TODAY -

Those Were The Days

Maisnam Bomcha *

A scene from Manipuri Digital film 'School Karusi'
A scene from Manipuri Digital film 'School Karusi'


I have a feeling that the girls on their part too enjoyed it no less. Many of them returned our meaningful stares with mischievously flirting looks; few even rewarded us with occasional smiles.
Maisnam Bomcha

That simple question came unexpectedly. Late into one of those nights many years ago when we both stayed awake, unable to sleep without any discernible reason, my wife asked, "How did you know the names of all those girls?

We were talking shop in a hushed tone whiling away the ticking moments waiting to fall asleep. Far from the hustle and bustle of the day; ensconced in absolute privacy, what do a couple talk about? Well, if not always, in a happily married family, man and wife talks of silly romance too.

And well past the days of whispering sweet nothings, we were remembering those days gone by. Ah! Reminiscences. That idle night we talked about our days of a roaring romance and on being pleasantly egged on by subtly mischievous elicitations of her, I told her of those errant ways of my childhood.

Starting from how the starry eyed lad met the coy damsel. Our own saga of the days of yore; endless. Endless as love is.

So, veering slowly away from a common dialogue, on her prodding, it cornered down to my youthful exploits in the field of vagrancy. Suddenly, the floodgates of those memories opened wide.

How did I know the names of the girls? Honestly, I don't remember how I came to know the names of some girls who studied in a certain, all-girls school in Imphal near my locality. What I remember is that many girls who used to study in that elitist school were pretty and most of them were sought after by the boys of my locality.

Is there any such thing as familiarity breeding attention! These girls came from well-heeled families of the then Imphal and most of them led a cloistered life. Students even from the nearby places used to be ferried in school buses or in vehicles of their rich parents. Small groups of boys of my locality used to hang around at vantage spots en route, waiting for the buses to pass at appointed hours, to and fro.

The routine of us, silly young Don Juans, was almost like a liturgy, come rain or sun. Most of us were at our punctual best, at times, more regular than the students themselves. We knew who travels in which bus, even the positions of their seats, which remained pleasantly unchanged most days.

Those few moments of 'sightings' were reward enough for hardships we endured so willingly. After every morning and evening passages, we unfailingly exchanged notes on our observations of the day, even. I have a feeling that the girls on their part too enjoyed it no less.

Many of them returned our meaningful stares with mischievously flirting looks; few even rewarded us with occasional smiles. I can't recall what I was doing for my own classes during those days of steadfast loyalty to vehicular traffic but I seldom considered regular studies and attendance worth my while.

I had other more absorbing vocations and studies were a spare time commitment. When the exams were round the corner I would cram up taking inspiration from my cousin for whom such indulgences were strictly taboo till those idyllic days.

Saturdays were special. On this day the school buses did not ply for reasons best known to the school (few said for us). The Saturday bonanzas were in forms of the objects of desire coming to school on cycle rickshaws or bicycles. Super Saturdays were field days. All used to be present with hearts full of promises.

Again in retrospect, the excitement couldn't have been one way. I remember a particular pretty girl who had it all written in her poise that she never wanted to wear a school uniform on those Saturday mornings.

Also I know, at least, of a romance which started partly, due thanks to those Saturdays and culminated in a happy marriage years later. On the other hand, I also remember many young lads turning into sore misogynists prematurely as their terms of endearment were spurned.

The names! The addresses, even the parentage in few cases. I never found out who among us took it upon himself to find out those details. Strange, it seems now, were the ways of courting in those innocent days of writing letters. Writing a letter was almost an elaborate ritual, the first one in particular. Outsourcing never is a new phenomenon.

Imagine penning those lyrical words laboriously, in consultation and amid animated debate, to a girl who means nothing to you. And the cumbersome channel of delivering a letter. I wonder how young people express their feelings these days.

Are the young people these days so eloquent so as to say those words directly on a cell phone? Are schools still testing the students in the art of writing a letter in the grammar class? Emotions are best expressed in written words. The ways things are moving; one day even books may become a relic of the past. Before the technological pedants rule the roost, let us not deprive our children of similar joys of a Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi writing that poignant letter to his father.

Those days of Humber cycles, Keo Karpin hair oil, Ambassador shoes. The long cycle rides up even the Ngariyan Hills, on the road of only us, never tired, ever smiling. And those matinee shows at Imphal Talkies. Radio days gave us a veritable weekly Woodstock in that Tabiningba Eshei of AIR! We pranced on 'Emagee Mamou' and wonder how many homes were visited by nostalgia whenever that quintessentially romantic 'Ningsingli Meragi Thabaldo' was played; very Manipuri, very ageless.

Will today's generation even believe that there was a time when young maidens vied with each other to sweep and scrub a neighbour's courtyard in the morning unseen by the owner during the time of Mera Wayungba?

Life moved on, memories of that youthful indolence linger though and as the first sounds of the morning were heard, I smiled and said, "Do you care?"
"Those were the days, my friend
We thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose....
"
Those were the days, my friend - Mary Hopkin


* Maisnam Bomcha wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition) in regular column 'Different People, Different Places, Different Times'
This article was posted on July 26, 2012.



