Wednesday, 29 February 2012

One-Page Mahabharata

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Dr Smriti Kumar Sinha
(Translated by Ramlal Sinha)

SUNDAY morning. Cleansing his spectacles with a soft cloth, Narendra sat in front of the television in the drawing room. “Has it started?” His wife, Surabala, asked him from the kitchen.

“No.”
Surabala was busy preparing breakfast. With the serial about to start, she was in a tearing hurry.
“Hasn’t it started yet?” She repeated.
“No, not yet. I will call you. The background music will let you know,” said Narendra.

At the very moment, a scooter stopped in front of their gate. Narendra peeped through the window.
“Hey, do you hear me? Sunanda and Surendra have arrived!” He rushed to open the door. “What a pleasant surprise! Welcome, welcome. I hardly believed that you would come,” said Narendra.

Surabala, on the other hand, poured two more cups of water in the kettle. In haste, she made a couple of omelettes too.
“Has it started?” Surendra too questioned as he set foot in the verandah.
“About to. We too are waiting,” said Narendra.

While Surendra sat in the drawing room, Sunanda went straight to the kitchen to meet Surabala. After a while, the two women came out with tea and snacks to the drawing room.

“Have you lost your way and landed up here?” Surabala took a dig at Surendra.
Surendra smiled and replied: “Oh no, not like that. We have been planning, you know. It’s to have a glimpse of your newly-built house and, while at it, to enjoy The Mahabharata serial together.”
“It’s nice that you have come,” said Narendra.
“Maybe the birth of Krishna will be screened today.”
“How can that be? In the last episode, just the fourth child was born, while Krishna was the eighth.”
Sunanda, on the other hand, had her eyes on the bonsai banyan tree near the TV. She studied it keenly and said: “Where have you brought this bonsai from?”
“From the horticulture firm at Zoo Road.”
“Beautiful! With its prop roots hanging down, it looks like the old gigantic one near the Mahabhairab temple.”
They all burst into laughter. 

The otherwise sky-high, royal, gorgeous and long-living banyan tree was now a laughing stock. Its challenge was to reach the TV on the stand. Thanks to those who had cut its roots to size.

The day’s episode of the Mahabharata started. The room wore a mantle of silence. At first, a recap of the last episode was telecast… Daibaki gave birth to her fourth baby in captivity. She was making efforts not to let the guards on duty in the prison know of the newborn. However, a spying guard came to know of the infant and passed the message to King Kangs late at night. The day’s episode started… A beam of light from the dawning sun illuminated a corner of the prison cell. Daibaki, who had to pass a sleepless night, was taken aback by the light. Bewitched by the newborn, Vasudeva, on the other hand, kept looking at the baby in bewilderment. A restless Daibaki was on a desperate lookout for a safe hideout, but to no avail. The guards were about to reach her cell. She was crestfallen when she thought of the fate of her baby when her brother Kangs would…

“Let’s do something. It’s morning. Where to hide the baby?” Daibaki said, and brought Vasudeva back to his senses. He kept looking at her and the newborn. Raising his chained hands up, a helpless Vasudeva kept praying at the beam of sunlight. The oracle went that the eighth son of Daibaki would be their saviour. Oracles always come true, but it’s all the same to parents, whether first or eighth. “Oh God! What an ordeal is this!” Vasudeva rued, and kept gazing at the sky, a piece of which could be seen through the small hole.

“King of Kings, His Highness, King of Mathura, Maharaj Kangs is c-o-m-i-n-g…” an alert sounded by a royal guard. A frenetic Daibaki kept running from one corner to the other to hide the baby. Her chained legs were bleeding profusely. At last she lay on her side and started lactating the baby. She pretended to be oblivious to Kangs, who entered the room and said: “Daibaki, hand over the baby.”
“Baby? What baby? There isn’t any.”
“Don’t hide it. I came with a confirmed tip-off.”
“I’m bowing down to you, spare the life of an innocent infant,” she said. Kangs was bewildered, looking at his most affectionate sister. But he soon came to his senses, and thought: “That can’t be. For my life, the death of Daibaki’s babies is a must. Defending oneself is no sin.” He laughed in her face and took away the infant from her lap, raised it up and smashed it against the wall. Fresh blood kept dripping down the wall…

A commercial break followed. The TV’s volume was low. Pin-drop silence enveloped the drawing room. Only the tic-tac, tic-tac… monotone of the wall-clock continued.
“Detestable!” Sunanda broke the silence indignantly.
“No character in the Mahabharata is as sadistic as that of Kangs,” Surabala remarked.
A commercial advertisement was playing on the screen. Silently the ad showed the preparation of tasty chocolates by the milk collected cooperatively by the women of Gujarat. A success story! The ad, however, failed to accommodate the tale of the calves, deprived of mothers’ milk.
“A sadist, you know,” taking a piece of the omelette, Narendra continued, “It’s the height of cruelty. For the sake of his own life, so many innocents were slaughtered. Horrible! The director has done the job well, symbolically showing the patches of blood on the wall…a balanced shot.”
“Wait, wait. The omelette is delicious. The taste isn’t like that of firm eggs,” said Sunanda.
“Yeah, we have reared a pair of local fowls. You know, it’s a must for our protein deficiency,” said Surabala.
The commercial break was over. The serial resumed. The fade-in on the screen was the prison of Kangs. Bereaved and wailing Daibaki was slowly losing her senses. A helpless Vasudeva was sprinkling water on her eyes, and kept on massaging her head as a solace. Thus the Mahabharata episode of the day ended there. But a lively discussion on the character, Kangs, continued, till Surendra and Sunanda got up to depart.
“Why have you got up? Let’s have lunch together,” Narendra proposed."
“No, not today. We will, some other day. We have an appointment with the doctor today. Why don’t you hold a feast? We expect such a treat as you have completed your house,” said Surendra.
“It’s great. We will hold one on a holiday,” Narendra said.
“Wait, wait. In the doctor’s chamber too, we will be kept on waiting. Let’s have a look at the newly-built house. We too have a plan to erect one,” said Sunanda.
“It’s our pleasure to show you around.” Narendra and Surabala led the guests to the dining room, the kitchen, bedrooms, the in-house mandir ‒ one by one. The bamboo basket in front of the images of conjugal Radha-Krishna was full of freshly plucked flowers. Half-bloomed or about-to-bloom flowers hanging from their necks reeked off the mundamala with chopped-off baby heads! What was dazzling on the cheeks? Tears? All of them bowed down together.

