Maibam Nabakishore : A renowned play-wright & short-story writer
- A Profile -

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh *

 Maibam Nabakishore : A renowned play-wright & short-story writer
Maibam Nabakishore : A renowned play-wright & short-story writer

"A ball point pen of Rs 5/-only can write many pages of paper". So writing is a profession or hobby without much investment. If Luck favors at the most once "Gamblers" purchase at least a small fish for the family and family together enjoy it.

But for writers except bringing a book presented by someone nothing will bring to the family to make them happy. So family members don't want and happy, a person to be a writer (poet/author). These are the sentences that "Shri Maibam Nabakishore" often said to most of the young writers in many Functions.

This living legend of about 81 years old was born at Hiyanglam Village in Kakching District (formerly in Thoubal District) on Thursday the 26th January 1938. He is the youngest of six sibling of his parents Shri Maibam Amu Singh and Maibam(O) Wahengbam ningol Thanin Devi.

His elder brother Shri Maibam Nabakumar was the first M.A B.Ed of Southern Manipur and he retired as Principal of Wabagai Higher Secondary School. Shri Nabakishore married with Ningthoujam Mema Devi of Hiyanglam Mayai Leikai and father of three daughters (Premila, Jugeshwori@ Chaoba and Gandhini) and only son Priyobarta who has been snatched away from their arms untimely by the Almighty.

Shri Nabakishore is BA, B.Ed by qualification and had been in teaching profession for about 35/36 years from 1964 and retired as Head Master from Wabagai Higher Secondary School in 1998 at the age of 58.

He is a man of all ages and gender, this is a unique personality of this unique human being. Whenever anybody come across with him, he always make them laugh by telling a suitable factual comic story related with real life of those he met.

He was successful as a teacher in his professional career. He is a humorous story teller and none of his students forget him the way he taught the lessons in the class rooms and more importantly the stories he told bridged many life to become a good human being.

He is very careful of the words he speaks and unhappy whenever anybody used any vulgar words. He always stick to the principle that it's better to die than to live as an effete human. He never indulged in any impropriety to anybody during his long 81 years of life and never use any kind of intoxicants in his life so far.

His habit of getting up early and long morning walk may be the reason why he is still in good health with pristine mind and source of unending literary discourses. In fact he is very ideal teacher and a rare human being of all time.

He is very fond of gardening, he enjoys after seeing the plants grown in full bloom and vegetables fruits like Khondrum, Mairen, Daskush etc hanging everywhere in his garden.

He never failed to attend the social occasions of his locality but in spite of his heavy age he never sits in front seat of the Sankritan, this I suppose he would like to show that he is still juvenile to write something new and something good for our people. He enjoys meeting people of different age group and different background and sharing his and their thoughts freely.

Among many to build up the rich literary thesaurus of Manipur Shri Nabakishore affectionately called Oja Nabakishore by many is not the least to mention.

His first short story was "Loumeegi Kangkra" which was published in SEIDAM (Annual Magazine) of Wabagai Higher Secondary School when he was in class VI/VII.

His contribution in Manipuri literature, mainly in short stories is commendable. So far Oja Nabakishore has contributed ten valuable books in different domain of Manipuri's literature.

His books (Collection of short stories)) are
o Ayuki Singarei (1979);
o Mantrigi Nupi Sanajaobi (1982);
o Thong Lonkharaba Pan Dukan (1995);
o Pangal Sonbi Eise Adomgini (2001);
o Malemnganbigi Mamom (2006);
o Thamoigi Mari (2017) and
o Sheirol Seitha Seireng (2015) is the sole poetry discourse.

His critical essay: Angahal gi saktam ahum - Zahera- Konu and Indu (2019) in Manipuri and Angahal's Triple Persona (2019) in English.

His plays which have been broadcasted/played as Radio plays of AIR Imphal are
o Ningamhoudraba;
o Keithel Hongba;
o Chaothoikhoigi Ahal;
o Nungshi Yumbal;
o Para Ama Tambire.

Few of his writings are also set to come out in the silver screen shortly which will put another feather on his cap and contribution to Manipuri Cinema too. Oja Nabakishore not only reads his own short stories in All India Radio Imphal sometimes but also a regular contributor of short stories in most of the leading Manipuri vernacular local newspapers in literature columns.

The saying " there is always a woman behind every successful person" is found true in the life of Oja Nabakishore ,as the cooperation and contribution of his life partner Mema Devi is incredible in his literary discourse, though sometimes there may be odds and even in life.

He is
(i) Life Member of Manipuri Sahitya Parishad Imphal
(ii) Executive member, Sahitya Seva Samiti Kakching,
once Editor of Chumthang; annual publication of the Samiti upto 2018
(iii) President, Eramdam Khorjei Apunba Lup (EKHAL), Hiyanglam Wabagai
(iv) Member, Writers Association , Kakching
(v) Life Member, Manipur Sahitya Samiti Thoubal
(vi) Life Member, Writers Forum Imphal, Manipur
(vii) Life member, Manipur Short Story Society.

Oja Nabakishore has been conferred the following awards so far:
(i) Manipur State Kala Academi Award (Literature) 2003
(ii) Yambem Mani Sahitya Award 2005
(iii) Sahitya Academi Award, New Delhi
( for his book Pangal Sonbi Eise Adomgini, collection of short stories), 2005
(iv) Chandrasakhi Laishram, Chumthang Award ( Short Story) , 2008
(v) Sahitya Bhushan of Manipuri Sahitya Parishad, 2009
(vi) Samanda Memorial Award ,2010
(vii) Shri Nongthombam Kunjamohan Literary award 2019.

A State Level Seminar on "Maibam Nabakishore - A Brighter Star of Manipuri Short Story" was held on Thursday the 12th December 2019 on the very auspicious day of Nupilan at his own residence at Hiyanglam organized by "Eramdam Khorjei Apunba Lup (EKHAL). This is the 6th Seminar on living Legendries in Manipur.

The other five are
(i) Life of G.C Tongbra and his literature - 1995
(ii) Musical Journey of Fusion Singer Tapta Jayenta - 2008
(iii) Dr Jodhachandra Sanasam and his literature - 2018
(iv) Elangbam Dinamani gi Sahitya; mamal Leppa - 2018
(v) Tapta and social relevance of his lyrics - 2019.

Oja Nabakishore said; I never thought that I am 81 years old now and my main crux is to get the "Theme" of the story, once I get the theme, then the story writing is over. By age he is old but he is still young in writing.

He said, I will continue writing as long as I can hold a pen in my hand. What a wonderful thought and idea of a rare son of the soil? Let this Jewel and living legend be live long in good health to pour out many more short stories of social relevance to guide our society in the right orientation.

Let God bless our beloved Oja to be in good (physical and mental) health longer.

* Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh wrote this article for Imphal Times
The Writer is a Faculty at NIELIT, Imphal, Akampat and can be reached at sjugeshwor7(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on February 03 2020.

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