Nongmaithem Tombi Singh’s contribution to the making of Hijam Anganghal a Mahakavi

Surjitkumar Loitam
Contd from previous issue
Thus, the intellectuals of this land, since early times, including the family members, had been supportively working for Anganghal. But Oja Tombi’s contribution was an integral part of the efforts to make Anganghal enduringly and extensively popular. He worked for more than fifty years to popularize Anganghal and still endeavoring to spread Anganghal’s glory worldwide. With a long-term perspective, he has been developing, based on the documents, a new visage of Anganghal.
As a Luminary person to impel for the translation of Khamba Thoibee Sheireng into English
Oja Tombi who had been working for a long time to promote Mahakavi Angang-hal did not cease to think of accomplishing subsequent pursuits for the Mahakavi. He hankered after translating the Khamba Thoibee Sheireng, the very sparse one of its kind in North East India, into English, which would be an arduous task for him. He strongly believed that if the task could be accomplished, it would be more evident that Manipur has been established by art and culture, and sports. So, on many occasions, if the situation permitted, he would mention the pending job of translating the epic. Whenever he happened to chat with his coterie of friends and acquaintances at the college or university, he would propose the matter. He would rather inspire mainly the teachers who were doing literature and well versed in English. Despite his persuasions, a long time had passed without yielding any fruit. But he didn’t lose hope that one day someone plucky son of Mother Manipur would take up the task.
Fortunately, the Sahitya Akademi New Delhi, entrusted the work of translating Hijam Angang-hal’s Khamba Thoibee Sheireng into English to Prof. Naorem Khagendra in 2013 as a special project. Prof. Khagendra, without letting the opportunity lose, took up the task promptly right after the consent letter was submitted. Prof. Khagendra, because of his advanced age, conceived the idea of taking help from someone whom he could approach thinking that if he single-handedly attempted the task, it could remain incomplete or a fiasco. So he sought help from Jodha- chandra Sanasam. As it was a good task, Jodhachandra Sanasam also instantly consented. (To be contd)