • Cry of a Dying River - 35 :: Poem
  • Terirama Th. met South Korea's first lady
  • Securing security cameras: invisible eye
  • Rejoinder to Nagaland CM's statement
  • Meitei Mayek - are the scales tipped now
  • Patronising non-locals : Nail the insiders
  • UNC oppose indefinite Manipur bandh
  • Tribal University @ Senapati : Gallery
  • Rally to remove MU VC #2 : Gallery
  • Some cairns from the way: Artist's retake #1
  • Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 #3
  • UN experts on 'fake encounter' killings
  • Nagaland CM Rio statement on July 4
  • Condemns inhuman eviction by Govt
  • Trainees Certificate of RPL at Kamrup
  • Minor reunited with mother after 26 days
  • Non-Operative Closure of "hole in the heart"
  • We are for the people, for the society
  • Over 30 days : Centre sleeps, MU 'burns'
  • Thokchom Brindashabi Devi :: Profile
  • Kshetri-bengoon Eviction Protest : Gallery
  • Successive pay commissions: It's impact
  • Research Support @ R-Square Design
  • leingakki thouwong - state terrorism
  • Rebuttal: Interview of Ranju Singh
  • Different forces pulling Manipur : Lim
  • Pakhangba Cheng Hongba #3 : Gallery
  • Some ideas for prevention of flood
  • Satisfaction :: Poem
  • Supreme Court hearing on EEVFAM - 2 July
  • Dark lips .. causes and care
  • Training on Handloom Weaver at Hojai
  • CME on 'Congenital Heart Diseases'
  • Nagaland CM should make his stand clear
  • 2019 LS polls : BJP on the offensive
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #4 : Gallery
  • Naga American conference in California
  • Life of an army officer's daughter
  • The Winter Blues :: Poem
  • 16th Mega Miss North East
  • NDPP on Naga integration
  • Allegations against VC holds no ground
  • Rally to remove MU VC #1 : Gallery
  • July Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • A Washed-Out Summer Vacation in MU
  • Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 #2
  • My short interaction with Penna Donna
  • 9th Men Mega Mister North East
  • Memo submitted to Kiren Rijiju
  • India- no interest to protect its boundary
  • Idea of who is a citizen of the land
  • Poumai Purul Hiimai Paoki #3 : Gallery
  • Dr Thingnam Kishan Memorial : Gallery
  • Black sheep in movement for ILPS #3
  • Our Common Crisis: What are We to Do #2
  • Jackichand Singh signs for FC Goa
  • No co-operation to MU VC
  • Nagaland CM contradicting himself : NPF
  • Career Guidance Workshop at Ukhrul
  • The tales of a forgotten University
  • Pulling at idea of Manipur : Lim, ATC
  • Climbing Shirui Hills, Ukhrul #2 : Gallery
  • Moirangthem Arup: 90 Km Marathon, Africa
  • Pitfalls on land acquisition for Mapithel Dam
  • Chinese dominance in 21st century
  • Caring for the elderly
  • IIT-G's Technothlon prelims at UAE
  • Mass Rally from Manipur University
  • Nagaland CM releases book by teenager
  • Why trying to dictate media time & again
  • MU, border pillar, Citizenship Bill
  • Oinam Dilip's Painting Exhibition
  • Intl Day Against Drug Abuse : Gallery
  • The Manipur Merger Agreement 1949
  • A road to Mandalay
  • Keeping up: medical diagnostics tech
  • The mother of all preventive strategies
  • Relief camps for Flood affected families
  • The dark side of Indian democracy
  • From three time CM to Oppn leader
  • Khumang Pokpa Haraoba #1 : Gallery
  • Enduring Theatre of Guerrilla War
  • Intl Day in Support of Victims of Torture
  • Impact of trade & floods on economy
  • Imparting training as profession #2
  • Najmaji's flood fixing formula
  • History of Yoga
  • Intl Day against Drug Abuse
  • Politicising MU issue: by whom ?
  • Effective ban on plastics needed
  • Thaunaphaba Marup :: Funga Wari
  • Naga Nationalism & Naga Integration
  • Manipur State Constitution Act 1947 #1
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #3 : Gallery
  • Mova Cave, Hungpung, Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Tribal Cultural Festival #2 : Gallery
  • General Thangal Eco Park : Gallery
  • Garlic Festival @Ukhrul #4 :: Gallery
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Laitonjam Rajnikanta : Profile
  • Kang Tournament @ Yaiskul : Gallery
  • HSLC 208 Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Aerial view from Chingmeirong : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #2: Gallery
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS