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
  • Mera Wayungba #2 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba @Pune : Gallery
  • State Level Basketball : Gallery
  • Sangai Fest : Program Schedule BOAT
  • Sangai Fest : Lamboi Khonangkhong
  • Sangai Fest : Hapta Kangjeibung
  • Sangai Fest : Keibul Lamjao
  • Sangai Fest : Shumang Lila
  • Godhra- Journey of a PM :: Review
  • Combating drug abuse in Manipur
  • Ningol Chakkouba celebrated at Pune
  • Glamour at 55th Naga's Meet 2018, Delhi
  • Myanmarese greeted at Khudengthabi
  • Rejoinder to PRO IGAR(s) statement
  • Quami Ekta Divas
  • Subsuming a smaller tribe
  • Kwatha Festival #2 : Gallery
  • ChingTam Ningol Chakouba @Goa: Gallery
  • Thoudam Kaoba :: Profile of Polo Player
  • The festival of the Inpui Nagas
  • IGAR (s) celebrates Ningol Chakkouba
  • Muslim Org met with Union Minority Minister
  • Thadou Students' condemns Assam Rifles
  • AR condemns the claims of TSA
  • Maintaining traffic regulation is important ..
  • Pony preservation still remains a far cry
  • Hazari/Tombi Polo Tournament : Gallery
  • X-Jam 2018 (Sports) #1 : Gallery
  • Ashok Veilou (Purul) award in Kolkata fest
  • Sanamahism was threat to Hinduism
  • Digital Impact on HR Practice : Review
  • Biodiversity for economic development #1
  • The Visitor :: Poem
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Mysore #2 : Gallery
  • Yoilumba, Chiranglen, Chingjaroi :: eMing
  • Pukning Pothasang: Women Mental Health
  • Scaramouche, Fandango, Galileo, Figaro..
  • A cry for survival: an appeal for unity
  • Who will answer our questions ?
  • Seminar : Challenges in Local Self Govt
  • Tourism and Sangai Festival
  • New leader at MSCW
  • Laija (Film Scenes) #1 :: eRang
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Dubai #2 : Gallery
  • Countdown to Manipur Polo International
  • Education for 21st century jobs
  • The corrupt tiger
  • Can you stop falling rain :: Poem
  • Scholars translate celebrated Nepali..
  • Of harassment at Imphal-Moreh Route
  • Need for a strong Opposition
  • Lamklai Kummoi Maring Fest #2: Gallery
  • National School Games- Fencing: Gallery
  • We want the ring...
  • The Queen's Heart :: Poem
  • Education of heart: Heart of Education
  • Mao - The Revolutionary
  • Discussion on India-Vietnam Relation
  • Sangai of the Sangai festival
  • Jarnail in his element
  • Tough road awaits Sarita in World Boxing
  • ACAUT says NNPGs unable to rein..
  • State has no say in ILP - Conrad
  • Ningol Chakouba @ MBC #2 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba Nga Mela #2 : Gallery
  • Rajkumar Jhaljit : Sahityaratna 2017
  • Gaudiya Vaishnavism in Meitei Nation #2
  • Ningol Chakouba :: Poem
  • World Diabetes Day 2018
  • Bartending as a career option
  • The unintended windfall
  • Issues before the Parliamentary polls
  • Mera Kongchat Mass Rally #3: Gallery
  • Rock Show at X-Jam 2018 : Gallery
  • Bloody Phanek wins at Signs Festival
  • Gender Equality & Development :: Book
  • I am friend of India for life- Japanese PM
  • 2019 Commonwealth Scholarship in UK
  • 55th Nagas' Meet at New Delhi
  • Black money and the dream-merchants
  • What steps to address traffic chaos ?
  • Govt extends ban on seven Meitei groups
  • It won't be easy for Mary Kom - Nieva
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Mysore #1 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Dubai #1 : Gallery
  • Cry of a Dying River - 54 :: Poem
  • Religious education- Part of our life
  • Free Heart Camp at Kakching Bazar
  • Jobs at Gyan Jyoti Foundation
  • Nothing seems change; everything remains
  • Predatory instinct of man: Targeting 'Manipur'
  • Lihaaz- Classical Music at IIT Guwahati
  • Mera Wayungba #1 : Gallery
  • L Modhuchandra : Young Scientist Award
  • Chavang Kut celebrated in Delhi
  • Temple runs for a pilgrim's journey
  • First day of All India Young Writers' Festival
  • Ningol Chakkouba in era of materials
  • Constitutional breakdown in governance
  • Attacked on Environment Defenders
  • Kut festival @ Chandel : Gallery
  • Mega Marathon Manipur #2 : Gallery
  • Karen people's pursuit for survival..
  • Glamorous Maniac & their new single
  • City bus for high end of society- Why not?
