TODAY -

Bicycling Down Memory Lane
- the Manipur then and the Manipur now -

By SaNaTomBi Angomcha*

(Unlocking some childhood memories today via this article)....

During my childhood days me along with my siblings and leikai eetas (she-friends) and etaos(he-friends) played many games together.....none of the games we played was of international standards however, no internationally rated game could or can ever compete the fun we had while playing all those games.

Swa,
langri taang,
upaibee,
L O N D O N,
sindurr nambee,
cheitek kotpee,
dhampa espaait,
chagai chongbee,
maarbon,
amaangbi,
Kingbon thombi,
chafu thugaibee

etc etc were few names of the games we used to play during our carefree childhood days.

My memories are still afresh about those innocent days when we eagerly waited for every sandhyawairam (evening). Those were the days!

Amidst all those memories, I do remember the sandhyawairam aarti makhon (sound) from Shri Govindajee temple, It was such a pleasant feeling to listen the soothing temple bells which particularly summoned everyone that its dusk and time to be at home.

In a typical Manipuri society, every domestic and professional chore comes to an end by sandhyawairam and by dusk everyone is back at home uniting with his or her family.

Post Sandhya-Aaarti at Govindaji, once the koujeng and hari nongnaang (name of insects) sounds were heard we all used to be called back home by our parents. Most often, we were either scolded or beaten up for playing late till post sandhyawairam but then who cared?

And once back at home, every Manipuri mom half-baths her son or daughter with warm water in a big khudeng (a name of a Manipuri vessel) and yes apply glycerine.

Post glycerine teiba(applying)...time for daily home works and study session until you find yourslelf in a half yawn state.

Since I used to be (and I am still) the youngest in my family, most of my dinners were hand-served by mumma in her lap. ((Psst!! tell you a secret sometimes even when i was not at all asleep, I deliberately pretended to be asleep just to enjoy the coziness of being in my mumma's lap)).

Post dinner it was most often bed-time funga waaris (folk tales) from Bubok (grandma). Among all the funga waaris, Sandrembi Chiesra tale was one of the longest funga waaris I ever heard in a series.

None of my siblings knew when we dozed off to sleep listening to those tales, but then we would find ourselves waking up from our respective famung (bed) every single morning. Aaah!!! such fond memories...and I just consider myself lucky that I had one of the best childhoods.

However, giving a thought about the present scenario in Manipur, I feel so sorry in my heart that the younger generations have missed all those innocent fun.

I doubt if a group of children still play 'Swa or Amangbi' in one corner of Imphal city today during the most awaited sandhyawairam......I do doubt if they ever hear the pleasant Kaangsi makhon (bell sound) from Govindaji temple every sandhyawairam or either the koujeng and hari nongnaang sounds which summon the arrival of dusk.

Well, with a sorry feeling deep inside my heart let me wind up this article for today.

Thanks readers for your precious time!


* Sanatombi Angomcha contributes regularly to e-pao.net. The writer can be reached at eben(dot)poktales(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was webcasted on August 21st, 2009.



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