Monday, 26 November 2012

Janma Barshiki of Shri Shri Bhubaneswar Sadhu Thakur, 2012, in Mumbai


The city was grim when the news of one of the greatest Marathi leader Balasaheb Thackeray spread like wild fire at around 4 pm on 17th November, Saturday. The decorator left the venue half done, the caterer denied to supply food, roads became deserted, shutters were down and even the organizers were stuck behind these shutters. In this situation, Team Mumbai  unanimously decided to offer puja  for Janma Barshiki of Shri Shri Bhubaneswar Sadhu Thakur on 18th November in a humble way as it was not possible to postpone the puja at this juncture.  The message was sent to one and all about the puja and requested all to attend.

On 18th November, 2012, with God’s blessings, and blessings from Shri Shri Sadhubaba, and lots best wishes from seniors and friends far and wide, Puja for the Janma Barshiki started on time. As a part of Puja there were Moorti Sthapan, Puja, Puja Arti, Harinam Kirtan, Puspanjali, Gita Path by Hari Kumar Sinha, Prasad Bitoron, Boishnav Bhojan. This was followed by the delicious Bhog Prasad prepared by Aiga Bipul Sharma and his team.

Post meal, the Mondoli, decorated by Kalpanil Sinha, Biju Sinha and Ramananda Sinha was ready for our traditional cultural programmes. It started with Radha Krishna Dance, with Kinkini Sinha as Krishna and Roselyn Sinha as Radha. It was one of the most graceful dance to be seen. Next beautiful programme was, Khupa echei, a dance by a team comprising of Indrani Sarma, Kapalkundala Sinha, Nirmala Sinha, Bonti Sinha and Roselyn Sinha. This was followed by Dkakor Chalon by Kamdev Sinha and Santosh Sinha (both invited from Guwahati).  

Finally it was the turn of Gopal Krishna Lila (a short of  Rakhuwal) performed by Ankit Sinha, Prince Sinha, Rahen Sinha, Binayak Sarma, Jaselyn Sinha, Junmani Sinha, Rina Sinha, Janagati Sinha, Indrani Sarma, Banti Sinha, Roselyn Sinha, Kamal Sinha, Ramananda Sinha, Kapalkundala Sinha, Santosh Sinha, Kamdev Sinha.

One month’s rehearsals for our very own cultural programmes paid off. All programmes were very beautifully presented, that, it reminded us to our very own cultural roots, to Mumbaikars there was Wow effect. At the end of the programmes, the participants were beaming with feeling of accomplishment and Team Mumbai was delighted to have such an excellent Janmaththi  this year. Team Mumbai owes a lot to Bipul Sarma and Indrani Sarma, who took immense pain to accommodate all the participants during rehearsals and also for their overall support.  There were constant coercion and guidance from Indrani Sarma, Kapalkundala Sinha and Janagati Sinha to make the cultural part of the programme a successful one. This was supplemented by meticulous planning and its execution by Gautom Sinha and Sujit Sinha.

In between the cultural programmes, Rebati Mohon Sinha briefed about the life of Shri Shri Bhubaneswar Sadhu Thakur. He elaborated the role of Bishnupriya Manipuri Kalyan Samittee (BMKS), Mumbai, for the social cause; inauguration of portrait of Shri Shri Bhubaneswar Sadhu Thakur at Assam Bhawan; assurance of the Resident Commissioner for helping BM students stay at Assam Bhawan Mumbai when the building expansion job is over. Manabendra Sinha (Bobby) released CDs Monchora by Indrani Sharma, Rasmanjuri by Aaroti Sinha, Sadhubabar Bhajanamrita by Bibhul Sinha and two books by Nani Gopal Sinha namely Phoolor Sangsar and Khatol Pakok. He explained role of BMKS in supporting the literary and cultural initiatives. Ajanta and Bibhulal Sinha sponsored a scholarship of Rs 1000 pm to Abinash Sinha (son of Anupam Sinha), an IIT Student.

The Janmabarshiki Puja had a beautiful ending with Sandhya Aroti and Khichuri Bitoron.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Does Gitiswami fit Gokul like a glove?


