Until that blessed moment, Kulabati (a 35 years old leishabi aribi)
used to loiter around in her own leikai almost every day collecting sendoi and marupki senkhai. Sometimes, she would share a plate of bora kaanghou with her friend Maloti at eney Tamfa’s hoten, sometimes she would spend few hours at the leikai co-operative society hall instructing young weavers to weave with more enthusiasm and passion. She keeps telling everyone ‘weaving is an art entwined with our own lives’. The numidaangwairams for her are no different with the same old house hold chores. Supporting an age-old father and a good for nothing brother, Kulabati’s journey has so far been tough. Over the last few years, her hard work has started bearing fruits and hence her family condition is much improved now. But amidst all these, she had missed her entire youth. While her leikai friends were dating their boyfriends, she had been always busy weaving and running her family with that scarce income that is derived from selling the woven ‘phees’. She can afford everything now but for time….
|Image Courtesy: www.publicdomainpictures.net|
Yesterday, we were introduced to our dear Kulabati (the female protagonist of this story)- the 35 years old leisabi sari who has all the way struggled for a better life. Today, let us get familiarized with our dear Ta Kulabidhu (the male protagonist of the story). Ta Kula is a simpleton but for an urban guy. Some years back, his condition was no better than Kulabati’s. At a young age, his father left him with a thatched khaangpoksung along with two unmarried sisters and an ailing mother. Life has always been a battle for Ta Kula especially with the responsibilities beyond his good affordability. He almost skipped all the best days of bachelorhood- the leikai chaangang talks with friends, the leipung discussions, the thangnaba leikaigi leisabi laknaba sessions and all. Oh by the way,our ta Kula is now 39 years 4 months 3 weeks and 2 days old. All his friends are settled and also have kids. Ta Kula often avoids crowds and social gatherings just because he is embarrassed by only one question from everyone ‘when are you getting married Pakhang Ariba Koktaang?’
But, mind you guys, our Ta Kula isnt that ugly at all. His ‘chairuung’ reminds anyone of Johnny Depp and skinny & bonny though, he flicks a cute smile despite his missing front teeth.
When time is right and ripe, one knows no bounds to be at his best. That’s exactly the situation/ condition with Ta Kulabidhu. Ever since that day, Ta Kula is no more the mundane and boring Pakhang ariba. He has dyed his hair with Godrej Kali Mehandi, got a Garnier Light cream, also bought a very very sexy deo (ehey SET WET deospray ). The cream of the crop opportunity is that it’s finally yaoshang. He has so far expressed his feelings to his friend Biren. And through Maloti’s help, they have somehow found out the exact location of Kulabati’s leikai. It’s the third day of yaoshang. By 3:00 Pm, the duo (Biren and Kulabidhu) reached eche Kulabati’s leikai. The two keep waiting for Kulabati to turn up at her leikai lampaak (quite sure as if they are hitting the wall with a stone sezz) It was around 4:00 PM when Eche Kulabati finally turns up with her cousins to watch the evening sports and events at her leikai lampaak. On her way to the lampaak she grinned seeing Biren (but didnt notice Kulabidhu) and asked ‘Ehh Ta Biren Kadomdeino’. Birenly modestly replied ‘ ezz Kulabidhu na nakhoi leikai koiruse na laaklijatni suum, chaa thakhisi laodana’. Ta Kula’s face was blushing so far, His face looks exactly like a ‘heinou amunba’. Today Biren properly introduced Kulabidhu to Kulabati for the first time. Kulabati (gobbling the last morsel of yeroom afutpa) asked Kulabidhu ‘ Kari kari hotnabirige somdi’. Kulabidhu’s facial expression then was worth a watch when he heard Kulabati- his Kulabati asking him something for the very first time. They didn’t talk much except for topics like who is doing what and some general issues like yaoshang, sports, etc etc. The evening gradually transcends and Kula and Biren had to leave. Eche Kulabati asked them to turn up for the ‘,mangani numitki thaabal’. Will Kulabidhu turn up for the thaabal? Let’s find out what happens in the next episode.