Chatting about the vastu of the house, they all stepped into the kitchen garden in the backyard. Narendra and Surabala briefed the guests with all the details of the house. Surendra and Sunanda were glued. The blueprint of a dream house seemed to flash in their eyes. Adjacent to the left corner of the boundary walls stood a small poultry shed. Its roof was of abandoned tin cans of mustard oil, embossed with the trade-mark, Tripti ‒ complete satisfaction! The walls were of wire mesh. A pair of snow-white fowls was inside.

Not one or two, but a brigade of four was approaching them. The scared hen in captivity became frenetic. She moved from corner to corner fluffing out her feathers, shedding many of them. She poked the cock and warned it of the impending danger. Finding no way out, the mother hen went round the just laid egg ‒ once, twice, many times, in quick succession. At last, she covered the egg with her bosom and started incubating it. Like every other day, the cock kept gazing up, with its beak pushed out through a grid of the mesh. He kept gazing at the fragment of the sky, looked like a rag of a denim, seen through the juncture of the two moss-covered walls. It gazed and kept waiting, maybe still with the faint hope of an oracle.

Courtesy: Seven Sisters Post (WWW.sevensisterspost.com)

Bishnupriya Manipuri Search Engine "Bisarei" launched

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Cementing and extending the Bishnupriya Manipuri web presence, the Bishnupriya Manipuri Search Engine "Bisarei" has been launched. Bisarei would be a few, one-of-its-kind search engine to empower and manage knowledge resource of an Indian community. Visit the Bishnupriya Manipuri Search Engine "Bisarei".

Bishnupriya Manipuri Search Engine "Bisarei"
Bisarei would facilitate and equip researchers, journalists, writers, publishers, academicians and common users to come to a common platform and meet their "search" demands. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Model for revival of language and literature

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Bishnupriya Manipuri literature, art and culture are facing an existential crisis, thanks to the onslaught of a host of factors like Hindi movies and Western influences. But is there a way out? Certainly, says Ramlal Sinha.

There should be a holy yet profitable tie-up among litterateurs, artists and industrialists of the community so as to evolve a vibrant medium that can convert the literary and cultural ventures into a dividend-paying industry.

The linguistic policy being followed in Assam, mushroom growth of English-medium schools in the state, a section of yuppie generation in the community shying away from speaking the mother tongue and many other factors of their ilk have a cumulative and cascading effect on Bishnupriya Manipuri language, literature and culture. For the survival of a minor language and literature, such a cascading effect is more lethal than what a nuclear weapon is for the hard-earned and highly metamorphosed human civilization.

Senior journalist and critic DN Bezboruah went on record saying at a book release function in Guwahati in 2006: "English is a cannibal language of modern times." If English has 'eaten' thousands of other languages all over the world, one can say that Assamese, the official language of Assam besides English, has eaten many minor languages like Tai, Tiwa, Mising, Rabha, Dimasa, Karbi and Bishnupriya Manipuri  in the state. Based on their degree of vulnerability, these are already in UNESCO's list of endangered languages. Taking a cue, the state should also categorise these as endangered in its language policy.

Now, whose responsibility is the revival of such moribund languages and literature? Let's zero in on the Bishnupriya Manipuri language and literature as a case study. This community has a rich literature, besides a highly-sanctified and age-old culture. That a majority of the modern litterateurs in the community and their predecessors had their education, at least schooling, in Bengali medium is a boon for the Bishnupriya Manipuri literature. This is because most of the Bishnupriya Manipuri litterateurs, right from the beginning even while in Manipur, had benchmark set by Bengali literature which the Bishnupriya Manipuri writers try to attain or maintain even now. But, of course, this is not to say that the limit ends there.

However, Bishnupriya Manipuri language and literature, being a fatal victim of the ongoing literary and cultural onslaught in India, have found few takers in the community itself, especially among the younger generation. Things have taken a turn for the worse as a large number of people belonging to the next generation in the community are ignorant of purbanagari or purbi, the script being followed by  litterateurs. The script barrier, if not tackled with the right approach, may stand as a veritable roadblock for the propagation of Bishnupriya Manipuri language, literature and culture. If the Himalayas stand as a classical model of an impermeable orographic barrier halting the masses of monsoon air and causing aridity in the Tibetan landscapes, the script barrier in the Bishnupriya Manipuri community is strong enough to block dissemination of information and literature, a condition that is lethal enough to cause an aridity in the literary and cultural landscape of the community. Shying away from reading books authored by Bishnupriya Manipuri writers among the community members is yet another barrier that blocks the propagation of the literature, thereby pushing it to towards the jaws of extinction.

The media vacuum in the community is another barrier that has not been broken even though the community has people scripting success story in this field. This situation stands as a roadblock for information dissemination in the community that is sparsely scattered in Assam, Tripura, Manipur, and other states as well as Burma and Bangladesh. The media industry in the community is not a booming one either, in fact, it never was. The few literary magazines being published in Bishnupriya Manipuri are gasping for life.

The community has a precedent set before it by none other than its own alternative media mogul, Gokulananda, fondly called as Gitiswami. A large section of litterateurs of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community, and even the commoners, are familiar with  the verses of the alternative media mogul only because he could successfully break as many as three barriers – the barrier due to illiteracy in the community in early yester century; the barrier put up by penury and the barrier due to media vacuum – with a single weapon, alternative media, which in his case is 'padkirtan'. Before and after the start of any particular discipline of 'padkirtan' like 'manbhanjan', 'noukabilash', 'Subal-milan' and the like, he would sing his reform-oriented verses to create awareness among the community members. His is not a success story of the proverbial 'one stone, two birds' but that of 'one stone, many birds'.

The barrier before litterateurs and cultural exponents, at present, is under no circumstances more complicated than the one Gokulananda and other writers of his time had to confront. However, the cultural onslaught by Hindi movies and the western culture cast a spell on Bishnupriya Manipuri language and culture. These forces can whitewash everything that the community has inherited from its forefathers over the ages.

The idea in such a situation should be a holy yet profitable tie-up between litterateurs/artistes and the few industrialists of the community so as to evolve a vibrant medium that can convert the literary and cultural ventures into a dividend-paying industry which can provide a modern genre of literature, performing arts and culture that is strong enough to bring 'Generation Y' back to their base that has metamorphosed because of testing times, but is still intact in its 'nuclear configuration'.

What is going on over the years is that quality write-ups like stories, poems and songs that keep coming from litterateurs of the community find no place in music albums and films produced by those who can afford to spend huge amounts which such ventures always demand.

