TODAY -

Aroba's first Dilli journey

S Waikhomba Mangang *

Central View of Delhi from Jama Masjid :: July 2010
Central View of Delhi from Jama Masjid in July 2010 :: pix - Adim Marangmei



"Wo, Ema!", cried Aroba when the lunch was served at the Brahmaputra Mail that he boarded from Guwahati. Aroba was heading to Delhi, like most of the Manipuris do, for his higher studies.

Hearing the unusual cry, the guy who was sleeping at the side-upper berth came down and gave a look at Aroba, "Meetei ro?"

"Hoi! Manae, ei Meetei neh", pat came the reply to find someone from the crowd who could understand his 'Wo, Ema!' cry. v Aroba continued, "Ei Thouban dei neh, Dilli da ming chanba chatcharuge toubane. Eigi ming na Aroba neh, adomgi mingna?"

"Oh, my name is James Keisam. I am from Imphal", was the reply in heavily accented voice that made Aroba to listen as if some sermons was going on.

"But you can call me JK. That is how I'm known among my peers in Delhi". Aroba was awestruck to find someone so comfortable with English. He wondered at the same time why JK was avoiding Meeteilon.

Mid Prologue:

Aroba grew up in the dusty lanes of interior Thoubal, where biological clocks rather than alarm clocks defined time. The setting in rural Manipur is laidback with ample time for anything worth its name. The feel is earthy, an air of nonchalance devoid of any hubris that dot the social milieu in other societies. Despite so much of violence and the politics of violence that rocked the hinterland, people are more concerned to discuss about the harvests of the season over a bottle of Atingba with some Sha-ataobas.

When the ladies in other parts were busy discussing about issues that meant feminism and stuffs, the Thoubal ladies were more busy to discuss about the number of Phaneks and Khudeis that each could produce so that they could supplement the economy of the family. Unlike other places, Thoubal kids believed that Nokla, Panatone, Zookay, Samson, Dike, Luma, etc were real brands. They would sport the cheap 'branded apparels' with panache and walk as if the whole town was a ramp! Aroba was one amongst them. He had a Nokla handset.

Ever since the local elected representative decided to give a makeover to the semi-town by 'black painting' the roads, Aroba started thinking that Thoubal is finally coming in a big way. Though it is a different story that those black painted roads got washed away in one of the monsoons that came to the region. The COHSEM result was a big factor why the Ahals of the Leirak decided to send Aroba to Delhi. At 71%, they thought Aroba was the brightest student in Manipur! So, they started the frantic calls to other students who are in Delhi.

"Bhai JK, dal sidi thi mahi manle-da", said Aroba wryly. He poured out the dal to mix with rice. There were chapattis that were as hard as rubber tyres, some pieces of fried potatoes that looked like goat's droppings. He cared less to check other items.

"Assshhh... Bhai, adu makti henmanle-da. All the passengers are having the same food. Please don't complain", JK amused.

James was an introvertly extrovert guy. He made comments only when he felt there was a need. In short, a very calculated guy. He was at home with English though he was not a stranger to Meeteilon. He meant sophistication. He echoed elegance, candidness and an aura of intelligence. He represented an antipode to a buffoonish Aroba.

"I am doing my graduation in History from St Stephen's. It's a bit tough to get a seat there. If you've got good marks in your plus 2 exams and if you can impress those boring teachers who grill you during the interview rounds as if you were born in some historical period, then you are a Stephenian!", quipped JK.

"I scored 94% in plus 2. How much you scored?", asked JK. v "Is there any other college that admits students with lower pc?", came the response from a petrified Aroba, sensing that he stands nowhere to JK, forget about being admitted to DU! Though he did let know James about his plus 2 percentage.

"Oh brother! Don't worry, there are many colleges in DU. You have a good chance to make it at the North Campus of DU. Yam khanlunu-da..."

Aroba was more silenced by JK's deliberations than his personality. Also the terms he was using for DU was foreign to him. He barely could understand any of those. So, he decided to put silent.

