098 It’s all in the mind : Second Hand Clothes in Manipur

Second Hand Clothes in Manipur

You mock with slandering words,
To those wearing second hand clothes,
You must be the elite one,
Dressed in the way you think the elite does,
Covering your pretense,
Of your origin,
Have you forgotten the makeshift toilet ?
The one you ran with a small bucket ?
Where you held your breath from your own stench ?
Have you forgotten the fasting you did ?
To demand for a new bike which all your friends had ?
Oh! but you didn’t see how your mother ran door to door,
Borrowing money yet again,
Selling the gold earrings her father gave,
To keep up with your elite look,
Covering your economic status,
As you walk on the street,
With the material things you adorn yourself.

I had a blue jacket as a child,
Turning the inside out, it turned to a beautiful bright red jacket with blue borders,
A second hand jacket my grandmother gifted,
Which she meticulously picked amongst the many she saw and compared,
From the open second hand market at Churachandpur in Manipur,
Which was named my foren (foreign) jacket,
That became my favorite,
Many complimented wanting one for themselves,
My grandmother obliged and got more every time she visited,
For friends and neighbors who wanted,
But it was a hush hush matter that it was second hand clothes.

You who maintained the elite look,
Either by the hush hush words,
Or by your demands,
Mocking with slandering words,
How different are you in economic status ?
The status we all strive to rise above.

~The End~

An Experimental attempt to put thoughts in writing by Monica Ingudam.

This poem was written after I read comments amongst the people of hill and valley of Manipur mocking each other, trying to belittle the other making fun of wearing second hand clothes generalizing a community.

 

097 It’s all in the mind : The Tree at Punshilok

The Tree at Punshilok

I stood mesmerized by this tree,
With jet black trunk,
Looking rough and strong,
Growing on a hill,
A hill which once was barren,
Nurtured back,
Filling with greens and colors,
With different trees and flowers,
By kind-hearted people,
Believing in the balance of nature,
Rippling love and harmony to the humans,
Even giving a taste of calmness,
If you ever seek to connect back to nature,
Be sure to follow the trail,
Leading to Punshilok in Manipur,
Giving you a chance,
To play with the cold water trickling from the small stream,
To inhale the raw smell of the reddish soil of the hill,
To soak the fresh smell of bamboo leaves,
To lay your eyes on the tree with jet black trunk,
and stand where I stood feeling the creativity pouring out,
Your heart pleading to sit back and watch,
Watch the view of the valley with the green hills tucked behind,
And if you are early you might even catch the sunrise,
The sight which will make your heart seek,
To return yet again.

 

~The End~

An Experimental attempt to put thoughts in writing by Monica Ingudam.

Dedicating this poem to everyone who have nurtured this hill which was once barren. A great example of change initiated by the people bringing each tiny effort together from planting to cleaning up, and nurturing it back to a green luscious hill. Thanks to everyone at Punshilok, Manipur

096 It’s all in the mind : A Funeral for my living Father

A Funeral for my living Father

You mock about my ailing father,
Who is old and frail,
Who is battling with his memory,
Taking time to recall my name,
And yet greeting me with such profound expressions giving me the peace that feelings cannot be snatched even by Dementia,
Living his second childhood with his days numbered.

You curse about my living father,
Mocking about his funeral when he is alive,
Judging that I won’t make it for the funeral,
A funeral which you pitied the Leikai (community) will perform without me,
Such vicious words,
Such hateful words from someone I don’t even know.

You, hiding behind a fake name,
You have won in wounding me,
It’s true, I sleep every night with the biggest fear that I will miss his last moments,
It’s true, that I have failed to be with him at his hours of need,
It’s true, I have played out in my mind of every tiny details of how soon I can reach,
To be on time to hold his hands.

And I wish you would never have to feel the pain and helplessness of the separation and distance,
And remain blessed to be serving your Father living under the same roof,
Blessed to know for sure that you will light your Father’s funeral,
Blessed to know that you will be there holding your father’s hand as he crosses to the other world,
Blessed to be sleeping peacefully throwing words of mockery to the failed ones,
The failed ones like me.

~The End~

An Experimental attempt to put thoughts in writing by Monica Ingudam.

Author’s Notes: I was deeply pained and saddened by the threats, personal attacks (specially the ones about my father) and abusive vicious raw words/message I received for writing the Poem “Students in Manipur”.

Written while I was traveling in the Air India flight from Delhi to Imphal, completed in my Father’s house sitting in the Mangong (Portico) listening to the familiar sound of birds chirping. A photograph of my meal with my Father just before I left Imphal, a meal with the hope and wish for more meals together.