Ramlal Sinha
Gokulananda Gitiswami
Gokulananda Gitiswami
Born into a penurystricken family and having to trot across towns and villages for education, he  groomed himself as a minstrel with a cause: going to every sleepy Bishnupriya Manipuri village with his “dawn chorus”  for social reforms. And he traversed Bishnupriya Manipuri-inhabited regions in Assam, Tripura and Purbobango (now Bangladesh) with the message of light till he breathed his last in 1962. The word ‘rest’ was quite alien to him as he would work round the clock with the goal of bringing his fellow beings on a par with other communities in all respects. The irony is that the very community he had served all through his life, gave him little in return – ‘Gitiswami’.
Strange as it may sound, the adjective ‘Gitiswami’, when used to honour bard Gokulananda, doesn’t sound melodious to me. Doesn’t the term ‘Gitiswami’, a title conferred on the balladeer, reek of his image being dwarfed? The title of ‘Gitiswami’ for the alternative media mogul always gives one an impression of the poet being confined only to songs.
Gokulananda was a singer, lyricist, poet, dramatist, social  reformer, politician and philosopher all rolled into one. Those at the helm of Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha (NBMM), which has given the title of ‘Gitiswami’ for the bard a timeless eternity, this writer hopes, will bear with him.
Onga (ogya), onga, ogna… The first cry of Gokul ended Ngouba Singha’s and Amutala Devi’s impatient wait to hear the patter of the tiny feet on November 26, 1896. Though Ngouba’s family at Madhabpur in Bhanugachh in erstwhile Sylhet district (now Bangladesh) beamed with joy on that very day, the first cry of the newborn remained his leitmotif throughout his life. The poet was born at a time when the Manipuris – during the period of post-exodus to Assam (undivided), Tripura and Burma (now Myanmar) after the Owar Dhawa (Burmese attack on Manipur) – were struggling to get a foothold in moyangmati (outside Manipur).
The March 29, 1931 notification issued by the British India Finance Committee listing the Manipuris as a Scheduled Tribe made both the Meitei and the Bishnupriya communities huddle together to confront the threat to their identity. That single incident turned out to be a real humdinger of a game – giving birth to Surma Valley Manipuri Association (SVMA) on September 25, 1932.
The launch of a trilingual literary magazine, The Manipuri, in 1933 from Sylhet with Haridas Singha (a Bishnupriya) as the editor and Dr Lairen Singha (a Meitei) as the co-editor was the immediate outcome of the Manipuri bonhomie outside Manipur. The camaraderie , however, had to undergo a real roller coaster later ; and the Meiteis and the Bishnupriyas parted their ways.
Hopefully, that wasn’t a good riddance for either of the two brethrens who have mingled socially, culturally and linguistically over the years. This meant that they could never be separated in the real sense of the term. Some glaring instances are that the present ethnic composition of the Bishnupriya Manipuris – Panchobishnupriyas, the Khumols, the Moirangs, the Luwangs, the Angoms and the Mangangs; besides the Koireng Khullakpas – has a remarkable section of the present Manipuri population in Manipur. This aside, both the communities continue to follow the same culture, and the Indo-Aryan Bishnupriya Manipuri language has many Meitei words, some of them in successful and distinctive “wedlocks” with Sanskrit words. The influence of the Meitei language on Bishnupriya Manipuri is also a fact.
Based on the speech delivered recently by Uttam Singha of Pouri International, Bangladesh at the Endangered Language Fair (ELA) at New York Public Library, the classifiers at the fair said: “The Bishnupriya Manipuri language really sits on the border of IndoAryan and Tibeto-Burman (Burmese) languages…” Albeit, KP Sinha had shown much before as to how a large number of Meitei words combined with Sanskrit words through the Bishnupriya Manipuris.
When the Mahasabha was formed in 1932-33, Bishnupriya Manipuri literature in moyangmati was a babbling toddler. The litterateurs of the time failed to reach the non-elite masses. They were confined to a conscious coterie comprising Haridas Singha, Mohendra Babu, historian Falguni Singha, historian Sena Singha and Tanu Babu Singha, to name a few, who had formed the literati of the community at that time.
The barriers before them were:
(1) Most of the people of the community were illiterates. The then writers had utterly failed to break the barrier called illiteracy that prevented them from reaching the target readers (audience).
(2) This aside, most of the community members were poor farmers who had to toil hard to make their both ends meet. Even if any of them wanted to read any literary magazines in Bishnupriya Manipuri at that time, he or she couldn’t have done so due to poverty. The writers of the time were not skilled enough to break the economic barrier that literally made their target audience immune to their literary works. Their works had failed to attract the non-elite lot who continued to remain indifferent to their mother tongue.
(3) There were also cases of educated and well-off community members who did not cultivate the habit of reading any literary magazines in their mother tongue. Lack of reading habit is one of the difficult barriers to break even now. The writers of the time being talked about had also failed to overcome this barrier.
These three barriers apart, there were numerous other roadblocks between litterateurs and their target readers (audience) in early 20th century.
Then came bard Gokulananda like a “minstrel incarnate” to rescue the community from the plight it was in; and in doing so, he turned out to be one of the few epoch-makers in the world. Gauging the gravity of the three barriers – illiteracy, economic backwardness and lack of reading habit among his community members, he racked his brains to find a solution to them out of nothing.
There was a media vacuum (which even exists now to a great extent) in the Bishnupriya Manipuri community in early 20th century. What we call mass media today was quite alien to the community then, though some of the developed communities had enough media access. The few magazines published by community members at that time were mainly used by those heading the Mahasabha to neutralise the identity threat facing the Bishnupriya Manipuris.
In such an arid environment (among the non-elite masses), Gitiswami emerged on the scene, with a sense of renaissance, spearheading a great many literary and cultural activities. From among a whole lot of alternative media available with the community, he choose padakirtan (a highly mesmerising performing art among the Manipuris performed by one singer in the company of a very small troupe of backup singers and hands for the tiny music of Manipuri cymbals and khul) -Gaurleela, Manbhanjan, Subal Milan, Rohini Milan, Nouka Bilas and the like that had many takers among the community.
The success he achieved with this medium (padakirtan) was indeed magical . He worked hard to translate and write a large number of padabalis (verses), works of “dawn chorus” literature, songs, dramas, etc., and performed and presented them himself on the stage before the nonelite section of his community members. With his magic mandap spell, he could nullify all barriers of the time. Since the language he had chosen was the one the community spoke, the barrier of illiteracy disappeared on its own. The bard could overcome the financial barrier at ease. So impressive were his stage performances that a menial worker, who could not afford to buy a Bishnupriya Manipuri book worth Rs 5, could even forfeit a day’s wage to listen to padakirtans by the bard.
As the bard was an artiste par excellence, he could reach all and sundry in his community. His is a success story scripted in golden letters. His treasure of literary works – which were aimed a t promoting community consciousness, boosting socio-economic stability, uplifting the standard of community life, spreading education, empowering women, and bringing about a wholesome change in the agrarian life of the community members — are still fresh in the retentive memories of Bishnupriya Manipuris.
The bard was a staunch supporter (worker) of the Mahasabha that has been contributing to the well-being of the community since its inception in 1932-33. But when it comes to honouring the bard, the Mahasabha seems to have done little on this count. By “honouring” the minstrel with the title ‘Gitiswami’, he has been “made a molehill out of a mountain”. The Mahasabha conferred the award ‘Gitiswami’ on the poet in 1933 when he was 30-plus. In the long time lag between 1933 and 1962, the poet scaled many a new height, but the honour of ‘Gitiswami’ got stuck in a time warp. 1933 isn’t 1962, and this is “where the Masasabha is caught on the wrong foot”.
While the persona Gokulananda kept growing fast, the Mahasabha stopped short of re-evaluating his contribution, thereby giving the title ‘Geetiswami’ for Gokulananda a timeless eternity. Why has he been given short shrift? The irony, however, is that even if the Mahasabha wants to honour the bard afresh now, it will only land the bard in a fresh controversy as the Mahasabha itself is a divided house. Such lack of unity is one of the reasons why the first cry of Gokul remained his leitmotif throughout his life – kar kaje kadourita aggoyou na harpeilai, hobar kaje mattegate arak ahan ningkorlai (none of you have come to know for whom and why I keep crying; when I say something for the well-being of all of you, you take it otherwise).
The Mahasabha survived a split in the past, and given its present situation, one can only hope that the parent body of the community will overcome this difficult phase too. The bottom line is: the Mahasabha should keep its own house in order before it is too late, and then honour Gokulananda with a new award that fits him like a glove.

Friday, 16 November 2012

The necessity of the Brand “Sadhu Thakur”


By BN Sinha

The time of celebration has arrived again; we all are geared up for the event. This time also it is expected to have an euphoric time with fun, food, music and dance.  Yes the Sadhu Thakur Utsav is round the corner.

Today in every part of the country, wherever Bishnupriya Manipuri people reside, there is a presence of Sri Sri Sadhuthakur, likewise if there are Bengalis there must be a Kalibari.  This particular phenomenon is not very old and started only in last five six years back.  However there were only five persons from the villages Bhakatpur and Singari who were instrumental to get a land of six bigha for Saduthakur Ashram in Silchar in the year 1965 from the then Revenue minister of Assam Mohendra Mohan Choudhury. The group were headed by Late Shri  Setobahon  Rajkumar (Kalasena eiga) with  Late Pt Matilal sinha (Bhakatpur), Sh Mani Kanta Sinha (Bhakatpur), Sh Ramani Mohan Sinha (W Singari) and Late Abanti Sinha (W Singari).

Despite many obstacles from the other communities around, but with the help of all the villagers of Meherpur pargana they had been able to build the ashram.  It took nearly fifty long years to reach to the present state where there is a sense of enthusiasm for the Sadhuthakur can be noted in the people.  However, the stark reality that mongers upon us, that even today only a limited people sweat out to make the event  successful where as many are needed a very cordial and  repeated request  to have their million dollar presence at the occasion.  But gradually may be by seeing other communities and their activities our people also started finding it necessary to build up a brand icon at Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhuthakur  to preserve and showcase its culture and creed.

It is often seen in certain class of people who claim themselves realist or socialist to be precise that for everything they accept and believe must have some proof on that.  They often raise questions about Sadhuthakur’s contribution towards the community and its betterment.  Or whether the community should revere and preach Sadhuthakur and propagate him as the Brand ambassador of the community which Sri Sri Sadhuthakur has gradually turned into.

Now it’s a request to all whoever wants to  know what this Saint has said and done for the community , they must come out of the pseudo modernity and socialism go through Sadhuthakurs life  and his deeds.  Nabadweep is supposed to be the capital of Vaishnavites and Vaishnavism. We the community. It was Sadhuthakur who is instrumental to get our community connected with the place who also was responsible to rename it as Nabadweep Dham. He made a compilation for us Govindarchchon  Churamoni and Harinam Mangal for the God believing people to facilitate the methods of preaching reverence.  No one in Bengali community had asked what Ramkrishna has done for their community and also they never compared him with people like Mukunda Das.  But with their devotion and zeal they made Sri Ramkrishna nothing less than God and the best part is the followers even dared to say Ramkrishna as “Jei Ram Sei Krishna”. Not to mention there already numerous Educational institutions and hospitals under Ramkrishna Mission.

