Before I Sleep.... ll

Rajendra Kshetri
Good morning Manipur,
Twenty Twenty One has passed. Twenty Twenty Two has stepped in. The year gone by was still the year of Covid-19, just like the preceding year, though marked by the deadly 'Delta' variant . It was also the year in which we humans have shown remarkable perseverance and resilience in the global fight against Corona.
It has become a cliche (sounds trite really) to say the Corona pandemic has turned our lives upside down. It has been an unprecedented crisis alright. But every crisis is not the end of everything. It has thrown up opportunities as well. There are silver linings and/or lessons to take home.
To begin with, the Covid pandemic has taught us to be hygienic in our daily lives. Not only at the personal and the family front but at the community and societal level as well. Hygienic behavior on our part is not only an important component of the armory needed to stem the pandemic but it complements the Covid appropriate behavior recommended by WHO and Governments the world over.
Secondly, we need to give more focus on family. Family bonding and support is required if we are to turn the table on the pandemic.
Thirdly, Environment must be protected at all cost. Human activities in the name of 'development' should not be pushed to the extent of destroying environment and natural ecosystems. Environment can sustain on its own but humans cannot. Our very own survival depends on the environment that surrounds us. The all-too-sudden outbreak of Covid-19 from the Wuhan province of China must be seen as a grim reminder to the mankind to not take the environment for granted.
Fourthly, there's a positive side to the Covid pandemic. Environment, it has been widely reported, has become cleaner and healthier. For instance, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, main driver of climate change, have been going down steadily all over the world. There has been a drastic fall in pollution levels too.
Over and above what has been stated, the most fundamental lesson from the Covid pandemic is to (re) discover the power of human resilience. It's possible to be resilient in times of crisis. Resilience is an inherent part of human psyche. It's in our DNA.
Amidst all these Covid concerns and lessons, my journey of rumbling thoughts/opinions "Before I Sleep..." continues... From social media to print media.
Dear friends/readers, A Happy and Resilient New Year 2022. Happy reading...
9 (December 19, 2021).
The highways are crowded, narrow and dilapidated
But I have promises to (un) keep
And months to go
Before I Sleep
The voters are happy, nice and obedient
But I have deposits to be made to vote bank
And weeks to go
Before I Sleep
And days to go
Before I Sleep.
*excuse me, Robert Frost, for paraphrasing your eternal lines of inspiration.

10 (December 20, 2021).
Election time is festival time
Festival of democracy
When people are in festive mood
Mood to celebrate festival of money
Mood to drink and eat and merry
When money rains in the plains and the hills
Democracy takes a back seat.
When money talks people listen
And vote they will for sure
Money matter matters
A materialistic interpretation of democracy
Marx would agree for sure.

11 (December 21, 2021).
The voters have only interpreted the world
In various ways
The point, however, is to change it.
The voters have always missed
The wood for the trees
The point, however, is to see the larger picture
There are three kinds of voter though
Party, floating and conscience voter
The point, however, is to be the Third Kind.
*Now Marx would have to excuse me for paraphrasing his epitaph.

12 (December 22, 2021).
Everybody loves Manipur
Who doesn't
But there's a special class of people
Who loves Manipur more than any one else
They remained in hibernation for years
Only to (re) appear at Election time
Their love for Manipur is so profound and profuse
So they left unsaid what you already knew
"It's not that I love Manipur less
But that I love money more ".

13 (December 24, 2021).
This land of ours
This 'little Paradise on earth ' is a land
Where Contractors 'thrives and drives '
This land produces an unique class of people
Who rules the roost and reigns
If and when they were/are given party tickets and elected
Regardless of whether BJP or Congress
What do you expect
So long as Manipur is at the mercy of these contract cronies
Things will remain the same.

14 (December 25, 2021).
The King had everything
A beautiful queen
Three little tiny tots
A palatial house
Three BMWs
More than a couple of Farm houses
Shopping Malls and Theatres
Money is the King's middle name
Over and above
The power to silence his subjects
The license to kill his detractors
The King never looks happy though
For he didn't have one simple thing
The King didn't have RESPECT from his subjects
No matter how hard he tried/tries
No matter how much money he doles out
The King was /is never respected
The King never thought
Respect is to be earned and not bought.

15 (December 26, 2021).
Election time is opportune time
('Moithem' time in local parlance)
Talk of Women's empowerment
Talk of Women's representation in the House
Seriously speaking though
How many women (intending) candidates are in the fray
Which political party is committed to
Walk the Talk
Give 10/20 percent reserved seats
A mere 2/3 as face-saving measure ?
A 'Moithem' measure in practice
A fact gone unnoticed by Womenfolk
What a pity!!!
* The author is Professor of Sociology at Manipur University, Imphal. Author of 6 books, his latest " Letters from the Republic of Dust " ( Mittal publication) is available on Amazon and department of Sociology, MU.