By -Sanatombi Angomcha
The beautiful ruins of the Old Kangla palace, the glorious plunk of the ‘Sana Konung’, the ever famous ‘Shamu Makhong’, the crowded ‘Ima keithel’ at Kwairambandh Bazaar, not to forget the one and only ‘Rup Mahal theatre’, the popular landmark- ‘neetyai bai chuthek’, the meandering Kanglapark brook, nostalgic Baruni hills etc. – these are some memories of ‘Old Imphal’ I am pretty fond of. Some of these have not yet been changed and I am glad for the same. However, it will never be a fallacy to admit that the essence of Old Imphal Sehar no more remains the same.
I still remember my mother relating me some memories about her college days. During her maiden days, having a bicycle was a matter of pride (or something to flaunt) whereas in our times driving a scooty or kinetic Honda became an in-demand fashion. Now kinetic Honda has again become an out fashioned vehicle replaced by Activa, Pleasure, Dio etc. From the perspective of fashion drifts, wearing a ‘bell bottom jeans/pant, jeans’ skirt’ or a dhangri pant/frock used to make us feel on top of the world. And of course the ‘Rangeela Boots’ darling, how can I forget that? If you ride a kinetic, wear any of the mentioned attires, and luckily has a pair of matching boots- the world was all yours. And mind you sweetheart, but it took only twenty rupees for an individual to join a ‘chaak chanaba’. Please note, the price rise issue at present has got nothing to do with ‘chaak chanabas’ organized by friends. I understand that money values change in due course of time. But I am excited to flaunt that just a five rupee note was enough for pocket money then. Those were indeed the best days!
Today, we can observe a drastic as well as dramatic change in the fashion and lifestyle trends of the city. The copy-pasted Korean fashion drifts in New Imphal City (amongst the teenagers) is quite a feast for our eyes. But somewhere in the deep corner of my heart, I feel sorry for these modern kids and their lifestyles (not just about the fashion trends). They have missed pretty good things of life that need no money to buy. The wannabe copy-cat trends, the early marriages, disoriented careers, drugs etc. to a great extent set the tone of Modern Imphal and they say ‘the youths are the pillar of the Nation’ Are they?