TODAY -

From Being Close
- Part 1 -

R.K. Shitaljit Singh *



"Who are you looking at? At your own self?"

Kombirei, who was seated in front of a mirror and combing her hair, was saying these words. There was no one nearby. There was just a striped cat with her on the wide verandah that spanned the length of three rooms. Perhaps sensing the sorry state of Kombirei who had no one to answer her query, the cat cried out "Meow, meow" and looked at her piteously. Hearing the cat, Kombirei looked at it and smiled softly. She felt content that there was at least this 'petite being' that felt a sense of relief for her.

Her combing over, she held the cat on her lap. Looking at it intently, she hugged it tight, "Arangbi, what makes you different from human being?"

The cat did not answer back but kept saying, "Meow, meow."

Kombirei further continued, "You don't know the difference? You know it but don't know how to say it. Right? But the tone of your meow conveys your answer, Arangbi."

Lost in her conversation with the cat, Kombirei was not aware of what was happening on the verandah. Looking on at the manner in which Kombirei was lost in her talks with the cat, the visitor did not dare to intrude. It seemed best that he remained silent, so he kept quiet.

Kombirei was asking the cat, "Why do you love me so, Arangbi? I don't care enough for you."

"It knows the reason, even if you don't, Kombirei." Hearing this, Kombirei turned to see who it was. Her face turned red when she saw the youth she had met on a few rare occasions and she turned towards the cat.

The youth asked, "Kombi, can you see your heart's reflection in the cat's eyes?"

With a soft smile, Kombirei said, "Yes, yes."

"Do you know why?"

"No."

"No?"

"Hmm."

"Because of your closeness."

Kombirei then sighed deeply and said to the cat, "Arangbi, go and play now. We will talk later after I finish my work."

Hearing this, the youth said, "Kombirei, you really know how to let go easily."

"How can I hold on just because I want to, Tada Subol?"

Subol did not reply. With a long drawn out "Hmm", he turned his face slightly and looked at Kombirei.

Kombirei stood up and gave the mora she was sitting on to Subol. He sat on the mora and Kombirei sat down on the floor. Subol then said, "Kombirei, do you know why I have come?"

"No, I don't," all this while tears fell from her eyes. She felt listless and did not bother to wipe her tears with her hands. The tears rolled down akin to a thin river flowing down a cliff.

Subol saw them but continued, "When will you ever understand me Kombirei? In which birth?"

"Not in this one, Tada."

"Let me go away then." And so Subol got up and went off. Kombirei stayed behind looking at him.

The next day, Subol's mother Tharo was talking to her husband Choubhan as she sorted through and cleaned the vegetables for the meal. Choubhan was puffing away at a hookah as he lay on a mat. Tharo said, "Do you know? Our son does not see anything in this world except for Kombirei? I have cautioned him … said a lot but he does not listen … does not care. One day, we will surely pay for it if something happens."

Choubhan did not reply. He merely listened and continued to smoke in contemplation. The hookah was big and made quite a noise. Tharo's anger rose with Choubhan's silence but the din raised by the hookah made it worse. Just as a dying person hates the noise of an engine, so also was her dislike for the noise emanating from the hookah. Her anger rising, she shouted abruptly, "Are you listening at all?"

Choubhan was startled by this outburst but calmed down and said, "Yes, I am."

"Then why have you not said anything?"

"What if he brings the girl?"

"He is my son. You should not judge him wrongly."

"I know he is your beloved son. But…?"

"It doesn't matter, Tharo. Call Subol if he is around."

Subol came at his mother's bidding and stood with a subdued demeanor near his father.

Looking at Subol, Choubhan started, "Subol, has Kombirei agreed?"

Subol's face flushed at the question. He remained quiet. Choubhan continued, "If it is OK, bring her once. Shall I go and meet her parents for their approval?"

Subol stayed quiet but Tharo, beating her chest with a clenched fist cried out, "Alas! All is lost! You both stay at this house … decide whom to bring as daughter-in-law!"

Choubhan looked at his wife calmly and said, "And you?"

"Rather than accept that uncultured girl as my daughter-in-law, I would …"

"Go back to your parental house?"

"Why not?"

"So you won't agree with your husband? How can you expect your son to obey you when you don't listen to your husband?"

Tharo bristled at the suggestion; she was at a loss to reply and remained quiet. Subol went off while Choubhan continued to smoke the hookah.

Courtesy: TAMNA

To be continued..


* R.K. Shitaljit Singh Singh wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao
This is translated from Manipuri by Chitra Ahanthem
This article was posted on December 30, 2014.


* 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
  • 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
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • 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
  • ..on re-signing cease-fire with NSCN (K)
  • Seminar weighs army act compulsions
  • Mary Kom bows out
  • Great June Uprising #2 :: Gallery
  • Road Condition @Senapati :: Gallery
  • Achoubi, Nengneikim, Areni :: eMing
  • 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
  • Crimes against NE people rising in Delhi
  • Mao CSOs rake up Dzuko issue with CM
  • 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
  • ..any Minister know about Azurama village
  • Mass communication: Then and now
  • Mapal Kangjeibung :: 360 ° View
  • The Toad and the Snake :: Poem
  • Consultation on Oil Exploration at Heirok
  • Created for administrative convenience
  • The number of MPs must be increased
  • Major David Manlun :: Gallery
  • Investigate 100-cr Khuman Lampak Scam
  • CM Biren Speech at 66th NEC meeting #2
  • Pottery by Thongjao, Kakching :: Gallery
  • Working Of Panchayats In Manipur #3
  • Gurumayum Robert (Archer) :: Profile
  • Lai Khong Chingba @Thangjing #2
  • Gardening @Ema Keithel :: Gallery
  • 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
  • Lai Khong Chingba @Thangjing #1
  • Shirui Lily Festival, Ukhrul #4 :: Gallery
  • Sendra Park & Resort #2 :: 360 ° View
  • Human Microbiome Project launched in NE
  • Eastern Himalayan Naturenomics Forum
  • India lost third journalist to assailants
  • BJP pre-poll promise : Banning bandh
  • Drainage system: draining resources
  • Art exhibition at Ukhrul :: Gallery
  • Canadian Jobs & the crafty scammers ...
  • Lamjing : Mobile App for academic info
  • President presents Award to Prof Subadani
  • Nachom Arts Residency #2 :: Gallery
  • Camping @ Phangrei, Ukhrul #1 :: Gallery
  • State Level Boxing C'ship 2017 :: Gallery
  • Kanchan Soibam :: eRang Photos
  • HSE 2017 : Toppers in Science :: Gallery
  • Class XII result announced :: Gallery
  • Nungbi Chaphu - Ukhrul Pottery :: Gallery
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Science Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Arts Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Commerce Toppers
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Science Stream
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Arts Stream
  • HSE 2017 Result :: Commerce Stream
  • 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