The result is status quo in the community's development. This does nobody a good. The mental needs of the literati are not met and the producers, too, lose money. This is a sheer example of 'misplaced priority'. Unless the 'intellectual property' of writers and exponents of creative arts is encashed in a fair and judicious manner, literary and cultural development in the community will continue to remain elusive. The songs and stories of writers like poet Brojendra Kumar Sinha ('Elar Khuttal', 'Dhruvapad'), poet Senarup Sinha, poet Madan Mohan Mukhopadhyay, Kali Prasad Sinha (Elar Mala), Champalal Sinha, short story writer Smriti Kumar Sinha, poet Dils Lakshmindra Sinha ('Dikmilanar Ela', 'Kotohan Ela Kotohan Kabita'), Indra Kumar Sinha, Kalasena Sinha, Anukul Sinha, Shyamananda Sinha, Samarjit Sinha  and others have found few takers. Cassettes, albums and films are bereft of real content. The irony is that with this newborn cinema, album and cassette venture exploring only the 'shallow creative writings', we have set a very low benchmark for our literature and culture before other communities. Aren't we out to belittle, albeit unknowingly, the heights scaled by our writers and cultural exponents over the years? This is an irreparable damage being done to the community. When quality write-ups of writers and works by artistes will be captured with state-of-the-art technology and cinematography, the present generation that is going astray will be forced to look back. What they actually seek is quality,

The few industrialists in the community need not invest their money in unprofitable ventures. Generosity is still a luxury that they cannot or should not afford. A rupee saved is a rupee earned. The community cannot afford any slip up. Profitability has always been the mantra for any industry. They should continue to focus on training skilled manpower for the future, especially in the media, art and culture. This is a virgin industry sans competition. If trodden with the right skill in the right path, this is a sure-success route for the revival of the endangered language and literature, and tackling the acute joblessness in the community to a great extent. Since the market for performing arts is not at all being tapped, a treasure of culturally-enriched literature is getting piled up for years now. The treasure is awaiting industrialists for its encashment in various ways and forms. They are on the wait for explorers who understand their subtlety, fragility and tenderness; and ready to treat them accordingly.

As far as revival of the language and literature is concerned, it should be the prime duty of every parent to make their wards able to read the purbanagari so that they can appreciate the glory and richness of their own literature and culture.

On media vacuum, the situation demands a professional approach in which a quality product, quality packaging, an agile network of circulation, marketing and advertisement are a must. The Bishnupriya Manipuris' is a virgin market that, if tapped in the right way, can pay a huge dividend. While taking such a venture, one needs to keep in mind that his product (say a newspaper or a magazine) should not be targeted at only the few in a family who are inclined towards literature. All in a community aren't literati, regardless of educational qualification. Over the years, we trod the same old beaten track to serve stuff only for the literati that may not comprise even one per cent of population in the community, forgetting the over 99 per cent. We need to take extra care to produce a product (newspaper or magazine) that can offer a stuff or two even for the housewives, their kids, teens, those interested in fashion and designing, youth (career options and job-related information), students, beauty package for girls, simple remedy for minor ailments, and the like. Those in newspaper industry need to engage experienced teachers who can provide solutions to critical mathematical problems, at least up to Class X standard. A magazine with an inclusive coverage is bound to have takers in the market provided it is backed by a well-knit circulation network. Those of the community who are already in this industry shouldn't forget to lay the required emphasis on advertising that can help the industry thrive.

Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council

All right-thinking people in the community, including the laymen, will term the formation of this council a milestone achieved, as far as the development of the community is concerned. This can be an oasis in a desert, if run in the right way. The Bishnupriya Manipuris, who have been have-nots over the centuries, have got a perennial canal that can, if handled properly, keep them giving their share of the pie. This is indeed a milestone achieved for a community that had to agitate for about 60 years after independence to get a democratic right – implementation of Bishnupriya Manipuri language at the primary stage of education in Assam – fulfilled, and that too, not without bloodbath.

The development of literature and culture in the community is one of the most important duties of the council that has a whole lot of work lined up in other spheres. In its about two-year time since inception, it has shown a positive gesture towards the development of Bishnupriya Manipuri language and literature, besides other fields. Of course, two years is too brief a period for one to judge the motive of those manning a government setup. So far, so good; and one needs to keep his/her hope alive, but remain ever vigilant.

Towards the development of literature and culture, the role to be played by the council is august. Among other stakeholders in the community, it is the BMDC that needs to develop the very infrastructure for educational and literary development. The litterateurs and exponents of performing arts in the community badly need a launch-pad from where they can take a lift so as to scale new heights. Can they hope the council to do enough towards that end? Will other fields in the community that need immediate attention get due importance? Time is the best teacher. I'm too young to make inroads into its core.

Courtesy: Seven Sisters Post

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Reflecting folk life

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Ramlal Sinha takes a close look at DILS Lakshmindra Sinha’s collection of folktales that mirrors the community’s life accurately.

DILS Lakshmindra Sinha
THE folklore of a community comprises its traditional beliefs, myths, tales, and the practices of its individuals, being transmitted orally from generation to generation. If one wants to know a community better, the surest and most effective route to that is through understanding its folklore. Folktales are an essential component of folklore, and the oral tales of the Bishnupriya Manipuris are no exception to this.

The Bishnupriya Manipuri folktales, called Babeir Yari or Apabopar Yari (the tales of forefathers) by the community members, can be categorised as (1) Apangor Yari (tales about simpletons), (2) Raja-Rani baro Rajkumar-Rajkumarir Yari (tales about royal family members), (3) Bhootor Yari (tales on ghosts), (4) Soralelor Yari (tales about the Rain God, Indra and his seven scions), (5) Pahiyapolei baro Jibojantur Yari (tales of birds and beasts), (6) Porir Yari (fairy tales), (7) Etihasar Yari (tales from history), (8) Myth and Legends, (9) Funny Skits, (10) Thogoar Yari (tales of frauds), (11) Pabitra Yari (sacred tales), (12) mucky tales or mucky jokes and the like.

This collection and translation by DILS Lakshmindra Sinha, founder president of the Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum (BMWF), has enough tales that depict the wit, intelligence, fancifulness and sense of humour that Bishnupriya Manipuris are richly endowed with. Poetic justice — an outcome in which vice is punished and virtue is rewarded in a peculiarly or ironically appropriate manner — is glaring in most of the tales in this collection. This indicates that the Vaishavite Bishnupriya Manipuri community respects justice and disapproves of logical fallacy entirely.

This collection comprising 26 folktales in English is the first of its kind among writers from the community. It gives readers the taste of a wide variety of folktales from Bishnupriya Manipuri folk literature, and from this point of view, the collection can be termed an inclusive collection. It is indeed a valuable documentation for posterity.

It is worth mentioning here that G A Grierson had collected three Bishnupriya Manipuri folktales from Manipur and included them in his Linguistic Survey of India (Vol. I, part IV, published in 1891) along with their English translations. Sinha has incorporated all the three folktales collected by Grierson. The author has also adopted and translated the folktale ‘The Lawyer and the Merchant’ that had been collected and published by Upendra Nath Guha in his Kacharer Itibritta’ (1971).

