Halloween party ideas 2015

By David Buhril*

david_buhril After mapping parts of Sagang constituency, we identify like-minded people who would continue the process in our absence. Besides educating them about the heart of the matter, we also left behind a framework, which will guide them in pursuing the great commission. I realised that our experiences in Sagang, with the Kom people, was a heartache. It was akin to the Israelites after their “return” to the promise-land. There was traces and parcel of us. Me. Scatterred everywhere. They all speak, if not, understand Hmar. If one is familiar with Thiek dialect, it is easier to crack the harder nuts. Anyway, they all belong to the same clan as we are – Khawbung, Zote, Varte, Thiek, Keivom, Lungtau, etc. We were just divided by one endless chain of hills and mountain. The biggest problem is that we never try to look beyond those conquerable geography when we share collective cultural memories, dialects/languages, history, migration routes and all the roots. We need to meet more. Share more. Interact more. Dream more. And confer more. If then, it would perfectly score an Eureka!

Let us take this as the first day of our life. Let us not fail to plan a better day for the morrow. Let us not drown ourselves in the sink of momentary contentment and numb satisfaction. Let us not see the hills and mountain as wall. They are hatching life and breeding hope behind those green treasure. What have we done to measure? It cannot be later.

After our return to Tuithraphai, we started planning for the Tripura trip. It was like waiting for the rain to accompany us. The lightning. Four stronger winds. The storm. They all came together. A single experience of their might and glory, if one is not strong enough, can change the course of a man's might. And a man's mite. We have no time for fear. We cannot even afford to doubt ourselves. When in the great commission, everything is a blessing. Sometimes, they come wearing a disguise. But still, they could not hide from being a blessing in disguise.

May 21 2011: I wake up to find a heavy downpour. Big raindrops. Endlessly falling the whole night. Thick weighing cloud. It almost touch the roof of our house. I make sure that I packed all my needs. I wore a jacket and packed an extra. It was cold. My mother was uneasy. She knew about the bad road ahead of us. The rain gnawed into her ease. I told her to pray and that I will be fine. She reminded that I always said that. A mother is a mother. I dread the morrow without her. Without them.

I had to pick up Pu Keivom from VET, Rengkai. Mother told me she will be ready with the tea and for a prayer. The road was like a river. Yellow. Overflowing with all the mess that the urban citizens had senselessly piled up. The government had already drained out, so the drainage were as bad as the people who represent them. If it was not for the Merciful Providence who cleansed them, salvation is not enough. Truly, He is everything.

The drive from Bethel to VET was almost disappointing. The rain blurred visibility. The wiper was just like a waving flag. On reaching VET, the girdled water was already a thick sheet, flooding one step of the building where Keivom stays. There was no place for a beautiful cat-walker. One has to be a good jumper (like me, no kidding), a good hip-hopper, if not a grass hopper. Imagine a few seconds can drench anyone under that rain. Keivom and I did not greet each other with a “good morning”. However, there was something behind my head. It was not the kind of good morning that we expected that particular day. There are already fertile spaces for superstition to overtake us. But God was never to be blamed. It is the season on its beautiful cycle. The farmers are happy. My mother is also happy for she grows everything in our garden. The weather was never fair to Niccolo and Marco Polo either. Whatever was fine for them. Whatever is better for us.
It happened often to me. I hope it does the same to everyone. Under that rain, I looked into my two nephew's (Dylan Hrilchung and Marley Hrilvanur) eyes. They were fixed on me. They knew we were leaving. I called their names for one last time again. They smiled like the most beautiful angels. Like saints. Like my sons. I hate to see them waving their little hands every time I had to leave home. So then, that sort of threw in something, which I often shoved away with great difficulty. That was always a struggle within. Dylan always wanted me to be like Ben10. There was hardly a space to act the otherwise. For they are always watching me. I have to show them that the rain was as normal as the sun. They knew that. Sometimes they make things so simple. Forget the superman that we are not. Another blessing in disguise.

After the prayer and the tea, we took our leave. Keivom and I. Like father and son, we did not say much. I carry an extra baggage of Dylan and Marley waving their little hands till the rain blur our sights. There was little excitement as they wave. It was heavy and monotonous. The rain had an unspeakable effect on us. It was never like waving under the bright blue sky.

We started moving. The rain was a big distraction. I could hardly see afar. I had to put on the headlight. It did not help either. But I did just in case it intimated the other drivers on the other side that we are also on the road. We took a left turn from Oinam, which was a short-cut, and found ourselves on NH-139. On reaching Keithelmanbi, we ran past hundreds of empty trucks, waiting for security escort. I, once again, realised that it is not just the wheel and the engine that runs a vehicle here in Manipur. They will never run without the commandos or the IRBs. After reaching Sadar Hills, it was an uphill task. The rain was heavier. Overweight, actually. She wasn't silent. Like those women in Jerry Springer show.

We drive past wet green hills. Bowing grass. Hurrying streams and rivers. Cloud crowded church. Trapped soldiers. Broke-down vehicles. After climbing one range of the mountain, we found ourselves amidst taller mountain. Loose rocks falling everywhere. But they fell perfectly right, for they did not block our path. It was risky, though. The falling big rocks could paralyse any of those extinct dinosaurs for their lifetime. They fell like they were guided. We drive past because we were guided. The highway was lonely and isolate. Not a soul. Not a movement. Just the rain and the thick clouds that deteriorates our sight. I reminded myself to drive carefully. Besides the cloud, the beating rain was blurring everything. One wrong turn and it could deliver us to eternity. We did not come for that. But still, we deserve everything, when we cannot be choosers. I remember my mother's prayer. I also make a wish with my prayer. What scares me most was the falling rocks from the mountain. While I was negotiating with every thought, Keivom was snoring for a while, which I read as a good sign.