So let us not create a negative scenario to oppose the social assemblage and cultural showcasing in the name of Sadhu Thakur utsav.  The best part is , at least the people of the BM diasporas find an excuse to meet each other at least once in year . This will only help for the betterment of the social causes.

It is an undeniable fact that we still suffer from the identity crisis in India, since there are always questions about the belongingness of the customs and culture we propagate to be ours. So by making Sadhuthakur a Brand ambassador for the community and its acceptance we might be able to preserved our traditional vaishnavite values and customs and also by regular showcasing our cultures we could be able to imbibe our values to the modern next generation who are detached from the core social customs and norms.

We should not ask childish question like “Tell me what Sadhu Thakur has done for the community?” Then, on a sarcastic note, I would reply the answer as “ Dear, unfortunately there was no BMDC or NBMM in Sadhu thakur’s time , so he could not do any good for the community .”

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Sree Sree Bhubaneshwar Sadhuthakur

By Shila Sinha

Sree Sree  Bhubaneshwar Sadhubaba is the one and only enlightened soul of Bishnupriya Manipuri. His gracious appearance has bestowed a lot of blessings  on Bishnupriya Manipuri. Moreover, he is not only a spiritual leader but a social reformer too. His life history inspires everybody poor and rich, young and old, it is so simple and meaningful. His devotion and dedication towards Govindji has made  the mark in spiritual transcendental field, also helped our Bishnupriya Manipuri  community to get the recognition.

His life was really amazing which is beyond our comprehension. Many miracles  happened in His life, so many deceased persons with leprosy and other diseases  got cured just by His touch or by His blessings. These unique incidences  transcend reasoning. Those wonderful occurrences are not apprehensible if they are not perceived.

He was born in a small Bishnupriya Manipuri village of  Cachar district named Baropoya on 26th October in the year 1870. His father Pundit Sanatan Debbarma used to teach Sanskrit Grammar and other devotional books and His mother was Sreemati Malati Devi. From his very early childhood He used to make idols of  Sri Sri Radha-Krishna with clay and worship with flowers and fruits. He took His first lesson of Sanskrit  Grammar from his father only. After his father's death at the age of eighteen he went to Tripura to study Sanskrit Grammar under the guidance of Raj Pundit of Maharaja of Tripura named Mineshwer Sarbabhoum    Bhattacherjee. Seeing his supreme devotion towards worshipping God he was vested the responsibility of worshipping God. 

After taking knowledge of Sanskrit Byakarana and other sastras for one year Sadhubaba went out to visit four pilgrimage centers without a single penny. First he visited vrindavan where he became disciple of Sree  Krishnadas Bairaghya. Within a very short span of time Sadhubaba was awarded with Thakur title by Sree  Krishnadas Bairaghya due to his extreme devotion towards Lord Radha Govindaji and self austerity. During  his stay in Vrindavan he not only earned lot of respect and honor from every braja dwellers for his devotion, generosity, simplicity and honesty but also gave them a lot of pleasure through his Bhazan and Kirtan.

A very significant incidence of his life took place in Vrindavan. Once he crossed eighty four miles of Brajadham without a single support he got very tried and hungry, he could not even move and remained without food for two-three days. Seeing his distress condition Radharani Herself took pity on him and immediately sent Lalita to help him out of this miserable situation providing him all sorts of miracle assistance which is quite unintelligible for any normal human being. Actually Sreemati Radharani was so much touched by Sadhubaba's utmost devotion and total surrender She had bestowed Her full blessings and complete mercy on him. After sometime Sadhudhakur was directed by Sreemati Radharani in his dream to go to Nabadwipdham to extend his service over there. In Nabadwip, Bhubaneshwar Sadhudhakur had set up a temple named Sree Sree Govindajio Temple by the wonderful Lila of  Sree Sree Gouranga Mahaprabhu.  He used to tell his disciples he got hurt very much when initially Bishnupriya Manipuris were neglected, might be due to that reason SreeSree Mahaprabhu Himself took the initiative to direct him to set up this SreeSree Govindajio Temple for the welfare of Manipuri society. He used to go in trance very often during sankirtan   and bhazan same as like Sree Sree Mahaprabhu used to be. 

During his stay in Brindavan once he went to Puri to visit Jaganath Temple. He had strong contemplation of Nandan Darshan (to see Govindji in person) in that temple otherwise he thought he would end his life over there. He was in meditation at a stretch for seven days without taking a drop of water. At the end of seventh day his ultimate desire of Nandan Darshan was fulfilled. He had seen the Lord Supreme Sree Govindajio with His beauty. 

