By : Nganthoi Lourembam
As time progresses swiftly without any hesitation or reluctance people along with their behaviour change. And we often tend to move forward and not look back. I happened to see a picture of my mom and dad when they were young and unmarried. Mom was blushing in the picture nor she was looking at the camera and so my dad was. The picture was taken somewhere in 18 centuries when they were out for a date. So I asked my mom how people of their time or the earlier period go for date; do they go to park, long drive and have food at a hotel.
Her wrinkled face gave me a hard smile and said in the olden time boys go to girls’ house at night and profess love through playing games or other activities. What sort of games? Of all the games, Likkon is the most interesting game played between girls and boys. Boys and girls would sit in the form of a circle. Each boys and girls would take the Likkon (which looks like cowry shell) in hand and put them on the ground after shaking them. If the boy wins he can confess his love to the desired girl and vice versa. Girls get mingled with boys through Thabal Chongba wherein girls and boys holding each other’s hand in the form of a big circle dance to the rhythm of the song sung during the activity under the full moon’s light (this activity is still carried on by the current youngsters with some modification). One more interesting activity is Phoushuba (traditional way to crush rice) during which boys come at girls’ house and talk to each other while helping the girls in crushing the rice. These ways the boys and girls exchange their feelings to each other, how romantic!
I asked few of my friends who are in their 20s how they would prefer going out for a date. Of course the answers are quite contradictory to the olden period and interesting as well. Some preferred to go for blind date at five star hotel, some preferred long drive dating, some of them preferred hanging out at park or garden, quite interestingly some preferred to date online and some do not prefer dating at all which includes me. It is clear that the style and preferences of the two eras are quite contradictory. Development of science and technology may be the reasons for the changes but it’s true that human beings have become less sensitive and so romance seems to be lacking in today’s generation. I asked my mom what she would now prefer; going out for a date in a five star hotel or play Likkon. She smiled and replied, “I’ll always remember the enjoyment I got from playing Likkon that I cannot get it anymore. Old is gold dear.”