The yaoshang thaabal was quite a mockery for eche Kulabati and Ta Kula, Yaoshang thabaals are no more meant for Leisabi Aribis & Pakhang Aribas. Sadly true but a little indigestive for those damsels and dudes who look forward to a ‘hitching chance’ during one such festival, Three days after the yaoshang festival, Ta Kula finally wrote a letter to Eche Kulabati, The letter reads this way-
Eigi Chanabi Kulabati,
I don’t have flair in writing letters. So, you must excuse me for any mistake or inappropriate word used in this epistle, I am indeed a simpleton who doesn’t have any idea how to win a lady’s heart. Please excuse me for my naiveness as I am not a perfect Pakhang . I intend not to be a perfect guy as well, But if there is one thing I can perfectly guarantee, it’s my sincerest regards for you that are very much prone to a beautiful emotion that the world describes as ‘Love’. How many years of our lives we have wasted compromising and sacrificing all our ardent whims and fancies? I now wish not to waste any more time. I don’t know if it is appropriate to ask for your hand through this letter but if you can justify my heartfelt emotions please BE MY BRIDE, MARRY ME. I cannot promise you the sun, moon or the stars but I can vow to watch them all with you. Darling, I don’t intend to persuade you for anything. If there is even a minute place for me in your heart, please write back.
A lovelorn Ta Kulabidhu eagerly waited for Eche Kulabati’s ‘Nungshi Chithi’ for a whole week. These seven days for Ta Kulabidhu were the toughest days of his entire Pakhang-hood days. He lost sleep, lost appetite and prefers staying alone somewhere near the Nobaap Paanbi in his ingkhol and sometimes at the yenakhagi ‘waapal marak’. Love is such a herculean emotion; it can construct or destroy anyone’s life ehh! Coming to normalcy was a little impossible for Ta Kula for the time being. ‘ Mahaakna kari khanliba, eigi wahang singduna mangonda yaamna ayetpa oiraba jatla? Karigino mahaakna minungsi asuk khangdriba?’ these perturbing thoughts keep pondering in Ta Kula’s mind for all these days. Unable to bear his ‘charaangnaraba waakhal’ he finally wrote another letter to Eche Kulabati which reads this way-
(Letter in Manipuri)
Lamta thaa su loikhare, sajibu mahaakna laakpagi harao tayamba marak asida, eigi thamoi asida haifam khangdaba cheina ama faoribase atei kanagi natey nasunglangini. Eihaaki wahangi paokhum amatang pibiraklabadi eigi ekhou laanglaba thamoi amuktang ney naa taagadra haina khanjei. Ningol pukning amuktangdi khangning ee...
Nangi nungsi wakhalda ngaoraba nahaaki,
The letter somehow reached Eche Kulabati through Maloti. And it is a hilarious reaction from Eche Kulabati when Maloti asked her to be a little empathetic to Ta Kula’s condition. A brief conversation between Maloti and Kulabati reads this way- (conversation in Manipuri)
Maloti ‘ Ebema nangsu nathamoi kanmaley, kariginow nangna paokhum amata handriba’
Kulabati ‘ Assh ngaikhoda charaangnakhinu, handak marupki paisa khara chenei, sendoi kharasu hunlaktri, Pakhang ariba dugi waariga amta chungdri mataangsida’
Ahem! All the while Eche Kulabati was bothered about all her marupki senkhais and sendois giving a damn to Ta Kula’s letter.