From my personal contact with Sinha, I have come to know the modus operandi followed by him while collecting these folktales. He had to wander from village to village and arrange some sort of story-telling competitions among old women, who got a meagre remuneration for each story told. Often, the same story would vary in its telling from region to region. Sinha has taken these variations into account while collating the tales.

The success that this collection has achieved is obvious from the fact that when a reader goes through any of the tales in it, she sees a vivid picture of what the rural Bishnupriya Manipuri life exactly looked like and to some extent, still does. Characters found in ‘The Idle Woman’, ‘The Silly Peasant’, ‘Two Brothers’, ‘Apang the Thief’, ‘The Tale of a Bitu-Titu’, ‘The Story of Pani’, ‘Gokulsena and His Wife’ and the like, look no different from rural Bishnupriya Manipuri folk.

This collection has added yet another feather to Sinha’s cap. He has as many as ten volumes of poetry to his credit already, besides a volume of short stories written in the Bishnupriya Manipuri language. Some of his poems have also been translated into Assamese, Bengali and Hindi. A select number of his short stories have also been published in English translation. Treasury of Bighnupriya Manipuri Folktales only goes to prove the versatility of this noted writer.

Courtesy: Seven Sisters Post (WWW.sevensisterspost)

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Why I am a poet

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BRAJESWARI Raaikishori
Aamaai dayaa karla naa
Aamaar sanger sangi sabaai gelo
Aamaar jaowa holo naa… 

Bishnupriya Manipuri poet, Champalal Sinha, traces the origins of his poetic consciousness.

Champalal Sinha

CULTIVATION of poetry, study of poetry, service to the nation, society and the like are all that my life is exactly about. I am still alive because I was attracted to all these virtues at the right age. Many a cyclone of distress, shock and penury blew over my head, and keeps blowing even now; but against all odds, I am indifferent and unshaken only by virtue of my cultivation of poetry, study of poetry, and service to the nation and society. Among all these, cultivation and study of poetry inspire me the most to be resolutely self-confident.

The study of any branch of literature shows one the right path of life, gives immense pleasure, inspires one to work and leads towards light. However, no other branch of literature can be a parallel to poetry in providing one with the pleasure of creation, awakening in him a sense towards his work or duty, and making him rich in metaphysical wisdom, which is why poetry is the origin of any literature in the world. Though I was inspired immensely to write poetry by the melodious songs of Ojha Senarup (a poet and singer of repute), I was attracted to poetry since childhood. My Baba (papa), more often than not, read out and sang the poems of Rabindranath Tagore, Nazrul Islam, Jogindranath Sarkar, Rajanikanta Sen, Kusumkumari, Priyangbada, Mankumari and others. He also sang the songs of the Azad Hind Fauj and that of the Swadeshi Movement. Baba was blessed with a melodious voice, and was enviably skilled in the art of tune, note, measure, speed, ascend, descend, and such other nitty-gritties of songs and music. That way, if I say that his name Surasingh or Surachandra is significant enough, it will in no way be an exaggeration.

It was a Friday in 1966/67. It was my birthday. After his catnap in the afternoon, Baba washed his face and sat on a low floor stool on the verandah. He yawned and stretched. I was lying prone on a cot near the left side of the door, and reading. “Master, fill a hookah of tobacco, and give me. Where is your mom?” Baba said, and yawned again. Baba used to call me master, fondly. I filled a hookah with tobacco and handed over the hubble-bubble to him. “Fan it with your mouth till smoke comes out,” Baba said, and started to hum a
song, that, after a while, came out in a free-flowing voice —

Aamaar saadh naa mitilo, aashaa naa purilo,
Sakali phuraaye jaai maa…

(My desire remained unfulfilled, hopes remained unmet, Mother (Shakti), let me go exhausting all)

The lyrics of the song, its sentiment, meaning, Baba’s sweet voice, the sweetness of the tune and the accurate maintenance of musical note, time and measure kept me spellbound within moments, and an imaginary world started to engross me.

Tears kept dripping down Baba’s cheeks, and he was wiping them out while puffing the hubble-bubble. He started another song —

Brajeswari Raaikishori
Aamaai dayaa karla naa
Aamaar sanger sangi sabaai gelo
Aamaar jaowa holo naa…

(Radharani of Brajabrindavan has not been generous on me. While all my colleagues have got her blessings, and departed, I have got stuck)

Tears kept dripping down his cheeks.

Baba was a man of a contemplative turn of mind. He was too emotional. I have inherited a great deal of his emotion and sentimentalism and perhaps that could have been the true inspirations which inclined me towards poetry.

Be that as it may, I shut the book remembering that, since my mother was not around, it was my duty to offer Baba a cup of tea. I rushed to the hearth, ignited the fire from paddy husks kept nearby as firelighters and put the kettle over it.


The remnant of the song, on the other hand, kept humming in my ears. I was filtering tea with a wire mesh.

“Master, where does the smoke come from?”
Baba asked me.
“I’m preparing tea,” I responded.

“Hari, Hari! (Oh God! Dear me!) As if my throat is wet. Bring it soon. I have to go to the front hamlet. I have something important there.” Baba left for the hamlet after taking tea. Baba is no more, but his sweet voice still overflows on the verandah, the yard and the entire house. Wherever I tread, I hear his sweet voice that still touches me. Why will I not be a poet?! Why will I not write poems!

Heirloom
I am not immortal
Like everyone else,
What will I leave behind
As my parting gifts?
Who knows
when will the void
A shedding flower leaves
On the branch be filled?
I know not who my heir is,
Or would be.
As heirloom, I have only
My unfulfilled wishes,
Pen, papers, rivers,
Canals, streams, the sky,
Factories, machines,
protests, agitation,
Love, affection,
And the entire world.
I will take my lethargy
With me, of course.
Oh, my ‘heir’,
Have you born, or not?
I am waiting for you,
Day in, day out.

Courtesy: Seven Sisters Post (www.sevensisterspost)

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Don Bosco School Celebrates Annual Day

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The School Annual Day celebration is one of the biggest events of a school. It is generally organized at the end of an academic session. It is a day of great fun and enjoyment.

Don Bosco School, Guwahati
Don Bosco School, Guwahati, celebrated its Annual Day function on 3rd and 4th February, 2012. It was held at the school playground. Students were divided into two groups. One group performed on the first day and the other group performed on the second day. As I was a part of the first group, so I performed on the first day. Parents and guests were invited. Prof. Umesh Ch. Sarmah, V.C., Srimanta Sankardev University of Health Sciences attended the function held on 3rd February as the Chief Guest, Mr. Puru Gupta (I.A.S.), Commissioner, G.M.C, Guwahati as the Guest of Honour and Mr. Ashutosh Agnihotri (I.A.S.), Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup (Metro), Guwahati, attended as the Distinguished Guest.

