By Lunminthang Haokip
Mizoram House, Vasant Vihar, Delhi: The stage was set on 28 August, 2010 at Delhi’s swanky Mizoram house. At the stroke of 3:30, the punctuality freaks among the invitees had socially underlined their arrival. The chairman of the invitation committee, Pu L. Singson was a trifle worried that the majority of the guests to attend GGMI (Go Gospel Ministry, International) had not come full force. Early presence of dignitaries like Rev Dino Touthang, CEO, Habitat For Humanity, Delhi, Brother Sunder Singh, Senior Consultant, Standard Chartered Bank and Mrs Diki Hauzel, however, made up for the initial emptiness of the hall.
The Master of Ceremonies: Some guys cannot do away with their pride; others cannot shed their humility. Hyderabad-based Senior Pastor of GSCH – Good Shepherd Community Church, India, Rev. Paothang Haokip belongs to the latter category. Cheerful with a 100-watt smile always intact on his lips, the mobile OM (Operation Mobilization) dynamo took centre-stage following Rev. Letlal Haokip’s invocation. True to titular charge, Rev Paothang proved to all that one’s gift of the gab, not only could aptly fill up an event’s lapses and gaps, but could as well lift up the mood of the audience.
The Show Went On: The proceedings of music album release bash gained momentum after the surprisingly competent compeer, Miss Kimneo Haokip of HFH, invited the star performers of the show, Miss C. Lalhmingmawii and R. Lalbiakthanga from downtown Aizawl, the city of cheer, to present the theme song. The crooning duo’s fresh rendition of GGG in a new place captured the imagination of Gospel music lovers. Pu T. Misao, Chairman, KWS, Delhi, welcomed all invitees after that.
The Recitation: To drive the message home in clearer terms, Miss/Dr. Eunice Chonghoi Haokip, Post-Grad student of NIFW, New Delhi, was called on stage to read out the wording of the title song, Gospel Goes Global. The poem was set to soul-haunting tune by Chris MS Dawngkima of Magdalene’s fame. The number turned out to be every hearer’s favourite. That includes Mami, the vocalist herself. That nobody is sensitive enough to take time to appreciate the song-writer, of course, is an ignorance all lyricists try hard to ignore ( I am joking seriously).
The Pen-Pusher: This author who wrote all the 11 songs recorded in the DVD that was launched in the event was the opening batsman in giving speech. Addressing the dignitaries, it dawned in me to correlate, by the literary technique of “violent yoking of dissimilars”, situation that I could recall in the professional adventures of former super-cop and the day’s Chief Guest, Dr. H.T Sangliana who presently serves GOI as the Vice Chairperson of NCM, National Commission For Minorities. The focused audience forced a sneer when I, the otherwise serious-looking non-socialite, made an attempt to split jaws by citing witty anecdotes featuring GB Shaw and W. Churchill etc.
The Making of GGG: 8 of the GGG video items were handled solo by Mami with Abea’s lip-smacking back-vocal support here and there. The rest of the 3 song items were recorded as duets with both the main vocalists lending their voices. In the location shoots, Mami doubled up as the Director, costume designer, production manager etc in the producer’s absence. Credit should go to her for having so beautifully organised the tedious video shoot of songs like Aids, Lonely in a crowd and Kut. AVZ –(amazing voice of Zoram), another name for Mami, had to milk her social goodwill in getting things done in style. Besides, inputs put in by the video cam men, Zova and Patea also fitted well in our scheme of things. Go Gospel was shot just before dusk by Zova on the bank of a far-flung river. Aizawl city video that framed the spirit of the hill-top city, was entirely Patea’s creation.
The Dedication Minister: Rev. Dino needs no introduction in Christian circles of the national capital. A frequent inter-continental globe-trotter, words gushed out of his mouth effortlessly like the unloading sound of stone chips. The invitees listened with amused demeanour when he made light-banter digs and references to his college-day interactions with this pen-pusher in the early nineteen seventies. Me too felt a sense of rendezvous when brother Dino spoke on our salad days. We used to nick-name U.C.C, Barapani as U See Sea etc.
The Glocal Gospel: However, it was when he told stories on his children’s comments on his face-book and twitter accounts that struck a chord with the invitees. His fresh ideas on the Gospel going global and glocal created a good impact. The CEO of HFH said, “The gospel was already global. But we must play our part as NE Indians to speed up its globalization process”. The senior Pastor of KWS (Kuki Worship Service), Delhi declared the imminence of John 3:16, “For God so loved the world ………” in presupposing the global meaning of the Good news. Rev. Dino finally dedicated the GGG DVD in prayer.
The Inroduction: Before the grand speech of the Chief Guest happened, glib-tongued Brother Paothang, as an introduction to the former MP, waxed eloquent on the social spurs Pu H.T. Sangliana earned in the course of discharging his duty fearlessly as an outstanding IPS officer. The OM leader also stressed the simplicity of the stern strong-willed former super-cop who had a weakness for the poor and helpless people around him.
Four films on the former super-cop, Mr Paothang said, were not made for nothing. Those who knew him willingly testified that when situational goings got tough, the tough like Pu Sangliana got going. The master of ceremonies also shared interesting incidents when the big officer took utmost care not to make small folks feel small.
Speech From The Chief Guest: Excerpts: “God has been kind to me. I am where I am because of His blessing. I believe in God strongly”. No one who got glued to their seats doubted what the former DGP said. His life was an open book. The GGG Launch bash CG continued, “The release of GGG is meaningful because it encourages people to tell more about Jesus. Christ came into this world as a representative from heaven to experience all trials and tribulations”.
The Bold Preacher: Pu Sangliana was a cut above the rest. Through out his revered career-graph, he never minced words in respect of persons. Calling a spade a spade became his trademark. The uniformed cop who once saluted his God himself, all alone inside a Church, further preached, “Jesus gave a simple message, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh unto the father , but by me (John 14:6). Whenever Christ affirmed “I am”, people thought he was arrogant or was bragging. But the truth is that if you want to live in heaven, you will have to take Him at His own word”.
The Truth Not Concealed: The ambience went Gospel with Dr. Sangliana going spiritual. “Brother Paothang stretched his praise for me a bit too far”, the staunch Christian Officer said further, “Today, we promote the GGG album that through this, people may come to know more about Christ, accept Him and live with Him for ever. I used to challenge non-believers to try Christ for 6 months or 1 year; and to throw Him out if not satisfied later. But I knew well that no believer would throw Christ out. I am sure God will bless this album”. Maddening applause rent the air after the CG’s sermon.
The Close: Following Mrs. Nengkim Haokip’s presents and gifts to the special invitees prior to her “vote of thanks”, and the singing of GGG numbers by Mami and Abea, the bash came to a close with a word of prayer by Pastor Angam Kipgen. Amen. A simple dinner was served by GGMI, L. Thinglhangphai, Manipur, India.