TODAY -

Spade
- A short Story -

Randhir Kumar Yendrembam *



The local Community hall was ready for inauguration on that day with a public meeting of the locality also being organized there as a part of the occasion. Merajao also attended the meeting. In the meeting speakers after speakers shared their views for the development of the locality, love and harmony in the locality, the need for sharing each other's needs. The surrounding atmosphere of that day was filled with the scent of beautiful words. Merajao was very happy because beyond his expectation he could observe those good thoughts and ideas enshrined in the hearts of his neighbors. It was indeed a good sign of development and it makes his heart glow up. Even he put a few words on such ideas and thoughts as suggestion or opinion.

A grand feast with different items was also arranged as a part of the inaugural function of the community hall. On other days the taste of the food might have been thought be so bad but on that day, each item of food tasted to be delicious and though the cooks were new in the field they received applause as all the participants were so friendly.

After that luxurious feast, Merajao wanted to take a quick nap at his home. So, he slipped out of the hall quietly while the meeting was still going on. As he stepped out from the gathering and came on the road, a bus came and halted near him. Though his home was only a walking distance from the premises of the meeting, Merajao did not miss the chance and boarded the bus. When he reached near his gate, he got down from the bus with a yawn which is a prelude to his longing for a nap. But the prelude collapsed when a gust of warm wind brought to his nose the smell of a rotten flesh of a dead animal or so. Merajao felt as if the whole item of delicious items which he stored in his stomach a few hours ago came out in his mouth.

When Merajao entered the gate of his home, his wife Tanoubi who was drying the clothes in the courtyard approached him hurriedly with large steps.

Merajao felt surprise.

- What's the matter?

-Ta Tomcha's dog had brought a rotten cat and dropped it here near our house. The smell was so nauseating that all of us couldn't take dinner." She narrated the episode with her hand blocking her nose in distorted face.

- Yes, it smells rotten.

-Your sons have also gone away entrusting the task of burying the rotten cat to you.

-Such feeble minds, they have.

-It doesn't matter now, you have to bury it.

The topic of the discussion brought Merajao the necessity of digging the earth with a spade and he had lost his spade 3 days ago.

- Then I've….

-What!

-I have to ask for the spade of Ta Kanhai.

Merajao didn't change his dress when he went out.

-No further chatting, come soon.

- Yes.

A few minutes ago, Marajo wanted a quick nap for which he made lame excuses which reddened his face in the meeting place. Now when he arrived at home, the stench of the rotten cat rubbed away entirely the sleep from his eyes.

Merajao stood at the courtyard of Kanhai.

-Ta Kanhai.

The Kanhai's wife appeared at the door.

-Iteima, is Ta Kanhai in ?

-He left for the meeting.

-Then, please lend me a spade in his absence.

-I don't know where the spade is, you better ask him when he comes back.

-Okay.

No sooner did Merajao turn his back and on his heels, then Kanhai came out of the door cleaning his teeth with a toothpick.

Merajao and Kanhai are neighbors. They grew up in the same environment. In their childhood they enjoyed together in bathing naked in the river, in plucking berries in the wild. Both roamed through the nearby bushes with catapults in their hands in search of birds. How happy the days were for Merajao to be in kanhai's company. That memory is still lingering in Merajao's mind even today. But his wife told him lies for not lending a spade and Kanhai hid himself inside his house.

Merajao, next, visited the house of Tomcha, opened the gate and stood at the courtyard like before.

-Ho Ibai. Is Ibai Tomcha in?

- Merajao, what is the matter?

-Ibai, let me borrow your spade for a while.

-I haven't any spade Merajao.

Merajao still vividly saw Tomcha's twisted muscular arms, his broad sun-burnt shoulder blades raising a spade to prepare the beds of his garden yesterday. But what could helpless Merajao do as the reply was negative.

Tomcha added,

-Ah, Merajao, Ta Sajou has three spades, you better ask him.

-Okay, I'll go and ask him for it.

Merajao even thought that the spade which Tomcha used yesterday might have been borrowed from Sajou and had returned it already and his kind heart recommended him to do the same. From the loud speakers from top of the community hall, Merajao knew that the post-lunch session of the meeting had started.

Merajao had a great respect for Sajou. He respected him to be an honest man who was always associated with any activity for the welfare of the society. Merajao heard the beautiful speech of Sajou in the meeting. At the same time he knew that Sajou also slipped away quietly from the meeting after the feast like he did.