Before reaching Noney, we refuelled at the last gas station. However, after refuelling, our gypsy refused to come back to life. I thought it was with the battery clump. I tighten the nut and give a try again. There was dead silence. Just the sound of the raindrops. Thumping like the marching feet of thousand soldiers. We resorted for a running start. I doubted. But it got started. It was a relief. But in the back of my head, I was weigh-down, wondering what the problem would be. It was no fun any more. The romance turns grey. Just like the colour of the sky. The rain looked like thousand curse. On the other side, Irang was swelling with yellow water. After sometime we were halted by the Assam Rifles at their check-post. We stopped and entered all the necessary details. Some of them were unnecessary. But we had to. Because they have a gun and we did not have.

After the monotonous requirement, I tried igniting our jeep again. It was dead as usual. Never a good sign. We cannot do a running start all the time to reach our destination. I asked the soldiers to give us a push for a running start. Four or five of them pushed our jeep with their guns under the rain. That would have been a beautiful picture to freeze.  

We finally reached Noney. We were almost left wondering if we were running on the road or the river. We looked out for a workshop and a place to eat. It was difficult to make out the two under the rain. We crossed Irang bridge and halted in front of deserted line of shops. We enquired for a good mechanic. They told us to retreat. But our jeep was dead. We asked the shopkeepers to keep an eye on our things and resorted to treat our hunger. We lunched at Zeliangrong Hotel. The menu was more than we asked for. We ordered wild boar's meat, vegetables, with warm rice. We were not in a situation to be in a hurry. We both knew that. We bought umbrella, paan, and checked out their vegetable market as if nothing happened to us. We took some time to see Irang river swelling bigger and bigger. We thought it would be a good time for rafting. That was one of the places where drivers and travellers dread to pass through. I realised that we were so much at peace. I also realised that there is nothing to fear for peaceful people.

We got back to our waiting jeep. It responded the usual way to my disappointment. I asked the nearby North-Indian traders to give us a push for another running start. We retreated and check- in in a workshop. The battery was perfect. They check the starter. It was gone. The broken parts look like the unfortunate jaw of Muhammad Ali's victim. There was no room for a normal ignition like that. We realised that we had a bigger problem. The wet-dampen town has no spare parts shop for our gypsy. Our problem multiply. Keivom's phone has no network. Mine too. I caught hold of one Samaritan. He politely told me to make use of his phone to make all the necessary call. We called up everyone that we could in Imphal. I called my good friend Gaisinngam. He did not carry with him enough money for the required parts. Moreover, Imphal was caught in a flood after the heavy downpour, so there was no way out for him. Finally we called up Rev. Edwin Darsanglur in Churachandpur. He comforted us and told us that he will be sending two of his boys with the parts to Noney. Hearing the Reverend words was like attaining salvation. It made us more peaceful with ourselves.
The two peaceful men checked in at Hotel Highway. It was a dark, dingy hotel. The owner of the hotel, a lady, showed us our room. It was a small room, clogged with four bed. No bathroom attached. No electricity. No mosquito net. It was just a convenience. I asked her, straight-face, if she had a better room. I was a little afraid she might take that like a slap on her face. She got none. We settled in and surrendered to the beauty of the journey. Lesson: Never expect a luxury in a journey.
As we waited for the motor parts to reach us, we took time to see around the place. We met a polite citizen, a school teacher. He informed us lots about Noney. It is the biggest town in Nungba sub-division, inhabited by the Rongmei Naga. Majority of them belongs to the Baptist Church. The school teacher said that the community leaders did not allow different denominations to plant their church in Noney. “Otherwise it will divide us all”, he told us. We discussed about the railway project that is already gnawing the hills and mountain red in Nungba sub-division. The ongoing project looks adventurous. The railway track will run atop the highest point of the hills and mountain. There are plans to build many bridges to link the hills and mountain. Some of the bridges will stand taller than 300 metres. The school teacher was doubtful about the project.

As the evening approach, our aching muscles and the thirst coincides. Meanwhile, many young girls in their best make up and attire were streaming to the other side of the hills. Some, wearing too short skirts, was a pleasing surprise, though. They walked like they have the longest legs. They don't seem to be suffering from confidence deficiency syndrome. The school teacher told us that the girls are heading for a fashion show in one of the school's parting social. Our mechanic, otherwise, did not like the invasion and the catching up culture. He believed that there are better things to do than a fashion show. Whatever, it rained with women for a while.

One has to be tricky to ask a Baptist school teacher about the Cana spirit. I enquired him about Noney's social problems. Irresponsible alcohol drinkers, he quickly said. I told myself, consoled actually, that if that's the problem they have the spirit. There is a strong prohibition campaign in Noney. Coincidentally, the school teacher happens to be the secretary of the campaign group. He told us that prohibition cannot be successful. So, they devised new regulations. Drunkards are not to be seen in the public after 4 pm. The message: Drink responsibly. Quietly. Secretly. Mizoram has a lesson to learn from this little town.

The school teacher enquired if we have booked our dinner. The place did not have many tourist so dinner has to be ordered in advance. He took us to one hotel and we placed our order. They happen to have everything in abundance. Much to our relief, Jacob and Rama arrived with the motor parts. We immediately fixed the problem and retreated for dinner. Unexpectedly, it was like a home-coming night in a foreign land. The rain was indulgent. It did not bother us any more. Pu Keivom took a leaf out of his life's experiences as we were transported to Bangkok. There can be no destination in a journey. The journey is always a destination.

About the author:- Mr. David Buhril is Chairman of Sinlung Indigenous Peoples Human Rights Organisation (Siphro) and this article is dated July 02, 2011.

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