TODAY -

Of kombirei and daffodil

Akham Bonbirdhwaja Singh *

 Kombirei - An indigenous flower from Manipur as captured through the lenses of Jinendra Maibam :: July 2012
Kombirei - An indigenous flower from Manipur - July 2012 :: Pix - Jinendra Maibam



Last year, my daughter sent me beautiful photos of Daffodils, it was first time for her to see real daffodils. This time when I came to London in the first week of March, amidst the pandemic virus Covid 19, I found that it has just started flowering, lines of hundreds of flowers, yellow and white both.

I need not narrate the beauty of this flower, Robert Herrick enlivened it, later Wordsworth have immortalised it. There are a few other beautiful poems on daffodils. By late winter and early spring, it flowers in full bloom.

So, in the first week of March, I found that everywhere the daffodils buds are seen, all the roadsides, church campus, grassy glens, courtyards of private buildings, setbacks of roadside buildings etc. Covid 19, when I flew from New Delhi, the first victim of the pandemic virus died in UK but then a few days after I reached here it increased exponentially.

Now also condition is not getting any better. In the meantime, I bought a few plants of daffodils (sprouted bulbs with buds) and my daughter planted them in her apartment mini garden, they have flowered for almost a month and still flowering, the daffodil flowers last quite long, most of the temperate flowers do.

The PM of UK ultimately announced the belated lockdown after a lot of initial resistance and after getting serious criticisms, but when the lockdown started, the daffodils have flowered and they became my friend.

The scientific name of daffodil is intriguing. So, I was brooding upon it. There are a number of myths about Narcissus that you might have read or heard, let me tell you one of them. Narcissus was the most handsome man and was a hunter from Larconia. He has broken hearts of many of his suitors.

One day he went for hunting in the mountains and seeing his handsomeness, Echo the mountain Nymph fell for him and she followed him. Narcissus asked who was following him and on that she told that she loved him. Narcissus told that he do not love her and he do not care, so she should not follow him. Heartbroken, the nymph died and disappeared, only the echo remained with the mountains.

Nemesis the goddess of revenge felt sorry for the nymph and wanted to teach Narcissus a lesson. She made him thirsty and guided him to a pool where on seeing his image and fell in love with his own image. Unable to get his love reciprocated, he died of passion burning inside him and melted to a narcissus flower.

There are other stories in Greek Mythology in which Narcissus ended as a flower. But there are comments that the name of the flower may not have anything to do with the myth.

Another opinion is that it might have been due to the fragrance, but then I have my opinion that some of the taxonomic nomenclatures have been on mythological or traditional connections of the species with the society, though most of the nomenclatures are on scientific characters.

I could gaze the flower for hours together to fill my heart with pleasure as Wordsworth did because, I had no chance of roaming around in London and not much pleasure was in my heart thanks to covid 19.

To appreciate the beauty of the flower was one good thing I could do. Seeing the way the flower seem to look on itself, I even wonder that Narcissus is the proper name, Narcissus pseudonarcissus L.Calling the flower Narcissus, for the western eyes this must have been regarded as the most beautiful flower.

What about our Kombirei?

It also has gregarious habit which increases the visual effect. It is one of the most beautiful flowers belonging the Iris group, Iris laeviegataFisch. Earlier, following Dr. D.B. Deb, it was presumed to be Iris bakeri Wall.

Both Kombirei and Daffodil develop bulbs and can be propagated through it also. I have no intention to compare these two iconic flowers, but to tell honestly, the daffodil is highly flamboyant, showy but the Kombirei, it is so cool, its deep purple blue giving sophisticated and aristocratic look. It matches the Manipuri psyche and our art forms particularly our classical dances the subtle moves and intense beauty.

We also have half a dozen songs dedicated to this flower and it has a strong cultural link with Meitei society. But the point is, the popularity of daffodils and pride they have taken in the flower combined with British passion for gardening, I do not think that there is any threat or danger of the daffodils getting extinct.

One hospital planted thousands of Daffodil plants in an open ground, the civic bodies are planting it in many places. On the contrary, our Kombirei once a very common and important flower is facing grave danger, many scientists and flower lovers have expressed their concerns many a times. There is also another threat that it may be out shadowed by the new varieties being brought in lately.

So when, our Kombirei is so dear to our culture, tradition and folklore, why it is facing grave danger of getting extinct?

When it has found a place in our hearts, why canít it find a place in our gardens. Why canít all of us take pride in planting it in our gardens and near domestic wetlands to protect it and to add value to our collections.

It does not seem possible to rehabilitate it in the Lamphel Pat or YaralPat, these wetlands have been all heavily encroached. So, the public can contribute here. Like British, the Manipuris also have passion for gardening and strong love for flowers, so it is highly possible.