Karam Thoklagaba? Let’s find out in the next episode: P
Another week has passed and a forlorn Ta Kulabidhu keeps anticipating for a reply from Eche Kulabati. Meanwhile, all the sendoi and senkhai issues were resolved and eche Kulabati is finally herself again. It was few days after sajibugi nongma paan bagi cheiraoba, Eche Kulabati was taking an auto-ride from kwairambandh keithel after collecting her faneks for the marup. On her way back home, she saw a guy who (to her) resembles Ta Kulabidhu, she gave a cute grin (considering the guy as Ta Kula). The guy didn’t even notice her grin and crisscrossed her way riding his Vespa. A not so usual thought suddenly struck in eche Kulabati’s mind. Some accompanying questions also came up such as ‘Wasn’t that guy that Pakhang ariba who just wrote few letters to me recently?’ ‘If yes, why didn’t he smile or call me back?’ ‘Makok leikhatpa jatla masey’ etc etc. Lost in all such thoughts, eche didn’t even notice the auto-driver asking her to get down near her thongaal. No sooner than she reaches home, she went to Maloti’s home to relate what happened on the way. The conversation reads this way – (conversation in Manipuri)
Eche Kulabi- ‘Hingchabi eibu ngasidi chopira keinom touwemee’
Maloti – ‘ Eh keidoure ebemma, kanaga amuk sendoi paanabada marei yetnarure?’ (considering it to be the usual sendoi issue)
Eche- ‘ Natey mee nangbo, ngasai lambelda eidi Pakhang ariba koktaangdo maanle na kananomda noklure aduga maa natraba khangde hunna noklamdana gaari thouraga chatkhibei wani’
Maloti- “Ta Kula oiramoiye keisu ebemma, maanabu nangna noklaklaga noklaktradi loiredana. Nangi sono chubido khit amuk houraklanu adui saruk hayai seedum chaasi lao’
Relishing the hayai, Eche Kulabi starts thinking/feeling something unusual in her mind/heart. What could be this something? Is Eche Kulabi finally going to be a changed Leisabi aribi? Let’s find out in the next episode.
Dazzling Sajibu days pass away quickly and swiftly. ‘Kaalen tha’ knocks at the seasonal door, ready to barge in anytime. Come ‘Sajibugi Purnima’, soothing Ta Kula’s ‘Omchaaknaraba thamoi’. His mother has been so far worried about the sudden change in the behavioral norms of her son. She even visited a ‘Maiba’ at Khurai Leirikyengbam Leikai to consult whether her son has any ‘paangdaba dosa’ on his way. The melodramatic Maiba asked her to make some offerings on behalf of her son as soon as possible. Ta Kula’s mother has even made all the offerings as suggested by the ‘Maiba’, but she observes no change in her son’s changed behavioral norms. The big question here is ‘Can a Maiba really cure a lovelorn Ta Kula?’
On the other hand, Eche Kulabati seems to have realized her own avoided feelings so far. She seems to be a little changed. The seasonal alteration from cool Sajibu to scorching Kaalentha is opposite to Eche Kulabati’s unexpected change in her thoughts and mannerisms. She seems more cool and calm, a little more concerned and yes a Leisabi in every sense of the word. Sometimes, while calculating the marukpi senkhais and sendois, she finds herself scribbling something in her marupki boi and sometimes she finds herself lost in her own thoughts like- ‘karigino eigi thamoise asuk laangtaknariba, eigi wakhalsisu leitafam khangde, leppa leitana chentharakliba turelgi echelgum karigi eina khanludaba waakhal mayam ase atat akham leitana khanlaklibano, ei maram amadi khangning ee. Eina khanlibase ‘maagi’ wakhal la, oiragana kari? Eibu chithi amadi ekhisiraney mangonda, kuire mapaosu taakhidaba, laangtaknabase amuktangdi kok hanlagay…ei chithi amadi eragay’.
A chithi from Eche Kulabati to Ta Kulabidhu? Aw! Let’s read that (nungsi) chithi in the next episode
Emancipation of emotional anticipation is but a tough task for any mortal sans any gender issue. For Eche Kulabati, it has been the toughest task so far to pen down a letter addressed to Ta Kulabidhu. The letter reads this way-
(Letter in Manipuri)
Kari haidoine khangde. Marupki paisa paabadafao asuk yaamna matha saakhide ei. Nangna tharakpa chithi mayamdo loina fung -ee paasu pakhre..mompaak makhada marupki boi amada yepsinlaga thamkhibani. Eidi eshagi oina nungsi nung on waari saaba heite. Nangdouna sahitya fajaba sijinaraga seithabasu heite. Aduna eina eriba waaheisingse nang laana khanganu, khanlagana khanjaredana..kari upaidi lei. Nangna eingonda nungsi haibra paami haibra haibado ei thajade haibadi natey adubu, akhoigi chahi mataangsida adugumbagi matam leidou maande haina khanli. Makha taaba waarigi oiradi khanasi. Thot nouna haiba heitrasu, wakhaldi ing tapna khanba ngamni,,nakhoigi ema hoi, echan hoigi maramdasu waari khara saning ee. Nongma kwa chaaba oina suum haidorak u Maloti hoiromda. Unaraga ngaihaak waari saaba yabara yengsi. Chithi eba yam heite eidi aduna swaida loisinlageyko.