There are numerous similar incidences in his life. His main message to his disciple was to pray God with full  devotion and complete surrender. That is the best way to satisfy God and to unite with Him. This can be done by chanting Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Ram Hare Ram Ram Ram  Hare Hare. In kaliyoga Nam Sankirtan is the only way to attain Moksha as it is mentioned by Sree Sree Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Bishnupriya Manipuri Welfare and Cultural Association, Bangalore, celebrates Shri Sadhu Thakur Utsav on 18 Nov 2012


Giri Githani,

Bishnupriya Manipuri Welfare and Cultural Association, Bangalore invites one and all to join us in celebrating the 143rd Abirbhab Tithi of Shri Sadhu Thakur Utsav. We would like to welcome all to witness the grand celebration in the form of our Pujas and Arotis, dance and dramas, ritualistic and contemporary Bishnupriya songs and dances, prasad and the grandest of all, BANDARA. We also have Hrishikesh Sinha (Bau) of Mringal album fame) to entertain us with his melodious voice this time around.

BMWCA, Bangalore would like to spread the word and extend to all, on this wonderful platform, on the upcoming event so we could reach out to all.

All the readers are requested to make their gracious presence and importantly spread the word to anyone who you think could make it to the event, we'd be more than happy to have him/her around.

Looking forward to your participation.

Venue Details:
Shri Krishna Temple
1st Cross, 5th Block, Koramangala, 
Near Jyoti Nivas College, Bangalore- 560095

Date- 18th Nov (9am onwards)


Friday, 9 November 2012

Mahasabha, Sahitya Sabha demand daily telecast of Bishnupriya Manipuri programmes

Manish Tewari with Bishnupriya Manipuri delegation
Bishnupriya Manipuri delegation with Manish Tewari in New Delhi on 06 Nov 2012 (From left: Debontina Sinha, Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya, Dr DK Sinha, Manish Tewari, Sashi Kant Sinha, Manikanta Sinha) 

In a memorandum submitted to Centre, Bishnupriya Manipuri organizations demanded daily telecast of Bishnupriya Manipuri programmes from All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan Kendra of Silchar and Guwahati centres.

The memorandum was jointly submitted to Manish Tewari, Independent charge, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, by Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha and Bishnupriya Manipuri Sahitya Sabha in a meeting held in New Delhi on 06 November 2012.

Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya
LM Suklabaidya
The delegation consisted of Dr DK Sinha (President, Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha), Manikanta Sinha (President, Bishnupriya Manipuri Sahitya Sabha), Lalit Mohan Suklabaidya (Member of Parliament Karimganj), Sashi Kant Sinha (Vice President, Bishnupriya Manipuri Nagarik Samity, New Delhi), Jishnu Sinha (General Secretary, Bishnupriya Manipuri Nagarik Samity, New Delhi), Debontina Sinha (Advocate, Supreme Court, New Delhi), and BN Sinha (Secretary, Bishnupriya Manipuri Sanskriti Parishad).

It is first time in the Bishnupriya Manipuri history that Mahasabha and Sahitya Sabha have join hands to address the ensuing demand of Bishnupriya Manipuris.

Photo Courtesy: BN Sinha

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur portrait unveiled at Assam Bhavan


In a meeting held on 27th October 2012 at Assam Bhavan, Mumbai, the Deputy Resident Commissioner, had accepted a proposal of placing a portrait of Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur in Assam Bhavan, along with other portraits of freedom fighters, political and religious heads of Assam.

On 4th November, Deputy Resident Commissioner, Sri Devasish Sharma as a chief guest garlanded the portrait of Sadhu Thakur in a simple ceremony, organised by Bishnupriya Manipuri Kalyan Samittee, Mumbai. While addressing the small gathering, Sharma talked about the purpose of having the Assam Bhavan in Mumbai. He emphasised the need of volunteers to come forward and guide the cancer patients at Tata Memorial Hospital for smooth formalities i.e., registration, appointments, tests etc. He stressed that the money is not a problem, but there is dire shortage of manpower.

The Bishnupriya Manipuri Kalyan Samittee (BMKS) President, Sri Rebati Mohan Sinha in his thanks giving speech, assured the Commissioner that BMKS would rise to the occasion and co-operate with the officials of Assam Bhavan in near future. He congratulated Sri Bibhulal and Bipul Sharma for all out help rendered for the success of the ceremony.