The programme began with felicitation of the guests and the Rector of Don Bosco School Rev. Fr. Antony Thekkel, sdb, delivered the welcome address. This was followed by the Convergence (Orchestra) performed by some students of Classes 6 to 11. Then the Chief Guest Prof. Umesh Ch. Sarmah delivered his speech. After that, Rev. Fr. Joseph M. Thelekkatt, sdb, Principal, Don Bosco School, delivered a befitting speech. Many cultural items were presented in the function. A song titled ‘People Over the World’ was sung by the students of Class-5. The skit on Lachit Borphukan presented by the students of Class-7 was appreciated by all. In the function, a tribute to Dr. Bhupen Hazarika was paid by the students of Class-8. There were a few songs and dance items presented by the students. The function came to an end with the dance to the song ‘Jai Ho’ performed by the students of Class-6.

Ritwick Sinha
Class-V,
Don Bosco School, Guwahati.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Life: a faithful friend

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Today morning a tragic incident happened in my locality; a student took his own life. This tendency is gradually increasing in youths who are constantly under pressure from their own and others' expectations. Life is an asset in itself. It is precious and must not be measured in terms and conditions. It is simple and demands no complexity; only few simple needs are to be fulfilled to lead a satisfied life. But the unbridled desires, aspirations, ambitions drive us to compete, make us restless, judgemental, cynical, pessimist and desperate …

Whatever conditions life brings, one must be rooted in knowledge of reality everything is transient, temporary. In fact, change is the only constant thing. The phases, conditions, opinions, perspectives all are relative, going to be changed with changing time and experiences. Man has to be flexible in perspective, of course not in ideals and ethics. All problems are temporary...People who take their life, they give permanent solution to temporary problems.

At this moment, I remember the movie “Three Idiots” which revolves around the pressure and the challenges of student life. Today all kind of pressure is on students — parental, economic, peer group and self-induced pressure. Nevertheless, the film has depicted a positive and encouraging belief and I would reiterate the same that one should follow excellence and not success for success will come itself if excellence is followed. Success- failure, rich-poverty everything depends on our perspective.

When I see such tragic incidents often I feel man is weak or man is made weak? A man right from his childhood comes under the cling of attachments. Initially, as a child he gets attached to the simple feelings of joy, frolic, enjoyment but this attachment gives him life and the awareness. As he grows old, he gets more attached and less aware to his actions and the results. Finally, he comes far away from his own simple and beautiful life under the burden of desires and expectations. He gets misled and astray in the search of fulfillment through this relative world. But he has to understand that life is the only faithful friend of man and he has to value it.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Bangla troupe mesmerises Guwahati audience

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Ramlal Sinha
GUWAHATI, Feb 20
Shakuntala, Droupadi, Duhshala and Jona rose like a Phoenix from the ashes at the District Library Auditorium in Guwahati on Sunday night when actress Jyoti Sinha from Bangladesh stormed into the stage at the two-day international Bishnupriya Manipuri Literary and Cultural Festival that concluded on Sunday. The drama of Manipuri Theatre of Bangladesh, based on Michael Madhusudhan Dutt’s Kohe Birangana, was directed by Shuvashis Sinha, an alumnus of Jahangir Nagar University, Dhaka and recipient of Tanushree Padak and Munier Chowdhury Drama Award. The drama has already created a storm in various urban and rural stages in Bangladesh.

The drama highlighted the plight of the woman in the society. Be her Shakuntala, Droupadi, Duhshala or Jona, she had to face the wrath her ‘dear’ male, be him Dushmanta, Arjun, Jayadartha or Neeladwaja. Right from the prehistoric days, it is the woman who has always been at the receiving end in the male-dominated society.
In the role of Shakuntala, Droupadi, Duhshala and Jona; Jyoti Sinha literally thundered on the stage by spewing venom against Dushmanta, Arjun, Jayadartha and Neeladwaja. She ‘fought’ a lost battle, but was successful in sending a message among the womenfolk of the country that feels proud of the cliché – India is a place where women are regarded as mothers – that it is the woman who is always at the receiving end.

The play articulates four verses among 11 from the original text of Dutt.

Other performers who helped Jyoti Sinha in chorus were Smriti Sinha, Shukla Sinha, Sunanda Sinha and Bhagyalokkhi Sinha.

The troupe staged Srikrisha Kirtan of Boro Chandidas on the same stage on Saturday night when Jyoti Sinha was seen in the role of Radha. This drama has also been directed by Shuvashis Sinha.

Courtesy: Seven Sisters Post (www.sevensisterspost.com)

Two-day Bishnupriya Manipuri literary extravaganza comes to an end

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Post Bureau
GUWAHATI, Feb 20

If the greatest-ever Bishnupriya Manipuri poet Brojendra Kumar Sinha kept the literati at the District Library Auditorium in Guwahati spellbound with his eloquent lecture on poems, Northeast’s one of the top short-story writers Dr Smriti Kumar Sinha made the intellectuals present among the capacity crowd in the auditorium think the need of changes they need to bring about in the way of working for the development of Bishnupriya Manipuri language and literature. Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum (BMWF) president Dils Lakshmindra Sinha, on the other hand, proved the talent latent in him by giving a precisely decisive direction to the two-day international Bishnupriya Manipuri literary and cultural festival right from the inauguration to the thank-giving programme by virtue of his managerial skill, apart from literary and cultural acumen. The literary extravaganza concluded on Sunday night.

The auditorium was agog with literary and cultural activities on February 18 and 19 as the both the days were packed with programmes.

In his elaborate lecture on poems, poet Brojendra Kumar Sinha spelt out in no uncertain terms what is poem and what is not, what is literature and what is not. The poet, on whom the influence of Biswakobi Rabindranath Tagore is glaring besides his own metaphysical wisdom and poetic consciousness, spit fire on the plight of poets in the society that is in a rat race for material gains. His is a life devoted to poetry, and he has always been an inspiration among the whole lot budding poets and other writers in the Bishnupriya Manipuri community. In his speech as the guest of honour, Dr Smriti Kumar Sinha said: “Like every other community, social development in the Bishnupriya Manipuri community is the outcome of conflicts and confluence. Conflicts galore in the Bishnupriya Manipuri community, and only the confluence of the conflicting parties can ensure a stream of nectar. That is what we should strive for.” Prominent among the other programmes are a discussion on the ‘Future of Bishnupriya Manipuri Language and Literature’ with journalist and writer Anukul Sinha in the chair, an interaction with editors of Bishnupriya Manipuri journals with advocate Bilamesh Sinha in the chair, a literary discussion with Prof. Barun Kumar Sinha in the chair, the felicitation of distinguished personalities, and cultural programmes on both the days.

