Sweet memories of my friend Bijaya Yumlembam

    29-May-2021
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Sweet memories of my frie
Dr Sadhana Ningthoujam
Contd from previous issue
I enquired about her and found out her wound on her head were not stitched. So I transferred her to the stitching room in casualty. I opened the bandage, the cut was very long it extended from the bridge of the nose to high up the forehead and taking antiseptic care; then I had just started stitching the wound when one fellow asked me whether she would be scarred or not; I answered that such wonderful proud scar mark, I would not be able to achieve in my life time.
 At that time her tears kept flowing down without any sound and she bored her pain silently. I kept wiping her tears and continued stitching her wounds; heart touching moments observed inside the RIMS casualty during the cease fire incident. We always go beyond our professions and we love to do that for the welfare of mankind.
Bijaya interacted with youths and participated in the various camps at the State level and National Integration Youth Camps organised by the Nehru Yuva Kendra. In the evening, all the cultural programs of different States and the golden  opportunities of exchange studies of art and culture and there was a room for interacting among the campers too. Bijaya was the bridge with the eminent personalities in the fields of sports; artists and dancers etc. and arrangements were made by her to interact well with the campers from outside Manipur. She gave her time always. We were given various topics in the field of health issues for talks and for Bijaya in the fields of media and mountaineering.
There were leadership training camp organised by the NYK District coordinator. We campaigned for voluntary blood donation and made the youths aware of the importance of donating blood. We organised many blood donation camps at Thanga, Bishenpur and other far-flung areas and provided blood to the JN Hospital blood bank and even RIMS too. Our youth Mr Ningthoujam Nandalal is still helping in the RIMS blood bank, organising voluntary blood donation camp at the campus.
Bijaya loved music, trekking, and travelling; she was a dynamic and high spirited lady with multiple personalities. She spent her times to the fullest possible ways in all the fields. She was vibrant, energetic, witty and jovial all the times. She cut jokes and she usually shared very interesting stories and made everybody laugh, that was why everybody invited her in any gathering for the wonderful moments.
She was the life member of Manipur Mahila Kalyan Samiti, but she rarely came to the MMKS office as she was such a busy person; however she usually participated when there were acute problems such as when we demonstrated for our rights to procure our disputed land of MMKS at Lamphelpat and another issue when all the Imas of MMKS organised awareness program of HIV and AIDS at Moreh under CRY project. We, Bijaya, Eche Chitra and myself were there to help all the Imas, namely Imaibem Poda, Ima Bimola, Ima Saraju, Ima Jyomati, Enebem Pramodini and others during the program. They wished to visit Tamu so we took them there for sightseeing and to Pagoda. She rarely visited children Home, Dewlahland after that.
We encouraged youth for adventure works and participated in climbing and other events, and one of the youths asked both of us why we were trekking in the high mountain, instead we should be sitting in front among the elderly listening to Wari and Lairik Taba etc. We were laughing like anything and that was  the wonderful moments and relieved from the tiring, hectic climb. I would like to share our precious moments, Bijaya and myself were returning from Bombay, reached Manipur Bhavan at Calcutta. We met troupes of Manipuri Artists numering nearly 1500  who had come to perform at Manipur festival at Salt Lake, Sorbhumi Threatre led by the hon’ble Minister of Art and Culture Dr Nara.
 He had coordinated with the Bengal Governor for exchange cultural programs. We attended the inaugural function, the renowned artist Echema Roma arranged Samji Nachoms (decorated with scented flowers combination, arranged beautifully in such a way for wearing at the ear lobe) for the volunteers of about 10 of them to maintain the uniformity and they were wearing our traditional dresses.
And then I provided malle parangs (traditional jewellery) to all the volunteers which I had brought from Bombay (that belonged to my cousin, Sangita). We had the chance to watch the courtyard play “Memsahebgi Sari” at the Sorbhumi Theatre, Salt Lake Calcutta. The next day, we left for Jaganath Khetra by train, that night we were shivering inside the train.
I had one pair of socks, one piece I wore and another Bijaya wore and we tried to bear the cold windy night but it was not helping, finally we both shared the berth together and warmed ourselves. The moment we reached Jaganath Khetra station (Orissa), we went to buy two woollen shawls for each of us to be used for the return journey. Then we went to offer puja at the temple and then we hired a vehicle for going to sightseeing places like Konark temple etc.
We did not stay longer because all our travelling schedules were tight so we returned to Calcutta and then back home.  
Bijaya was very farsighted and she was always determined to do anything to please herself, just like an eagle she kept observing and identifying the situations and remained alert most of the time. She even planned for retirement and to establish an old age home also. ’Man proposes God disposes’, we cannot predict our life at all, everything is in the hands of God, this Covid-19 pandemic has  abruptly taken away our friend, Bijaya Yumlembam from all of us, the eclipse has swallowed the light forever and only the vivid sweet memories remain within our hearts.