TODAY -

Khelen Thokchom, some fond memories

Free Thinker *

Tributes to Khelen Thokchom  at Manipur Press Club on 01st April 2018
Tributes to Khelen Thokchom at Manipur Press Club on 01st April 2018 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



On April fool's day, in the morning I received a shocking message from my brother saying that Khelen Thokchom is no more and all the media fraternity including CM sab is crying.

I thought he was joking and so I didn't respond. Then he rang up only to confirm the sad news.

Since I don't know anybody in his family, I rang up Chief Minister's Media Advisor; he said, "Call me later"; perhaps he was with the CM or near the deceased.

Then I tried to contact the editor of Imphal Free Press; he responded from Kolkata with a shock and surprise.

Then I tried my old colleagues; they could not talk to me properly as they were at the residence of the departed. Much later I got a full report from the Director DIPR. "Whom the God loves, die young", Byron.

Khelen was a very committed journalist and a thorough gentleman who enjoyed his job. Once he told me that this salary is very meager but he loves the profession very much. He was more comfortable with the desk work, layout and editing.

This is my humble observation, I may be wrong. Very soft spoken but very lively personality and sometimes he used to crack jokes with serious underlying tone.

Once he came to DIPR to collect some government news pertaining to the extension of 'Ceasefire agreement' and he in a lighter vein told me that "without territorial limits means, it covers the whole world, it is not only about Nagaland, Manipur, Assam or Arunachal." I instantly endorsed his view.

Once he was standing alone in the balcony of the Sangai Express building when he was the Editor. He saw me coming and told me that he had smoked three cigarettes; nothing is coming in his mind for the editorial.

He asked for my suggestion. Then I said, "what about the shortage of LPG cooking gas in the state and open black market of the same".

He said, I had already written about it before. Actually I was giving that suggestion because I just purchased a gas cylinder at 800 rupees from the black market as my wife was not comfortable with 'Wainum' unlike my mother. Then I told him that public memory is very short; they might have forgotten, jot down a similar piece again. He giggled and said, it will save my time also.

I normally called Khelen Thokchom, Editor Sab. For the first time I was introduced to him by the then editor/publisher of Hueiyen Lanpao & Imphal Recorder. My association with Khelen became quite close when he started working for the Imphal Free Press as News Editor.

Quite often during late evenings we used to have cooking sessions. A kitchen is attached to the general computer room. Usually we cooked and ate around midnight after the layout was ready and the entire material was given for plate-making and printing.

The editor and I were foodies and we used to eat anything and everything. We had a very crude way of preparing our midnight grub; simply sizzling the eatable only with garlic, ginger and onion plus salt and King-chili if available. "You two are so savage, at least you put some turmeric, otherwise it looks like we are taking raw", Khelen protested. Because of his genuine demand we started using turmeric.

Khelen Thokchom worked for The Sangai Express, Imphal Free Press, North-East Sun, Hueiyen Lanpao, Imphal Recorder, Manipur News, Ningtam Lanpao, Aryabhatta, Eastern Clarion and when he left for heaven he was working for the Telegraph, Kolkata.

He would have continued with his favorite tobacco/cigarette/drinks at least up to 99 as the Grand Old Man of Indian Journalism KS did. That should be the average age of a journo to leave this crazy world. Hell must be the better option for the Journos because all the residents would be quite familiar. Moreover in hell, I am told that there is no prohibition, no ban on smoking and all vices.

Once the Editor of the Imphal Free Press got an invitation for the Rising-Day of Seventh MR from the then Commandant.

The Editor asked me to accompany him to the Rising-Day dinner. I was hesitant because I was not invited. He insisted to accompany him. I reluctantly agreed.

Those days Khelen was the news editor of Imphal Free Press; he was privy to our conversation. While coming out Khelen in his inimitable style told me, "you know why he is taking you, teetotaller's service may be required while coming back". Those days I didn't even touch beer, the elixir of life.

For us there are many nostalgic moments about Khelen Thokchom. We will be missing him like anything. He was one of the most committed journalists the state had ever produced.

He was indeed very a lovable, kind-hearted, non-controversial, and of course a very cool headed professional. Khelen sab, it is too early to leave but we envy your style of departure.


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on April 09 , 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
  • Meira Rally protest of MU VC : Gallery
  • Jianthailiu, Paopu :: eMing
  • Role of Bamboo in Social Housing
  • Issues surrounding boundary of Manipur
  • To Adya Prasad Pandey :: Poem
  • Troubles -from Buddhist point of view
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • 13 July Moreh Terror Attack
  • Opposition's stand: A new turning point
  • Waiting for PMP Bill
  • Kangkhui Khullen, Mt Khorung #1 : Gallery
  • Bandh demanding VC removal #2 : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #3: Gallery
  • ILP bill yelhoumee di kanba ngamloi
  • The Killing Fields - 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Slow Loris: only known venomous primate
  • The mystery of nine :: Poem
  • Student protesters met with police brutality
  • Why MU rejects fact finding committee
  • 48 hrs bandh total : MUSU delivers point
  • Ravi explains basis of framework agreement
  • Bandh demanding VC removal #1 : Gallery
  • Greater Nagaland or Mini Nagaland ? #1
  • We just need a little bit of luck
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Cry of a Dying River - 37 :: Poem
  • Manipur : Context & Structural Violence
  • Procrastinations and protests
  • Protests against MHRD at New Delhi
  • Scientists from NASA during IIT Techniche
  • Mission 'Go to Village'
  • Even Monkey falls from the tree
  • Lim divide : Strong statement from CM
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 ?
  • Demand action against KSO activists
  • 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
  • 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
  • Great June Uprising @Kekrupat #3 : Gallery
  • Mova Cave, Hungpung, Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Tribal Cultural Festival #2 : Gallery
  • General Thangal Eco Park : Gallery
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • HSLC 208 Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Class XII Exam Toppers : Gallery
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS