Sanaleipaak .... If only this is possible.........
By Deepa Khomdram *
Once you start you never want to stop. And something which has a beginning must also have an end. Each time, just to add some spice, we try to adopt new style –whether suitable to the subject or not. Experimentation never ends, may be this happens with any writer, particularly one who has just started and have no training whatsoever.
Whatever comes in mind is just imprinted without even knowing the audience will like it or not. Anyway, sometime audience is also not so important; the only thing important is the thought itself. Let's see how this one works out. It's a sequence of communication between a father and son through letters.
Let's assume the location to be somewhere in the remote Imphal East district where there are no computer or e-mail facilities...
"Sanaleipaak .... If only this is possible........."
In the recent years, Central Agricultural University (CAU) had taken some initiative and targeted some villages in the valley for the production of certain cash crops. Result has been very satisfactory, and many villagers are now able to send their children to far-off places for better education. And one such happy farmer writes to his son, pursuing a course in computer somewhere away from their remote hometown, informing him about their daily life back in village with some pride.
(Readers are advised not to assume it as real life event – any co-incident is however regretted. All the characters are fictitious and the story is simply an assimilation of thoughts...)
Imphal East District – March 14, 2008
Nakhoigee Da-Suren na ngaraang nahakee chithi pubirakee. Maana post office ta thabak macha ama touba sina.... Eepa-echagee chithi thadok –thajin da khara nungai hallee. Thaakhiba peisa fungle tabada..nungaire, aduna konnanaba fajna hei-singna sijinou. Nungna henna khunglidunee, eikhoidee atei Imphal macha sing-ga manaaba natchade. Laairik toh thawaai –yaona fajana ngamnaba hotnagadoubanee..
Namaa su masha khara nungaire... Pebam gee Tada-Angaanghal na..fajna yengbibadagee, hidaak –laangthak semmbibadagee... houjik khara-khara fajana chaaba-thakpaa yaare. Ngaraangdee, namaa du eeyong paanganee haindana.. makharom gee nane-Thambal hoida lung sinnba chatlubanee... Eina touranu haibasu kaya taade... hakchaang kale fee-saaganee haina kanna hotanri.. Namaa na keidou-ngei suti thoklakanee haidana hungdanata lei... maai mahousha nee..
Mamaang engkholgee allu thaba do... taanba houre..hayeng –hungchit loisillaba yaai... handak kee kumsu adum fajana thokkee... feidom ani khak ngaraang taanbanee... ado sungbai ahum dee pik-thalle... nungsha fajana chaahallaga..kunghanba hotanree... nungna allu taanba yaamna paamjabado.. ningsillakaee... kaide.. amuksu taanee nung na laakpa matamdaa.. asumaina thoklabadee.. yamdrabadaa... mon 25-30 dee thokkanee haina ashaa touree.. Awaanglom gee sangam ama dude...hanna thikadaar daa.. yonkhrabanee.. peisa su khara peerakadouba waatlee...allu taanba loiraga... peerakke haina yaanakhare...
Fare ngasigee di swaida adum loisillage. Nasa nada-yektanaba cheksinna leiyu. Matam naina laairik pao.. atei dee keisu haining-ngai leite... loirage....
(A brief translation of the letter sent by a father to his son – "received your letter, be prudent in using the money that was sent. Do not compare yourself with those who are from eminent families. Focus on your studies. Your mom has recovered and is already planning to start up her loom. Potato harvest is good this year also. Take care of your health and study well.")
Every parents love their child, but in our society it's seldom expressed; only some hidden memories tell the entire tale. This is one such typical letter.
Far-off land – April 2, 2008
Baba-gi chithi fungbada yaamna nungai. Ema nabaa fare tabada amuk henna nungaire. Eyong do konna paalasu yaabanee, adubu hairubada taabiraroi. Fare! Handak allu fajana thokae khungbada yaamna nungai.
Eikhoina yolliba mammal ase kharadi maangjabara haina khallee. Adubu paisa advance ta fungbagee khalluradee thoina henna kaide. Amasu sum khallubanee, karigumba eikhoina loinamak whole sale thaadrabasu, khara kaanaba mawongda, allu asi achaapot oina semllaga yonba ngamlabadee khara henna kaanagadra khallee. Adubu karamna – kamhaaina houba haidudee fajana munna akhung-ahei taanaraga, tourabadee ngamgadra haina ashaa touwee. Baba na masida wakhal khara toubirabadee yaamna henna nungaiganee..
Eikhogee semester su loisingadoure, May thaa dagee suti houraba yaana leiree. Parikha gee time –table su ngasi hayeng soidna khunglaganee.. suti khara saangba nina yumda thoklakke haina khallee. Sidadi hostel su thing-ganee hairi. Aduna yaaragadee handak kee peisa tharakpadaa lupa 1000(lishing-ama) khakta henbirakuu. Yum thoklakpagee khoroch oinaba... Baba gee khong-oop amasu leirakke, ema gee dee nahal saal macha ama leirure...
(The son simply replies- "good to hear mom has recovered and harvest was good. Only feels the whole-sale price for potato they are getting is much lower, but since they get some advance, it kind of off-sets. Wish if some eatables are made from potato to earn higher margin. Need to consult some experts in the field, and wishes if Dad would think on this line. Semester is getting over wishes to come home for holidays and to send some extra money.")
Life in the remote villages of Imphal east district is simple and rustic. The son arrives home early May. The idea that pricked him sometime back, he wanted to try it. And his small enterprise begins. He listed the various process to start up a "Potato Chip"- factory. Though it was not a very complicated process, but since it has to be done on commercial scale was what worried him. So he decided to involve few other like minded friends in his scheme. They decided to try on 100 Kg for first batch of production.
Three women were to be employed to peel the potato at Rs. 60/-per day. He had purchased a nice cutting machine which cost him only about Rs. 150/-. It was to be used manually which can slice potato easily but at a much faster pace than the usual practice. Peeled potato was sliced immediately and put outside for drying; some salt and spices were sprinkled on it when it was being sun-dried. By the end of third day, all the potatoes were dried and the first batch was ready for the process of making chips.
One of his friends suddenly came up with a great idea. Instead of frying those dried potatoes, he suggested trying baking it for a change Instead of frying them; they wanted to try baking them to develop a unique taste. And since that friend had some experience in bakery he was well acquainted with the process. And thus the process of making an earthen oven was taken up in one corner of the "sangoi" (outhouse). With some butter coated over the baking tray, he put all the dried chips one after other, in a batch and started baking. It took less than 10 minutes.
On the fifth day all were ready to see the result of their hard work- baked potato chips. Oven was charged with nice and dried fire-wood, when the temperature reached the desired level, trays after trays were put inside. After few minutes it was pulled out. Wow!! The smell was appetizing and it spread all over the village. The chips came out very well; it was crispy and well baked color – slightly yellowish-orange. Da-Suren's younger brother had procured packing polythene pouches the other day. Packing was soon to begin.
Our elderly Indomcha and Ene were all waiting eagerly to do just that. Each pouch was to be filled up one full measuring cup – purchased for the purpose. Once the chips start cooling, Ebungo Achouba first made offering to the baking oven, and then saved some for offering to 'Umang-Lai'. Then, he further distributed each and everyone present to taste their first production. It tasted real good, superb!! They all knew people will like their product. All started to help packing them till late at night, finally it was over around 11. They were all so happy and very tired.
The very next day they had decided to get up early and start selling their wares. The chips were packed neatly in mid-size carton boxes, and each box contains 100 packets, there were 15 such boxes. They had earlier selected areas and shops where their products will be sold – with retail price of Rs.10/- per packet. And whole-sale rate for each box was fixed at Rs.800/-. Next two days were their most trying time; they would know how customer had received their "Kanglei Potato Chips".
Four days have gone by; none have dared to visit their respective retailer or collect money from anyone. That evening Da-Suren came back from his post office job, and brought a packet of our own "Kanglei Potato Chips" packet. He says the whole town is looking for this packet of chips and it's hard to find. He had to pay extra Rs.2/- to get his packet. This news hit them with unbound happiness.
This was how it all began!!!!!!....
* Deepa Khomdram contributes to e-pao.net regularly. The writer can be contacted at deepa(dot)khomdram(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on March 03, 2011.
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