Chithhi Na Koi Sandesh


কাউনখ্রবা চান্নবশিং

নীংশিংবদগি খরা চৎলগা লৈবা য়ূম ৷

নুংশীৎনা তপ্না নোম্লুবদা
চ্রিং চ্রিং তপ্না খীংলকই
মাঙ্গোলদা য়ানবা ৱিন্দ চাইম
নীংশিংবনা অচীকপদা পোক্লিবগুম ৷

অদো ঊনানা তপ্না কেনশিনবদা
নোংলৈনা ঈপাক নৈরগুম
য়ূমগি মমি কয় মচোই মচোই গ্লাসকুম
মখোল থোকতনা ৷
অদৈদি নাপু মচুগি ঊনা ৷

নাপু মচুগি ঊনা ৷

কুইনা লংথোক্লবা রেল লম্বীদা
রেলগারী অমা চেনখি লমহাঙ লমজাউ ফাওনা
মাগি অমুবা তুরিনা
কোইয়েক য়েকশিন্দুনা ঊৎমান মচুগি অতিয়াদা ৷
লম্বী কাউরব্রা অথৌবদো?
লাঙবদি উদে অতোংবা কনাশু,
অচীকপতনিদনা অরাপ্পদগিদি
লানশু, শিবশু, কপ্পশু ৷

শকখঙদবা নুংশীৎ ৷
অরাপ্পদগি লাকপা পাউ
ঊফুল ৱাইফুল ইতৈ তৈ
ইৱাউ ৱাউনা থুংলৈ ৷
কনাশু খঙদে কনাগি পাউনো ৷

মথৌ লোইরবা রেলগারী
অরোইবা খাম্ফমদা মশা অসুম ঈংথরকই ৷

অহিংনা হৌবা লেপখিবা

য়ূমদোম্পোক ৷

পুুুুন্সিনা মখোল থোকতনা লেঙ ওৎলী
ত্রাফিক্কি কার মরী মরীগুম অরাপ্পদা
তহাবা হায়খৈ লৌথোকখ্রবা
পুুুন্সি ৱারীগুুুম শকখঙদবগি ৷

মতোন্দা অমম্বা কা ৷
নুুংদাংদদি অতিয়াদা য়ানবা য়ূমগুম
মনুংদু ইঙান ঙাল্লী ৷

নাইতোম্লবী ৷

ইতৎ তত্তনা
চিথীশিংনা পাইথোরকই
অমম্বা কাগি থোঙনাউদগি
অঙৌবা খুনুগুম ৷

কদায় কদায়দনো পাইখি ৷

কনা কনাদা থারিবা পাউনো?
করি হায়রিবনো অচীকপদগি?

খুনুদি অমত্তসু হল্লকতে
নুংদাংদসু ৷
অঙৌবা খুনু ৷

নোংমদি অহিংনা মম্বদা
কা অসিসু য়াওখি ৷

Going Home

Young wife of a friend waiting to get dressed up for home after embalming at the bay of the embalming center of AIIMS, New Delhi, 11 January 2018. Her body decomposed very fast and she was isolated. Back home, she was not let inside the homestead beyond the gate. She was taken for cremation from the gate. My friend cried.

Gournityai Yengkhom

Gournityai Yengkhom (Dilipkumar), my another friend, another neighbor who I have not met for a decade and a half, except for a short while two years ago when he acted in a short scene in my film Walking Home and gave his deep voice for the villain, Morsha.

This photograph was taken as part of a reunion dinner party on the night of 22 February 2019. The other tipsy friends told him to mime some emotions. He immediate did quite a few. This is one of them.

O. Birmangol


Playwright, theater director, voice artist and radio anchor O. Birmangol (b. 4 April, 1928) talking with poet and sculptor Thangjam Ibopishak on 19 February 2019.

When his daughter-in-law led us (Thangjam Ibopishak and me) into his room, he was in his bed with the curtains down. Oja Ibopishak announced our arrival and he identified himself as the younger brother of the famous lyricist Thangjam Kora. O. Birmangol knows oja Thangjam Ibopishak–he cannot forget him; there is a history. But oja Ibopishak identifies himself this way to elderly people and I like this humility.

O. Birmangol started up, a spark of joy twinkling in his expressive eyes and face and some meaningless exclamations of happiness escaping his mouth involuntarily in that sweet, familiar, nostalgic voice.

His daughter-in-law wanted him to change because we said I would photograph him. But he flatly said he wont, even when I asked if he wanted.

“This is how I am,” he said.

“I prefer it this way too, oja,” I said smiling, quickly glancing in mid-sentence toward his daughter-in-law for a regard.

O. Birmangol’s eyes are lively and expressive like theater in real life. The contours of his face and the wrinkles in his face creases into the shapes of what his voice communicates. His hands draw accompanying shapes in the air. His body bends to the sides, leans forward and backward.  If you observe closely, you will see these gestures have textures and they change every few milliseconds.

Later, he moved to the chair he is sitting at in the above photograph. On his right is his toilet chair. His son must have made it for him. In the background, there are framed photographs and certificates of recognition.