Mujhko pehchanlo main hoon don... main hoon don... main hoon don...
Mujhko pehchanlo main hoon don... main hoon don... main hoon don...
"Hello.. ?"
"Woo..ooo... Emagi Ningthem Arobaaa... Nang Chak Charabaro?", said a wailing voice.
"Huh? Ema? Sidi Kanagi Phone noh?"
"Woo..ooo.. Mamang leikaigi nanggi nene Loidang-gi neh.. Eigi Aroba-bu chak charabaro?"
"Hoi ema! Ei chare... Ema, eigi kaaduda nungdang-da eiga Nanao-ga tharoi khara chuppambane.. Langthokpikharo..."

"Oh... yai.. langthokpige.. ado Arobaa... Ei..." Tut. Tut. Tut. Tuttut. Tuttut. Tuttut. The network was gone. He searched for JK who was already engrossed in his magazine. Dibrugarh se Dilli jane wali Nimnagami train Sankhya 14055 Brahmaputra Mail platform no. 3 par rukhi hui hain.

"Bhai JK.. train khame.. mapandei karigumba khara leiruse..."
Yatriyon se nivedan hain ki station parishar main train sochalay ka istemal kripya na kare. Dhanyavaad.
"Oh... Kishanganj manli heh.. Ei makha kumlak ke. So, what you wanna buy?", said JK.
"Acha-apot khara leise. Traingi chakne-na puk thande", smiled Aroba.

The train chugged pass Barsoi JN, Malda Town, New Farakka JN, Barhawa JN, Sahibganj, Kahalgaon, Bhagalpur, Sultanganj. Aroba was noting down the stations' names. He could not control the enormous urge to nap for a while.

This was the first train journey of his life. He was excited to be in a machine that carried thousands of people of different colours and looks. Few hours later, he was awoken by the train staffs who were serving the tasteless dinner with the ever doubtful dal that looked more slimier than anything. JK cared less for the dinner.

"But you promised you will be at the station!", JK hushed. Aroba looked at his watch. It was late night.
"I don't know the reasons. Please come along. I'm dying to see your face"
"Yes. Yes... Yes... I brought the things you've asked for. Please be there at the station tomorrow."
"Thank you so much... Love you, dear...See you tomorrow"
The train reached Ghaziabad. JK started packing his stuffs. Aroba understood. He too started packing.
"Bhai JK.. Saobiganu. Mateng khara pamjei. Dilli da Vijaynagar se kaida leige?"
"Oh, Waroonoo! Even I stay there. Will go together. Okay?"
"Assshhh... Yam nungaireda!"

"Ado, Aroba.. go to toilet. Delhi is nearby. Vijay Nagar is a bit far from the station. You don't have urinals at the Metro trains."
"Asssshhh... Waroonoo-da. Eise journey toubada yen douna toubaneh. Yung-ka suk-han handabaneh!"
"Huh!?? Assshhh... yai.. yai.." smirked JK.
The train reached Delhi. JK's friend waved at them. Aroba quickly glanced at her. She was a beauty and smartly dressed.
"Oh, so nice to see you again! How was the journey dude?", she air-punched at JK.
"I'm all good. The journey was tiresome. Erm.. meet him. Aroba, newbie in Delhi"
Aroba took out his hand from the pocket and said, "Hi! My name is Aroba. I'm from Thouban and I'm new in Dilli"
"Duh?! Thouban-nnn..? Isn't that Thouballl? Ewww... by the way, my name is Likla Chanu but you can call me Liz Noo. And I'm from the USA".
Aroba was astonished to find a Meetei from America! He was more impressed with this candid and sassy lady though he couldn't get away with his inquisitiveness.

"Heima! Amerika-da Meetei khun leibaro? Meetei khun kaya taagae Amerika da?"
"Duh!! I'm not from America. Puhleez!! USA stands for Upper Sekmai Area, Motbungz youdri mamangz da! Nangse eikhoi Manipurz yam khangdez manle!"

Aroba could conclude the following things.
1. JK is super lucky to have a beauty like Liz Noo.
2. JK is smart.
3. Liz Noo is even more smarter.
4. Liz Noo speaks Meenglish (Meetei+English).
5. That he himself was a dumbo.