It’s funny how Eche Kulabati could be such a carefree soul. She cares about Ta Kula yet she doesn’t know how to show her affection, maybe she is not used to hosting such tender feelings or emotions for anyone so far, maybe she needs time to soften her ‘nungumlaba thamoi’. Let time teach her new lessons about love and its avid ways of expressions. Till then, let’s keep waiting for Ta Kula’s reaction to Eche Kulabati’s letter (in the next episode)
The ongoing ‘Olaangtha’ entwines with the ‘thamogi meichaak’ that Ta Kula has for these months. Ta Biren’s message from Maloti about Eche Kulabati’s wish to meet him soon is more or less a ‘respite’ for a sober ‘ta Kula’ both from the seasonal restlessness and of course from his heart ache. Like the first showers of ‘ingagi nongju’ sprouting new hopes and joie de vivre in his ‘thamoi’, ta Kula’s happiness knows no bounds to hear from his beloved ‘Kulabi’ The much awaited ‘program day’ is today.Eche Kulabati turns up at eche Maloti’s home by afternoon. They are supposed to catch up at the famous ‘thambalkhongi eney memmagi hotel’. Ta Kula is accompanied by Ta Biren. The four of them meet at the hotel by 3 PM. It was the most unusual day for Ta Kula and Eche Kulabati. Sitting at one of the corners of the hotel, Eche Kulabati’s face looks so lovely -blushed and a little coyed like a ‘purnima oigadouba nongma waatlibi nongdol atiyagi thaja’. Breaking the pin drop silence amongst them, Ta Biren orders plates of bora kaanghou and chaa for them. Meanwhile eche Maloti starts talking to ta Kula -
‘So Ta Kula, kamdouriba?’ Kulabi has been asking me about you every now and then’
‘Ta Kula replies ‘ iss asengbaraney?, I thought people have less time to bother about others these days you know Maloti’ (secretly glancing at Eche Kulabi with his face emitting all his love under the sun for eche Kulabati)
A coyed eche Kulabati replied ‘ You guys are really upto something, can we talk about other things, oh by the way (addressing to Ta Biren & Kulabidhu) would you guys be interested to join a marup that we are soon going to start? The amount would come to around 1 lakh’
Baah! was it a good time for Eche Kulabati to start the same old boring topic again? Especially today??An ideal leisari aribi that she is, maybe she really needs some more time to change herself. Let us find out how the ‘bora program’ works out for them in the next episode.
It was more or less a ‘mangfaonakhidraba manglan ama’ for Ta Kulabidhu on that day when his chivalrous attempts to win Eche Kulabati’s heart were all in vain. He has so far become disheartened with his ‘paangkhokla esing chaiba’ efforts. In a half-giving up state of mind, he returns home that evening like a ‘punsigi laanfamda maithiraba laanmee ama’. On his way, he had to stop by the Keithel to buy some insaang naapis. Wearing a taunted and defeated look, he dully finishes buying the vegetables and was coming towards his Vespa when he suddenly bumps at someone (who turns out to be a ‘Leishabi’). In a frantic state, he apologizes -‘ehey soikhre saoba yaadeko’. The so called Leishabi replied with a smile ‘Karisu kaideda Tamo’ re-gathering those ‘mangao thina choijainaraba samlaangs beside her naa-rum again’. ‘ Mi chinbasida uhouda touni sao yaadeko’, uttering these words, Ta Kula hurries his steps towards his Vespa and drives away as if he is taking part in a ‘Vespa Lamjel’. But then he carries along a sudden, mixed and strange feeling. And the interior monologue in his mind reads this way ‘Maagi minoktufaodi pose tainey kanagi machanupi bu oirajatno’.