Monday, 5 November 2012

The muse of a modern genre poet

Smriti Kumar Sinha
Translated by Ramlal Sinha
Clad in a talaphuti[1], you look like a zebra.” “What!?” Kalpana questioned Amol, while unhooking her earrings in front of the dressing table.
“An African zebra, a jazzy talaphuti-clad Kalpana,” said Amol in his lilting voice of recitation.
Wham! Right on the target! Kalpana sat on the bed in a huff. She felt terribly jaded hearing only poems for three hours at a stretch in the soirĂ©e organised by the Tirash group of poets in the town. As though to cap it all, the simile he used left her nerves jangling. She couldn’t even change her dresses to breathe freely again, there’s yet another poem.
“It’s the plight in store for the wives of poets. What a simile he has chosen! African zebra! It’s the height of degradation,” a sulking Kalpana was thinking. Her blood was boiling .
“What has made your blood boil?” Amol fired another salvo.
“Psychoanalysis of any sort isn’t warranted,” Kalpana shot back, banged the door and entered the kitchen.
“I’m saying so as your face is red with rage”, Amol said, while unbuttoning his shirt. “Talaphuti and zebra — wow! What a matching combination! The idea of a beautiful poem has flashed in my mind, all of a sudden. It can be a piece for tomorrow’s edition of Tirash. The editor has requested me many a times for a poem,” Amol was thinking. Amol, chief guest of the get-together of poets, was basking in the satisfaction of his innovation. Few budding talents were very enthusiast. Away from the festoons of slogans seeking fulfillment of demands, the new genre of poets were the flag-bearers of a true literary movement. “I’ve to send the poem tomorrow. They get an inspiration. It’s like giving them a leg-up,” Amol thought to himself.
“Talaphuti… zebra…, if you purse up your lips, with whom will I talk to?” Amol said. “There isn’t a third person in this house. The count in the Census report is in decimal, just two points,” he continued.
“Be on the trail of the African zebra. The editor of Tirash will be waiting,” Kalpana shouted from the kitchen.
“Ha! Ha! Ha! Psychoanalysis! Telepathy, you live long, at least for me. Mental communication is underway,” said Amol.
“Yes, I’m a zebra, a beast.” “Hey, what do you mean?”
Amol entered the kitchen, and said: “What I mean is…”
“The brute fact is that you take a macho pride by degrading women. Though you project yourself as modern, you’re yet to rid yourself of male chauvinism,” she said.
“Is this the sum total, including compound interest, that you have evaluated in me since our wedlock?” Amol questioned.
“Maybe, you’re cracking a joke, but what I said is the stark reality of how men rate women,” she said. “I made the remark in jest, but you have taken it otherwise. See, woman is the real portrait of nature — creation, destruction, affection, cruelty, desire, worship and the like; all blended in one. It’s the woman who gives birth to the man. Which is why she is the muse of all poets, regardless of their sex…”
“It’s enough. The lectures and recitations at the poets’ meet are still to be digested. Compound interest! You could have eked out extra bucks through tuition had you been studying mathematics, instead of literature,” she took a dig at him, and rushed to the dining table to serve food. She had cooked food before going out.
They had their meal. Amol made an attempt to coax a piqued Kalpana into feeling at ease, but to no avail. Her laconic replies and disapproving words like ‘om’, ‘oh’, and the like, that Kalpana added to his words without any frills let Amol know that she was still in a bad mood. Having done all her works , she retired to bed. Amol smiled at her but she didn’t reciprocate.
“If Monalisa gives a sullen glare at Leonardo, what he will…”
She took the long pillow and kept it in the middle of the bed, parallel to her, to drive a wedge between them. She turned her back to him and made an attempt to sleep. It was enough hint for Amol that his remark of ‘zebra’ was still rankling her. Scratching his head, he made an attempt to divert the meaning of her gesture, “It’s OK. I won’t write anything about long pillows anymore, but just listen to me.”
Kalpana then closed one of her ear with her arm, while the other was pressed against the pillow. Thus, she wouldn’t hear a word that Amol would tell her.
“I was kidding,” Amol etched his head again, and murmured: “What to do?” He was in a fix —whether to write the poem or to coax Kalpana. He knew it would take hours together to coax a sulking Kalpana. On the other hand, if he missed the very mood to write a poem, it would never come to him again. In the morning, he had to race against the clock to go to office. He had to go to office as literature doesn’t help us in eking out our living; but burns a big hole in the pocket. He looked once at Kalpana, and then at the table. A white paper on the lamp-lit table was waiting for him like a patient in an operation theatre. “Let me write,” Amol got down from the bed. He took a glance at Kalpana, twisted the tip of his tongue, and said with an evil leer:,“Sweet sleep come here, here lies my dear.”
He then gave a quick raunchy kiss on her eyelids, and made a quick getaway. Kalpana, then, literally buried her face in the pillow. Kalpana had no way out but to sulk, or else she might have to pass another sleepless night. A hectic schedule was awaiting her in the morning. Writers, by nature, are insomniacs. In the past four years, she had to pass many a sleepless night. One night, while she was yawning sleepily, Amol said, “Just see this line. Does it sound well?” Another night, when drowsiness didn’t allow Kalpana to sit upright, Amol said, “Just go through this poem loudly. Let’s see how does it sound like? Wait, wait, I need to bring some changes in the metaphor.”
