Zero Ibobi gi Helloi
- Part 1 -

Czadanda Saint *

"If the Government uses the instruments of power in its hands for the purpose of leading a people to its ruin, then rebellion is not only the right but the duty of every individual citizen."
- Adolf Hitler

"Is democracy a form of governance where the Government f**ks the people?" Bruised, roughed by some goons in the disguise of uniforms, that was all I could think of. It was raining. I was all drenched. I could barely see from one eye. I could feel a tingling, almost numbing sensation in my nose. I wiped it. Was rain supposed to be red? I could not feel the left side of my face, including my teeth or whatever that remained of it.

And there was a lingering salty taste in my mouth. But there I lay in the mud, as if without a care. I must have fallen there by myself or they must have thrown me there. I don't know. And I didn't try to get up either. I just pull myself enough to lean against a nearby wall and I just sat there. A few seconds ticked away. I took out my Blacks. Somehow, it was neither broken nor wet. And I lit one up. The first puff was salty. The second was hazy brown. The third - a flash of light. And I was gone.

Greetings! People of Manipur. My name is Zero Ibobi the Third and I am a time traveler. For obvious reasons of anonymity, I chose not to reveal the whereabouts of where I came from. But I do assure you, it is separated by both time and distance from your beloved Manipur. To make a long story short, let me just say that I have a pack of cigarettes which allows me to travel through time.

The only thing I have to do is lit up a cigarette from that pack and till that cigg is stubbed out or finished, I am free to roam throughout the dimensions of time. But of course, unless I lit up another or if I run out of ciggs while time travelling, I will remain (stuck) in that time period where the last cigg was put out. I started with a pack of 20 cigarettes. But now, I have a few odd ones left. Guess I have travelled a bit. Or to say so, I have smoked a bit.

During my boyhood days, there was a wise old fakir who used to frequent our Zero locality. And he would tell us, zee little boys, that the Zero clan are the descendants of the illustrious Zee_Tai race of lore. He would herd us, zee little boys, off into a playground and fill our bubble gum heads with tales of grandeur and magnificence – part myth, part fable, part legend – of our 'supposed' fore-fathers.

Young and naïve as we were, he caught our imagination. He was our Pied Piper. He was our very own Morpheus– the keeper as well as the merchant of our dreams. Most of our childhood days were spent in the hopeful anticipation of what new vistas for our minds would the grand old man offer in the evening. And much much years later, even after I came across my pack of Blacks, I still have very fond memories of the tales of the wise old fakir.

And one day, it just happened. It was as if it was already pre-ordained by the stars. The fire was lit again. It was as if I heard the Pied Piper again. I was like a man, possessed. But this time, with the fakir himself not around, I pore myself into the library; spent hours searching, researching about our 'supposed' fore-fathers- the Zee_Tai race. But unfortunately, I didn't find much.

The closest I had come to was the Meiteis of your beloved Manipur. But more than the Meiteis, the land of Manipur fascinated me. The culture, the tradition; a melting pot of myriad communities and lifestyles. And on the other hand, the violence, the violations, the blood and the gore. The beauteous landscape stained with blood and haunted by cries of lamentations and anger.

The beautiful people, with an aura of distrust and fear around them always. Manipur, circa late 20th Century A.D. and early 21st Century A.D., was a land of incongruity. The more I read about Manipur, the more I fell in love with it. And being the impulsive ass that I was, I made up my mind almost instantly. I took out a Black. Lit it up.

And with the third puff, I reached Manipur at the turn of the second millennium A.D. If only, I had some inkling at that time of what an experience this was going to be. Because, to this day, I still remember very vividly my first time at Manipur. It is almost like I could still smell the warmth of the afternoon sun of that cold wintry day. That day- the 2nd of November 2000. You Manipuris remember it for a different reason altogether. But for me, it was the day I met Helloi. A frail looking young lady who introduced herself as a prisoner of conscience.

Of course, I know about the Malom Massacre. I have read about it. And it is no co-incidence that I chose this particular date to travel back. But how much this day is going to be relevant in the whole history of Manipur; that I will not reveal. Because, it is not wise to break some age-old laws of time travel. And revealing the future of the people concerned to the people concerned is one of them.

But what I had not anticipated was meeting Helloi. My Helloi. Thy woman. The woman. And she came in yellow. And smiled that bright yellow smile. And like the fallen yellow leaves in the backyard of Timothy's paradise, she was all eyes for me. And I was all eyes for her. She understood exactly my words of silence. And she spoke the same words of silence. But only loud enough for my heart to hear. And this time, the fire was more than lit. There were fireworks.

She was to become my friend, philosopher and guide. She was to never leave my side and to accompany me forever. Did she love me? Maybe. Who was she? I have no idea. Was she real? Or was she just a 'myth I need to believe in'? Her laughter was scintillating in the silence. It was like watching the golden rays of the yellow sun falling upon the dew drops on the blades of the yellow grass.

Her gaze never wavered. Even to a time traveler, time stood still for once. But where were we? We had just witnessed the Malom Massacre. Somebody's mother, somebody's son, somebody's brother, somebody's father just died. Just because they happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Our love story could wait, I thought. It was time to witness the birth of a revolution.

To be continued....

* Czadanda Saint contributes regularly to
The writer can be contacted at saddanskhaibam(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on November 16, 2013.

* 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 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.

  • 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
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • ..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