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TAPTA: Jayenta Loukrakpam - “A man with different Rhythm”

Jayenta Loukrakpam, popularly known as TAPTA, was born on Wednesday the 30th March 1966 in a poor family of Naranseina Mamang Leikai of Bishnupur District, Moirang Sub-Division. His father (Late) Bijoy Loukrakpam was a simple village farmer and his mother Loukrakpam Ongbi Mangolnganbi (still alive, age about 94) is a simple housewife. TAPTA (Jayenta) is the youngest of three siblings of which two are his elder sisters; Khangembam Ongbi Ibechaobi is the eldest and Chingakham Ongbi Mema is the second elder sister. He married to Oinam ningol Pratima and father of five siblings, Henba (Only son),Henbi Henao, Helli and Henthoi( all daughters).TAPTA had his early education from class I to V at Naranseina Junior High school; from class VI to VIII at Phubala High School then went to Moirang Multipurpose Higher Secondary school where he studied Class IX and X. He passed his HSLC (Metric/Class X) from the same School in 1983. He did his PUC in  Science at D.M college of Science and graduated from Moirang College in 1989.He underwent PGDCA (Post graduate Diploma in Computer Application)in an Institute at Guwahati during 1989-92.    
  From childhood days, Jayenta (TAPTA) was very much fond of music and deeply interested in Art & Culture. Being born in a poor family, in spite of his deep interest in music, his family did not encourage and support him, however his parents did not interfere his desire of music being the only son of the family. He faced many crucial hurdles in his course of musical life, he said. His first Guru of music was his late uncle Gandhar. His uncle taught him the art of playing Tabala and singing. His uncle use to call him to sing during “LIKON SANABA” (on Krishna-Asthmi & Radha-Asthami) that time. His parents were very anxious but worried and did not like his singing in the mike during Likon Sanaba, however his two sisters encouraged his singing. After his uncle Gandhar expired,, his  cousin (Late) O.Thoiba, promoted him to sing on the stage. Because of his cousin Thoiba, Jayenta(TAPTA) has now become a renowned singer . He said, he still remember lines of songs by his late cousin like- “Setpiro Ema Laan-mi-gi phijol,tambiro Baba nongmei kappa”;Leibaklei ho leibaklei Taibang tayonabi leibaklei;Ebungo macha laone chakthongbi saan-na-se etc. His late cousin O.Thoiba gave him an opportunity to sing the song two times in the children Program (Angangsing-gi-Thouram) of All India radio Imphal.He took part in song competitions of schools in which he stood first many times which inspired , encouraged  and influenced him a lot  to be in the field of music.             
After graduation, he fully dedicated to music. He bought a Guitar during his post graduate studies at Guwahati. He said, he was thrown out from 12 different rented houses at Guwahati as he played Guitar loudly days and night without stopping. He tried to learn Strumming of the Guitar string by himself which he found difficult, so tried to take help from a person called Ranjit. Ranjit showed his unwillingness to teach him rather neglected by showing his egostic manner of being an expert in playing guitar.Tapta got shocked and determined that one day he would be much better Guitarist than him (Ranjit).Though Ranjit refused and neglected him to teach strumming but the credit for his mastering in playing Guitar and becoming an expert in strumming goes to Ranjit, he said. He completed his post-graduation in 1993 and returned home. His family members were not happy with him as he paid more important in music than the computer course he studied. He joined “Bina Musical Club” of Phubala,which he later changed its name as “Apunbaba Naharol Semgat Lup(ANASEL) “for a wider perspective as Bina Musical Club was only for Phubala that time.He was the guitarist and composer of “Tamna Musical Centre Bishnupur in 1994. He was a part-time artist of “Dance Drama and Cultural Association” a Sumang Leela group too. His first stage performance was at Rudra high School of Khuekpi,during Swarasati Puja in which he got Rs 50/- he said. His musical performance could not bear the daily bread of the family because of this he was the laughing stock of his locality. He was the apple of mocking and teasing for everybody ,saying that a man send to learn computer but returned with a guitar in hand, suffering his parents like hell; he is completely a spoiled ,useless bread and black sheep of the family. Not only this, he was so badly insulted by one of the renowned female singer of Manipur about the music composition of a celluloid Manipuri film. In that the Director of the film asked the female singer about his (TAPTA) composition, in reply,the singer said how can I hear & see that stupid ,nonsense,irrelevant sur and  composition of that un-named fellow. A renowned drummer also once said-100% of Manipur’s music artists hate and dislike you, nobody want to listen your music and watch your performance but they know the excellencies of your composition and  very much impressed though pretend dislike. Another famous Manipuri male singer also once said to one of the renowned music lover- Why did you so close to that “Lawai Macha” and what’s the use and purpose of inviting him in a launch like this? However he never detached his love of music. Amidst such hurdles, his determination, will power, hard work and patience, Jayenta (TAPTA) has become a bright Star totally different singer from others in the helm of Manipuri Fusion music.        
Few of his interesting ideas and sharing are: he does not have any particular song of his which he like best and dislike most; he can’t say out of so many concerts he performed which is the best and which is the worst. Good, better, best or bad, evil, worst should be decided by the audience, not by me. He further said, all his songs were sung by him, considering all are the best and he enjoyed all his concerts he performed so far. He further said, for him he consider the rhythm and sur of the song is more important than the scripts of the song as the songs of many famous singers like Lata mangeskar ,Kishore Kumar………Scorpions, Eagles  etc. are listened by many with great enthusiasm and interest even without knowing the meaning and wordings of the songs. This proves rhythm, sur (Seihek-Seida) is more important than the scripts of the songs. He also said that composing a music or song is not an easy task.  
He classified his songs into five categories:-
#Volume: deals with problems of environment & surroundings  
#Series     : deals with romantic songs
#GV(Group Volume): Promoting new ones
#Pruck      : Patriotic songs
#Special Attractions: Songs deals with a particular issue.
He has been conferred seven awards so far:
#1st Creative Music Award by the office of the Dean of Students Welfare M.U and G.P women’s College and Manipur AIDS Control Society (MACS) in 2002.
#Roop Raag Award on lyricist, singer and composer by Roop Raag on its 43rd Anniversary in 2003.
#Youth Icon Award by Manipur University Research Club(MURC) in 2005
#Singer of the year 2014 by Sheirengbasingi Apunba Lup(SHAL)in 2014
#Certificate of appreciation-2017Inspired singer of Manipur by Manipur University Student’s Union(MUSU) in 2019
#Honour of Tapta-2019.
His songs and scripts clearly shows that he is a patriot, nationalist and very concerned about his motherland and its people. It will not be exorbitant to say that his vision and dream of a good Manipur is far sighted and nothing is left in his philosophy for our society, Environment, women & children politics, economics etc. Let this living legend live long in good health so that he can serve this trouble torn land in a better way for a better future of our youths.  

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. Presently, he is teaching Mathematics at NIELIT. Jugeshwor can be reached at: [email protected] Or WhatsApp’s No: 9612891339.

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