Is Ta Kula going to call it a ‘quit’ about his love for Eche Kulabati? Will he meet this new girl again? Let us find out in the next episode along with a brief introduction about the new character ‘Memcha’ – the girl Ta Kula met today.
Memcha’s personality is a complete contrast to Eche Kulabati’s. Soft-spoken and feminine in every sense of the word, Memcha represents one of the contemporary Manipuri Leishabis who knows the right tactic and trick to woo any man who comes along her way. Also the only daughter of her parents, she grew up as a princess with all her whims and fancies mostly fulfilled. Memcha’s dad is a ‘Thikadaar’- a famous ‘senjao paiba’ in his Leikai and she has three elder brothers who are all well-settled. Four years junior to eche Kulabati, it is the right marriageable age for Memcha. Her parents are in fact seeking suitable matches for her these days.
The next day after the ‘flopped program numit’, Eche Kulabati had an overdose of singju and heinou ametpa because of which she is taking part in a solo-baaltin lamjel. It’s been three days yet there isn’t any sign of recovery so far. Her worried family called upon a doctor and she is currently under medication. Wearing a fatigued look she has become more skinny and bonny within these few days. Eche Maloti pays her a visit on the third day. Eche Maloti kiddingly teases Eche Kulabi, ‘ Ebema, nathamoi kanmanbei nabuukta oina tainarey kalak penli’. Eche Kula ‘ Ee ee eina kari kamaina thamoi kanliba kanagi mataangda’. With a long ‘sigh’, Eche Maloti didn’t want to continue the talk. She diverted the topic to something else.
For Ta Kula, everything is puzzled. It is impossible to seek respite for his heart these days. And meanwhile, Memcha’s smile keeps teasing his thoughts. He sometimes wonders whether he would meet her again at the same keithel. The next moment, eche Kulabati’s love tickles his heart and he feels forlorn and murmurs to himself ‘ madugi nupido thamoi kanmanlida’.
Will Ta Kula try to forget Eche Kulabati in the coming days? Will he try to meet Memcha again? Let us find out in the next upcoming episodes.
By now, Eche Kulabati is much improved from that ‘solo baaltin lamjel’ and is gradually resuming back to her day to day chores, Well, it seems she needs a good break so she is heading ahead to Moirang at an aunt’s place to take part in the annually held ‘Moiraang Lai Haraoba’ ceremony. Good for her indeed. While Ta Kulabidhu is still in his ‘confused dilemma’ whether to avoid dreaming about Eche Kulabi or not. Sometimes a man acts irrationally not with anyone but with himself. He is still in a tangled state so, like Eche Kulabati, let him take a break (and let his thoughts somersault here there and anywhere for the time being).
Meanwhile, it is time we are a little familiar about what’s cooking between Eche Maloti and Ta Biren. Well well, it is a little surprising to find out that Eche Maloti has a soft corner for a guy called ‘Bhubon’ who is more of a ‘Leikai Gunda’. A matric failed, that he is, Bhubon’s name is always on top of the list of the most wanted gundas in Khurai Konsam Leikai. It was one autumn afternoon when Eche Maloti had to visit a relative at Khurai. Some guys were eave-teasing her this way’ ui ui aribidi maanli aduisu nasakti fajeine kai chatoino nangbu’. It was then that ‘Bhubon’ became the Knight in Shining Armor for Eche Maloti. Bhubon shooed away the local wannabe guys warning them in a ferocious tone ‘ Huh nakhoibu nupi angaang laknadradi keim touningai leitrabo gadha saa’. A Gunda though he is, Bhobon has respect for women. It is this quality that has somehow impressed eche Maloti and she gave away her ‘thamoi’ then and there to ta Bhubon. On the other hand, Ta Biren has been waiting for a golden chance to propose Eche Maloti. He in fact has a crush on her since a long time. In one way or the other, Ta Biren and Ta Kula share so much affinities- nature and ‘luck’ wise (especially in matters of heart).