JK and Liz Noo were good enough to drop Aroba to his friend's place apart from the lessons they gave him to board the Metro, to use swipe card, to get on an escalator, that talking loud is rustic and lawai-type. Aroba's friend welcomed him. He had food there. He called up his Ema to say his whereabouts. By evening, Aroba went to the nearby shop on the other side of the alley to buy dhoop and dhuna as per his Ema's instructions back home. He didn't notice some guys were following him.

With almost no Hindi knowledge, he enquired, "Bhaiyaa.. dhoop.. dhuna.. leibara hain?"
"Haan ji.. aapko kya chahiye?", asked the shopkeeper, a pot-bellied Delhite.
"Bhaiyaa, dhoop.. dhuna.. leibara hain?"
"Kya apko agarbatti chahiye? Beta, mujhe samajh main nahin aa raha."

"Hahaha... in chinkiyon ko kuch nahin aata momo khane ke alawa! Oye chinky tujhe jo chahiye woh yahan nahin milti. China wapas chale jaana... hahahaha...", yelled one of the guys who were following Aroba.

"Hahahaha.. hahahaha... chinky pinky po po.. mo mo.... Hahahhaha", cried the other guys. They started doing monkey acts, monkey chatterings and some martial kicks. The shopkeeper was obese enough to lift himself up. He asked them to remain silent but they could care less.

Annoyed, amused and angered, Aroba shouted back at the top of his voice, "Mee yam usittare neh, huh?!" and thud! Off went his fist one the face of one of the guys there.

Taken aback, the other guys surrounded him and started hitting. One Aroba was not good enough to take on an entire gang of rowdies. The shopkeeper shouted for help. A Sardar who came towards the allay heard the commotions. He rushed to the rescued of Aroba.

"Oye! Ki hoya ve? Rukho!! Warna main sabko jail main bhar dunga".
Seeing the Sardar rushing towards them, the guys went helter-skelter. In no time they were off the scene.
"Puttar ki hoya? Tu Dilli main naye ho kya? Tujhe Hindi nahin aati?"
"Uncan... I am new in Dilli and I don't know to speak Hindi", saying this, Aroba got up from the ground and went towards his room. He was hurt. He felt bad and humiliated for reasons he knew nothing. His heart cried out.
Mujhko pehchanlo main hoon don... main hoon don... main hoon don...
Mujhko pehchanlo main hoon don... main hoon don... main hoon don...
"Hello? Ema?", a tear dropped.
"Woo Aroba.. numit tare thangmei chukhatlo. Dilli-da kerosene-ga phangba waramgani."
"Ema, ei kona phone touraklage".


* S Waikhomba Mangang wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition)
This article was posted on November 09, 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
  • Great June Uprising #3 :: Gallery
  • Kang Chingba @Singjamei :: Gallery
  • Nengvah, Krehe, Achoubi :: eMing
  • On Probable Origin of Letter Atiya
  • 181, Cyber Crime ; How about Zero FIR?
  • Shree Shree Govindajee Temple :: 360 °
  • Manipur U-19 Teams victorious at 'Oorja'
  • Remove Army Camp from MU Campus
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • MU VC neglecting academics : MUSU
  • 100 days of BJP led Govt
  • AFSPA - a push to arms?
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Imphal #1 :: Gallery
  • 15th Mega Miss North East :: Gallery
  • Cyclist have Rights on the roads
  • International Day Against Drug Abuse
  • Mary Khyriem is Mega Miss North East
  • Felicitation of Thangjam Guneshwar
  • Corruption of lairik-laisu
  • Approaches towards NE development
  • Jobs at Thangjam Agro (Likla)
  • Militarising a place of learning : AR in MU
  • ..Liangmais to withdraw from Zeliangrong
  • Scientist Thangjam felicitated
  • Idd-ul-Fitre celebrated in NE
  • Konung Kang Chingba #1 :: Gallery
  • Suman Ningthoujam is Mega Mister NE
  • Kang Chingba (Rath-yatra)
  • Baptism of pugilist Sarita Devi..
  • President of India from Manipur, when?
  • Conditions leading to birth of Marxism
  • Meeting on oil Exploration at Tupul
  • Condoles death of Palal Haokip
  • Diabetes Detection - Medical Camp
  • Dzukuo: SAYO refutes Mao CSO allegation
  • Cong to Delhi: Lift lid on Naga pact
  • Manipur man to contest presidential poll
  • Three Mothers Art Gallery :: Gallery
  • U 14 Subroto Football :: Gallery
  • Environment Day: Loktak Ema Laments
  • Khangchiu/Liuchiu: Liangmai institution #2
  • Value based education in schools
  • Yoga and dress
  • Bengal Govt repressing Gorkha people
  • Media appeals management to obey..
  • Recreation- a Serious Business
  • Reintroducing MST bus service
  • Subhadra chhuri huranba :: Funga Wari
  • Kanglei Haraoba Festival #3 :: Gallery
  • Angkor Wat - Cambodia #6 :: Gallery
  • Traffic Jam gigs on home ground
  • Cheiraoba Ching Kaba #6 :: 360 ° View
  • Preserving Macha Ebemma Khudithibi area
  • Life in some hill villages
  • Paramedical Courses Admissions
  • NPF responds to Congress diatribe
  • Surrogate teachers
  • Great June Uprising #2 :: Gallery
  • Road Condition @Senapati :: Gallery
  • School on Phum: Innovative Learning Place
  • Sketches of the Countryside :: Poem
  • Why MBA in Business Analytics ?
  • Grand finale of Mega Miss North East
  • Rehabilitation of Villagers affected by Mora
  • Making NFSA meaningful: Life into MSFC
  • Expecting some appreciable act
  • Earth crack at Kangpokpi #2 :: Gallery
  • Yoga Day @Khuman Lampak :: Gallery
  • Finance Capitalism & the Naga Question
  • Alumni 1998 Batch Ki Ningai
  • Manipur Univ's CMS awarded 4.5 out of 5
  • Legal Training for Justice Workers
  • Career Counselling for Bishnupur students
  • International Yoga Day
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Noting the SOS from the DC of Kpi
  • For that little bit more
  • Lai Khong Chingba @Thangjing #4
  • Landscape of Kangpokpi :: Gallery
  • Yeningthagi Wari Kumhei :: Gallery
  • Beyond beef eating
  • World Father's Day :: Poem
  • Bereavement of Khaplang & can of worms
  • Union HRD Prakash Javadekar at Imphal
  • Jobs at basicP, Singjamei
  • Job at Escent Diagnostics, Imphal
  • Treating patients with a human touch
  • Deliberate mistakes
  • Yu Thongba by Loi of Awang Sekmai #2
  • Junior Girls District Football #1 :: Gallery
  • Dialysis Programme @JNIMS :: Gallery
  • Pukhri Macha at Kangla :: 360 ° View
  • Khangchiu/Liuchiu: Liangmai institution #1
  • Mass awareness on congress grass
  • Shut down in hills, Unity Day in valley
  • Sever pol ties: Where does this leave NPF ?
  • June in Manipur
  • June 18 effect
  • Great June Uprising #1 :: Gallery
  • The Great June Uprising 2001 :: Photos
  • Stalls @Barak (spring) Fest #2 :: Gallery
  • Farmers: Occupation or a Game?
  • Food, nay tobacco, for thought