Initially, some problem may be there for its seedlings, here the research centres and concern departments can come forward and help.There are over 300 varieties of Iris and a number of countries have cultural associations with Iris flowers.

There are many similar to Kombirei and of late many might have been introduced in our state, so getting our true Kombirei is important (four varieties are reported) when we go for its cultivation and protection and avoid those varieties brought from outside, else we may end up adopting something else and cut a sorry figure later.

Late Tamo Brajachand, the renowned orchid enthusiast and Orchid Development Officer tried to preserve two of the original varieties of our Kombirei in Khonghampat Orchid Preservation Plot (now renamed as State Orchidarium), if the same are still available, those need close preservation and multiplication.

Elsewhere also Kombirei gardens have been promoted to take advantage of its popularity in our society and rightfully so.Here, we should not make compromise and care for our original one, the lovely Kombirei.


* Shobha Shukla - CNS (Citizen News Service) wrote this article for e-pao.net
The author can be reached at bonbir13(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on May 12 2020.



* 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 e-pao.net. 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.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • 2nd Annual Art Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • 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
  • A year of hostilities
  • Licypriya Kangujam to travel to Italy
  • Declining moral standards in public life
  • Healthy democracy with independent media
  • Why endangered species matter to us
  • Significant Guwahati meeting : 1st visible step
  • The Pallel story
  • Aftermath of ferocious hailstorm #2 : Gallery
  • Ukhrul: Climate change grip on water supply
  • Commemoration of World Eld's Deer Day
  • Indo-Naga Talks (From 2012) :: Timeline
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hiyanglam
  • Dance of democracy, a miracle in making !
  • Learn to look 10/20/30 years hence
  • The zero FIR, zero lesson
  • 'Ishanou' Selection @ Cannes #1: Gallery
  • MOU signed: MTI-HUB & KIIT-TBI & SAbF
  • Lament of the Mourning Choir :: Poem
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Wabagai
  • RSS-BJP fracas
  • Trials for Canoe Slalom World Cup
  • Poser from a villager says it all Kamjong
  • The cover-up effort
  • Birth Centenary of Jananeta Irabat, 1996 : #2
  • Manipuri women in the arena of politics
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Assam
  • Aimee Baruah at red carpet of Cannes
  • National Defence Academy Exam 2024
  • How digital media changed communications
  • Manipur stands scandalised
  • All eyes on UP battle
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #32: Download
  • Riots to a shrine- Ram Mandir of Ayodhya
  • Handle with care. F.R.I.E.N.D.S inside!
  • The Power of Poppy - 31 :: Poem
  • Celebrate the journey !
  • Career counselling : A life guidance tool
  • Scientist of Manipur: Amom Ruhikanta
  • Conspiracy, thy name is Kuki !
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Thounaojam
  • Ket Meth New Album "Ghost Stories"
  • World Hypertension Day
  • International Day of Families
  • Let the rule of law prevail
  • When donation becomes obligatory demand
  • Tourism of Manipur through Gastronomy
  • Beyond Eternity :: Poem
  • Patriarch subjugation on women
  • Celebrate Manipuri Cinema shine at Cannes
  • Training on cultivation of various mushroom
  • Transformative impact of Ayurveda & Yoga
  • War for over a year : Delhi is answerable
  • The logic behind illogical chargesheet
  • Preserving Thang-Ta :: Rare Photos
  • Regarding Human Rights Situation in Manipur
  • World Hypertension Day 2024
  • Article 355 of Constitution of India #3
  • Disinformation campaign touba thengnarey
  • Deeply mourn the demise of Oja Biren Lamba
  • Water Mimosa for sustainable development
  • Publicity drives of educational institutions
  • ED's revolutionary move!!!
  • Malemnganbi Laishram : Science Topper
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #2: Gallery
  • Thokchom Sheityajit : Arts Topper
  • Aiena Naorem : Commerce Topper
  • AISSE 2024 Exam Result- RKM Imphal
  • Gold, new world currency !
  • Milk for hair and skin
  • Of illegal immigrants & the larger picture
  • The missive from Kamjong
  • 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
  • World Bamboo Congress @Taiwan : Gallery
  • Aftermath of ferocious hailstorm #1 : Gallery
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Cheirao-chingkaba @ Chinga : Gallery
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing : Full Book
  • A ferocious hailstorm @Imphal : Gallery
  • '365 Days of Chin-Kuki Aggression' : Gallery
  • Athoubasingi Numit #2 : Gallery
  • National Science Teacher workshop
  • Scientists of Manipur : Laishram Ladu Singh
  • Id-ul-Fitr @Hatta #2 : Gallery
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #2 : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Laitonjam Warjeet
  • Community seed bank @Umathel : Gallery
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • Kenedy Khuman (Singer) : Gallery
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD