How I missed my best friend wedding

Henkhokai (Kakai) Singsit *

I was on my way to the university when the phone was frantically buzzing in my pants. It was from the president of my organisation, KSO GHQ, Pu. Peter mate. The voice at the other end was peremptory instructing me to go Phaitol-Jiribam to conduct the Kso Tamenglong district election.

I was in quandary as my best friend wedding was to be held on the 2nd of November, 2012. I explained my inability to my president who curtly told me that I was the only one free at the moment as all my other colleagues were occupied with some other important engagement.

It was the call of duty for which I have been sworn to keep it. The date of the election had been fixed and it was mandatory on our part that at least two members of the head quarter team be present to conduct and oversee the electioneering process.

I tried to reason with my president. But the ‘Die was already cast’ and was presented to me as a ‘fait accompli’. Another colleague, Thangboigangte, Secy. relief and rehabilitation, had already left for the destination. I was to assist him.

No amount of pestering and haggling could turn the scales in my favour. What about my obligation towards my friend who had high expectation of my participation. My absence would tantamount to severing of my friendship with him. It was the 30th of October 2012. I was told to proceed the next day itself.

Vikramjeet is a bosom friend of mine and we have known each other since 2006 when I frequented Damdei Christian College, Taloulong as a member of Tsa sadar hills. He is from Sekmai, new market locality. The day we met we became fast friend as we synced in many ways.

A gallivant like me, reckless and carefree – we became fast friends after the first encounter. Our slogan was life is short so one should enjoy to the hilt. This ill-conceived sense of hedonism almost became my undoing.

Many times, I slept over at his home and became well acclimatised with all his family members and the locales. My circle of friends with the local people increased by leaps and bounds after my encounter with him. And my sojourn increased and became more and more frequent.

From the hindsight, might be the centripetal pull of the famous Sekmai brew was hard to elude. Then it was all binges and carousing till one reached the climax of fantasy and hallucination. Family, education and home - I cared two straws. Life became a drift between semi consciousness and a figment of imagination.

No amount of admonition or homily from my family members could spruce me up. Fortunately, sanity prevailed over me and I swerved my ways and wonts. It was not too late and I decided to go for higher education. And here I am with three master’s degree - alive and yet kicking.

On the hindsight, I pity many of my friends who could not escape from the rut of pleasure and enjoyment and many of them had to wilt to the pitfalls. The expansion of friend circle was concomitant with the increase in the frequency of invitation for weddings, festivals, funeral rites and even at baby’s christening. Every ceremony at Sekmai was top notch.

I was nonplussed at Sekmai people’s propensity for fun and jamboree. They were simple and amiable. They spoke skewed Meitei dialect which was unintelligible to me at the outset. Slowly I mastered it and could mimic it flawlessly. By this time I had reached the university but my bond with Sekmai people though still strong but became peripheral.

All affairs were mutual. They also participated in my family ceremonies. I normally invited them at Christmas celebration to savour the famous pork porridge which they craved after. In the course of time this summer-friendship crystallized into obligation and commitments which one was bound to conform to. To remain truant in a friend’s wedding was considered a cardinal sin and an act of animosity.

I was in the horns dilemma. What was going to be my alibi for this unwarranted absenteeism? I was all out of guesses. Finally, I decided to break this black tiding to the groom with an apologetic tone.

As anticipated my friend, the groom, was vituperative and was profusely ranting at me from the other end of the phone. But, I managed to reason with him about my predicament with the promise to make good after my return. He was mollified but, the worst was yet to begin. I had just dropped the bombshell.

The night was a flurry of abusive calls from all my friends –Tombung, Johnsy, Eeyai, Opendro, Muba, Mangi, commando Dong and Ngamba. The ranting and the accusation continued the whole night. Sheepishly, I had to bear all the invectives as I was the proverbial dog in the manger. It was not their fault.

I was a liability, undependable and I deserved it. I guess they were all tipsy. Laden with guilt, the next morning I embarked on my journey and reached Phaitol, Jiribam at Dusk and was accosted by KSO leaders of the district. Exhausted I made haste to the house of my host,Seilun Singson, the president of Kso tamenglong district. I was also awaited by the local elders.

The air at Phaitol village was festive as the district level Kut festival was to be hosted there, the morrow. It was just a stone throw distance from the house of my host. The massive preparations for festival rendered a dizzying concoction of jarring music and cacophony and robbed me of my good sleep.

The Kut committee invited me to witness the built-up for the celebration and offer pep talks to the Miss Kut contestants. I spurned the overture on the pretext that I was too tired from the journey and wanted to rest. They left me for good with the promise that they will come in the morning.

As assured they came in the morning inviting me to be one of the VIPs. I was to deliver an exhortation speech for the student’s community. The thought of me sitting on the dais and delivering a speech gave me goose bumps. Now my mind was furiously working to find a pretext for escape. With none, I again feigned sickness from the woeful journey maintaining that all my bones are pell-mell from the bumpy ride.

They bought it, aware of the rotten condition of Imphal-Jiri road. One of the elder gave me a frowning look and told me to freshen up for the night session. Oh! What the hell! I sensed he knew my bluff.

