TODAY -

Bliss Of Life
Part - I

By Pakhangba13 *

When the light went out, darkness ruled the world. So is the condition in our locality, for the past two days. But some household still managed to have light from their inverter and battery. I wonder, how long will they last?

The problem was with the transformer, they said so. And the reason, overload. Every one of us must have come across when we walk around our locality in the evening, people with long bamboo poles trying to hook their wires to the main electric line.

Some innocent soul may wonder what they are trying to do. But the better part of the population knows the purpose of their act. They want to have light in their house but not willing to pay for it.

Thus, the problem with the transformer is bound to persist. Have to live with this situation for another month. That's the time they usually take to get things right. Nothing's new for that matter.

Yesterday, my mother had already cleaned the old lanterns. She knew better, our battery won't last for long either.

The sun went down behind the hills and twilight sets in. the sound of the children diminish as they end their plays and separated for homes. A lone candle burn brightly on my table and I swear to myself as I took the chair next to the light, "how long are we going to live like this?". Lucky for us, our summer isn't same as that of Delhi and the cold evening breeze hasn't deprived us of its luxury.

My bookshelf is filled; there is no more space for new books. I have to add another shelf so that the old one likes the City of Joy, A Tale of Two Cities, All Quiet on the Western Front, Mother; can remain at their original place.

I was scanning those books, when my sister-in-law interrupted my thought, complaining about the water condition in the kitchen. We usually receive water twice or thrice a week, but without electricity, our problem only doubles.

Wish I am a wizard and at the wave of my wand, there will be light all around and water running through the taps. Oh! It's all just a childish thought.

I pick up a Ruskin bond. His book is interesting for the description of the surrounding nature, children of the village, a bit of humour and about life on the mountain.

Ignorance is bliss but we realized how ignorant we are when we read more and more books. So I shall continue on my path to discover more of my ignorance.

Tomorrow, I am visiting a friend at Wangjing. My mother is not very happy about it. She doesn't want me to go far away from home. Says, "the time is not good" and ask me to call my friend at our place instead. But I simply told her that my friend has a mother too and she will feel the same for her son. That pretty much closes the topic.

I admit, I don't feel very safe going out of the house anymore. There is always an unexplained fear in my mind. A fear mushrooming with the time and might have been born out of our ignorance.

A soldier once praised this land as, "A flower on the lofty height", but today that very flower has withered and ready to die. A death brought about by its own hand.

The desire of man can never be content but the basic amenities of life entitled to us are ours alone and we should not allow it, to be taken away from us. To live a life in this land has become a misery and the lord of Death must be happy to have a land like Manipur.

There is not a single day without a death, reported in the daily papers. Still we say, this land, our native land, is a beautiful place to live in. Here, I lost the irony of it.

Once, the Hindi movies were the craze of our people. And today, we turn our heads to the Manipuri film which is no different from those Hindi films. Except, the actors are one of us and of course they speak Manipuri.

I pity all the non-Manipuri residing in this land, a home far away from home. But I am happy to be not one of them, because they might, one day, find themselves, ban from speaking Hindi (their language) in all public places.

We are not allowed (officially and unofficially) to do anything related with Hindi but there is no problem with Tamil, Telegu, Kannada or the favourite Korean.

To protect our culture and tradition, the young girls of school and colleges are asked to wear the sarong (a traditional dress) when they go for classes. They followed the dictate but with style, and there, the culture is lost again. But, who is looking, anyway?

We can learn something from the Tibetans. How sacredly they preserve their culture wherever they settled down. They can be seen in their beautiful and colourful dresses wherever they go. Nobody forces them to do so.

They did it on their own terms because they felt threatened due to the Chinese occupation. Likewise, our people will surely respond when we feel threaten and there is a fear of our culture being wipe out of this place. We do know the way to our home.

Freedom is a beautiful word and carries a beautiful meaning. Many people had laid down their lives for the freedom they never got to celebrate. I recalled the words of Martin Luther, "Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed".

And it rings true in my mind. For freedom to me, is to live a peaceful life. We should remember that it is not always possible to run away from weakness, we must sometime fight it out or perish. And if that be so, why not now and where we stand.

My candle is burning low and the croaking of the frogs from the pond behind the house is getting louder. The summer rain must not be far behind.

Bond is also happy with his mountains and its oaks and deodars. My last candle just burn out. Time for me to call it a night, but tomorrow's another day and I have two choices when I open my eyes to the morning light.

To get up and chase my dream, or sleep on to continue dreaming. Yes, its true, the choice is ours to make.

The night went to its slumber,
And the death wake up
To dance among the living.

But in this place
Where the story never ends
And really doesnâ?Tt begin,
I live and began to love myself.




* Pakhangba13 (A Pseudonym) writes for the first time to e-pao.net . You can contact the writer at pakhangba13(at)gmail(dot)com . This article was webcasted on June 12, 2008.

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