TODAY -

Thanga and it's rustic charm

Maisnam Chanu Liklainu *

Boat Race at Thanga-Karang Ibudhou Khuman Pokpa Haraoba



The first thing that caught our attention en route to Thanga was the sight of the earth movers scooping up earth and loading it into trucks in one monstrous sweep. We saw kids getting excited at the behemoth operation, most of them calling the machinery as JCB. JCB are the initials of the company called Joseph Cyril Bamford and it deals in unique products used in construction. It was amusing to hear the common parlance JCB for all the monstrous looking machineries. The sight of a bulldozer, an excavator or an earth mover thrilled the kids and these were common on the roads of Manipur.

The switches and gears can be intimidating and thrilling to the kids at the same time. What can be more thrilling than the sight of pushing gigantic boulders, riding over mounds, demolishing buildings, digging the earth, cleaning the drainage and sewage system with these huge devices! Gigantic machineries brought big grin on the faces of kids, it looked like loads of fun to them.

On the way to Thanga, we saw people fixing tractors, feeding cows, driving an excavator on steep hillsides which involved a lot of physical labour. We saw an unknown person's car broke down, but some guys offered to help by keeping an eye on the car saying that they can always get a tow-tractor. The person needed a mechanic right away, the gloom was palpable and this was soon replaced by something pleasant. One guy appeared to solve the problem, he brought a tractor to tow in. He thoroughly checked it, it looked so facile and he said that it wasn't a serious case but a case of loose wire. We wouldn't know a loose wire from a generator because all of us were hopeless with machinery. The other activities that we saw were cleaning, climbing ladders, killing pest and weeding big time. There was not much going on in Thanga, so when a Lai Haraoba took place, it was the talk of the town.

The air in Thanga was fresh, the sky was bluish and the water was pristinely clear. The place was abundantly green, less crowded, mountainous and covered with bodies of water. The butterflies and dragonflies were loud and caught our attention, the surface was gentle as the breeze passed by. We wandered at the roads, began to spot new places which we took time to check out. We took an opportunity to know some of the stores, lanes and fields. The breezy wind blew, the reflection of the sun and the fishes broke the silence occasionally creating ripples on the surface of water.

The boats are the greatest assets and an investment and going to the lake is a regular feature. Small fishing boats crisscrossed the shore of Thanga. We saw a boat which glided slowly between small row boats. We saw more boats entered the water, they were off to do fishing with panache. Some were lucky to catch scores of small and medium sized fishes which they proudly display.

People depend on fishing for livelihood as other kinds of work is hard to come by and this occupation becomes the chief means to support the family incomes. The fishing business has been handed down from one generation to the next generation. One woman we met was alarmed at the dwindling fish catches, lesser incomes and lack of proper storage. The buses plying are of great help as it helps reach the bigger market.

We explored the Nambol, Ningthoukhong and Moirang markets. In one of the markets, we saw the fish being scaled and chopped up in a record time. Everything tasted good and smelled fresh but they had run out of most of the fishes and prawns that we wanted to sample. The smell emanating from the potfams tingle one's nose .The home-made delicacies available was refreshing. We became ravenous with the sights and smells of the local foods.

Strolling along, we stumbled upon fresh fishes which was sustainable and fresh, some were spoilt and discoloured. The eatables that we picked up from market was yummy, the fruits that we had were juicy and bursting with flavours. A glass of freshly squeezed sugar cane juice was a real treat. It was sweet and heavenly, it cooled us down on that hot summer and restored our energy levels to explore more.

We saw anglers, their pleasant faces conveyed that the catches they made was good. They had this to say- angling is an addictive pastime. The thrill in them showed that they were hooked for life. Some of the quiet lanes were attractive to use and we were on foot. How we wished we brought along with us cycles for a joy ride! It was really nice to see a fishable area, the fishing folks were friendly and humble.

The streams, the fishes and the reflection of the sun and the azure sky made the place phenomenal. The lush green vegetation, the pebbles, the scent of water and the birds flying overhead were tranquilising and captivating. The place was peaceful and relaxing. We returned home with the feeling that the fishes that we bought will turn out to be a pleasant meal.




* Maisnam Chanu Liklainu wrote this article for The Sangai Express This article was posted on August 11, 2012


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