Courtesy: Seven Sisters Post (www.sevensisterspost.com)

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Bishnupriya Manipuri org follow their own rules

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Rebati Mohan Sinha

A meeting of the Central General Assembly of Nikhil Bishnupriya Manipuri Mahasabha held at Rabindra Bhavan, Patherkandi, Karimganj on 29th Jan 2012 to (i) discuss present situation and (ii) fix up date and venue of 44th General Conference. The meeting started at around 11AM. in a gathering of about 200. The numbers increased later.

The report said,

The incharge of the reception committee was at the mike to give the welcome speech; but he kept talking on some irrelevant topics. He was later persuaded to take his seat. Then the SG of NBMM came up to speak, and followed by another five/six speakers. During the period, proposals for extension of present committee (which was not in the agenda) also raised. At last, the President, NBMM declared that the present committee had been extended to one more year (could it be kept on Ventilator as some Sr. members had apprehension, quoting, Society Act 1860 doesn’t have any provision of one year extension?). There was no debate took place on extension of present Committee (six months or one year?). Even the reasons were not known to many of the people present there as they were seen murmuring. The speaker from Guwahati, Col. (Retd.) Bijoy Sinha wanted, the meeting to discuss the future strategy and why to dwell on only past; but hardly anyone paid heed to him. It appeared to be a pre-decided episode. There was not a single word spoken about the second agenda point i.e., fix up date and venue of 44th General Conference.

Before we review the entire episode, we must know the following :

a) The Central General Assembly is nothing but the Mahasabha’s Central Executive Body meeting with its two wings, the Sahitya Parishad and Sanskriti Parishad as per constitution/bye law.

b) Let us define the word ‘to discuss’(present situation) as mentioned in the agenda point : The extensive definition of ‘discuss’ means informal debates, arguments, taking into account of different ideas and to talk with others in an effort to reach agreement, to ascertain truth, or to convince. It involves close examination of the subject with interchange of opinions, especially to explore solutions ie. a strategic planning.

c) Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining its strategy, or direction, and making decisions on allocating its resources to pursue this strategy. In order to determine the direction of the organization, it is necessary to understand its current position and the possible avenues through which it can pursue a particular course of action. Actually strategic planning deals with at least one of the three key questions : i) what do we do? ii) for whom do we do ? iii) how do we excel?

In many organizations this is viewed as a process for determining where an organization is going over the years.

There are many approaches to strategic planning : i) situation- target-proposal, ii) see-think-draw, iii) draw-see-think-plan.

The most useful tool for the strategic planning is SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threat) analysis.

d) The Society Registration Act 1860 is an Act for the registration of literary, scientific and charitable societies and the Mahasabha is registered under this Act. However, once the society becomes registered and obtains its legal entity, the activities and the members become bound by the object of the memorandum. An unregistered society does not enjoy the legal status and therefore exists in fact and not under the law.

Member in the memorandum shall be a person who has been admitted according to the rules and regulations of the society and should have paid the subscription and sign the register of list of members. No person shall be entitled to vote or be counted as a member in any of the proceeding of the society whose subscription has been in arrears for a period exceeding three months.

Rights of the member includes to receive notices, right to vote, right to receive statement of accounts, right to attend general meetings. Notice for every meeting should be given to all the members according to the time limit as mentioned in the bye law and the time limit for issue of the notice for any meeting should be provided in the bye law. The notice for the meeting has to be given in writing. Generally a 21 days notice should be for a general meeting and 7 days notice for a governing body meeting.

Now the question is: Are the present Mahasabha office bearers following the above mentioned rules and regulations vis-a-vis maintaining membership registers at Anchalik, zonal and state level? sending notices and statements in writing to all members, especially New Delhi and Mumbai? Is auditing done every year?

It can be concluded that our organizations never believe in Society Act 1860. They follow their own rule.

Fear in Metro-Cities

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Rebati Mohan Sinha


In the course of my visit to metro cities, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Poona and Ahmadabad, I met our BM community people and found that senior members are having a concern – they fear that the future generation is rapidly losing the identity of its traditional culture. Indeed, I have seen that although families have achieved substantial material progress, still they are unhappy. They feel strongly that their children will suffer a fate commonly known as cultural assimilation.

I told the senior members of our community that their fear might be genuine; but their present efforts were not going to yield any positive results. The real problem is that we are living in these metro cities as takers, not as givers. We strive to earn money but we don’t try to figure as giver members of these cities. In the course of a conversation, one senior remarked that the present development of metros was due to mostly to the labor of migrants. I said no, although apparently migrants seem to be working in the development activities of the metro cities, in actual, the credit goes not Mr. Migrant; but to the host.

It is a fact that these migrant have failed to perform well in their own villages/towns, where as, in the metro cities they are seen to be involved in almost all the activities of development and progress. The reason is that in the metros, every success is based on merit, so these migrants become heroes in achieving that success. 

If the BM community wants to save their next generation, they should try to make themselves a giver group of metro society. If their next generation continues to be taker members of metro cities, no efforts will ever save them from being assimilated in metro culture.

What we want today is a new pathway for the future that can accommodate our dreams and aspiration i.e., traditional culture of our society for which we, the BM people of Pune, along with Mumbaites bought a plot of land at Pune in the year 2007. We did Bhoomi Pujan, done by the Sevait of Radha Gobinda Mandir, Nabadwip, Sri Mairang Singh Debabarmana on the occasion of Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur’s birth anniversary, celebrated in all India basis to set up a ‘Cultural Study Centre’ under the aegis of Sri Sri Bhubaneshwar Sadhu Thakur International Sevashram, where artists, researchers from all over India could come, conduct research, hold discussion on art and culture and then come out with something that will really help not only BM of metro cities but our entire community.

I don’t know, how long it will take and how it will shape up eventually. May be, it will be generations before we have something of interest, but it’s worth trying.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

International Bishnupriya Manipuri Literary and Cultural Fest today

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By our Staff Reporter

Guwahati, Feb 17: In a bid to preserve and protect the language, literature and culture of Bishnupriya Manipuri community and to discuss about the problems and challenges faced by the Bishnupriya Manipuri language, the Bishnupriya Manipuri Writer’s Forum (BMWF) is going to organize the International Bishnupriya Manipuri Literary and Cultural Festival from February 18 to February 19 at District Library Auditorium in Guwahati.

Addressing a press meet here on Thursday, the president of Bishnupriya Manipuri Writer’s Forum, L K Sinha said, “ The main objective of organizing this fest is to develop a fellow feeling amongst the writers, artistes, intellectuals and social workers and to establish a cultural as well as intellectual relationship and friendship among the Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers and artists as well as intellectuals of the other linguistic groups of the Brahmaputra Valley especially of the greater Assamese society.”

Putting more emphasis on creative literature, he further added, “ The only way to preserve Bishnupriya Manipuri language is through creative literature. Moreover, we are giving more importance on encouraging young generation towards creative literature. It is the younger generation who can help for preserving the language and sort out the challenges and problems faced by this language.”

“ we are also going to release 20 books written in Bishnupriya Manipuri language during the festival,” he said.

As part of the literary and cultural festival, a number of programmes will be organized likes poets’ meet, seminars, symposiums, artistes’ meet, editors’ meet, and publication of books. Eminent writers, artistes, social workers and intellectuals from all the seven north-eastern States as well as other parts of the country will be taking part in the fest. A number of senior artistes, writers and social workers from Agartala, Shillong, Guwahati, New Delhi, Kolkata, Imphal and Bangladesh will be felicitated at the fest for their immense contribution towards the development of the Bishnupriya Manipuri language, literature, culture and society. Besides this, the writers from Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Bodo, Deuri, Mising, Karbi, Rajbongshi, Mizo, Manipuri and Nepali languages are invited for establishing an emotional bondage among the groups as well as for intellectual and cultural exchanges.

Apart from these programmes, art exhibition and book fair have also been organized so that people can learn more about the language, culture, customs and tradition of this community. Moreover, the forum has made all arrangements to screen a short film which is produced by Ranjit Sinha of Bangladesh.

Courtesy: The Sentinel

Literary festival to boost endangered language

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- Two-day meet by Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum begins today at District Library auditorium

A STAFF REPORTER

Feb. 17: Short film screening, interaction sessions and book releases — the two-day International Bishnupriya Manipuri Literary and Cultural Festival starting tomorrow — is expected to have it all.

Organised by Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum at District Library auditorium, the festival aims to promote the Bishnupriya Manipuri language, enlisted by the UN as one of the endangered languages in 2009.

Writers in Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Bodo, Deuri, Mising, Karbi, Rajbongshi, Mizo, Manipuri and Nepali languages have been invited to “establish an emotional bond among the groups as well intellectual and cultural exchanges” at the festival.

However, Bishnupriya Manipuri is gradually gaining importance during the past few years. It has around 15 poem collections, 10 novels and around 25 plays and uses Bengali script.

The president of the forum, L.K. Sinha, said there was a movement among a section of the Bishnupriya Manipuris to adopt the Devnagiri script, the original script of the language. “But we have not done it apprehending that such a step might take the community away from the Assamese and the Bengalis. Besides, Bangladesh and Tripura have also been opposing adopting Devnagiri script for our language,” said Sinha. He added that there was still a possibility of adopting Devnagiri script by the Bishnupriya Manipuris.

Sinha said distinguished writers, artistes, social workers and intellectuals from different parts of the country, especially from Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Calcutta, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi would participate in the festival. Besides, representatives from Bangladesh, Australia and US will also attend the festival.

The Manipuri Theatre Group, well recognised in Bangladesh, will be the prime attraction of the programme. A number of senior artistes, writers and social workers from Agartala, Shillong, Guwahati, New Delhi, Calcutta, Manipur and Bangladesh will be felicitated for their contribution towards the development of Bishnupriya Manipuri language, literature, culture and society.

Sinha said in Assam, most of the Bishnupriya Manipuri population was concentrated in the Barak valley where their population was around 1.75 lakh. It is also taught in Classes III and IV in schools in the valley. “Besides, Bishnupriya Manipuris live in Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya and Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, their population is around 75,000,” Sinha said.

The organisers of the festival said a 30-member delegation from Bangladesh had already arrived in the city for the festival.

Altogether 20 books will be released during the festival.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

PRESS NOTE: Bishnupriya Manipuri Writer’s Forum (BMWF)

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Guwahati, 17th February 2012

The Bishnupriya Manipuri Writer’s Forum is a leading registered non-govt. literary and cultural organization of the Bishnupriya Manipuri writers and artists, covering the geographical area of the North Eastern States. The forum was established in the year 2009 with the aims and objects of preservations, protection and development of Bishnupriya Manipuri Language, which is under threat of extinction and has been categorized as an endangered language by the UNESCO, SIL International and other organizations. We had organized seminars, symposiums and other literary and cultural programs from time to time to foster the development of language and culture.

The Forum is going to hold the international Bishnupriya Manipuri Literary and Cultural Festival on 18th and 19th February 2012 at District Library Auditorium, Guwahati. The festival is aimed at developing a fellow feeling amongst the writers, artistes, intellectuals and social workers, to discuss about and sort out the problems and challenges faces by the language, to highlight the present state of development as well as protection and preservation of the language, literature and culture of this linguistic minority. Another important objective is to establish a cultural as well as intellectual relationship and friendship among the Bishnupriya Manipuri writers and artists as well as intellectuals of the other linguistic groups of the Brahmaputra Valley especially of the grater Assammese society.

A number of programs like poets meets, seminars and symposiums and artistes meets, Editors meet, publication of books, souvenir as part of the program. Distinguished writers, artistes, social workers and intellectuals from different parts of the country especially from Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram and from Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi and abroad has assured us to take participation in it. The Manipuri Theatre group, which is well recognized at national level in Bangladesh is the prime attraction of the program. A number of senior artistes, writers and social workers from Agartala, Shillong, Guwahati, New Delhi, Kolkata, Imphal and Bangladesh will be felicitated for their immense contributions towards the development of Bishnupriya Manipuri language, literature, culture and society. Besides it the writers from Assamese, Bengali, Hindi, Bodo, Deuri, Mising, Karbi, Rajbongshi, Mizo, Manipuri and Nepali languages are invited for establishing an emotional bondage among the groups as well intellectual and cultural exchanges.

