Poets on a January Evening

Poet and playwright Srilekhak (left) is experimental in his art. Sparing and deliberating in speaking, parsimonious in praise, what come out of his mouth when he speaks are like sentences from a book of literary criticism. Almost blind since the late 1990s, how he struggles to write is drama in real life. His printing press, Times Printers, (closed in 1999 due to his dwindling eyesight) at Kakching market contributed greatly to the spread of literary movements the effects of which could be felt in the rise of literary movements in non-Imphal circles across the entire valley of the state. My translations of his two poetry collections will soon see the light of day.

Poet, novelist, short story writer and philosopher Dr. Rajendra Pukhrambam (middle), I would say, is an author of several unwritten books. He is not a textual and academic type, but the words that come out of his mouth are heavy with deep wisdom. Kind and compassionate, understanding and helpful, soft-spoken and reassuring, encouraging and enlightening (without making you feel being on the receiving end of knowledge), Rajendra is one of the best human beings I have ever seen, known or heard of. Reading his literary works is calming like what you feel in saying a prayer. The experience his works gives to the reader is deep and cannot be laid threadbare by analysis and criticism. Mysticism forms a large part of his world–literary and the day-to-day. Unlike as is the case with most thoughtful people, there does not seem to be a significant difference between the world of his thought and the life he actually lives.

Usham Nirjitkumar (right) is a singer. I am not sure if he is a poet as well. I took this photograph at a literary event. 16 January 2017. I have yet to know about him.


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