TODAY -

Will you be my Valentine?

Maisnam Bomcha *

Valentines day flowers
Valentines day flowers :: Pix - Vimukthi / Wikipedia.org



I do not envy the youth for I have seen it before them, and lived it my way, by my own rules. We all know that we are going to die, but none believe in it.

During the years when those flower children called Hippies and Woodstock happened in that land of opportunities and liberty, you and me; we started our mornings with the first rays of the sun clearly visible over the Baruni Hills. You and me; we grew up stumbling the first falls of our toddling days on spacious courtyards.

We played under tall, big trees and looked for insects in bushes. We played games which involves running, jumping, kicking; we played a lot, ate a lot and we slept endless. The Radio and Gramophone gave us unbridled joy. We lived aplenty and were happy without electricity too.

We went to those local LP Schools with gunny bags as our reserved seat in the sunshine. The 'Mamang Lampaks' were never empty in the evenings. Sunday afternoons we wandered in the local lanes. I excelled in climbing that huge banyan tree in my locality and could expertly climb down with a chirping sparrow chick on my palms. The Nambul River could be heard flowing even in winters. Two- way vehicular traffic moved with ease, to and fro, at Paona Bazar.

Did we enjoy the story of the matinee show 'Ta Tomba' saw at Imphal Talkies, did we try to please him, so that he takes us to the Cheiraoching? We knew who is who and who lived where in our vast localities. We lived together; I remember doing many journeys from my courtyard to the end of my locality; without ever requiring using the lanes even once.

When we graduated from the first grammar lessons to the Anthology of English prose and poetry, Neil Armstrong landed on the moon and Mao Zedong died in communist China. We became matriculates securing so meagre a percentage, unheard of these days; but proud to have earned without so much of asking the next boy in the examination hall the year of the Sepoy mutiny. We didn't top the class, the school, the board; yet we were happy. While walking to the school daily, we didn't pass the boy ahead of us, let alone take a vow, to outdo the whole class, the board. All of us didn't do that well, most of us were spared of the disappointment of trying to excel our best friends.

We all thought we could outpace the cycling gold medallist in the Delhi Asian Games which heralded the TV in Manipur; such regular cyclists that we were. The vegetables we ate used to grow in size naturally, mixing things to add weight and volume still were regarded with wide-eyed consternation. I wonder if those burgers and coke can match those 'Singjus' at its own. We shared, we pulled in limited resources. When time beckoned to go our own ways, we did. Those of us who didn't want to build the best house, own the best car remained happy in our individual lives; no matter how different our ports of calls turned out to be.

Yes friends, we were born and grew up in happy and peaceful times. For me, I had more than a fair share of derelict ways. I too had my own dreams, mostly unfulfilled. Meanwhile life itself, as I grew up to understand, changed. The world changed so much that in a single household there seemed to be different notions of the meaning of life.

We live in a period when the changes brought by time far outreached what we imagined. The conflation of happiness and the ways of the virtual world was happening before our eyes. The pace was so fast and I wondered how to cope up. But I never felt left behind for I didn't try. I tricked myself to believe the old ways; I still harbour absolute faith in the old values.

If remembering near tragic events and disappointments should bring remorse of my overindulgences and anger over a perceived sense of wrongs people and circumstances meted out to me; I should have been unhappy. We all have complaints. I had occasions when I had chosen to be sad. I had moments of despair in my quest to be happy when I saw the learned, rich, the powerful; unhappy and searched for ways of happiness. I have a little secret to tell.

While letting life to drift free and not trying too hard to make things happen to my liking and thus be out of the range of disappointments; I found seemingly inane keys to enjoy life in whatever form as it comes. I decided not to depend on others for me to be happy. I am learning not to let peoples' actions and reactions to determine my happiness. With a steadfast resolve to be smiling at moments I create myself, I found that; humans by nature do things aimed at bringing happiness. With the natural urge to be happy and if not bounded by others' actions; happiness can be found at every corner.

It's not for nothing that the Gita teaches us why we should abjure expectations. Other than rendering the essence of karma meaningless, in the context of happiness, expectations from others is bound to dampen happiness or sometimes at worse; kill it. Simply put, when we don't expect others' actions or reactions to make us happy; adverse responses of others do not disappoint us.

People live and do things; good or bad to be happy. With the simple act of keeping the key with ourselves and Love, the raison d'etre of our existence; happiness: is not so elusive. Life; not only can be beautiful, it's beautiful. When I opened my eyes, with love in my being; I see beauty in all things big and small. We all yearn for the 'Hari Nongnang' to announce the evenings again.

I do not envy the youth for I have seen it before them, and lived it my way, by my own rules. We all know that we are going to die, but none believe in it. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Believing in that great truth makes one realise the value of life, live it fully. Tomorrow will be Valentine.

Hello Life: will you be my Valentine? I ask of Him to give me the strength that I smile at nothing!


* Maisnam Bomcha wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao
This article was posted on February 13, 2013.



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