TODAY -

...Of shoes and ships and sealing wax...

RK Tarachand *



Yaoshang festivities at Imphal on 10th March 2012
Yaoshang festivities at Imphal on 10th March 2012 :: Pic - Bullu Raj



"In Manipur the very essence of spring is Yaoshang. It is that time of year when young people pop pencils or pens into their mouths and endeavor to write songs or lyrics dedicated to some one they have a fond spot for"

Spring has come and is about to turn into summer. The President of the country wished the people of Manipur on the occasion of Sajibu Cheiraoba. In parts of the world where winter temperatures range from cold to very cold, the advent of spring is a preclude to joyous festivities.

In fact in the bleak winter in the north of Britain, swept by waves of icy winds the sound of the cuckoo in itself acts as a reminder that the grip of winter is about to yield to warmth and vibrant life. So much does the cuckoo promises to the highlanders of the British Isles. William Wordsworth waxes lyrical over that often heard but not frequently seen bird. He refers to it as 'blithe spirit'.

In India the majority population celebrates spring in the form of Holi. Holi is a riotous celebration of colour and mirth, and as it is in many other Indian cultures it is a communal celebration. In the southern part of the country, particularly where Pongal and Onam is celebrated there is that added delight of families preparing their best meals which are lovingly shared between near and dear ones.

Throughout the length and breadth of the country dirty politics, communalism and social repression seem to take the back seat. After all the millions of people who lead a wretched life in India have far too little to celebrate. Let the coming of spring be a brief respite.

In Manipur the very essence of spring is Yaoshang. It is that time of year when young people pop pencils or pens into their mouths and endeavor to write songs or lyrics dedicated to some one they have a fond spot for. It is also that time of year when people, much against good advice, wish to sing and dance.

And for the geriatrics? Well its as usual, gape and tilt lances at the wind mills of the mind. Whatever else, the joie de vivre of Yaoshang can only be experienced by a Meetei. We experience it, the rest celebrate it. And of course we also know that Thabal Chongba is the embodiment of Yaoshang.

When Cheiraoba and Yaoshang fall shortly one after the other, then New Year in this corner of the world becomes a joy for the entire family. On such occasions everyone in the family has his or her role cut out. It is against this kaleidoscope of multi cultures that the President has wished the various peoples of India who have adopted diverse cultures. One does hope she comes to Manipur during Yaoshang one of these years.

Culture is a dynamic base of society. It changes with time and the corresponding changes in social reality. The real value of Manipuri culture lies not so much in the reality of changes it has evolved, but more so in the fact that its basic tenets have remained true to its Manipuri characteristic in particular, and to the S.E. Asian identity in general. And for those who are unaware of it, ours is an conscious option shaped by our history.

But to end this small essay on a lighter vein. As the story goes, the Assamese were perplexed that Manipur oozes rich in everything, culture and sports leading the way. So a team of intrepid Assamese leaders went to meet Lord Shiva to air their grievances. We are all aware that Hindu faith depicts Lord Shiva as the biggest giver of boons apart from also being the Lord of destruction.

When they finally reached Mt Kailash they found the Lord seated with his back facing them. Knowing fully well his famous temper the Assamese decided to adjust with the reality as it was. It looked like Shiva was in a bad mood. May be he had got into one of his frequent tiffs with his consort Parvati and as usual he had come out second best. Actually, that formidable virago continuously pestered and agitated him.

Or it could have been that he had inadvertently broken his favourite chillum, or that he felt it foulsome that the Assamese could dare ask for grant of refined culture. Whatever it was, he deigned not to give them a face to face audience.

Anyway the intrepid Assamese then proceeded to air their demands notwithstanding the fact the general mood lacked ambience. The team leader said 'Lord, you have granted a great many gifts to the Manipuris. Since they are a small society, population-wise, we feel you make them lie too much in green pastures. On the other hand, in every aspect in life we feel we are rudderless and not genuine. We feel we are aliens in NE India. Right now Lord we are intending to create a dance to usher in spring. Please help us generously, and as you are already well aware, in Manipur's case, their Thabal Chongba which is just a folk dance is making waves not only in India but even abroad.' A pregnant silence ensued after the Assamese leader had put forth his bewildering demands.

Suddenly without warning Lord Shiva stretched his arms horizontal to the ground. The wrists were cocked with the palms facing the Assamese delegation and he was flicking back the cocked wrists at them. The Assamese took copious notes and waited and waited for more, much more.

The Lord sensed the Assamese had not left; he then brought down his arms in akimbo with the cocked wrists resting on his haunches and repeated the flicking of the wrists, albeit more vigorously. Discomfortingly the Assamese realized that the Lord might actually be dismissing them and that he wanted to be left alone.

The team trudged back to Assam and it was decided that they would make do with whatever was at hand, no matter how meager it was. Anyway when you view the Assamese Bihu dance you will notice the horizontally stretched arms, or arms in akimbo resting on the haunches, and in both instances you will notice the flicking back of the palms.

So much so for culture.




* RK Tarachand wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao(English Edition)
This article was webcasted on March 29 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
  • 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