Janghaolun Haokip

Janghaolun Haokip

Janghaolun Haokip, a resident of Kholep Village, P.O –Motbung, Kangpokpi District, Manipur -795107  is a regular contributor of articles to Imphal Times. He completed his B.A (Psychology) Delhi University, Delhi and is currently pursuing Bachelor of Divinity at Manipur Theological College, Kangpokpi, Manipur. He used to work as a Assistant Teacher in English Literature for two years at MBC Higher Secondary School, Kangpokpi Mission Compound, Kangpokpi.

Haokip can be contacted at : [email protected]

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Friday, 24 December 2021 17:35

My Christmas

I have always been an escapist, seldom making efforts but suffering to enjoy life. In short, it was doing nothing but expecting everything. I was a typical teenager, sad and depressed as often as not. In fact, teenage is a point in life when we started to encounter the harsh realities of life that for the most part were at odds with the way we were cradled in our mother’s lap and in the comfort of the safekeeping of our parents. Responsibilities begin to knock at our lives, and expectations can’t stop ringing in our ears.
Then, just like that, out of the blue, life became miserable and living every day became a dreary task. Mine was no different, I had to live a life of brokenness, pounded heavily with mental and emotional imbalance, and the pressures of running short with money and falling short of the expectations of my family, especially because of being the eldest boy who has to grow up and be a man and grow a metal shoulder for the family to lean on. To make it worse, I was supposed as a good child, doing well in school and other activities. The expectations, for that reason, were unmistakably high, but the reality was at a point low. I was thought of as good, but I was spoilt and in despair, relentlessly trying to find an escape in friends, alcohol and other kinds of stuff. But the reality still remains the same, and it all turned into pressures for me to a point where I thought and wished for death.
That was when I met My Christmas. It was Christmas morning, and I went to church, not to celebrate but simply because it was a tradition. I sat there, the guitar and the piano playing loud, the congregation was merrily singing, and in the front, there were people who were deep into the moment, singing with their eyes closed and their hands raised. But I was there, sitting and mumbling with the congregation, but deep inside my mind, I was brooding over the mistakes I made the previous night when I was wasted with alcohol, of things I shouldn’t have said and done.
It went on and in the middle of nowhere, I heard the congregation singing “CHRIST CAME TO GIVE US PEACE”. The line struck me so powerfully that I can start to feel drops of tears that began to roll down my cheeks. Then I began to think; if Christ came to give me peace, why am I here heavy and burdened? Why cannot I have that peace? The peace that someone had sacrificed his life for? Why am I here always sad and distressed, and, for me, living a miserly struggle? It was at that moment that I realise that there is a way that I can get out of all the mess of growing up; that there was the other side of struggling -happiness and a sense of fulfilment; that there is something to assuage my pain and that pain is not the only thing in life; that there is also the good in life, and a good in growing up, and that amidst the struggles in life, there is always beauty to see.
It was on that morning, that moment, that I celebrated my first true Christmas after 25 years of celebrating it as a tradition of my family and society, and the morning that gave me peace that has been my dear companion ever since. It was that Christmas that changes the way that I see life, that changed my life from struggling every day to beautifully living it. And maybe, the way I see is not all true, maybe you have a different Christmas or a different thing in life that gives you peace and a sense of completeness and a sense of fulfilment. But for me, it was that Christmas, that Son of God -Jesus Christ, who came and sacrificed his life for my sake, that has been my peace and will always be.
May this Christmas, like mine, brings you peace and joy! Merry Christmas!

