Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Manipur – over a cup of coffee

We have this regular Chai ka dukan in our Campus where everybody loves hanging out. It’s the favourite spot of all the students in the entire campus. Regardless of the busy schedule, unavoidable datelines – we call it “deadlines” and the enormous pressure from our Professors we always sneak out to this little piece of heaven. The place is always filled with exciting crowds engaged in heated conversations discussing, debating and arguing the social, economical and related stuffs of the country. It’s a delight to listen to the regular chanting of familiar voices expressing their ideas with so full of passion.
           Also, we have a handful of Manipuris pursuing the so called higher studies. Sometimes in weekends, we all meet up for a much needed cup of coffee and ask our whereabouts. It is in such nonchalant meetings that we discuss about things happening back at home and how we feel when we hear incidents of bandhs and the daily saga of violence. We have passionate speakers, silent listeners who nod to everything that was said and also angry faces filled with rage and frustration because of the turmoil and unrest back at home. We all feel the need for a change, a need for a better Manipur, a better home.
Well, the point is not about our meetings and all the stupid things we discuss but the change in the mindset of the youths of Manipur. We have a generation of qualified and enthusiastic young minds ready to serve but with little hope of going back to our native land because of all the daily happenings back at home because our lives are dear and after struggling all this years, staying away from home and perspiring for our degree, nobody wants to die ‘coz of a stray bullet or maybe nobody wants to be kidnapped or murdered. It is understandable that we want a secure life and not wade in troubled waters and invade in dangerous territories even if we call it our motherland.
So much over a cup of coffee!!
Since my childhood, my loved ones use to make sure that I do my best in my studies. They say in Manipur you need to have power, good contacts and qualifications to get a good job. And of course, not to mention the enormous bucks for Chai-pani!!  We are caught in a vicious circle. They say a Graduate post costs 12 lakhs. My question is what is the point? When he is employed he’ll be doing the same…extracting money to recover the amount. Where is the truth? “A society not based on truth will not last for long” a famous personality had quoted. Who is to be blamed? The Government who takes the money or the public who gives the money? Something is seriously wrong.
We have a rich cultural heritage but to the outside states ours is merely a state filled with political crisis and bloodshed. Inspite of the social unrest, Manipur fares much better than many states in many demographic and social parameters. There is hope against all hopes and its not some make-believe situation, not overlooking the role of the youths. It is the moral obligation of every person. I remember one of my school teachers saying if u don’t sweep ur backyard who else will?
Well, such get-togethers always make each one of us so up-to-date with the latest happenings amongst us and back at home. It’s like pressing “Refresh” button. The only difference is that here its refreshing and reminding the problems back at home. Even if discussing Manipur over our cup of coffee always ends up with no solution and we return to our respective hostels so full of thoughts the question ever remains…how long….oh how long till we achieve the Manipur of our dreams…Maybe it will be worth the wait. And of course, so much can happen over a cup of coffee!! Wat d’ say?

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