  • Paris climate agreement & India's role
  • The day to pay tribute to our own father
  • Annual Iftar Gathering at Konthagram Masjid
  • Compositeness of settlers of Manipur #3
  • The Great June 18 Uprising :: Tribute
  • Flooding at Kangpokpi :: Gallery
  • Robert Naorem collections at Milan Walk
  • Peace in post-Khaplang North-East
  • My Manipur: A tryst with ground reality
  • Ignoring the parallel Government
  • Call to IM leadership to wake up
  • Talk offer from Naga outfit: Delhi should..
  • Regulating private schools
  • Arbind Soibam (Singer) :: Erang Photos
  • Tha, Tha Thabungton: Reviewing a Lullaby
  • No More WW2 Bridge at Heingang
  • Women in Khasi & Jaintia society
  • My Song :: Poem
  • Mind boggling job interviews
  • Researchers from Kerala & Maharashtra..
  • Ripe opportunity for awareness & action
  • Flood in Imphal- June 14 :: Gallery
  • Dr. Asha Sougaijam, short stories winner
  • Wari Jalsa : storytelling series at Delhi
  • 6th Thang-Ta Federation Cup at Agra
  • Cheiraoba Ching Kaba #5 :: 360 ° View
  • Know your test: Electrolytes
  • Signal to climate change: Rise of methane
  • Chance to win guided tour to NASA : IIT Ghy
  • Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas Sammelan
  • Mr. CM, it should be Rivers in Imphal...
  • Yu Thongba by Loi of Awang Sekmai #1
  • Yaipan, wild flower @Ukhrul :: Gallery
  • NEROCA Vs Southern Samity #5:: Gallery
  • Buddhism in Manipur
  • PDS : Proven Deceitful System
  • Love thy neighbour as thyself
  • B.Tech admission in NIT Manipur by JoSAA
  • Resolution adopted by Naga People Front
  • Iftar with locals at Lilong
  • Doubtful sincerity
  • Film Personalities #3 :: eRang Classic
  • U17 District Subroto Football :: Gallery
  • India's troubled region evades scribe-killing
  • Agenda of the BJP led Government #7
  • Sendra Park & Resort #3 :: 360 ° View
  • Career options in Education #2
  • Feverous Earth :: Poem
  • Create the right ambience for the kids
  • Reposing the trust
  • Compositeness of settlers of Manipur #2
  • Moirangthem Arup at Marathon, Africa
  • For the love of football
  • .... Moirang Sendra is for Moirang
  • Counselling for DU admission
  • Congratulate candidates from Thadou
  • North East - Delhi Consultancy
  • Jobs at PR Enterprises, Keisampat
  • Discussion on Oil Exploration at Chandel
  • Crucial period for parents/guardians
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #5 : Ooba
  • RKFD Sangai Trophy Veteran #2 :: Gallery
  • Achingliu Kamei at Half Marathon, St Albans
  • Sleepless night :: Poem
  • Arambam Boby Singh felicitated at Guwahati
  • Vice-free campus beckons Manipur student
  • Meeting on Stop Oil Exploration at Maklang
  • Shillong Lajong Signs Players For U-15
  • Need for a strong Congress ..Opposition
  • Lai Khong Chingba @Thangjing #3
  • 2nd Hill People's Day by CM :: Gallery
  • Barak Festival at Senapati #2 :: Gallery
  • Phynyx coming up with new original songs
  • Goods & Service Tax & its role in Manipur
  • Oil Exploration Consultation at Khangabok
  • Condolence for Khaplang :: Nagaland CM
  • To each his own
  • Earth crack @ Kangpokpi #1 :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Major David Manlun :: Gallery
  • Pottery by Thongjao, Kakching :: Gallery
  • Gurumayum Robert (Archer) :: Profile
  • Lai Khong Chingba @Thangjing #2
  • Nampanliu Riamei : Ningtingale Award
  • Flood in Imphal [May 31] #2 :: Gallery
  • HSLC 2017 : Result
  • HSLC 2017 : Stats/Subject Toppers
  • HSLC 2017 : Result (External)
  • HSLC 2017 : Top 25
  • Shirui Lily Festival, Ukhrul #4 :: Gallery
  • Art exhibition at Ukhrul :: Gallery
  • President presents Award to Prof Subadani
  • Camping @ Phangrei, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • Kanchan Soibam :: eRang Photos
  • HSE 2017 : Toppers in Science :: Gallery
  • Class XII result announced :: Gallery
  • Nungbi Chaphu - Ukhrul Pottery :: Gallery
  • Ksh Bhaktakumar- Mr India 2017:: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #2 :: Gallery
  • Landscape of Manipur #6: Wallpaper
  • 'Nura Pakhang'(Video) @Portugal:: Gallery
  • Purul, Senapati :: 360 View Panorama
  • SPONSORED ADS