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Book Review – Summer Snow: Portraying Manipur of Today

by IT Web Admin
1 comment 4 minutes read

By: Seram Neken

Name of the Book:  ‘Summer Snow’
Writer:  Birkarnelzelzit Thiyam
Publisher: Luwang Publications, Khoijuman on behalf of APDC, Imphal
ISBN: 9382939032
Edition: 2016
Price:  200

Every human being has the right to see, hear and feel his environment. He has the liberty to think and express his opinion to his fellow beings. Enjoying such a liberty is itself a duty of a man to his fellow humans. Writers whose pens attempt to paint the current social issues and attempt to find solutions by way of moulding public opinion, are termed as social thinkers. In communication theories, author is the source and reader is the target while ideas expressed are the messages and the book is the medium. Books have been the most effective means to share thoughts from times immemorial. The present society, overwhelmed with new and swift media, needs to encourage young writers of all sorts while at the same time inculcating reading habits among the youths.
‘Summer Snow’, a compilation of 51 essays portraying the issues inherent in current Manipur society is a venture to provoke the readers to think and act. Penned by a young writer ‘Birkarnelzelzit Thiyam’, the anthology hits the stalls in 2016 with its first edition. The book published by Luwang Publications, Khoijuman on behalf of APDC, Imphal is dedicated to the author’s grandparents. It is quite readable and appealing with short essays on a variety of topics relevant in present social set-ups and mindsets in Manipur.
Referring to the people’s mindset and short-lived thought in the present Manipur society, Birkarnelzelzit’s first essay begins with the lines: “When water runs out of an open tap, the society takes water from the tank and tries to throw them out instead of closing the tap first”. He is trying to reveal that the society, instead of discovering the real cause of the evils and ending them first, dwells on short-lived measures.
“If an ant wants to kill an elephant, it goes inside the ear of the latter instead of challenging the huge animal face to face. The ant first becomes a part of the elephant and starts attacking from inside……………………………………….Lets see beyond, feel beyond and think beyond.” These lines are an extract from the essay ‘Inside the petals of the red rose’ where the writer attempts to dwell on the manner of parental care required for the present generation of teens.
Birkarnelzelzit, at the fag end of the second decade of his birth, explores issues that ail the generation and mirrors in his 152 paged book dedicated to his beloved grandparents. Hailed from the Khoijuman in Bishnupur district of Manipur, the young author tries to ignite the readers with his short but thought provoking stories penned in the book. Every essay in the book attempts to attract the readers till the last paragraph and it is really successful. Very beautifully constructed lines with freely chosen terminologies matching the reality in Manipur society adorn the book.
In one of his essays, Birkarnelzelzit writes “Paona fought against the mighty British to save the motherland, to save our identity. But what happens today – If Inner Line Permit system is not implemented, I would suggest that Patriots’ Day must not be observed” (ILP: the only means to save the true blood). The book lays stress on almost all social issues confronting Manipur society today. It portrays corruption mania, women empowerment, ailing education system, identity crises, environmental issues, media impact on children, and so on. The book is a narrative that may also serve as a contemporary history describing the pros and cons of the present set-up.
The writer’s vision of a new era based on the religion of love is reflected in his essay “ I wish it was real” where he narrated a dream of his. The book is a venture born out of the young writer’s eagerness to express and inform the readers of what he imagines of as a future society. His writings are not only critical, suggestive and appealing to readers, but also inspiring and motivating to young people.
The writer, in his brief essay titled “Khoijuman: the iron inside the pillar”, picturized his birthplace in a very few words. He writes, “Many state and national level footballers have been produced from the village of NOBAB. If we give them a football, then there is no point that players like Messi will not come up”. Describing the bountiful scenic beauty of Khoijuman beside the Loktak Lake, the writer boasts of his village saying “……….. You will never see any drunkard walking on the road”, which depicts that Khoijuman is free from intoxicants. After reading the piece, I lately wish if I were born in Khoijuman.

(The reviewer can be reached at [email protected])

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1 comment

Bhubol Sougrakpam June 23, 2016 - 2:08 pm

It might certainly be an ant’s work with contents alike to bees’ collect- nectars as it is crafted as such by the reviewer’s tip-top gist about it. Unfortunately, I ‘m yet to be touched by it.


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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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