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E-Pao! Incident - Among Youths in Manipur

Among Youths in Manipur

Alberto Mangsatabam *



As the sun settled down at its final location at the end of the day and so darkness of the night has just begun. Life has just started at many local wine vendors mainly situated at the ghettos in and around Imphal city.

Apart from the sweet tasty energy enhanced country wine, all savory right from inevitable red chilly and fermented fish to even beef chilies and many more, pork, beef, chicken, duck, sausages in different forms boiled, cooked, fry or sauté, pickles, roasted. What else you expect, heaven for food loving epicureans of Manipur.

As the daily scene started in full swing, round tables with short legs surrounded by many short seats are already booked. The customers, no more matured senior citizens but youngsters right from school going teenager to late 20's.

Few years back it is hard to find these kind of crowd but only matured people in their late 30's to very old customers. Now it is opposite, the time they are changing.

You hardly find matured senior citizen, I beg your pardon, I shouldn't say matured though most of the customer are young, they are somewhat all matured and high on information.

So many discussion right from romance, girlfriends, social and political issues, about competitive exams and so on.

And so here comes Benny and his gang as usual enjoying and savoring every mouthful, the tastiest of the tasty local cuisine and of course with sweet mouth watering country wine.

They are in fact bunch of guys or rather a coterie who don't like others to mess around with them. And as Benny, their gang leader is well build, six footer with a port belly in his early 20's.

If I show you only his belly, you will probably say it is of a pregnant woman, believe me, it's mainly because of the fat accumulated trough years savoring the local yummy foods.

Benny, the gang leader, he can finished up ten plates of boiled pork in just few minutes. Again, believe me I have witnessed this with my own eyes.

Well, well, here comes the story of Georgie, not an alcoholic but rather a sniffer. Hey don't get goofed up when I say sniffer, it's not a dog but about a young man, twenty three, dark skin, painfully thin and with a funny looks.

Why I called him sniffer, here is the story of Georgie. He is nothing but simply a drug user. When his pocket is full he used all kinds of expensive mood enhanced drugs right from spasmo proxybon or popularly knows as SP to heroin no.4 and many more.

But unfortunately he is broke most of time so he opted for cheapest of the cheap sniffing a kind of super glue 'Dendride' which used for gluing things like plastics and light objects. Every time we met he kept on begging for five rupees, I tried to ignore him all the time, but he kept on, just like mosquitoes buzzing near you looking for a bite.

Though irritating he is the most interesting guy I ever met. Just to avoid him once in a while I gave him the money, there again, one hour of thanksgiving. And then he will take out his glue and put a little bit of it on his handkerchief and then sniffed it as usual.

He is stoned, immaculate. His big sized white hanky is so stained with small brownish circular spots from the glue he kept on putting it; it resembles somewhat the color of a Dalmatian dog. Georgie, the sniffer.

Opps! I forgot something. How can I wind up without telling the story of Tania. Tania, the beauty, conspicuous, slender, tall and in her early 20's. There is a rumor that one boy broke his neck while trying to catch just a glimpse of her model looks face. How far it's true I don't know.

For me, luckily, a friend of mine who knew her introduced me to her once, since then we often met at a local pool parlor nearby though she snuffed me most of the time, I confessed.

Though I never show her play pool, the owner welcomes her every time she visited with free coffees and snacks. Tania, the beauty, I once asked her what she is doing, she arrogantly reply back 'English Honors', so as usual I again asked her which century your syllabus cover up so far eighteen or nineteen century.

She surprisingly replied back, I said I am doing English honors not history. I just say 'sorry'. I was little bit goofy. She carries on arrogantly, William Shakespeare, Jane Austin, Emily Bronte and so on.

The way she speaks Meiteilon (her mother tongue) is so accented that, at first I thought she is not a Meitei but a Nepali or from some other community. Tania, the beauty, doing English honors at a leading college back home, doesn't bother about the time (century) of the authors she is studying.

Well, now it's time to wind up. You all must be boring of my modern Ramayana. Lastly, let me remind you the stories I told is all based on true events or incidents I came across recently.

As for your information, Benny and his gang still continue to gathers at the local vendor with yummy stuffs, I often saw them there these days. Georgie, the human sniffer, disappear from the scene, I haven't seen him for the last few months.

Wherever he is, I hope he is still alive. I sometimes missed his presence. Tania, the beauty, the English honors, who doesn't bothered about the time of her authors busy with her study and still continues with usual visits at the pool parlor with her free coffees and snacks from the owner.

Peace on earth, peace in Manipur.

(All the events and stories above are based on true incident I came across. I have changed the names of the persons involved to preserve their identity.)"


Alberto Mangsatabam, a resident of New Delhi, writes regularly to e-pao.net
You can email the writer at amangsatabam@yahoo.com
This article was webcasted on 08th November 2005.


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