Celebrations of festival with the Covid protocols

Chinglembi  Shagolsem
Last week, the sky of Sana leipak was filled with the festive lights and the laughter of people celebrating “Nigol Chakkouba”. As a far mute spectator standing over a bridge that is built over the heart of the city, my heart was permeated with joy and happiness and I said to myself, “Oh, the city is alive again”.
A few months back, the city was in another form, totally a deserted place and not even a soul was seen in the streets of Imphal. What a drastic change I saw on the eve of Diwali and Nigol Chakkouba, on the following day. I felt like the eyes of the people were beaming with the celebratory lights and thumping with the rejoiceful hearts.
I pray to God that there is no more wave of pandemic in the state and even in the entire  world. Because, humanity cannot incur the same loss we had experienced in the first and the second wave with the outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic. But the recent news about the new variant of the virus found in Russia is alarming. I hope that all will be well this time.
A gloomy face does not suit the city. Rather, we love the cheerful form of the Kanglei Ema where she nurtured the daughters and sons in her soil. The people of Manipur cannot bear another pandemic. We had heard enough sirens of ambulances day and night, whenever an ambulance passes through my house, I pray for the speedy recovery of the person whomsoever because nobody wants to lose their precious family member. We had already lost many lives . Amidst all these hardships, like a ray of hope, with the joint efforts from the government, medical teams and the co-operations from the different sections of the society, majority of the populations in the states have been vaccinated. And it's good to see  the outcome of it. The number of cases are reducing everyday and I believe it is a sign of relief for everyone.
Curfews are being lifted. Seems like life has been brought back to normalcy. People have started enjoying the outdoor life, going to work and eating at cafes during the weekends. Moreover, the month of November is a month of festivals for Manipuri like in the rest of India. And all the major festivals  fall in line starting from Dipawali, Nigol Chakkouba  and so on. I wished the light of the Diwali and the blessings of the Nigol Chakkouba may have wiped all the worries and the remnants of the virus from our state. Now, the major festivals of the Christains brothers and sisters, Christmas is also around the corner. The day when Nigol Chakouba was celebrated I felt that we had been blessed by the Goddess like Ema Panthoibi, Ema Emoinu, Ema Leimaren Sidabi and, Ebudhou Pakhangba and Lainingthou Sanamahi. Through their blessings we were able to come out from our doorstep and celebrate the festivals together with our near and dear ones and which was not possible during the peak of the deadly pandemic. Did we remember the instances where the family members were not able to join the last rites when the family members died? And if we peep inside the household of the Manipuri during the celebrations of Nigol Chakkouba and Diwali last week, there may not be  any household where the family members had not died due to Covid or co-morbid situations as they couldn’t offer proper treatment on time. They have not been forgotten by their family members from their hearts on the eve of these festivals. More festivals are coming up before we bid off 2021.
2022 election is also near and I hope it will not collide with the Yaoshang festival as we need to be aware that the virus is still out there. To conclude, I would like to convey that let’s not forget to wear masks and maintain the SOP of Covid. Also let  us take proper precaution to save ourselves as well as others from the virus. Let's end this year with a happy ending and may our state be the one which has the lowest rate of Covid cases in the country. Our carelessness should not ruin the lives of ours and others. Last but not the least, a gentle reminder not to forget the Covid protocols while celebrating the festivals with a warm heart.