The good-old-days in Kangpokpi (Kanggui)

Seikhojam Kipgen *

cultural meet for peace and harmony with 10 cultural troupes of different ethnic tribes at Thomas Ground, Kangpokpi :: May 16 2013
A cultural meet at Thomas Ground, Kangpokpi in May 2013 :: Pix - Popcha Yambem

Sounds melancholic! This is for those honorable octogenarians who were every inch part and parcel of this beautiful god-forsaken land dotted with amazingly crafted hutments all over.

And this is for you, the never-say-die guys of the sixties and seventies. And still yet, this is for the lonesome Romeos humming the infamous 'Meena hotel' unmistakably at every Chavang Kut.

Hey guys! Kut is around and I am pretty sure you would reminisce the good-old-days! But there is hardly anything to remember on Kut today except, the beauty of those shadows on the ramp as the sweet music of crispy notes jingle in their ears. The celebration has transited to the joy of hill-fearing benevolent few.

It is not my intention to make you cry in remembrance of things past but retrospection with a sparkle in your eyes to identify your place in this little valley of joy. The joy that is inexplicable. This is Kangpokpi, the epicenter of all happenings in Sadar Hills where a sojourner unwillingly bade adieu.

Life was simply amazing, life was a jolly. The ebullience of fun and frolic never ceased till the dead of the night. There was no fear of the guys from yonder, as there were none. All that matter was the 'khakhi' clad 'thulla' walking the street or napping on a rickety chair, manning an outpost, dreaming through the daylight.

I heard that not a single 007 returns home without a stitch during the good-old-days. That bare-bottomed, wavy-young dude with long hair and high-toed shoe (about a cubic?) calls a shot almost every day. You have every right to life then. You were a megalomaniac.

The public life of amusement was all the more ecstatic. I could still recollect the hustle-bustle of Pu Ashong Cinema Hall, the only place of reel-life entertainment in the entire Sadar Hills.

Remember the day when you have to squeeze your hand into a small opening in the counter scrambling for a ticket to be seated on a dusty, hard wooden plank to watch 'Sholay'. None was rich enough then to own a television set or was it not available? May be both. Being poor made us stay together and enjoy in groups.

It was said of this place of extreme beauty and solitude that, it is worth visiting in one's lifetime atleast to test the sparkling drop of mountain dews, to avoid the regret thereafter. Guys, you were in your best in the 60's and 70's.

Gradually, the wind of change has blown into this land of merrymaking. As the 80's dawn on us, those usual costumes and manners started to disappear (or hibernate?) one after another and were completely hidden into oblivion to be replaced by a new generation of 'Avatars'.

Time has change. People are now almost rushing to complete their daily chores well before dusk. There is now fear of the night. Enjoyment has come to a stand-still.

A preacher preaches at the top of his voice but to vanish in garrulity. Chiming bells on Sunday morning never ceased but devotees attend merely for the atonement of their previous weeks fault as they roll in the same pool of mud the day after.

Sekmai flow upstream while our wealth flows downstream. We take pride in counting notes as that is much easier than counting the coins like the 'dukan waalas' do, a numismatic, which makes them wealthy and given them a place of dominion.

I now realize the power of a fingertip than a 5 kgs arm! The height of our stupidity is 'gossiping in a dhaba for an hour or two and sip just a cup of tea' while being served with utmost hesitation by a 'dukan waala' motel runner. For, upto the third available rows of benches remained occupied which otherwise is their current account.

Today, you don't make any choice whatsoever. Unless you sway with the order in unison and become a lackey, you are 'find the odd one out'. Occidental life style has engulfed our lives in so much as manifested by our nature of being xenomaniac while poverty is steadfastly growing in our backyard.

Sigh not for the days of yore that have long gone-by, for life is a changing and it will continue so. Be in your own self wherever you may be because, technically, you no longer have a place in this part of the earth.

Wake up folks lest, the bad-new-day is at hand.

* Seikhojam Kipgen wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer can be reached at jam(dot)kipgen(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on November 03, 2014.

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