Essence of Ningol Chakkouba Say no to extravagance
Make the day meaningful. The essence of the day should not be reduced to an exercise of ‘materialistic competition’, an endeavour to show who can bring back more expensive gifts from one’s parental home and this is the reason why so many civil society organisations always qualify their greetings on Ningol Chakkouba to do away with the practise of competing on who can give more lavish gifts to their daughters/sisters/aunts/nieces etal. Tough to say when such a practise became an over riding factor, so much so, that almost everything has got reduced to receiving and gifting gifts but this is worrying. It is amid the glitz of gifts and more gifts that the real essence of the day is lost and nothing can be more disturbing than this. Or perhaps this is a reflection of the level to which society has sunk where everything is interpreted along materialism and more material things. A sign of a society grappling with a highly materialistic world, which they have brought upon themselves, blindly or knowingly, and a true inner calling that all of these materialistic exercises are shambolic at its best ? There will be no easy answer to this, for in one way or the other, everyone is guilty of contributing to such a trend. Call it the onslaught of the times, but rewind to the days when the world was a more simple place to live. Ningol Chakkouba invariably meant the Ningol along with her children taking the rickshaw to go back to her parental home, where the brother and her parents would be waiting to have a grand lunch. It was such a lunch which meant much more than what was laid out to eat. It was much more than eating together, with all the goodies of the day. It was something much more and deeper than just sharing a meal and with the passage of time this meaning has become extremely blurred, clouded by all the gifts and more gifts that usually come along with observing the day.
It is not without reason why extremely meaningful short films, short Shumang Lilas, radio plays etc have been made to highlight the ill effects of the blind race to be one up of the other with the gifts that one receives on this day from one’s parental home. In fact situation has come to such a pass that in some cases, it meant that brothers ‘are not in a position’ to invite their sisters on this day, as the ‘race for gifts’ are just too much to bear. Defeating the very purpose of the day and perhaps this is where everyone should take a step back, look at the reality and come to the realisation that everyone has a duty not to reduce the day to an exercise of glitz and pomp and show. On a larger scale, it is not only on Ningol Chakkouba but also on other days that some serious introspection is called for. Lavishness does not exactly go with the ethos of the Manipuri society. Tone it down ! The large scale waste that one sees at any community feasting or Mapam Chakkouba, during any wedding etc are all ostentatious and at times live up to the line ‘vulgar display of wealth.’ Time to go back to the basics and the unfortunate part is, most of those who indulge in these brazenness and vulgar display of wealth would have no idea of the history and significance of such a beautiful day as Ningol Chakkouba. The Sangai Express wishes its readers a happy and meaningful Ningol Chakkouba.