By Bobo Khuraijam
We started this New Year terrified. As we stumble into another new beginning of counting from the beginning, with earnest, we have tried to save enough strength to wish you a wish – the wish of an end of counting and starting of a new. We seldom make it. Call it misfortune or call it anything you want. We have not wished you a happy New Year ever since Leipung saw the first daylight via the desk top, the offset machine and the paper with Achumbana Yaiphare banner. We are still at lost trying to find out the reason for giving space to us. A space to muse with all sorts of muck (by the way, zero garbage campaign is in full steam with full of mud). Don’t you notice? The wrangle for space is still going on in the newly built Ema Keithel. It started last year. And it is going on till this year. Nonetheless, we are again ashamed of not being able to wish you. The atmosphere was so loud. We could not hear our own voice.
DESTINATION THEATRE: ever since the Bhagyachandra Open Air Theatre was born in the town, the poor structure has been receiving thousands of people with open arms. Musical concerts, fashion shows and now mostly occupied by film premiere shows. At times film premiere come with a mix bag of music and fashion shows. The dry season with scanty rain does provide an amiable time for these kinds of shows. Destinations like the leela shanglen and kangjeibung are now a hot spot in the kumhei harao landscape. A few yards away there is the Govindajee Temple, MB College, Art College, Film Corporation, the AIR and a cultural centre is coming up as well. Some sleepy government offices are also in the vicinity. Holy cow! We almost forgot to mention that there are also people residing around. By their virtue of residing in a very important area they get regular power supply: Uninterrupted. No, you are wrong if you call it VIP line. Allow us to share the valued knowledge we recently acquired. It is called the ‘Direct Feeder’. Thanks to a responsible engineer who enlightened us. He helped us to come out of the darkness, the darkness of calling VIP line instead of the politically – technically – legally – administratively/governmentally correct term: DIRECT FEEDER. He elucidated, VIP line is not in the gazette. May he live long, to be able to enlighten us regularly like the direct feeder. So the correct usage is that people staying within the reach of direct feeder have regular power supply. Well, besides the direct feeding muse, there are other things to share. We are told that our folks residing near the Open Air Theatre are not able to go to sleep properly off late. The reason being: kumhei deficit. They are to an insurmountable level addicted to the sound blast coming out openly from the Open Theatre. The high decibel level with thousand watts has become a sweet lullaby for them. They are able to go to sleep properly whenever there is a show going on. Without the shows they cannot bear the withdrawal symptoms. They have to increase the volume of their television sets to the fullest. We don’t know what kind of terminology should be employed to describe their dependency. May be some experts would like to call it BDS (BOAT Dependency Syndrome).
INSIDE IT: some of our members braved the winter chill for one night. They went to attend the musical cum film entertainment extravaganza on the night of the thirty-first. It was a two – night show which was also telecast live on the local television network. With the finest winter wear they ever collected from the open air shopping mall of Sunday market, they went to catch a glimpse of the super stars. The show was a joint venture of a musical group and fraternities from the film world. What a show it was! Our members were able to witness some of the finest stars from the film and music world. Songs were exclusively from the films. Number after number the singer enthralled the audience. The orchestra, the rhythm and mood, heighten melody with velvet vocal ornamentation; the audience were drowned with one of the most opulent form of entertainment perhaps ever happened in the town. The numbers were punctuated by skits like fun. Artiste attired in the best of fashionably wearable clothes walked on the ramp. It was as if the gods and goddesses of beauty have themselves turned up for the show. Even the greatest poet of all times would fail to portray the richness of the moment. Therefore, we at the Leipung would stop trying to describe it. But for posterity sake we would like to share something in addition. Our members who attended the show could not hold back their temptation of getting close to the stars. Please do not take us wrong. Some of them decided to get autograph from some of the stars back stage. Overcoming their fear of being caught by the organizers, they sneaked into the backstage. As soon as they went there they saw a mild commotion taking place. The commotion was between no one else, but some of the very famously known stars in this part of the world. Before the show it was agreed among the stars to bid farewell of the outgoing year with a BANG. Yes, the bang would be from the firearms they possessed. We are told that our stars, many of them, have licensed firearms. So it was agreed that at the stroke of midnight they would fire together with their arms. One side kick of a star over jumped his excitement. He fired a few rounds some minutes before midnight. After that the rest was commotion all around at the backstage. There were heated exchange of words between this and that stars. They could not satisfy themselves only with words. Therefore many of them started behaving like Texas cowboys; drawing out their lethal weapons, displaying – threatening, “I can finish your life”. What would our members do? They ran out from the place to save their precious lives. Forget about the autographs. Therefore with this New Year we have taken a simple resolution from security point of view. That we would never venture around any of our stars. Who knows, they could be in a bad mood. Sorry, we are too scared to wish you a happy new year.
FOOTNOTE: yet another life taken away right in the heart of the town, where security is considered to be the tightest; that too just inside the victim’s chamber. Leipung Ningthou calls it, “thawai na thawai gi marak ta maankhiba”.