* 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
  • MU: Students protest[25 Sep] :: Gallery
  • Lamyanba Hijam Irabot :: Read all about
  • Art Exhibition by R & V Art House
  • My name is Kom, Mary Kom - II
  • Electrology as career option
  • When Autumn Came :: Poem
  • Against 48 hrs bandh: Thadou Students
  • Leadership / Media seminar at Dimapur
  • Demise of a dream
  • Traffic menace: Ring road, flyover promise
  • Ringui Village, Ukhrul :: Gallery: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #4: Gallery
  • Chinglai, Chingmeiren :: eMing
  • Autonomy on a leash
  • Manipur: Past & Present (Vol.1) :: Book
  • Cry of a Dying River - 46 :: Poem
  • NSS Cell at Assam Don Bosco University
  • Shattering the dream of Irabot
  • Pandey, Pandey all the way : MU crisis
  • World Bamboo Day #1: Gallery
  • Financial aid to AMWJU member, K. Bipin
  • Meitei-Naga Relationship
  • The concept of Langban Tarpan
  • Today is Sunday :: Poem
  • Papaya and health
  • In tiger territory
  • NEUFC Fan Park at Sarusajai stadium
  • BSE, ANPSA donate to CMRF (Nagaland)
  • 45th AMWJU Foundation day : Gallery
  • Protest crackdown at MU: Gallery
  • Lai Lik Lei & their debut "Esei"
  • Diversity, Race & Gender-Based Violence
  • Cross Border Human Trafficking : Review
  • Imphal Municipal Council Bye Laws, 1998
  • Protest held against crackdown at MU
  • Stop Terrorising the MU Campus
  • Mob violence at Manipur University
  • Facts about Nagaland House at Kolkata
  • Midnight raid at MU
  • ..bridging cultures of Assam, Manipur
  • Tuilha Kol waterfall #2: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Rally against Mob Lynching #2: Gallery
  • Beyond the tragedy of Tharoijam
  • Jarnail's tryst with Manipur :: Review
  • Who killed the looter? (Short Story)
  • Heart OPD & Echo Screening Mission
  • Call for protest against MU crackdown
  • The farce continues at MU
  • Heikru Hidongba #1 : Gallery
  • Heigru Hidongba (Boat Race)
  • Get down to business
  • The Eternal Moment :: Poem
  • Why is oiling good for the hair
  • Jobs at SKY Hospital
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Creating Future Media Leaders in NE
  • Understanding Communist ideology
  • Suspended but drama not over yet
  • Arrested for molesting student in Mumbai
  • Manipuri Diaspora in Myanmar #1
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #2 : Gallery
  • Naga-Kuki Conflict: ..Kuki aggression
  • Tibeto-Burman Languages : Book
  • Indian Judiciary no more a caged bird
  • IGAR (S) calls on Governor of Manipur
  • Spirit of Irabot still runs in Journalists
  • Concern should be about mob mentality
  • Tribes, Art & Soul of India #1: Gallery
  • Rally against Mob Lynching #1: Gallery
  • 'Sahnit' an honour or a disgrace
  • Irabot : Socio-Political Challenges
  • Training employees for better governance
  • Blue Ocean :: Poem
  • Sextortion: Making money from shame
  • Condemn murder of Neiphretuo Metsie
  • Social lacunae
  • BJP on poll drive at Imphal, Kohima
  • Mary Kom lost 2 kg in 4 hours
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #2
  • Felicitation of Sportsperson: Gallery
  • ICJ: Investigation of Extrajudicial Killing
  • Legal profession as career option #2
  • Loktak Down Stream HE Project (2x33MW)
  • Protest against mob lynching at DU
  • Ripples of Music :: Poem
  • Memo submitted to CM over lynching
  • Poems of Peace, Resistance ...
  • Helicopter Schedule for Imphal-Jiri
  • Mirabai recommended for Khel Ratna
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #3: Gallery
  • Manipur State is still winning..
  • Gazetteer of North-East India :: Book
  • Sunfeast Cup Football Tournament
  • Trip down memory lane
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Folk Song :: Poem
  • The Endureres at Dwarka Half Marathon
  • Main accused in cop slaying nabbed
  • Naga talks not confined to Nagaland..
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #1 : Gallery
  • Rest in Peace Humanity
  • Ph Banti's artwork 'Trafficking of children'
  • Cry of a Dying River - 45 :: Poem
  • Buddhism is not a religion
  • Jobs at R-Square Design
  • Candle Light at DU over lynching
  • Society as a reflection of govt
  • Mobocracy : Shame on Manipur
  • Kuki Black Day @CCpur : Gallery
  • miAoIbgi pNTuH :: Seireng
  • An opinion on Tharoijam killing
  • How Manipur lost internal autonomy, Kabaw
  • Admission for PhD at Tripura Univ
  • Meefam ST at Nambol, Khangabok
  • Importance of Forest & Environment
  • Deep social divide: Two different folks?
  • Kuki Black Day: Kukis Will never forget
  • R & V Art House's First Art Fest 2018
  • Celebrating International Literacy Day, 2018
  • Born a Kuki, die a Kuki :: Poem