On yet another occasion, in the dead of night, she got up to go to the bathroom with her eyes heavily-lidded. He then picked her up, and said, “Since you have woken up just see the theme of this poem. Feeling sleepy? You sleep every night. Kamalesh has written a critique of this poem. This is the write-up. Now, the next theme…” She hadn’t kept any account of her sleepless nights — laughing, crying, sulking and sitting till morning. Not getting enough sleep, she got ratty. What did Amol say while cajoling her? She wracked her brains, trying to remember what exactly Amol had said. “Oh! Yes. I won’t write anything about the long pillows.” Kalpana had her mouth pressed against the pillow just to hold back her paroxysm of laughter but her entire be- ed on the table, near their bed.
“Take a look at it? Leave it. What’s the use? What has he written? Let me read, once. He won’t know.” Kalpana was in a dilemma. Taking a look towards the dining room, she opened the magazine. Oh! It has come out:
Amol Sinha
Dense with erotic green is Africa,/Illuminated by a zebra lass,/At the staccato of violence./Woven in black & white keys of harmonium/Is the symphony of life./Only she can blend the seven colours./On the earth, burning like a lily,/Only she can make a heart throb./A zebra lass of Africa is in my tight hug/With the dream of a fresh life./The talaphuti-clad is in her period,/A rose blooms at night/From the hues of blood.
With the magazine in her hand, she cut short to the dining table in a huff. “Without me, can’t you write what you call poems? Why do you keep dragging me in your poems?” she said in one breath.
“Where do I?”
“What does these concluding lines mean?”
“How can you say that’s you? What proof do you have?”
“Barring me, who else could be in your tight hug? Or someone from your office?” “Squad thum. The ‘I’, ‘my’ mentioned in the poem isn’t Amol alone. It can be any male. Have you understood? Te chal…”
“Don’t you feel shy while writing all these stuff? Speak the truth.” Amol kept eating without caring to reply.
“I’ can’t believe that you can come down to this level. Instead of making it a racy one, couldn’t you make it an honest-to-goodness poem by involving a male zebra?” Kalpana hurled another question.
“Ha! Ha! Ha! You had geography as a subject in your Bachelor’s degree. You will get the reply if you search the zebras of Africa in the remit of literature, not of geography,” said Amol. He stood up and went to wash his hands in the basin. Kalpana was clueless as to why Amol mentioned geography —was it a dig at her mention of mathematics and tuition the other day. It was Sunday. The drawing room of Amol wore a warm ambience.
Two journalists from Guwahati came to interview Amol to get a glimpse of his life. Kalpana was busy in playing the perfect hostess. She was basking in the glory of her husband who had that je ne sais quoi that distinguished him from the rest of the poets. After taking the literary subjects and study life of Amol, the two scribes felt like playing devil’s advocate in order to get the discussion going. They started to quiz Kalpana too. It being a holiday, everything seemed pleasant.
What subjects Amol likes to write? What stuff he is fond of? These and a lot of their ilk kept coming from the scribes. Lastly, one of them asked Kalpana, “How do you rate the poems of Amol? Do you like them?” On the pretext of rubbing his face with the hanky, Amol closed his mouth and kept waiting to hear Kalpana’s response.
A stirring Kalpana had an eye contact with Amol, shooting him a sideways glance, and said with a jaunty smile: “If I myself rate his poems as good, the adjective ‘good’ may, I think, lose its elegance to an extent.”
A stunned Amol wanted to clap at her verbal dexterity and say ‘bravo, bravo’. A to-the-point reply from his muse! She has acquired much from him.
“Seeing you, we get an impression that a poet of repute being your Mr Right, you are an elated lady. Isn’t it?” The other journalist asked her.
“If that isn’t the case, the tea you just had wouldn’t have the right proportion of sugar,” she replied, sending everyone into peals of laughter. “Now, we can leave by taking a joint snap of you two, lifesize,” the visitors said.
“Yeah! Please wait for a while.” Kalpana went inside and Amol followed suit. Kalpana was wearing a talaphuti and an inafi in front of the dressing table. Looking at Amol in the mirror, she said: “Won’t you dress up?” “I need to go shopping,” Amol said.
“Right now! Why?” A stunned Kalpana asked .
“To buy a striped lungi,” he said. “Lungi?” She questioned.
“Yes, so as to match with your talaphuti. I will be a male zebra, or else you would accuse me of degrading you. You would be in a huff again,” he said.
Kalpana let loose a loud laugh, took a dhoti out from the almirah, gave it to Amol, and said, “Put it on. In fact, I don’t get angry with you.”
“If that is not the case, why do you keep firing salvos at me these days?” he said while putting on the dhoti. Kalpana kept staring at him, and said, “Poets need to be reminded with such salvos, from time to time, that they have their wives who too aren’t devoid of desires.”
“W..h..a..t..!? Amol recalled the kiss that he had planted on the eyelids of Kalpana the other day, and started to laugh. With a smile, they posed in front of the camera.
****The story is exclusively dedicated to the spouses of poets and other writers.
[1] Talaphuti: Formal striped lower garment of Bishnupriya Manipuri women.
Original story: “Adhunik Kavir Githanak” in Bishnupriya Manipuri