Among the distinguished personalities we shall specially mention the following names who have kindly consented to attend the programme :
  • Mr. Kanaksen Deka, Ex-President, Asom Sahitya Sabha & Editor, Dainik Agradoot
  • Mr. Brajendra Kumar Sinha
  • Mr. Kartiksena Sinha, Chairman, BMDC & Ex-MLA
  • Mr. Nilamoni Sen Deka, Hon’ble Minister of Agriculture, Horti & Parliamentary Affairs, Assam
  • Mr. Akon Bora, Hon’ble Jail Minister, Govt of Assam.
  • Capt. Robin Bordoloi, Hon’ble MLA, Rehabari, Guwahati.
  • Mr. Ashutosh Agnihotri, IAS, DC, Kamrup [M]
  • Mr. Apurba Jibon Barua, SSP, Kamrup(M)
  • Mrs. Madhurima Baruah Sen, Director, Cultural Affairs, Guwahati.
  • Mrs. Kumkum Sinha, Director, SCERT.
  • Dr. Krishnadas Sinha, TCS
  • Mr. Bireswar Sinha, Advocate
  • Dr. Bhupen Sarma, Principal Secretary, Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council.
  • Mrs. Bijaylaxmi Sinha, Ex-Minister, Tripura
  • Dr. Paramananda Rajbongshi, Principal Secy, Asom Sahitya Sabha.
  • Mr. Subir Bhowmik, Editor, Seven Sisters’ Post.
  • Prof. Sushil Sinha, GU.
  • Dr. Amalendu Chakraborty, GU.
  • Dr. A.K.Misra, English and Foreign Language University, NEHU, Shillong.
  • Mr. Kamala Mushahari, Gen Secretary, Bodo Sahitya Sabha.
  • Mr. Amar Gogoi, Gen Secretary, OBC Association, Assam.
  • Mr. Naba Sapkota, President, Nepali Sahitya Sabha.
  • Dr. Sukumar Sinha (Bimal), President, POURI, Bangladesh.
  • Mr. Samarjit Sinha, V.P, Bishnupriya Manipuri Samajkalyan Samiti, Bangladesh.
  • Mr. Naba Kumar Sinha, Manipur, Mr. Dibosh Phukan, Journalist
  • Mrs. Mira Thakur,
  • Mr. Kapurchand Jain,
  • Mr. Soumen Bharatiya, Editor, Byatikram.
  • Rajendra Nath Bordoloi, President, Asom Kavi Somaj
  • Mr. Pratap Sinha, SP, Hamreng


We humbly appeal to all the peace, literature, art and Culture lovers of Assam especially the Guwahatians to extend their help, co-operation and support and to attend the programme to make it a grand success.

(Dils L.K.Sinha)
President,
B.M.Writers Forum

(Bimalesh Sinha)
Advisor
Organising Committee

Rk Chandrakanta Sinha
Patron
Organising Committee

(Narendra Kr Sinha)
Gen Secretary
Organising Committee

Contact No. 09864107550)
Contact No. 09864120927
E-mail : slakshmindra@yahoo.com

Friday, 17 February 2012

Bishnupriya Manipuri literary, cultural fest

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Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 17 – With an objective to preserve the cultural identity of the Bishnupriya Manipuri community, and to provide a platform for interaction among the intellectuals, the Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum along with the organising committee formed for the purpose, is organising International Bishnupriya Manipuri Literary and Cultural Festival 2012, on February 18 and 19.

The programme to be organised at the District Library auditorium, would be inaugurated by Kartiksena Sinha, ex-MLA and chairman of Bishnupriya Manipuri Development Council on Saturday at 11 am.

“The Bishnupriya Manipuri people have fought a long battle to get a distinct cultural and literary identity of their own. The festival is our attempt to preserve the same,” Lakhmindra Sinha, president of the writers forum told The Assam Tribune.

“However, since the majority of Bishnupriya Manipuri people of Assam live in the Barak Valley, there is still a communication gap between us and the greater Assamese intellectual group. To minimise this gap, we have invited the intellectuals and office bearers of various literary organisations including the Assam Sahitya Sabha and Nepali Sahitya Parishad,” he added.

Kanaksen Deka, ex-president of Asam Sahitya Sabha would be the chief guest of the occasion. Poet’s meet, cultural exchange programme, art exhibition and a book-fair would be organised on the occasion.

On the second day of the festival, interaction with the young writers, artistes and social workers would be held on the topic of ‘the future of Bishnupriya Manipuri language and culture’. Another discussion on ‘the role of newspapers in society building’ would be held on the same day, among the media persons representing different newspapers and journals. An exhibition of short film would also be organised besides other cultural programmes.

Manipuri Theatre's Kohe Birangana and Shree Krishna Kirtan go to India

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Manipuri Theatre will hold two shows of its productions “Kohe Birangana” and “Shree Krishna Kirtan” at the International Manipuri Literature and Cultural Festival to be held in Guwahati, Assam in India. The Bangladeshi troupe will hold the shows on February 18 and 19. Moreover, the troupe will hold a couple of more shows of the plays in other places in Assam and Tripura during its ten-day tour.

Chief of the troupe Shuvashis Sinha informed that the local Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers Forum in Guwahati will organise the festival, where Manipuri communities from Bangladesh and India will uphold their ethnic identity through different cultural performances.

Both the Manipuri Theatre productions have been written and directed by Shuvashis.

“Kohe Birangana” is based on Michael Madhusudan Dutt's “Birangana Kabya”. The play articulates four verses among 11 from the original text. The play features agony of female characters from the epic “Mahabharat”-- Shakuntala, Draupadi, Dushala and Jona.

Jyoti Sinha played the four characters. Other performers, who helped Jyoti in chorus, were Smriti Sinha, Shukla Sinha, Sunanda Sinha and Bhagyalokkhi Sinha.

On the other hand, “Shree Krishna Kirtan” is adapted from medieval period poet Baru Chandidas' writing with the same title.

Chandidas wrote “Shree Krishna Kirtan” to highlight the anthropomorphic aspects of Lord Krishna. It was an arduous process as he had to pore over puran and religious books. In the play, Shuvashis worked on only seven episodes out of 13 from the original piece.

Jyoti Sinha and Aparna Sinha play as Radha and Krishna respectively. Shukla Sinha will do another lead character in the play.

Courtesy: The Daily Star 

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Bishnupriya Manipuri literary and cultural fest

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By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Jan 29: The Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum will be organizing the International Bishnupriya Manipuri Literary and Cultural Festival on February 18 to February 19 at the District Library Auditorium in Guwahati.

Announcing this at a press conference in Guwahati today, Bishnupriya Manipuri Writers’ Forum president LK Sinha said, “This festival is aimed at developing a fellow-feeling amongst writers, artistes, intellectuals and social workers. Here we will discuss the problems and challenges faced by the language, highlight the present state of development of the Bishnupriya Manipuri language, literature and culture as well as find out a way for faster development as well as protection and preservation of the language, literature and culture of this linguistic minority.”

As part of the literary and cultural festival, a number of programmes will be organized likes poets’ meet, seminars, symposiums, artistes’ meet, editors’ meet, and publication of books. Eminent writers, artistes, social workers and intellectuals from all the seven north-eastern States as well as other parts of the country will be taking part in the fest. A number of senior artistes, writers and social workers from Agartala, Shillong, Guwahati, New Delhi, Kolkata, Imphal and Bangladesh will be felicitated at the fest for their immense contribution towards the development of the Bishnupriya Manipuri language, literature, culture and society.

Courtesy: Sentinel
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