The story is going to be little more interesting especially with so many twists and turns. Of unexpressed and un responded feelings, of secret and open affairs.. Who is going to pair with who? Let us gradually find out in the coming episodes.
Ta Kula ‘ Etao waa amana ei madugi nupidugi wakhal thadoklagey khanley maagi wakhalse ei khangba ngamdre yumdana marol ama akhoi emana mamou purak oh natradi maa thiraklageyna esou laangduna leire ei bhibhula fajana churaba jatni tourise pellabajatni’.
After a lulled silence, Ta Biren replies ‘ Etao nupisingsina asuk yaamna mamal kaahanlise karigino khangde khara nouringeida oiradi fei chahi mataangsida makhoisu kharadi henmanlabani. Eisu thamoi kanbidugi wakhal thadoklagey khanlaklise kuirabaney’.
While the two pakhangs are indulged in such heartbroken talks, Eche Maloti and Kulabati are so damn care about anything or everything. An unaware eche Maloti keeps listening to Raju Nong’s songs and eche Kulabati is these days quite inspired to learn traditional Manipuri dance after returning back from Moiraang Lai Haraoba. Baah! Is it true that leisabis lead a more damn care lifestyle? No idea, let us see what is going to happen next in whose life in the next episode.
Man is but fooled by his own heart (not by any other factor or force). However, the interesting irony of such an unwanted situation is that one doesn’t have any clue about why or how it happened. Everything is fair in love and war? Not really everything is sometimes unfair even when the right guy loves the right girl.
Ta Kula is still stuck in Guwahati and he is supposed to come back after two-three days. On the other hand, one of Eche Kulabati’s leikai friends is getting married. Today is the heijingpot day. Most of the married and unmarried ningols gather up at eche ‘Tilotama’s (the to be bride) home on the evening of the heijingpot day. While the married ones gossip about their ‘manemboks and makuboks’ and various domestic matters, the unmarried ones are indulged in their own talks that range from monthly chit-funds (marup) to ‘program chatpa’ with their beaus. There are again some few leisabis amongst them who continuously have goose bumps in their hearts simply because their marriages are also fixed and that they would also host their friends in the same manner eche Tilotama is doing today on her ‘heijingpot’.
Amidst all these, Ta Kula’s ‘ema’ has been secretly looking for an ideal mamounupi (without her son’s knowledge). Today is the ‘Big day’ because eney sakhi (a match maker) is going to introduce a lovely girl from Heirangoithong Maibam Leikai who is just an ideal match for ta Kula. Ta Kula’s ‘Ema’ and eney sakhi are on their way to visit the girl’s home to ask for her hand. Unfair though it sounds for Ta Kula, her mother is excited to have a ‘mamounupi’ as soon as possible. She tells eney sakhi ‘ Ebungona (ta kulana) paamdey kaina haiba yararoi hekta chelhanbra chonghanbra touduna parap parap hongdourabani luhong pantha sina loidringeisida’.
As I mentioned in the introductory lines, is it going to be an unfair treatment to ta Kula’s ‘thamoi’ getting married to an unknown girl. Is the marriage really going to take place? How will Ta Kula react to the overall situation? Hmm, it is going to be a puzzle till next episode.
Ta Kula’s Mom is pretty impressed by the girl whom Eney Sakhi has introduced. A sensible girl who is simultaneously hard-working and soft-natured, she is an ideal match for Ta Kula. The Waroipot day would be finalized soon as both the families have a positive consent about the ‘would be Bor & Kanya’.A clueless Ta Kula returns home totally completely unaware of the news of his ‘would be luhongba’ within few months. The Guwahati weather somehow had a good impact on his look. A little sun-tanned, Ta Kula looks more handsome wearing a fresh look.
