By Bobo Khuraijam

Idle days are coming back again. Not because winter has arrived. Chinjak Festival is coming to an end. In this land of festivals, no festival electrifies us like the Chinjak Festival does. For those of us who love to abuse our taste buds, the festival has been our ultimate destination. We have not missed a single spell. Right from its germination at the GM hall, to its seasonal bloom at other places likeThoubal or Palace Compound. We have ploughed our hands through numerous cuisines. In the past we even had burned our tongues joyfully with South Asian gastronomies from Korea, Tibet and Thailand etc. Our exploits remain unchallenged.

TEAM NORTH EAST. For the first time our neighbors have come to participate in the festival. Anashi and Akhoine of AoSema, Ping Chin Ha and Khrechong of Lotha, Wak Mei Yan and Aao Mei of Konyak; all from Nagaland are cuisines of pure delight. Khashi’sDohSniang and DohTungsemare equally pleasing. Team Khasi’sMr. JehomNongtri and his mates had an unpleasant hold up while coming to Imphal. Assam police detained them when they reached Guwahati. The beggars in uniform finally asked them to pay five thousand rupees. Six hundred rupees did the job. They were glad to see the Chinjak volunteers when they reach Imphal. Our Konyak lasses have fascinating experience whenever they go for shopping at EmaKeithel. “kari lamgi leishabino emou oijarage”, is something they hear repeatedly from the emas. The Meitei emas wish to have the Konyak beauties as their daughter in law. When enquired about the remark, our highland lasses revealed with smile that they simply love the compliment. They find Imphal warm and helpful. As for the food: people who have stayed outside the state, mostly who have tasted Naga food earlier throng their stalls. They would love to see more people experimenting and experiencing it.The Chinjak fest has brought them toImphal for the first time. And they love it.Though the sales do not meet their expectation they enjoy the vibe. After all, profit and loss is not the hallmark of the festival.It is about people to people exchange – heart to heart; with varieties of tastes handed down from our forefathers. We have been neighbors and we hardly know each other. The festival is a rare opportunity. This is what our Lotha lady shared to us. Yes, we agree. Our buses from Imphal travel through Nagaland daily. But we remained as passengers who just pass.


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