Saturday, May 01, 2010

Five Makhels to Okiang... A Lost Poem Retrieved from memories …


Asang La,
Daughter of torn times
Grabs her twins Imity & Riana
And prays for her salvation.

“… God I got to ask you
Who will mend broken lullabies?
When these children grow up old
Will there be no tear in their eyes…”

There has been a firefight in the hills of Arudhara
not far away from her home,
and the rattles of Kalashnikovs
send her to tremors.
Imkong has been home yesterday night,
and before the day break he was back to the jungles again
chased at heals by a stream of camouflage.
Tell us what you want their Captain told her,
with a mean glint in his eyes
while shaking hands with little Riana
Money, Rations….. anything
But we want Imkong
Alive ……if you want so,
Or dead……. if you prefer to.

Asang la,
She was eighteen when she met Imkong.
They fell in love under the shades of cherry trees.
Both young and restless would spend their time together,
From dusk to dawn
Weaving dreams of everlasting togetherness.
It was Christmas night
at Mount Pulie badze
Amidst the audience of a million Xmas stars
Asang felt the twins within her,
And before the year metamorphosed
Imkong and Asang were man and wife.
The ephemeral bliss
It lasted till the twins were born.

“What is good just lasts for moments
Why bad spell gets prolong
Right melts away unfathomed
Wrong strikes the roots so strong…”

It was a Sunday,
After the day got over
Imkong sat with his best friend Tino
At waysides stall
and over the glasses of Rice Beer
discussed his future prospects.
He has always wanted to be a singer
With a guitar in his hand he was an apostle
And music was his soul
He wanted to sing
Sing for him; sing for Asang, Sing for Imiti
Sing for Kohima.

“I believe in God
and his angels too
Some dayi know it will be Sabbath
They will come back to me and you…”

Front-page of Nagaland Post, next morning
reported a late night raid,
Wherein apprehension of Tino
And his closest aid was made.
The rebels it read were planning
Activities against the state,
For what else reason will someone
Stay out of his house so late?
In prison cell cold and cruel
Imkong argued with walls;
He reasoned, he prayed, he begged
Tried to convince Police,
They kept resounding him
He was Tino’s accomplice.
Imkong was bailed out,
With broken bones,
and bruised soul.

“but I was a simple believer, was let onto this path
For what sin unknown, what reason?
Have invited this Wrath?”

He watched Kohima
Dawn to dusk…dusk to dawn
Through the window of their house in Jotsoma.
He watched Asang cry as she nursed the twins,
It hurt him to lean on to her,
His conscious smoldered, angered brewed.
Then Tino jumped the bail,
And robbed his residual solitude.
Visitors inundate him
night in and day out.
“Where is your friend?”They would ask him.
“Tell him to surrender.” They coerced him.
“ Else he will be killed.” They threatened him.
“ Go find him for us.” They exhorted him.
His anger obtained a critical mass
And speeded his recovery.

“I may implode to nothing,
I may explode and rain
I may just fade out unsung
I will never be me again.”

Back on his feet again
He set forth on crusades:
To find Tino
To find Peace
On a lonely country road to Okiang.

“I know where this roads lead to
I may never come back again
Remember I was your own son
Who went kill the pain..”

At first Makhel,
he found the memories of his late father
“Return back my son and raise children
The weather is rough and going steep
They will urge you to destroy yourself
Don’t fall into it
Just hold on
Believe in God and Pray
Life will accommodate itself onto stilts.”

But he braved on
By the river of audacity at the Second Makhel
He found his mothers love
“ “Son you are brave and I am proud of you
But what about Asang and children
They need you
What about your dreams
You sing well my son
Go back to the chorus of life
Life will find its melody again.”

“I am on way to salvation
Whatever truth may be
Life here has been so absurd
But no longer same I want it to be,”

The climb to third Makhel was wearing,
he was enclosed in fog;
It poured continuously
slippery the route was
He held on to it with determination
Until he walked into a chapel
The faces there seemed familiar
he heard the pastor speak
“Glory of God will guide you through the maze of iniquity
no matter how strong the winds are
safe are the sails tied to faith.”

He smiled at the congregation and marched ahead
The clouds began to lift
The fog began to fade
The climb was now less tiring
Sky was clear as jade
At Fourth Makhel he knew
he was crossing the point of no return,
for now it was all downhill
without twist or turn.
At Fifth Makhel Asang waited
with broad encouraging smile,
her swollen eyes could not conceal
her distress for a while.
“ I know your are gone forever
But I will be there for you,
I will tell our children their father
was brave, strong and true.”

“I will reach the core of reason
Somehow Ill find a way
For sun to rise tomorrow
For a new promising day...”

Why have you come?
Tino asked him.
Don’t you know these are troubled times,
Death haunts ,
life shays ,
our blood has split its colour
Nagas of East;
Nagas of West;
We no longer are brothers.
Go back,
Just run away,
I want you to die.
He held his hand close to his heart
ith tears in his eye.
I have come to you in quest of peace
for our children and their mother
I have no way out of this
just walk with me O brother.

“ the sun will be brighter
Happiness will rain
No longer will sorrow
Haunt us again.”

The Kalashnikovs rattled entire night,
yet day begot was strangely bright.
It was an Inter Faction fight
Where brothers killed brother
Orphaned Children.
Widowed Wives.
Burdened bosoms of Mothers.
25 July, 1997
Strange was the day
It started with a fight,
But when it fell
Victim to dusk,
The night was bright.

“If I die my friends in quest for Peace
Engrave it on my tomb
Wars will yield no panacea
War will lead to doom
I smiling see in hope of peace
It is optima
Don’t Cry for Me Kohima.”

This is true story.
Of so many,
sister Asang
Brother Imkong
Little Imiti and Riana
and Me.
So much has been lost in quest of peace,
But what hurts most is the loss
of trust,
and humanity.

On 25 July 1997, Indo- Naga peace accord came to effect.
And by Grace of God is lasting.

No comments:

Post a Comment