When Merajao repeated the same request to Sajou, the latter replied promptly, "Merajao, even I am just thinking of asking you for a spade as well". Merajao stood silent. He even felt quite satisfied with the idea that someone had also wished to ask him for something. But immediately Merajao saw a spade with a new handle leaning against the wall of Sajou's out-house. For a while, he thought of coming back and asked Sajou for that spade. But he changed his mind as Sajou had already told him that he had no spade.

Merajao just remembered that in the last Panchayat Election he did not give his postal ballot to Sajou for which Sajou had an ill-feeling towards him since.

With this thought in his mind Merajao arrived at the threshold of Meino and asked him for a spade. Before Meino uttered even a single word his wife snatched the reply from her husband, "Merajao, our spade has lost its handle and not fit for use." Meino gave no further comment on the subject as his spokesperson had already explained the matter clearly. Merajao saw a spade lying near the garden. Merajao did not believe his eyes. He rubbed his eyes for a better look; yes, it was, of course, a spade. As he was walking away from Meino's, he slightly turned back and through the corner of his eyes saw Meino hurriedly going into the room with the spade. Merajao acted as if he saw nothing.

At last, Merajao stood at the courtyard of Toijam Samden. Wiping out the sweat from his face with a handkerchief, he called aloud,

-Khura, please lend me your spade.

-Merajao, someone had borrowed my spade and did not return it as it had been lost.

Merajao left but he did not fail to hear the words of Samden's grandson –"Pupu, our spade is still here". Samden gave a hoarse rebuke to the boy and the boy kept silent.

As his search for a spade turned out to be repeating the same question for the same answer, he did not want to ask any more. Many images appeared before his eyes. He saw many layers of barbed wires putting up fences distancing every one and all. He saw the barbs grew sharper and sharper and within the fences Merajao saw each man having the same ugly face. He had lost his hope of finding a spade from his big locality.

A bus bound for Imphal came. Merajao raised his hand automatically to signal a halt. The bus stopped and Merajao boarded it quickly. By the time Merajao returned home, the sun with its purple rays was almost half-hidden behind the western hills. He carried a black polythene bag in his hand. When he reached his own courtyard, his wife Tanoubi came quickly with a frowning look and rained her angry words over Merajao.

-Where have you been for so long? You are just like a naughty boy, an unbridled horse.

Instead of giving any reply, Merajao handed the polythene bag to his wife. Tanoubi got puzzled. She took the bag from her husband and put her hand inside it. She took out a new unsharpened spade from inside it.

-Where did you bring it from?

-From Imphal.

-Why have you bought a spade for a small deed? You can borrow it from someone else?

Merajao did not give the exact answer but said, "Tanoubi, let's fix a handle to our new spade and bury the dead rotten cat with it."

-Darling, that stinking carcass had been removed by Ta-Tomcha's dog and dumped it in their kitchen. Ta-Tomcha had no other way but to bury the dead cat with his own spade and he did it.

-Okay, then with whose spade?

-Theirs.

Merajao looked beyond his garden with a sigh. In the last rays of the setting sun he saw Tomcha on the way back to his home wearing a kokshet (cloth worn around head) and bearing a spade on his shoulders. He was returning from his paddy field then.

He also heard the secretary of the club conclude the day's meeting with the permission of the president.

(Translated from original short story in Manipuri into English by Oinam Anand)


