What Have We Done to Our World ....

Omila Thounaojam *

Nupi Lan Memorial Complex in Imphal
Nupi Lan Memorial Complex in Imphal

"...The legendary contributions of our brave Emas and the hallmark event of the Nupi Lal are not to be reduced anymore as historical tales misunderstood by many nowadays as a "myth" or rather a "folk tale"...

Things shouldn't fall apart and the centre must hold all of us intact. Even though great visionaries have presented us with their prophetic vision of integral things to their lives falling apart with the passage of time, still mankind has survived greatest challenges ever.

Each day a segment of our psyche unconsciously or rather consciously erase parts of our "self" that is lost once and is hard to retrieve once again.

The best visible instance of this unlucky scenario is the way we neglect the representative monumental places and spaces of our state. Many great sociologists have claimed that places and the spaces it holds within are not just fixed geographical reality and we do not kind of have a geometrical sort of mechanical objective relationship with it.

Instead places and spaces are always historically relevant and embody innumerable accounts and tales that bore narratives of our rich civilization.

The way a community originated, grew and manages to hold itself up against all odds facing the best trials and tribulations are all associated with the material and physically present symbols of our culture.

What we see today amidst us in the form of renovated buildings and parks are not just cultural items that are to be visited only once in a blue moon on some X,Y or Z Day but are spaces that must be respected and studied.

Ironically many fails to realize that they are "living museum(S)" - that are relevant sources and our exclusive key to find ourselves in the best possible and meaningful way.

What we see every day in our Ema Keithel or, in our Kangla ironically when we happen to pass them by, are not just buildings or some kind of tourist spot. They aren't just "hollow" spaces "once upon a time" inhabited by great souls of our ancestors.

They aren't empty worlds of bricks and stones to be remembered once in a while by compulsion. They aren't just incomplete remains of our past, our history, our tradition or rather sites of memory half remembered and half forgotten.

They are "For" us and we must view them as cultural texts that must be read in all the ways possible by all means so that we could better ourselves through a fuller knowledge of our spaces embroidered with textures of our culture since time immemorial.

What have we done to our world are sad to account but what could we do "Now" to better our world is the needful thought of the hour to consider.... The best we could contribute towards achieving a respectable definition of ourselves and our cultural identity will be the way we try and find out the "unwritten and untold" stories related to our historical spaces and places.

The legendary contributions of our brave Emas and the hallmark event of the Nupi Lal are not to be reduced anymore as historical tales misunderstood by many nowadays as a "myth" or rather a "folk tale".

It's high time that stories are rewritten and retold by drawing inspiration from our Ema Keithel and other such places that could instill in us newer ways of reconnecting ourselves with the real significant sites of our origin.

Or else misguided and misinformed ways of perception about our core culturally and historically defined physical places could make us fail in offering a deserving tribute wholeheartedly from our sides to the holy spaces of our ancestors.

Sites of memory will achieve surer channel to make special and far enhanced places in our hearts and mind once they are awarded the unique place of importance they deserve.

Surely in the near future, we'll get to see a New Manipur that will foreground the stories of their cultural roots and be proud claiming that they didn't let themselves fall apart.

Surely our ignorance will be guided by the light of true knowledge about ourselves and surely we'll not let THINGS FALL APART.

* Omila Thounaojam wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition)
The writer is a Research Scholar, Assam University (Silchar)
This article was posted on July 16 2012

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