  • History of North East India :: Book
  • Will SimpliciTB make TB treatment simpler
  • Meefam chathaduna ST gi issue..
  • Dipankar Talukdar- Mr Model of World Star
  • System error- who will fix Broken Window
  • Reshuffle Talks : Say No to Yes Me
  • India negotiating vehicle pact with Myanmar
  • Chalwa Village, Kangpokpi #2 : Gallery
  • Thien & its downfall in Zeliangrong #2
  • Is FA a self exposed daylight robbery?
  • Nation Needs Small Farmers
  • Who is programming you ?
  • Bandhs as dissent & survival of laziest
  • Looking for Raju :: Poem
  • The cry of the 2nd class citizen
  • Bharat Bandh in Imphal
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #1
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #2 : Gallery
  • Naga-Kuki conflict: Search for definitions
  • Mega Marathon Manipur : Download Form
  • Legal profession as career option
  • Guv felicitates 5 JAK RIF for flood relief
  • Stored Anger :: Book Review
  • On stepping into the 20th year of TSE
  • Sept - month which reinstated our courage
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON #2 : Gallery
  • Empty :: Poem
  • Lets beat littering - plastics pollution
  • NEHU Seminar : Urbanization in India
  • Jobs at JCRE Skill Solutions
  • Declaration of Naga Collective Spirit [Sep 8]
  • Akanba Khongjangidamak Yathokpa Loire
  • Support for STDC from UMA, Assam
  • 'Deplorable power supply in Nagaland'
  • Tryst with destiny - Should we accept ?
  • Stand off at MU : Impact on LS Poll
  • Exploring the enthralling Tuilha Kol
  • Kamesh Salam : Outstanding Green Activist
  • The Valley Of Brahmaputra :: Book
  • Development of road database
  • The inner page story :: Poem
  • Kakching WW-II Memorial Run 2018
  • STDC public meeting at Langathel Keithel
  • Maibi Jagoi at Sangai Fest : Gallery
  • My poll without prejudice to anyone
  • MEETAC - Mission for streamlining TK
  • Conditions leading to Marxism
  • Heart Camp at Khelakhong, Thoubal
  • Cyber bully: Crime that follows you home
  • Bhupen Hazarika : Tribute at London
  • AEP & Importance of Myanmar & NE
  • Political pandemonium
  • Students central to MU issue
  • Landscape from Koubru #2 : Gallery
  • Leishangthem Robert for Mr. World 2018
  • Oinam Shilla Chanu at Mrs India Earth
  • North-east Frontier Of India :: Book
  • Thien & its downfall in Zeliangrong #1
  • Cry of a Dying River - 44 :: Poem
  • JRF Post at Mizoram University
  • Honours to Bamboo; a ubiquitous gift
  • Case of hunter now being huntedr
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #3 : Gallery
  • Women Empowerment & judicial Activism
  • Narin Chenggum - wild edible mushroom
  • Flying Star at your lips :: Poem
  • Out of the box thinking
  • Call centre fraud: Vicious vishing attack
  • Changing India & its impact on Manipur
  • MU stand off gets uglier
  • Tikendrajit : The Lion of Manipur #4
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #1 : Gallery
  • Eastern Frontier of India :: Book Review
  • Remembering Radhakrishnan ..
  • Moments to cherish :: Poem
  • Glimpse of the Buddha's teaching
  • NH7 Weekender Express Editions
  • Rejoinder to NDPP from NPF [05 Sep]
  • Mental equation
  • Are teachers teaching ? Apt, timely poser
  • Sirarakhong Hathei Phanit @Ukhrul : Gallery
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #1 : Gallery
  • Globalization, Act East Policy & Manipur
  • Review on anthology of Parthajit Borah
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Child Friendly Police Stations proposed
  • ADBU Goes Green with Solar Energy
  • Convocation of Assam Don Bosco
  • Fetal Echocardiography - Seminar held
  • Rejoinder to NPF from NDPP [04 Sep]
  • Divide, divert and rule will not work
  • FA, MU crisis : Issues before LS polls
  • Krishna Janma @ISKCON #1 : Gallery
  • Komrem Student Day @Bangalore : Gallery
  • September Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • The Coils of Pakhangba :: Book
  • Exhibition @ Art College #2: Gallery
  • AMWJU Sit-In-Protest : Gallery
  • Jangou Rah : eRang Classic
  • The Story of 40 Pineapple Suckers
  • Yumkhaibam Nanao Eramdam Yaourakhre
  • Ningol Chakkouba Celebration in Delhi
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #2: Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #2 : Gallery
  • The World of Kuki People :: Book
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #1: Gallery
  • Dolaithabi Dam , Senapati : Gallery
  • Eid-Ul-Adhaa Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Dr. Jodhachandra Sanasam : Sahitya
  • Shougrakpam Bijaya :: A Profile
  • Disputed Myanmar Border Pillar : Gallery
  • Dzuko valley #4 :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS