TODAY -

Reviewing Ranbir Thouna's 'Marol Thoktraba' during ethnic crisis

Mamta Lukram *



In these testing times, the prolonged exposure to an unresolved conflict has taken away the beauty and joy from our lives. Anxiety, restlessness, and hostility have become a constant presence, affecting everyone equally.

Over the past four months, from May 3rd, 2023, until now, stories of violence, hatred, and revenge have filled our hearts with sorrow. Anxiety and depression have become a part of daily life, affecting not only adults but also children and young people.

They have been exposed to distressing incidents, violence, and stories of war, leaving deep scars of hatred. It is crucial to protect our children from feeling lost and misguided and encourage them to hold on to their creativity and the values that shape their character.

At this juncture where peace of mind is marred by violence, one has to search ways that can instil some tranquilising thought provoking activities, to prevent possible damages.

Listening to songs is a healthy habit of inducing sanity through aesthetics. It can be a healing meditative practice to impart calmness. Selecting the chords that touch our hearts will sync the restlessness into rhythm. Such aesthetic music occupies a safe small space to ventilate frustration and serve as healing units in our lives.

During these challenging times, it is worth acknowledging the role of All India Radio Imphal, particularly the AIR FM Sangai Channel. They provide a wide range of programme, from informative news to educational content, programs for various age groups, and entertaining shows featuring songs and plays.

Their diverse music selection, spanning from old to new and encompassing Western music, is played regularly, offering relief from the agony of the violent social situation. In a State like Manipur, where nights fall early, tuning in to the channel and enjoying a variety of songs until late in the evening is a commendable initiative. Many locals, engaged in their daily activities, have found solace in tuning in to AIR FM Sangai channel on their mobile phones, appreciating its mobility and informative content.

With months of internet restrictions in place, accessing the internet has become a major challenge for ordinary people. In times of necessity, traveling long distances in search of internet access has added to the frustration of daily life. Hopes and aspirations have been shattered, and the positive outlook on life has been disrupted.

An overview that can be remarked at this stage is the height of mental impacts. Concentric dark contours of anxiety become the common syndrome of daily life. A community that is known for its rich cultural heritage, with culture flourishing, dances enchanting and making life gay and merry; overturn upside down in a fateful evening of 3rd May 2023, which has persisted for months.

Days are filled with frustration over the deteriorating social situation with unprecedented increase of horrifying violent incidents. In the name of identity, people disown happiness, pledge to own all challenges and fight to overcome it.

Culture, festivals, dance, songs, theatre, music of positive vibes are all put to a halt. People have stopped engaging in creative aesthetic activities due to the current turmoil. Worries lie in this negative development of losing a good quality of the community, simultaneously indicating the height of mental stress.

Listening to songs has a tremendous healing power, especially when we immerse ourselves in our favorite tunes and leave the troubles of the world behind. It allows us to transcend time and space, evoking deep emotions and fantasies. It can be a source of comfort and a means to express our innermost feelings.

In a personal attempt to seek some peace of mind, shutting in got the playlist checked for priority favourite numbers that could provoke some deep thoughts. Searching for sentimental numbers, Ranbir Thouna’s ‘Thawaai,’ was selected.

The lyrics goes, ‘Marol thoktraba thamoi, Nahak yaodraba punsi, mathanta kapchakhi, mathanta nokchakhi’ (the dumb heart in a life without you, cried and smiled on its own, all alone; Freestyle translation). Suddenly, a string of PB Shelley’s, ‘Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thoughts,’ dripped down with the melancholic rhythm of the song.

The deep high pitch voice of Ranbir Thouna in a melancholic rhythm sent waves of vibrations across the body of listener struck by rooted meaning aligned in the song. The alluring rhythm of the song reflects a contemplation of a lover, forlorn and estranged.

It’s the loudest sound of silent tears, paving an outlet, curing the ailing soul, doctors perhaps in real fail to heal. Each word spilled the heavy ached heart, emptying it in full freedom with an extraneous joy.

The song frees the estranged lover from the bonds that have held them captive for so long, offering a sense of serenity. It feels like the freedom of a bird that has been grounded for too long, finally breaking free from the shackles of destiny. The lyrics are an outlet for the heart’s deepest emotions, and the melodies resonate with the veins, bringing joy and purity.

The song, whosoever may be the writer must have been someone filled with subdued emotions. The sense of self-dejection pushing into self-resignation in a failed relationship rhymed the song. The pain of an aching heart crying in voiceless agony shedding silent tears could be felt from this song.

The emptiness of heart without the love longed for succumbs into the helpless resolve of not begging for it anymore. The height of loneliness and level of pain in emptiness is the canvass of the lyrics. Romanticism and creativity may have a limit. Sociologically analysing the song, it portrays a frame of maturity where the writer ends with a note of self-resignation, rather than vengeance for the betrayal.

Arrayed in pattern, the song’s border is embroidered with emotions of eternal pure love, assuring would he continue to wait till the end. It must have been a relief for the writer to release their agony through the sync of these lyrics with all heart’s heaviness rhymed in syllabi.

The possible writer’s tumultuous situation, trying to reach the heart of a loved one who remains unresponsive, could have led to madness if not expressed through these lyrics. The lyrics depict the pain of two hearts that once shared dreams and aspirations during brighter days but have since been separated.

While it may have been advantageous for one of them, the other lamenting heart seems to be standstill, left to lament in the same place where they once shared their courtship, love, laughter, conversations, dreams, arguments, separation, and longing.

If the lyricist had not been able to convert it into aesthetic artform, for the song, these feelings might have led to severe mental distress. The writer’s attempt was a way to numb and mute their own heart, and Ranbir Thouna’s beautiful voice breathed life into these lyrics, touching the hearts of many.

Putting our shoes into the feelings of the lyricist one will surely complement that it is a blessing to be creative. Otherwise supressed emotions wrapped up unventilated for longer intervals are causal factors for disturbed mental state.

Self-dejections and painful heart are beyond reach of medical science’s treatment for recovery. It need to be understood and controlled. It should be channelled and let to vent out to protect from crumbling and shattering into pieces.

Our total cut off from aesthetics and creativity due to situations of everyday upheavals, is a negative indicator. It also shows how our society as a whole has suppressed emotions, thereby beckoning an era filled with mental problems. Instead, we should recognize them as essential outlets for our emotions and as vehicles for preserving our peace of mind.

Connecting aesthetics and creativity with inner peace is a practice that should be encouraged and embraced. Keeping in view the current turmoil, responsible authority’s strategic focus should be in engineering ways to rebuild peaceful minds.

It, obviously, isn’t an easy initiative, nonetheless a Government that fails to earn people’s peace and trust proves no meaning. When your people dance and sing in merry, the aesthetics portrays the richness of their lives.

Dear Government, bring back the glory of our lives !!!


* Mamta Lukram wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on October 04, 2023 .



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