TODAY -

The incident that made me fall in love with the Nagas

Birkarnelzelzit Thiyam *



It was in the evening of 7thJuly 2017, my uncle KaKa Jugeshwor dropped me a line saying I was booked for a speech on a “one day seminar” for the next day to be held at Ukhrul, Town Hall, organised by Career Path-Finders and Tangkhul Katamnao Saklong.

Let me be very honest, I have never been there before and it wasn’t the one place I like much then. Taboos from the misinformed medias kept hunting me that very night, I was roped into the dilemma of moving forward as promised or making up an effective excuse to cancel. When I am too confused while choosing, I always go for the first throw; I did promise I would go the next day.

Over 4 hours – the vehicle taking me, my Uncle and the two other experts – took in getting there. The other three in my vehicle were too much into their world, but I was already into the view. 9:00 am in the morning, forgot the exact area but surely on the way to Ukhrul, that beauty though – exactly the definition of paradise.

But, again when do people go to heaven? After you die? Well! All wants to go to heaven but afraid to go through the death, I don’t know why that came in, but damn sure it was from all the misinformed stories about people in Ukhrul that I heard from the circle, I thought I was going to see heaven that day – along with the pre-heaven entrance exam. So much of the made-up stories in my mind that judged them from a very long time, sorry to say – well, that made me hate them.

I reached, with all the fears in my heart, I got off the vehicle – the hall was big, I dreamt of 107 ways of getting killed in 2 seconds. My toes became heavy, putting an act of forgetting something in the vehicle, I tried going back in, to catch a firm hold on my breath.

Just at that moment, something heavenly in Naga English Accent, “Welcome to Ukhrul Sir.” I wasn’t ready to see my killer so I didn’t turn back. But I didn’t wanna be that one retard in the group, so I turned with the biggest fake smile I ever conserved.

And just like the last scene of a Romantic Bollywood, a man who was just around five and half tall gave the sweetest hug, honestly that was never expected. Again, I was into confusion, “was he gay?” or “that’s the eraser to all my judgemental thoughts.”

Like I said when I am confused I go for the first. So, he was gay – printed. Then we walked in, the whole hall stood up, we were taken to the reserved seats and waited a while for the program to start. The program started.

Before the MC called me, the nature called me, I asked someone for taking me to the washroom. Let me be honest, that surprised me even more than the first punch. Half of the organisers stood up and engaged themselves in showing the washroom, I mean, ‘one was enough’ but that involvement made me erase everything I brought except the first person was gay.

I went in, I pulled down the entrance to open the natures demand, then that very guy enjoying the offering to the nature just like me who was standing next to my bunker, looked at me and said, “Are you Birkarnelzelzit?

I read your articles regularly, I am a big fan of you,” the place was not very comfortable to show love to my fans but yes he put his hands out for a handshake, I responded. I am sorry, his hand was wet. He didn’t leave my hand, nor I tried, and the other hand – right down, he just went on speaking.

First it was annoying then the wind of love came, I mean just the wind of ‘bromance.’ The scene was called off by the MC as he was calling me up on stage. I rushed back, that 30 second from the washroom to the stage, something was loud and clear, “People of Ukhrul were seriously and amazingly simple.”

My performance started, all laughed. I did racist jokes, even brought more laughter. I ended with the loudest clap for the day, and this climax came. Right after I came down from the stage, I did a little waving just to act cool, and right after I sit, a young girl behind me whispered to the one next to her, “I never knew people from Imphal are funny.”

I never did turn back, but my heart responded, loud enough to hear just for myself, “I never thought Nagas are this friendly,” my eyes turned teary. I was lost, the day’s program was called off, we were set to go home, I was given so many gifts, just before I got on the vehicle, I took some time to hug the Mr. Gay, tightly, it was really hard to hide my tears but felt really sorry for what all I assumed and presumed.

This is the problem happening now, people in the valley need to go often to the ends of the Manipur, we need a lot of talks and conversations, we need to kill all the taboos and all the judgemental thoughts. The only true unity in Manipur will come – only after you make friends with them, not ST quota and just small, “Chingmi Tammi Amattani” dialogues in Manipur.


* Birkarnelzelzit Thiyam wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is a Motivational orator, who currently resides in Canada. He can be reached at birkarnelzelzitthiyam3073(AT)gmail(DOT)com; Facebook – Birkarnelzelzit – Young Thoughts; Twitter – Birkarnelzelzit, INSTAGRAM – Birkarnal.
This article was webcasted on December 09, 2018.



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