* Randhir Kumar Yendrembam wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao
This article was posted on August 08 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
  • Moibung Khunou -near khurkhul :: Gallery
  • Miss Kut #4 :: Gallery
  • On the Naga Framework Agreement
  • Media Challenge: Glance from hills #1
  • GIS day at NIT Manipur
  • Pangal Leader Mohammed Hanif Shah
  • NPF questions Speaker convening meet
  • Painting Exhibition by Babli Das (Tripura)
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Looking out for possible measures
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #7 : Ooba
  • Cultural Program @ MCA :: Gallery
  • Parihal, Nimshimphy, Neilianthang: eMing
  • Ningol ChakKouba @MBC #3 :: Gallery
  • Oh dear Daddy, see I a Native Proud: Poem
  • Buddha's metta and karuna #3
  • Narendra Modi will never play Nehru
  • Photo Caption Contest by Whakal.com
  • General Call to All Former NPF Leaders
  • Penguin Readathon & Book Gifting
  • ENNG opposes inclusion of TCL..
  • Report alarm for Arunachal
  • Loktak witness drastic fall in migratory birds
  • Lecture on 'Rohingya Resettlement'
  • 'Weaves of Ching-tam' @London :: Gallery
  • Opening: Jadonang Football #1 :: Gallery
  • Robert's Weaves of valley & hills at London
  • Remembering boy..felled by fake encounter
  • Reorganisation of North Eastern Council #1
  • Sangai Photo Awards 2017 : Contest
  • The Killing Fields (2013-17) :: Timeline
  • Meeyam meekup nahum singna leibiyu
  • HighWays : Govt. needs seriousness
  • Singcha Wuya Won @Kamjong #4 :: Gallery
  • SDG Consultation: NE :: Gallery
  • North East Fashion Week #1 :: Gallery
  • Distribution Patterns of the Asian Eye
  • Sustainable Development Goal Consultation
  • Wrangle in Mapithel dam: Legal perspective
  • In the Slums of Heaven :: Poem
  • Wreath Laying Ceremony for AR Martyrs
  • Time to take a bow, Robert
  • Create jobs for NE to stop trafficking
  • March: Mera Houchongba #4:: Gallery
  • Sin-Lang Fest @DM College #2 :: Gallery
  • Sangai Festival: Ideas for a change
  • A shadowy dreamer :: Poem
  • Winter - A blessing in disguise for us ...
  • Course in Nanotechnology at NEHU
  • Pamel : Serene Natural Hub, near Lamlai
  • Vacancy at YVU Financial Services, Thoubal
  • System Operators @PR Enterprise, Khurai
  • Just by showing concern will not change..
  • Food Stall @Phayeng #2 :: Gallery
  • Miss Kut #3 :: Gallery
  • The moment :: Poem
  • Board exams decoded
  • 3rd NE Fashion at Itanagar: Day 2
  • Conference : North East in Globalized Era
  • NE-IAS launched to support Startup India
  • Painting Competition on Conservation
  • Ramkung Pamei is new MHJU Chief
  • Charuangc 2017: Rongmeis in Delhi & NCR
  • Priyogopal (Senior Artist)- Photo :: eRang
  • Kabui Dance @Jadonang Football:: Gallery
  • Fashion @NE Festival, Delhi :: Gallery
  • Deviance and Corruption in Kangleipak
  • Applied health research is vital to #endTB
  • 3rd NE Fashion at Itanagar: Day 1
  • Tri-nation Motorcycle Rally reach Imphal
  • Traffic woes continues
  • Kwatha festival #1 :: Gallery
  • Kokkhum Festival #1 :: Gallery
  • Special Rapporteur on Human Rights
  • The threat to balkanize Manipur
  • Cry of a Dying River - 6 :: Poem
  • Biological based integrated Congress grass
  • 3rd Audition of Fagi Unplugged
  • Sadar Hills District Demand: News Timeline
  • Of clean environment
  • Paonam Lily (Archery) Reception :: Gallery
  • North East Fest @ Delhi :: Gallery
  • Girls Football- Nov 4 #2 :: Gallery
  • IBSD, India & VITO, Belgium signed MOU
  • First angioplasty for in-stent restenosis
  • RIST Popular Talk-33: Quantum Hall states
  • Commonwealth alumni event of NE
  • Lecture on The Rohingya Conundrum
  • Tri-National Motorcycle Rally
  • 3rd North East Fashion Week at Itanagar
  • ILP Nov 30 deadline: Why not only for valley
  • Expected changes, do we see ?
  • Festival of Raas Leela #2 :: Gallery
  • Sin-Lang Fest @DM College #1 :: Gallery
  • Hari Uthan- Kang Chingba #2 :: Gallery
  • Code of silence: Concealing gender justice
  • God Rules Over All :: Poem
  • Five day 'Flower Show' at Ukhrul
  • Go birding to honour Bird Man of India
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Uphul Waiphul and Leikhom Leinang
  • A reminder to Central Govt.
  • Assam, Manipur bid to better ties
  • Ningol Chak-Kouba @Pune :: Gallery
  • Miss Kut #2 :: Gallery
  • Meitei Pictographic Writings :: Book Review
  • Careers related to mental health
  • Beauty & Money for a purpose
  • Human rights infractions in Mapithel Dam
  • AMAND Ningol Chakouba at Pune : Report
  • Chef Required at Kakching
  • NHPC Raising day at Loktak Power Station
  • Mary Kom enter Asian Ch'ships final
  • Of ST demand, ILP, peace talk
  • For elderly people
  • Prof. Nongmaithem Tombi Singh : A Profile
  • Hazari/ Tombi Polo Tournament #2:: Gallery
  • U-17 Footballer honored by Guv :: Gallery
  • Just in favour of nocturnal life
  • Dance of Fire Flies at Autumn :: Poem
  • North East Festival bids farewell
  • Protest over Naga pact
  • Agenda of Govt spelt out at DBC, Maram
  • Nurturing the future
  • Ningol Chak-Kouba @Delhi #2:: Gallery
  • NE Fashion Weekend @Delhi #1 :: Gallery
  • History will not forgive us
  • A girl :: Poem
  • Pre-merger political party struggle
  • JRF wanted at NIT Silchar
  • Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party
  • Welcome to Southern Nagalim greeting
  • March: Mera Houchongba #3:: Gallery
  • Girls Football- Nov 4 #1:: Gallery
  • Taxi- raising Air Pollution in Ukhrul
  • Back to basics to #endTB: Do it right
  • Man with Flower's Life :: Poem
  • Skill development training with MUDA
  • Quiz Competition at NE Festival
  • Free cataract operation at Loktak
  • Traffic control- still a flop show
  • Pui Thangamliu -Photos #1 :: eRang
  • NH7 Weekender [28 October] :: Gallery
  • Surjalal: Fellow of American Physical Society
  • Ithai Barrage for Irrigation: Beautiful Promise
  • NE Festival 2017 starts off
  • The Sun & the Cloud :: Poem
  • Land encroachment at Lamka College
  • Salesian College Grabs UK Project
  • Nagaland CM met Rajnath reg. Naga issue
  • Ranked 5th in women safety: stereotyping?
  • Prime focus
  • Miss Kut #1 :: Gallery
  • Hari Uthan- Kang Chingba #1 :: Gallery
  • Kangujam Chinglensana (Hockey) feted
  • reach the tipping point for childhood TB?
  • A round of applause for N Biren, CM..
  • Link Research with Education for NE
  • Culture is beyond Religion: Najma Heptulla
  • Vacancies @ Chirag Estate, Gurgaon
  • Defection of some party workers : NPCC
  • ST for Meiteis: Final say rests with Delhi
  • Understanding responsibility
  • Chavang Kut @Tengnoupal :: Gallery
  • Sub-Junior Girls Football #2:: Gallery
  • A crusade for a greener Manipur
  • Tourist Guide as career option #2
  • 'Govt working for inclusive development'
  • Namsai gets Buddha relic from Thailand
  • 5th NE Festival at Delhi: Program Schedule
  • 20th Asian Charter for Human Rights: Video
  • National Unity Day at Ukhrul
  • NPF MLA present at all parties meet
  • Of three Ws and Politics
  • Ningol Chak-Kouba @Delhi #1:: Gallery
  • Happy Kut Wishes :: e-pao Flash
  • Let's be racist
  • 3rd Ningol Chakouba, Delhi : A Report
  • Dr. Rahejuddin Sheikh : Best Director Award
  • I Am In You To Feel Myself :: Poem
  • Conference: North East in Globalized Era
  • Seeking contributions : Library Centre
  • RGU Celebrated National Unity Day
  • Run for Unity organized by AR
  • Of traffic chaos and mad rush
  • What if Pan Naga Hoho is final settlement
  • Chothe: Shabu Hong Rein :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • IT Employment Devlp Course :: Gallery
  • NH7 Weekender [27 October] :: Gallery
  • Red Light Area in Manipur ?
  • IT Enabled Employment Skill Development
  • Football in India needs encouragement
  • Indo-Naga Peace Process :: Articles
  • Meeting on Hornbill Festival 2017
  • Territorial integrity : No to separate admin
  • A confusing solution, if happens
  • Hazari/ Tombi Polo Tournament #1:: Gallery
  • Candle light for Belinda Morse :: Gallery
  • Hills are Better
  • Wedding :: Poem
  • Candle lighting in memory of Belinda Morse
  • NH7 Weekender: 2nd Day Report : 28 Oct
  • RGU launched Clean and Green Campus
  • Territorial integrity: All party meet sans NPF
  • Exhibition of Pottery Crafts #2 :: Gallery
  • Phayeng Cultural programme :: Gallery
  • Khongjom War Memorial #3 :: 360 ° View
  • Ichangi Laidhi #1 :: eRang
  • Ningol Chakkouba by Paomee:: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba @Kolkata :: Gallery
  • Tourism Day @ Phayeng #1 :: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba @Sikkim :: Gallery
  • Ningol to her mapam lamdam :: Gallery
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download it
  • Mera Men Tongba :: Gallery
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Kh Ninthoinganba
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Thounaojam Jeakson
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Nongdamba Naorem
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Dheeraj Moirangthem
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Amarjit Kiyam (Captain)
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Thangjam Boris
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Wangjam Suresh
  • FIFA U-17 Profile :: Md Shahjahan
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #4 :: Gallery
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • Landscape of Manipur #7: Wallpaper
  • SPONSORED ADS