  • Youth Leadership Camp at Yairipok
  • Course in Political Science at NEHU
  • Of Indian Constitution
  • Ningol Chakouba @ MBC #1 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba Nga Mela #1 : Gallery
  • NH7 Weekender @Meghalaya #2 : Gallery
  • Gaudiya Vaishnavism in Meitei Nation #1
  • Old Man in the Winter :: Poem
  • Drawing inspiration from Dave Mustaine
  • Condemns attack on Agnes Kharshiing
  • NEUFC Fan Park celebrates
  • Achievement lists of PDA is 'Boring'
  • MPP : Down but not out
  • Ningol - mapam lamdam : Gallery
  • Kwatha Festival #1 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba: Biggest fest of Manipuri
  • Mizoram Under the British Rule :: Book
  • Dr. Udit Raj: a Crusader
  • Undisclosed #MeToo campaign in Manipur?
  • Drought :: Poem
  • When Money matters, sincerity is out..
  • Detaining two more at Jiribam
  • Ningol Chakkouba : Flash Presentation
  • Ningol Chakkouba Shopping #1: Gallery
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Those Sparks and Sounds
  • Manipur from Independence to Merger #2
  • Understanding RSS :: Book Review
  • Cry of a Dying River - 53 :: Poem
  • A take on Freedom of Media
  • Pay of private school teachers
  • Mera Kongchat Mass Rally #2: Gallery
  • Art Festival @ Imphal : Gallery
  • 26 month left to meet AIDS 90-90-90 target
  • Tengnoumanbi- Essential food item ..
  • Dr Abdul Kalam vision of transforming India
  • A Wintry Landscape :: Poem
  • 'Say no to Lead Paints'
  • Completing bigger task
  • Biomedical wastes: Health, ecology at stake
  • NIA files chargesheet against 5 NSCN (K)
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Kolkata : Gallery
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #3: Gallery
  • Irony of idea of communal harmony
  • Blood Donation at RGU, Arunachal Pradesh
  • Career opportunities in Ecology #2
  • Down the Country Road :: Poem
  • Change of season: Prepare for winter
  • Govt forgotten promises to improve traffic
  • ATC demand: Setback to pluralistic Manipur
  • Mega Marathon Manipur #1 : Gallery
  • Descent & inheritance among Zeliangrong
  • Constituent Assembly Of India & NEFA #3
  • Seminar : Reforming Teaching-Learning
  • Attitude :: Poem
  • Tourism: A key sector in the world
  • NH7 Weekender Meghalaya : Day 2 Report
  • Early solution in Manipur difficult : Army
  • Fabrics of Bangladeshi Manipuri: Download
  • NH7 Weekender @Meghalaya #1 : Gallery
  • Pukning Pothasang: Suicide prevention
  • Where have all the flowers gone? Khurkhul
  • Engaging Failed State :: Book Review
  • eNorth East Award 2018
  • Song of a Tree :: Poem
  • NH7 Weekender 2018 Kicks Off
  • Unsolved case of Pravish Chanam
  • Imphal Jamboree : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Manipur from Independence to Merger #1
  • A beacon of hope
  • Mishing tribe of Assam
  • Ransomware that made the world cry
  • State Level Painting Competition
  • A suggestion for a strong democracy
  • Issues before Parliamentary polls
  • Kut Festival @ Kangpokpi : Gallery
  • HIV : Gap between research & impact
  • My Tryst With Manipur : A Memoir :: Review
  • Cultural heritage (Kut fete)
  • Bleeding inside Brain treated at SKY
  • Indo-Myanmar Regional Border Meet
  • In Her Arms Of Death :: Poem
  • Pravish Chanam : No Action by CBI
  • Assam Don Bosco : University of the Year
  • NH7 Weekender 2018 in Meghalaya
  • Media that criticize are not your enemy, CM
  • MU limping back to normalcy
  • Mera Kongchat Mass Rally #1: Gallery
  • Happy Kut Wishes :: Flash Presentation
  • November Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Weavers training for Mamit , Mizoram
  • Diwali Lagao : Mapugidi Munda
  • Career opportunities in Ecology
  • Jobs at Trueblue, Taxi Service, Imphal
  • CM should not let this opportunity out..
  • Where will Oct 31, 2018 stand ?
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #2: Gallery
  • Kut Festival :: Series of Articles
  • Comedian Huirem Manglem passed away
  • Constituent Assembly Of India & NEFA #2
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Chalwa Village in Kangpokpi #3 : Gallery
  • NEROCA Vs East Bengal : Gallery
  • Fashion Show: Lamklai Kummoi: Gallery
  • Mera Houchongba @Konung #1: Gallery
  • Sanjenbam Bhanumati Devi : Kavyabhusan
  • Eepan Thaba #1: Gallery
  • A Road Trip to Myanmar #3
  • Narmada Sougaijam - Natl Konkan Award
  • Bor khoiramba @Hiyangthang #2 : Gallery
  • Mera Houchongba : Unity - hill & valley
  • Khong: significance in Zeliangrong culture-1
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download
  • Lamyanba Irabot- Floral Tribute #2: Gallery
  • Mera Chaorel Houba #2 : Gallery
  • Pari Imom (Film Scenes) #1 :: eRang
  • Death Anniv - Bhagyachandra #3 : Gallery
  • Heikru Hidongba #3 : Gallery
  • AMAND Pune: Cultural evening : Gallery
  • Tarpon Sonba : Gallery
  • mtM :: Seireng
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #4: Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS