Motley Wisecracks or whateveryoumaycallit

Limalenden Longkumer

Hello folks, it’s me again, the bucolic Naga rustic from Mokokchung.

Well, assuming you’re still single, would you marry for “political reasons”? Would you dare to see our sisters posing in front of the lens, in bikinis? Would you be perturbed if I say that Nagas might be reduced to a minority in Nagaland, perhaps in the next eighty-nine and a half years?

Would you admit if I said we are faced with a Cultural Cringe? (Cultural Cringe, in cultural and social anthropology, is an internalized inferiority complex, which causes people in a country to dismiss their own culture as inferior to the cultures of other countries). I know it’s a hard take but we also possess the Colonial Mentality, don’t we? (Colonial Mentality is the sociological term for the erosion of native culture when it is colonized or conquered by a more “advanced civilization”. It is characterized by a marked preference for the conquering civilization’s goods, art, music, etc. to the detriment of local culture and industry). I believe we need to give it a thought. But that reminds me of a good friend of mine who once told me that thinking is the hardest thing to do on earth, which is why we seldom engage ourselves in it. Now, there are these agencies/agents of the State misguiding many a young susceptible innocent minds, luring them to falsely believe that it is cool to imitate anything they see on MTV which in essence actually kills the inherent talent and creativity innate in them. This is one of the many factors responsible for the degeneration of generation next … and we? We take our hats off for the one who best imitates the you-know-whom. No, MTV is not the problem here, but the killing of originality and inborn qualities in the victims is.

Next up is what real news is. The Chinese reportedly prohibits a Tibetan man from marrying a Tibetan woman to provide for their policy of demographic engineering in occupied Tibet – which means, after three generations, there will not be a single pure blooded Tibetan breathing in Tibet! My sister’s Tibetan friend says she’ll marry a Tibetan man of her choice for “political reasons”. If you know of any Naga woman of such valour, intimate me. Seriously.

I have a good number of friends from whom I learn quite a big deal. One of them once opined that Nagas can play better cricket than the Indians. It was during the Super Eight Stage of the last ICC Cricket World Cup that the same fellow boldly declared, “I have all my sympathy, I mean apathy, for the one billion beleaguered Indian faces”. Obviously not a very good fan of the Indian cricket team, he is. And I simply made a grin, delighted.

Another friend would quip these words, which sounded pleasant to my ears but caused me dismay. “The police personnel manning the check posts must be fired. Their sense of patriotism is as pale as their discoloured khakis”. It made more sense, I mean dismay, to me after he added that he saw with his very own eyes these police personnel simply “imposing” the ILP defaulters a “fine” of a meager 200 bucks and letting them pass through the gates, in to their Canaan, the land of milk and honey, the Bangladeshi Lebensraum.

Another friend, a dedicated Christian youth activist, some time back hit me in my funny bone. He said, “It’s interesting that we’ll soon be seeing Naga girls in bikinis. The moment is near now that we have a lot of wannabe models. I’d like to see the reaction of their parents and the Church”. He makes sense.

During a minor group discussion, a buddy categorically declared that the much talked about unemployment problem is a farce. “Those who are sane gets themselves employed. The rest remains unemployed,” he then added. That was when another friend present retorts, “yeah! An immigrant as young as 15 earns up to a five figure monthly income and we have Naga youths as old as 35 claiming themselves educated unemployed”.

Another one of my like-minded friends (told you I got a lot of friends) remarked, “Indian culture is damn noisy”. He was saying this after he got tired of the noise coming out of the loudspeakers mounted on a Mandir in our neighbourhood. Secularism can sometimes be dangerous for your eardrums. Durga Puja means noise pollution in Mokokchung.

Here’s one that I overheard. A teacher in a certain Government Primary School: “Mahatma Gandhi, Father of the Nation”, she taught her class. She continued, “Mahatma Gandhi, papa laka papa. Bochishina?” Poor students, I reckoned. Even poorer teachers!

A few years back, there was a women’s conference in the Town Hall, Mokokchung. During business hour, they were debating over the impact of the influence of western culture on Naga society and resolved to fight against it. Later that afternoon, entertainment program followed. Boy, they were all go-go to the “fashion parade”! One lady present even declared, “There, that’s my daughter”. I figured that that “model” was a perfect specimen of “influence of Western culture on Naga society”, not just on the “ramp” alone, but elsewhere as well. But I learned my lesson that day – women do change their minds pretty fast. By the way, I was one of the ushers during that occasion, just in case you are wondering.

One of my friends, a rustic like me, went to Kohima to sit for the NPSC prelims last year.  On coming back, he told me that the young in Kohima dress – ah, I mean clothe – themselves pretty cool. He also said that whenever there is a youth activity in Kohima, it appears like you are watching some fashion program in Arirang, the Korean global TV.

A pastor in my local Church, who’s been to the land of the free, America, and I were talking about the American society last month. I admire the Americans even more after I heard what he had to say. Did I say admire? Anyway, he was telling me about a young couple who wanted to get married and settle down. They had been going out for two years now and had finally decided to make the solemn vow. He didn’t know who his parents were, neither did she. So they began to search for their respective parents. After much painstaking research, they ‘discovered’ their parents – they had the same parents. They were siblings. Unfortunately, my Pastor says he don’t know if at all they got married. But that’s the story thus far.

“Mokokchung pera ahia kan style kori ahisi”, I heard someone sing. You know, that’s true. There are a lot of blond groupies and coquettes, and even more number of spiky haired little yo-yo creatures. Most of them don’t even earn a paisa, I presume. Prostitution is the next trade that will soon make its presence felt in Mokokchung, let me tell you. Some pimps are already in the offing. Since ours is a liberal and an open-minded society, I won’t be surprised if some one suggests for the legalization of prostitution one of these days, like in the West.

Another good friend of mine after attending a “public general meeting” once argued that our customary decision making process is changing with the times. He was arguing that instead of our women folk, the Mias are encouraged participation. He said that these immigrants occupied the front row of that particular customary public meeting that day. So much for empowerment of women!

That’s all for now, folks. Sounds abrupt but I got to go before you make a claque out of me. Here’s just a word before I go – THINK.