Friday, 24 December 2021 17:35

My Christmas

I have always been an escapist, seldom making efforts but suffering to enjoy life. In short, it was doing nothing but expecting everything. I was a typical teenager, sad and depressed as often as not. In fact, teenage is a point in life when we started to encounter the harsh realities of life that for the most part were at odds with the way we were cradled in our mother’s lap and in the comfort of the safekeeping of our parents. Responsibilities begin to knock at our lives, and expectations can’t stop ringing in our ears.
Then, just like that, out of the blue, life became miserable and living every day became a dreary task. Mine was no different, I had to live a life of brokenness, pounded heavily with mental and emotional imbalance, and the pressures of running short with money and falling short of the expectations of my family, especially because of being the eldest boy who has to grow up and be a man and grow a metal shoulder for the family to lean on. To make it worse, I was supposed as a good child, doing well in school and other activities. The expectations, for that reason, were unmistakably high, but the reality was at a point low. I was thought of as good, but I was spoilt and in despair, relentlessly trying to find an escape in friends, alcohol and other kinds of stuff. But the reality still remains the same, and it all turned into pressures for me to a point where I thought and wished for death.
That was when I met My Christmas. It was Christmas morning, and I went to church, not to celebrate but simply because it was a tradition. I sat there, the guitar and the piano playing loud, the congregation was merrily singing, and in the front, there were people who were deep into the moment, singing with their eyes closed and their hands raised. But I was there, sitting and mumbling with the congregation, but deep inside my mind, I was brooding over the mistakes I made the previous night when I was wasted with alcohol, of things I shouldn’t have said and done.
It went on and in the middle of nowhere, I heard the congregation singing “CHRIST CAME TO GIVE US PEACE”. The line struck me so powerfully that I can start to feel drops of tears that began to roll down my cheeks. Then I began to think; if Christ came to give me peace, why am I here heavy and burdened? Why cannot I have that peace? The peace that someone had sacrificed his life for? Why am I here always sad and distressed, and, for me, living a miserly struggle? It was at that moment that I realise that there is a way that I can get out of all the mess of growing up; that there was the other side of struggling -happiness and a sense of fulfilment; that there is something to assuage my pain and that pain is not the only thing in life; that there is also the good in life, and a good in growing up, and that amidst the struggles in life, there is always beauty to see.
It was on that morning, that moment, that I celebrated my first true Christmas after 25 years of celebrating it as a tradition of my family and society, and the morning that gave me peace that has been my dear companion ever since. It was that Christmas that changes the way that I see life, that changed my life from struggling every day to beautifully living it. And maybe, the way I see is not all true, maybe you have a different Christmas or a different thing in life that gives you peace and a sense of completeness and a sense of fulfilment. But for me, it was that Christmas, that Son of God -Jesus Christ, who came and sacrificed his life for my sake, that has been my peace and will always be.
May this Christmas, like mine, brings you peace and joy! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 22 December 2021 16:53

The Price of Justice!

Should there be a price for Justice? If there is, what does it cost? Or is it free? Despite the papers and rhetorics that proudly declare Justice as free and an inherent right, many pays for justice, and some, even with their lives. This has to be put to stop and Justice made free.
It is at best nonsensical if justice would have a price, for justice essentially means the complete absence of anything unjust or of anything inequitable. Furthermore, if Justice should have a price, it will obliterate the fundamental essence of Human Rights by which the society takes its shape and form, and without which the very nature of society, of social order and human existence altogether, will only be chaotic and devastated.
That, we believe, is why Justice is put on a pedestal by every social entity all around the world. However, what is in practice, especially in relation to the government and the people, seems often otherwise, in a manner that the idea of Justice is often obliterated and the common people are demanded to pay a price for which is naturally theirs -the price of Justice.
I was enkindled to come to think of the price of Justice with the thought of what people have to through just to have justice rightly served. To think of, it is already a high price to pay to go through all the procedures to have a judge judge your case. What is worse is to not be heard and neither listened to in spite of the fact that the world stands witness to your case. Whose fault then it is that you are right but you cannot be right? Who should be accountable and answerable when justice is denied? Who will plead the case for the poor and the unheard when justice has a price that high?
One may often be compelled to ponder then -why is the price of Justice so high? Why is it buyable, making it only be for the rich? This has to be put to stop, and the voice of the people must be given its due stature. On the part of the people, it would be best to reason with the administration than resort to protests and violence, and the disruption of daily activities. On the other hand, the government too must always remember that ours is not an autocratic state, and neither is it entitled to act at will without the due and prior consent of the people.
For the government, the people are the essence of its existence, and if that is in any case denied and the people become victims of the government than being masters of the government, then there is no democratic government but a few autocrats who must be brought down. For the people too, it is fundamental that they come to realise their roles and power in a democracy. Notable is the fact that democracy is beautiful because it gives everyone a place in the system. It is, therefore, implicit that it is not just a mere matter of choice, but obligatory for the government to listen to the people and to listen to justice and see that it is rightly served.
Justice should be free and no price should be demanded to be paid for it. Bandhs and blockades and rallies and violence should not be the answer and never be made to be. And in any case, if justice is not served and the people are victimised, then it is the administration that should take the blame.
With it, every right-thinking citizen must take the responsibility to fight against injustice beyond the caste and creed divide, for freedom and justice are our birthrights.

Saturday, 23 October 2021 17:17

What is your dream?

How many of us today have a dream? Something that drives us, a desire that is so strong that we are persistently reminded of its existence? How many of us can say that we are determined to achieve a specific goal, not just to become successful or rich but also define our terms of success, not just to be happy but also already determining our sources of happiness?
Years ago, I met a young girl who I suppose will be in her later teenage years. Having always being determined about dreams, I cheerfully approached her and asked her, “What is your dream?” She was looking up at me as if she had heard that question for the first time. I saw that she was puzzled and I thought that she didn’t understand the question. So one more time I looked in her eyes and slowly uttered, to make myself as clear as possible, and asked her, “What do you want to become when you grow up?”. Unfortunately, it was still the same, she didn’t answer me still but rather gave me a weird look.
It is very unfortunate today that many of the school going children and even adults do not care to have a dream or are ignorant of a ‘dream’. We talk of the future, and of course what we wish to be that are largely fruitless or unyielding because they do not instigate action. But we seldom talk of real passionate dreams that will drive us to take required actions and enhances our lives. It is like many of us are simply living for today without a plan or purpose for tomorrow, only to wake up so late that we would bear the brunt our whole life until we finally die with it. These school going children especially seem to be an alien to having their own dreams for their future. They seem to lack vision for the coming age, which has become one of the greatest challenges for the youths today.
When I was serving in a school as a teacher, I came across these students who are considerably bright and knowledgable. I believed that those students can reach certain heights, make a career for themselves and prosper well in their lives. However, much to my disbelief, soon after their council examination results were declared, most of them didn’t continue their regular studies but rather admit themselves as casual students in government colleges while some others completely abandoned their education. It came really surprising to me, and as well despairing. I was opened up to the harsh reality of what become of students who had to go through all the arduous task of high schooling. It is true that only around 10 per cent of the students really make up to creating worth for their studies.
What is your dream? A dream for your future, of what you will be and who you will become? In Delhi, when I was interviewed for jobs in private companies, the most common question that the interviewers asked was, “Where do you see yourself in five/ten years?” It basically implies what my future prospects were, simply put, “what are my dreams?”. These hiring companies are looking for people who have defined the lives they will live. In fact, they cannot trust someone who simply comes in the interview without a determined goal. They are looking for people who see themselves working and giving their best in their companies, who will stay loyal to the company. And contribute in the growth of the company. Likewise, success is also for people who have dreams and determined goals.
It has become extremely important to have a dream or create one for ourselves. It is the gateway to a life of fulfilment and satisfaction. They are the fuel for our ride into the future. Without them you are simply surviving or walking a curvy road with your eyes closed. There is less future without dreams for dreams are to give us the vision we need to prepare ourselves well for what is coming in the future.
Imagine you are driving a car, and you are running our of fuel. It simply implies that there is no going anywhere unless you fill your tank with fuel. The car is useless, because it cannot be what it is anymore. Dreams are like the fuel of a car to life. It makes driving possible, and without it life cannot be lived to the fullest or realised to its full potential. Moreover, without dreams, life is an endless space with no destination.
However, there are also certain qualities of a dream we must have. I remember one holiday I spent in my friends village. It was a remote village, and at the time of my stay, the road was under construction and there were JCBs stationed in the village. One evening, as I was going for a walk around the village with my friend, few young girls were playing with the JCBs. Sitting on the drivers seat and pretending as if they were driving. I was entertained by them and their liking for the JCB. I called one of them girls and asked her, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” To my utter disbelief, she said I want to be a JCB driver. A little one, and a girl, wanting to be a JCB driver?
Some of us have dreams, but what is unfortunate is that our dreams are too small for our lives. It is like limiting ourselves and fighting to hide our potentials and our true selves. But what we must do is no longer hide behind the veil of uncertainty but come out to explore the limits of who we are and start defining our lives the perfect way -our way. We should have a dream, and we should have big dreams. We should not limit ourselves, and for this one thing we should learn to say “NO! It is not enough.” We can always be stronger, go higher, and achieve bigger. Remember, you are only a dream away for the things you want most in life.
We need a dream today, a dream big enough that will belittle your other problems in life.

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