Lampak is calling

Sanasam Yaiphaba Singh
With the setting of the spring season, youth are eagerly waiting for the Yaoshang festival, while the Lampak (playgrounds) are also eagerly waiting to welcome the sport festival. The sports at present have a speculating phenomenon compared to the past. In the recent past it was a culture for every person to participate in one and another discipline of sports in Manipur society. In the course of time, the phenomenon of sports culture is decreasing. However, fortunately, the spirit of the sports movement is still found in our society. In this context, Yaoshang Sports is taking a big role by providing a good opportunity for kids and youth to participate in sports at the grassroot level, which occupies a large space to display the various sports activities. During the five days of Yaoshang, the children and youth get the opportunity to occupy and play in the vacuum of the Lampak with different activities of sports disciplines. This shows a new direction of sports movements in Manipur. In the past, the Lampak was known as Sanabung (playground), and the majority of our grandparents quoted Sanabung as Kangjeibung, which would mean our indigenous games, namely Mukna Kangjei (wrestling-cum-hockey), Sagol Kanjgjei (polo), and many other local indigenous games etc., were played and practised in Sanabung. The place was also used as continuity of the tradition of deliberations on sports, current affairs and many issues among young and old alike.  But, now the word Sanabung is almost disappearing, and so the word is likely to be found only in dictionaries. It appears that the word being not in use is mostly due to the undue influence of western and modern concepts. Would it not be unfortunate or shameful for society?
Therefore, it would be the obligation and responsibility of the Yaoshang sports organisers to inculcate the idea and propose conducting the sports festival among the participants besides promoting the popularity and development of sports movements.
In many of the Yaoshang sports, it is observed that a large portion of the sports activities are organised  for entertainment and just to pass the time. But, the free time available among the kids and youth during the festival are so important because during that time they play freely without any restriction or binding. It is time to learn and understand the basic knowledge of the sports activities. Therefore, more focus may be given on our indigenous games and suitable power games like hockey, football, cricket, athletics, etc. In fact, all the youths will not be played in the national or international levels, and as such, they have to choose their preferences in the fields of education, music, player, and many other suitable areas. However, as a human being, it is essential to maintain physical fitness by way of humang louthokpa( Hu- poison and mang -disappear;  means to extract sweat from our body). We can take the opportunity of the learning and practicing of sport being provided during Yaoshang sports festival. The opportunity should not be missed in idle pursuit. Now, in a few days we are to see the performance of Yaoshang sports. The festival will be over after five days, and then the playground will almost remain idle,with a hope of waiting to welcome for the next Yaoshang as  hope will renew the strength  of waiting. The first Manipur Olympian, Nilakomol Singh once told that whenever he saw a playground, he felt as if the Lampak was essentially calling him with open arms. It has a time when not only players but also every able person was being attached to one or other Sanabung in their journey of life that it would ever persevere with them. But, at the present generation, it is being replaced by mobile to a considerable extent.
Reminiscing by me ‘The Lampak (ground)’
Calling you those who played on me.
The joyful days of Yaoshang have come.
The blissfulness on your face,
watching me come closer.
Busy days that are caught making life,
forgetting to be joyful.
Now, the days of complete happiness,
Lamtatha has arrived.
The eagerness for you to come has finally warped up.
The ground is finally colourful and lively.
PhD scholar, Manipur University, Id: [email protected]