The very afternoon, he rushes at Biren’s home and asks him to accompany till Maloti’sleikai to hand-deliver a gift he has got for Eche Kulabati. Hmmm, we can imagine how our dear ta Kula still loves his Kulabi as if he is never letting her go no matter what or how. Ta Biren is equally excited to see eche Maloti after weeks. After a crisp chit-chat they returned back at Ta Biren’s leikai. Ta Kula has a plan and he can’t wait to share it with Ta Biren. As the evening transcends, the excitement in his heart keeps growing, Gathering all his nupa-thokpa guts, he shares his plan of eloping away with eche Kulabi (with or without her consent) ‘ Masaa khangba khangdaba ei hekta chensinlagey khanlebu etao’, says ta Kula to Biren. A surprised Ta Biren assures Ta Kula that everything will work out as planned. The two sit back for another half an hour hatching various plots for elopement. They finally decide upon a picnic on a sunday.
Let us find out if Ta Kula successfully works out the ’elopement plan’ with Ta Biren’s help in the next episode.
There is no dearth of ideas when one has earnestly wished something to achieve …really? Ta Kula and Ta Biren have hatched upon a fantabulous plan for elopement and today is the Big Day. As per the plan, they are supposed to go to Sendra for a picnic. After a sleepless night, an exhilarated Ta Kula impatiently waits for Ta Biren to turn up at his place. They have hired Nando’s van for the entire day. By 8 AM, Ta Biren turns up at Ta Kula’s along with eche Kulabati and eche Maloti. The two leisabis are totally unaware of the plan that has been hatched by the two Pakhang aribas. They are looking forward to have a good time at the picnic spot and that is the only thing they are excited about. The four of them finally reach the spot by 9:30 AM. Luckily or unluckily, Ta Kula met some old friends at the same picnic spot. And the four of them are forced to join the picnic group of Ta Kula’s friend so that they can together have a good time. Time seems to have come to a halt for ta Kula. While he wishes the day to pass on quickly, it seems time hasn’t moved on at all. He did take extra time to cook the entire meal so that they have a late lunch and then everything follows suit as planned. By 1:30, they are done with the lunch. ‘Insaang yam haowi Ta Kula, ngasidi nakhut tang ae dana’, said Maloti. (By the way, it is better to save all the dialogues for the evening that is yet to transcend).
The much awaited hour is finally here. It is 4 PM now and time to go back home. The other parties had also left the spot. The four of them also drove back home. On the way, (as per the plan) Ta Biren suddenly remembers something and he has to drop by at Nambol Bazaar at one of his aunt’s home. It is almost dusk. Eche Maloti and Kulabi are already complaining to Ta Kula. A confused Ta Kula asked them to stay back in the van till he comes along with Ta Biren. After 10 minutes or so, ta Biren comes out and asks eche malotii ‘ Maloti sida amta lao keinomta hungey toubaney’.Eche Maloti gets down from the Van and side-walks with Ta Biren. At the spur of moment, Ta Kula rushes back and starts driving the Van. A more than surprised eche Kulabati asks Ta Kula’ Malotiga Birengadi Ta Kula, thengsu theng ae karino tourisibo?’ Ta Kula speeds up and tells her ‘Biren na gaari machada thinlani haibaney Maloti doh’. ‘ Ee karigi? Aduga nangna thouriba lambelsidi yumlomgi natey kadai amuk chatoino thenglakansida’. Asks Eche Kulabati. Ta Kula replies ‘ Ebanigisey chenba kaidune ebemma, eina chatlisi emanaba hoiromdaney’.
How do you think Eche Kulabati would have reacted? Did they successfully get eloped that day? Hmmm, let us find out in the next episode.
The funniest part of the ‘Nupi Chenba Episode’ is yet to disclose. Let us have a brief idea what actually happened on that evening between eche Kulabati and ta Kula. Ta Kula already told Eche Kulabati about his plan. Eche’s reaction was quite funny. She wasn’t least bothered about anything; she neither seemed amused nor worried. In a plain tone she keeps telling ta Kula ‘ hanuthangda khit khatlanu ta Kula nang ama lirey matik ekai khangkhidre hey seita’. Ta Kula’s nerves were sizzling because the girl with whom he is (supposedly) eloping with is not reacting in a shocked or bothered manner (as she is supposed to be). He has other things running on his mind now. He turns the wheels homeward. He asks Eche Kulabati on the way ‘ yumda theng ae na cheigadra, kari khumgani’. Eche Kulabati calmly replies, ‘Maloti hoida chunglubada thengkhre na hek khumagey keisu touroi’. She finally reached home when it was few minutes passed ‘yaachangba’.