Come the night - the same torturous solicitation continued and my uncompromising shaming of sickness remained obstinate as before. The committee wanted me as one among the panels of judges for the Miss contestants but my dogged refusal finally paid off.

One elder even went to the extent of chiding me for being so effeminate. Vividly his words were, “What kind of young man are you, so fragile and sickly from just one road trip”. But they left me in peace with no further hassle.

The election was conducted the next day as scheduled and the day after, I left for Imphal. On the first break, I made straight to Sekmai to cut some loose ends. By the time all my friends had come to terms with my dilemma and were by and large charitable. I visited the bride and paid my dues.

Obligated, I threw a party as penalty of absence, drank ourselves till insanity and in the true spirit of friendship and forgiveness. The hatchet was buried forever.

After all what are friends for!

* Henkhokai (Kakai) Singsit wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is former Info & Publicity Secy. of Kuki Students Organisation – GHQ and can be reached via kakaisingsit(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on July 21, 2019.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Is Delhi doing the right thing ?
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #3 : Gallery
  • Modi's arduous journey & fate of Naga peace
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • Autism: Why fit in, when you can stand out?
  • Bloodstained Masquerade :: Poem
  • Dharamvir Singh: Forgotten hero of TV
  • What is keeping the clash going on ?
  • Warning of a coming politico-military storm
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #6
  • The Great June 18 Uprising : Timeline
  • The Great June 18 Uprising : Gallery
  • Are we on track to end AIDS by 2030 ?
  • 3 writers from Manipur for Sahitya Akademi
  • Manipur's traffic, parking: A big nuisance
  • Career in elderly care
  • Keeping the folks under a state of confusion
  • Nothing neat about NEET
  • Aid to relief camps @ Jiribam : Gallery
  • Id Festival- 'Id-Ul-Azha' :: Book
  • World Day to Combat Desertification 2024
  • NDPP did not lose LS due to local problem
  • RSS chief says, priority Manipur
  • What if not IIT ?
  • Waiting for a response from the PM
  • The test of leadership failed
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #35: Download
  • Gastronomy tourism in Manipur : Gallery
  • Triathlon : Manipur bag 6 medals (3 gold)
  • Illegal immigrants/fugitives from Myanmar
  • Eid-ul-Adha: Embracing sacrifice
  • A solution to Meitei-Kuki-Zo conflict
  • The Power of Poppy - 35 :: Poem
  • Scientist of Manipur: R K Brojen Singh
  • Brief sketch on General Balaram Sougaijamba
  • Non-violent for peaceful, mutual co-existence
  • Homeless person ..alcoholism & defeated TB
  • Cancer on rise among young adults
  • Defending, fighting for Idea of Manipur
  • From partiality to complicity
  • Bike Rally - Sekmai to Kangla : Gallery
  • 'Modi must announce finality of Naga pacts'
  • Gliding over Brahmaputra
  • Question leaks cause stress among student
  • Home remedies for prickly heat
  • After IIT, AIIMS it is now IIM
  • Stealing spotlight from Manipur crisis
  • Tarpon chaklen katpa @ Andro #2 : Gallery
  • Strongly condemns violence in Jiribam
  • Lessons from outcome of LS election
  • Tumcho releases "Goodness of God"
  • Right diagnostic for antimicrobial resistance
  • 12th June is World Day against Child Labour
  • Hands of geo-politics ?
  • The row over NEET-2014
  • 2nd Annual Art Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • Chilli Chicken: Film Spotlighting NE in B'lore
  • Committee of Narcotics Anonymous - Imphal
  • The Power of Meditation
  • Oceans as a career choice
  • Getting more and more audacious
  • A test of leadership
  • Education Fair @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Gifting two seats to Cong
  • Voters empowered democracy
  • Postcards from Meghalaya premieres
  • Milk : Essential nutrient for a healthy body
  • Failing in competitive exam not end of world
  • Delhi : A mere spectator
  • Abandoning Jiribam
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #5
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #2 : Gallery
  • Mainstream in Shoes of Alternative
  • Protect the medicines that protect us
  • Lets take action for our land & our future
  • Democracy and independent media
  • Agenda at work to shut Western Gate
  • Keeping Manipur on the boil
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #34: Download
  • The Enigmatic Journey of 'Laikhutshangbi'
  • Individual and the Social
  • An Ardent Appeal to All Concerns
  • Condemnation of Attack & Govt Inaction
  • The Power of Poppy - 34 :: Poem
  • Scientist of Manipur: Laishram Shanta
  • Alien fishes spotted in Manipur's rivers
  • Training on mushroom at Langthabal
  • Digital avatars or deepfakes ?
  • 7th June is the World Food Safety Day
  • How to prepare for UPSC after 10th ?
  • The Jiri violence
  • Beginning of a new vote culture ?
  • Bimol Akoijam (Cong) wins Inner PC : Gallery
  • BJP, NPF & other NDA pay heavy price
  • Nature is one of greatest blessings of God
  • Plantation drive in Tripura, Assam & Manipur
  • Summer beauty
  • Environment conservation & over-exploitation
  • Is Modi cut out for leading a coalition ?
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #2: Gallery
  • Scholarship for Johnstone Hr Sec students
  • 1st foundation day of Interfaith Forum
  • World Environment Day: Our land, our future
  • Indonesia stronger anti-tobacco measures
  • Navigating a fragile Myanmar: India's policy
  • New breed entering electoral politics
  • The road to formation of new govt
  • International Dance Day #1 : Gallery
  • Matchbox marketing mantra
  • Stop harming nature :: Poem
  • Saving for oneself & the Nation
  • Model United Nations (MUN) conducted
  • Tobacco: Threat to health & environment
  • Candidate from ruling party biting the dust
  • The verdict
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #4
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #3 : Gallery
  • Navigating Remal amidst Manipur conflict
  • We are #GenerationRestoration
  • Intl Day of Innocent Children Victims
  • Apparel Industry Skills & Innovation CoE
  • What's in a cyclone's name ?
  • Ongoing clash, the floods, the losses
  • Exit poll predictions
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #33: Download
  • Evading flood & rethinking urbanization
  • Manipur Flood: Health Advisory
  • Onus on civil bodies to ensure NNPG unity
  • Rats also cause flood
  • Benefits of JEE Main mock tests
  • People have spoken, now the results
  • The fury of Remal
  • Ima Keithel flood- May 30 #1 : Gallery
  • The flood in our Stars
  • The Power of Poppy - 33 :: Poem
  • 'Group of people misrepresented themselves'
  • EV industry and career options
  • Scientist of Manipur: Chandrakant Aribam
  • Candy flavoured traps to hook next Gen
  • Commemorate Naga Plesbicite Day 1951 #2
  • Tobacco affects health & environment too
  • Jio extend validity for Customer in Manipur
  • Students must learn about AI irrespective
  • As vote count day approaches : Floods
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #2 : Gallery
  • Flooded : Sacrifice of Yairipok's Maiden
  • World No Tobacco Day 2024
  • Chandam Rishikanta wins NPC Nat'l C'ship
  • Flood: Helpline numbers for emergency
  • Battling body odour ?
  • Floods : Not entirely natural phenomena
  • PM Modi's purpose
  • Imphal valley districts flooded #1 : Gallery
  • June Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Flood: Control Rooms & Helpline numbers
  • Economic impact of ongoing conflict
  • Army Recruitment Rally for Manipur
  • Cut deficit, boom likely
  • Are Gods angry ? Wake up call for Manipur
  • Beating of the Retreat #2 : Gallery
  • We did Overcome: Mayhem of Month of May
  • Training on mushroom at Potshagbam
  • Famous female Mathematicians in India
  • Disinformation campaign thengnare
  • Human trafficking puts humanity to shame
  • Sky opens up in all its fury
  • Licypriya meets Italy PM & Pope Francis
  • HSLC (Class X) 2024 : Full Result
  • HSLC 2024 : Important Info & Grading System
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Private Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Aided Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Pass % : Govt Schools
  • HSLC 2024 : Statistical Abstract
  • HSLC 2024 : Comparative Statement
  • Combined Defence Services Exam 2024
  • Good show in Class X exams
  • Downplaying the crisis
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #3
  • Reviving Lamphelpat : Conservation : Gallery
  • Commemorate Naga Plesbicite Day 1951 #1
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hojai
  • The Power of Poppy - 32 :: Poem
  • Insights from CUET-UG Counselling
  • International Day for Biological Diversity
  • Unseen force at work: Time to unravel it
  • Sheikh Hasina's revelation
  • The Vanishing Meitei Tribe
  • Building career in defence & strategic study
  • Why example of model code of conduct ?
  • Ownership of responsibility
  • Will pressure mount on key players in NE
  • How to save your foot after an accident
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #3 : Gallery
  • Education Fair @Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Project Associate @ CSE, Assam Univ
  • Understanding schizophrenia
  • Advancement in Multi Objective Optimization
  • When will women in voter list increase ?
  • Making 2 plus 2 is equal to 5
  • Changing face of drug menace
  • Scientist of Manipur: Jayanta Manoharmayum
  • 25 yrs since Atal Vajpayee visit to RIMS
  • 4 Lakhs donated to support (L) Maipak Family
  • Clarification: Guwahati Meet on Humanitarian
  • Start UPSC prep after 12th for success
  • Tips to avoid melting makeup in summer
  • Giving a big solid push to ST demand
  • Time to come clean
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba: 1 occasion, 2 narratives #3
  • Khongjom Day @Khebaching #2 : Gallery
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #1: Gallery
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #2
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Regarding Human Rights Situation in Manipur
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #2: Gallery
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Science Topper
  • HSE 2024 : Subject Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : District Pass Percentage
  • HSE 2024 : Candidates with Highest Marks
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Science Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Arts Full Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024: Commerce Result
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Arts Topper
  • Hr Secondary Exam 2024 : Commerce Topper
  • Aftermath of ferocious hailstorm #1 : Gallery
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • '365 Days of Chin-Kuki Aggression' : Gallery
  • National Science Teacher workshop
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #2 : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD