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E-Pao! EI - S.O.S Ė A call for help!

S.O.S Ė A call for help!


By: Nenemacha *


I glance at the headlines of popular Manipuri news site everyday just to, kind of, get the flavor of what's happening.

I am delighted to read about Funga-Wari Writing & Painting contest held recently. I am happy that so many young children all over India took part in the competition.

I congratulated all those who participated and thumbs' up to those who make it happen. It has inspired me to write this article (though a bad writer) and gave me a change to share my experience with others.

After going through the news article I remember one instance that had happened with me 3 years back. When I was home for vacation my niece who was 6 yrs old then asked me to tell a story ďnene wari libiyoĒ. She cannot sleep without listening to one.

I pause for a moment until I remember a story from Tinkle. It was actually contributed by my sister when she was in school.

We were fascinated with jokes and humorous stories from Tinkle comics during those times. It was a favorite of many others of my age as well.

In fact many of the jokes of famous Nokphade series were blatantly copied from Tinkle. There is nothing wrong with it, everybody knows how jokes get copied and recopied all around.

But the originality which comes out of a childís mind and the simplicity of the character created is brutally slaughtered by our film makers.

Apart from my love of tinkle my sweet niece was least interested. She bluntly told me thatís not the one!

Which one then? She replied Hunuba-hanubi pan thaba.

I took a gulp and scratch myself whether I actually remember the whole story? Then I manage to start -
Thaina thaina mamang ngeida there was a hanuba and a hanubi, remembering one incident to another I manage to complete the story.

I didnít pause in between, it went smoother than I expected. She listens carefully, her eyes looks sleepy, her head droops.

For one second I though WOW she is sleeping, Mission Accomplished! I call her slowly Abethoi Abethoi just to make sure she is asleep.

How I wish I could end my writing here. But unfortunately itís not the end, itís the beginning.

She looks up, eyes wide open told me nene you donít know the story, you make up the whole thing didnít you?

ďbaba na libibaga manade

Ok, ok so she was intensely scrutinizing while I was deeply into the story.

God mercy me! Thatís what Iíve learned all these years.

As far as I can recall I didnít missed out anything. Is it that my brother didnít know the story?

She narrated me her version of the story with the little hands in action. I fall in love with hanuba-hanubi pan thaba all over again.

I realized how far we have left our folk tale behind. Our poetries, songs, music, folk tales are slowly fading away each day.

I feel the future snatched it away from all of us and we are watching it going down helplessly, unaware.

Try asking yourself how many funga wari can you recall? Sadly its just 4 for me.

We are living in the computer age but its equally important to respect our fore father. Help your child to feel accepted, respected, and valued your culture.

He may not know the taste of hentak or the reaction after having raw taro (paan) but he may simply like the crazy monkeys in it! Its worth trying.

No matter how far you may be or you have taught not more than say hello pupu, bobok or chak charabara to your child.

No matter whether they know the aroma of their bobokís chinghee or the taste of moirang phow, your child will love your very own funga wari.

Few decades down the line we will meet exactly at the same place, this time, proudly without the same pain again.

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* Nenemacha , from Mumbai, contributes for the first time to e-pao.net . This article was webcasted on August 30th, 2007.


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