The most disgusting problem with every leisabi under the sun is that she becomes envious of her friends and what all new things are happening in their lives (not in a negative sense though). This is exactly the case with Eche Kulabati. Ever since the wedding date is fixed (for eche Maloti & Ta biren) an unusual thought keeps tickling on her mind most of the time. She is very much curious to find out a solution for such a perturbing thought. Ever since the ‘heijingpot day’, her disturbed thought starts taunting her own heart like anything. She has something to express/share/talk …but it is no more the right time for her to share her thoughts with anyone. On the other side, eche Maloti seems to cherish whatever that has happened and is going to happen. A home-centric girl that she is, her marriage with Ta Biren is just an ideal solution to stay close to her maiden family as her leikai is next to ta Biren’s. Everyone has so far forgotten how the elopement plan worked otherwise. Its time for gaiety and celebrations for Eche Maloti & Ta Biren’s ‘Big Day’.
On the ‘luhongba’ day eche Kulabi finally saw ta Kula attending the ceremony as one of the bor mamanabas. That was perhaps the first ever time eche Kulabati takes a close glance at Ta kula and realizes how handsome he is…. Her heart skips a bit and she smiles quite unaware of the surrounding. The girl who sits next to her asks ‘ Eche Keidouragey kanagi wakhaldano noklidubu’. She replies ‘ keisu toude keinoma suum ningsinglakpa’. Now what could be this ‘keinoma’ she suddenly remembers? In the next episode we are finally going to have a clear cut idea what is going to happen between ta kula and eche Kulabati.
It was the mangani chakouba day of Eche Maloti & Ta Biren’s luhongba. An eager eche Kulabati waits for Ta Kula to turn up for the chakouba feast. She later comes to know that Ta Kula is badly suffering from loose motion so it is next thing to impossible for him to turn up for the chakouba event. The restlessness in her heart keeps increasing with each passing minute. Right after the ‘feast’, she hurriedly heads for Ta Kula’s leikai. With the assistance of a pan dukan fambi eney, she finally locates Ta Kula’s home. She sends one of the leikai kids to inform him to meet her at the sinfju chafam pokfam (near khongnaang makhong). A much leaner Ta Kula reaches the pokfam after few minutes. He was a little taken aback when he saw Eche Kulabati standing there near the pokfam. In a surprised tone -
‘ Eh ebemma nangdi kadomdeino eidi kanano ei hungba laaklise khanlure.’
Eche Kulabi replies ‘Ou maaney einey, hukchaang ngamde haidu khara farabo, kayam faidharagay haisey, kari amuk chasinglubeino’
Ta kula ‘ ezz faraba gumjaatni suum pothaduna leibani yumda..atei lairi…chamna suum koithorakparo kari leigey….’
Eche Kulabi ‘ Sumdoubani….’ (interior monologue starts on her mind) eibu hairasiraney tourisibo kamdousigey…kulabati ngasidi nupi thok u nachin lumanu sat sat hekta hairo sey…..
Ta Kula breaks her interior monologue ‘ ehh! Keidoure wakhal yam aruba ama khanba maaley..kei….’
Eche Kulabi ‘Ei ngasi nangi natung induna laaklagayna ekhongna thongna laaklabaney..ebani chenlasi ngasi’
A more than surprised ta Kula ‘ Emaipemma! Nungaijareda seita ebemma nangna nachina thokna hairakpasey..minute mangadang ngairamu ei gaari amta louthoklukhige’
They elope that day and eventually got married after few weeks. Ta Kula’s mom sent an apologizing news to the family of the girl to whom ta Kula was literarily engaged. The family didn’t say anything as it was a matter of love and elopement. After all it’s a happy ending of a crazy confusing thing called love that started ‘When Kulabati Met Kulabidhu.’
Author's Note Thank You, readers for your overwhelming support and encouragement to finish this story series. Next story sequence will focus on a theme something like ‘What a modern leisabi expects from a modern pakhang’. Happy reading everyone!!!