Courtesy: Seven Sisters Post

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Raas Monjuri, a Bishnupriya Manipuri audio CD

Pratibha Sinha, Guwahati 

Raas Monjuri Bishnupriya Manipuri Audio CD
Raas Monjuri Bishnupriya Manipuri Audio CD

Raas Monjuri, an audio CD on the traditional songs on Sri Krishna Maha Raas Leela in the voice of sutradhari Arati Sinha, is going to be released on the occasion of 143rd Abirbhav tithi of Sri Sri Bhubaneswar Sadhu Thakur to be held at various locations this month. The audio CD will be released at Guwahati, Silchar and Patharkandi on 15th November, 2012; at Bangalore on 16th November, 2012; and at Delhi & Mumbai on 18th November, 2012. 

Arati Sinha is a popular singer (sutradhari) on the Bishnupriya Manipuri traditional songs. She belongs from Pratapgarh of Patharkandi, Karimganj district of Assam. Mrinalendu Sinha is the producer of the CD and Janmi Das is the music arranger. The CD contains total 11 songs. 

Interested people may get the audio CD on the occasion of the 143rd Abirbhav tithi of Sri Sri Bhubaneswar Sadhu Thakur on the above mentioned dates and locations. Contact No.9864106524

Raas Monjuri Bishnupriya Manipuri Audio CD

Dr. Kaliprasad Sinha smarak granthor morhak unmochan

By Rebati Mohan Sinha
 Dr. Kaliprasad Sinha

Gelga 25 october, Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur Ashram, Silchar’e oya gelga  Dr. Kaliprasad Sinha ‘Smarok Granthar’ aboron unmochan onushthane kabi-sahityik Prof. Brajendra Kumar Sinha girokor ikora “Bishnupriya Manipuri Jatir janak Dr. Kaliprasad” shirshak egor goje alochana korte gia supporte`ou matia gesiga oneke, emonki non`entity bulani yakorer sanstha ahanor dugo boktare peya matanir sujug desi. Prof. Barun Kumar Sinha, Prof. Birendra Sinha, BMDC’r Vice Chairman Sri Banabir Sinha, baro onyanno boktai ‘Jatir Janak’ upadhi ehanor goje apotti janasi orthat bhinno’mot prakash koresi. Jarphole podium’got bohesi girok dugo’agoi( President, Chief guest? ) jobor embarrass situation’e poria  baki boktare, bishesh koriya Mahasabhar Working President ba Secretary General‘ore kotha duhan ahan matanirka manche amontran jananir sahos aar na’koresi  bulia biswasta sutre harpani oil.                                                                           

Bola bahulya, goto dui maas oil upadhi’ehanlo (Jatir Janak) Face Book’e apotti jaaneya onek likha-likhi oil. Emon kii  Prof. Brajendra Kr. Sinha girokore simito buddhir porichoy dese buliau ikorla. Ami’eta   bhav provon oilangko puri kihan matte kihan mate beleyar, epeit(FB) girok agoi  materta,‘BM samajor manue  dou homa denar loge loge Dr. Kaliprasad girokore’ou homa ditara ouni (oboshyo otiranjito). Ami antordeshiya sto`re(internationally) teen’han deshor murusire, 1. Bharator Gandhiji,  2. Pakistanor Mahammad Ali Jinna, 3.Bangladeshar Mujibur Rehmanore ‘Jatir Janak’ bulte hunesi; kintu Bishnupriya Manipurir Janak ago lukultoi ehante ami hoponede’ou chinta na’koresi.

Epeit sarba’sadharanorka news item ahan dharia tulani monaurita : In an RTI response to a Lucknow student, the Home Ministry has told her that no action was taken on her plea to the President to declare Mahatma Gandhi as ‘Father of the Nation’ because the constitution doesn’t permit any title except education and military ones.                          (degrees: BA, MA, BE, ME,MBBS, MS etc,  titles : Principal, teacher, and  Ranks : General,Admiral, Marshal, Brigadier, Colonel etc). Student, Aisharya had filed a number of RTI applications seeking details about Gandhi and the reason of referring him as “Father of the Nation’’. In response, she was told that no such title has been accorded to Gandhi.
‘Bishnupriya Manipurir Janak Kaliprasad’ upadhi ehan poila nojore ahilta 2004’e Dr. Kaliprasad girokor 70 tomo janma’din upolokkhe Sri Santosh Sinha grokor sampadonai lukulesil ‘Kaliprasad Samikkha’naangor leirik ouhanat. Lekhok`gi asilata, Sri Manindra Kumar Sinha, IFS, baro arak ago oiltai baangoror gaangor(kalinjar) Anil Rajkumar. Ou’samay’eou oneke shirshak egor goje apotti janasila, emonki Masik Patrika NUWA ELA’t public debate ahanor chesta chalasil Singarir Sri Mangal Babu  giroke. Sangbidhane(constitution) nei upadhi’ahan denar kuno jukti aaseta? Tar`badosto, jekuno jon’agoi, taar nijor kheyal khusi’moto(whims and fancy), upadhi’ahan manu’agore dia parerta? Baro ehanou mor mone orta, manu ago shikkha dikkhai jotoi unnotir shikhore jotou kaya jakga,kintuman samaj ahanor goje o’nuarer.  He has no right to dictate terms by naming someone as ‘Father of BM’ orthat taar kuno adhikar nei esade naang`ahan prodan koranir.  Aji ami ‘shikkhito’ wahi’egor poribhasha’han bulte bujiarta hudda degree’dharire, jarphole joto kisu sabha samitit  torko bitorko choler eta ek’matro ohong(ego) bhavorka.  
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