It was a very bumpy ride so I got off at the first major junction__ Awang Khashong. I was requesting for a lift to passing vehicles. A jeep stopped and I spotted two men and an equal number of women inside. Whenever there is a woman on board, my rules for safe travel say it’s okay to get on. I boarded the vehicle. During my conversation with Angam (25), the driver who also owned the vehicle, I learnt that he had gone to Somra village in Myanmar to pick up his wife Ashim, a Burmese national. He met Ashin in Ukhrul, a district HQ in Manipur. She had come down for a month long vacation. He started pursuing her in the market and once, he proposed to her. For weeks, she did not accepted his proposal. But later, she was impressed with his jeep. He took her for a ride around the town. The matter reached their families. Fortunately, both are Nagas. But Ashim’s father objected to the match. Angam went to Somra in his jeep to convince her father. Finally, he agreed. A lorry full of relatives went to Myanmar (without any passport or paper work) for the wedding. It’s been a year since they tied the knot. Thank you Angam and Ashim for a free ride and may you have a long, happy married life.
A Maharashtrian-Manipuri love story: Capt Tipanis was in the Indian Army. He was active in the 1962 war and in UN peacekeeping force. During a routine medical test, he was declared ‘not suitable for Military service’. He then joined the CRP (the Crown Reserved Police then and the CRPF now). That is how he came to Manipur. Here, he received the President Gallantry award for his bravery.
Once while patrolling, he spotted a beautiful girl going to school with her two brothers. Something tugged at his heart, but he says it wasn’t love at first sight. He saw her again on a couple of occasion. Once, he was alone in a hut with her. But she did not speak a word and he thought that she was either very shy or plain rude. Two years later, he asked her parents for permission to marry her. She was terribly afraid of marrying a Maharashtrian as dowry-related deaths were frequent in Maharashtra. They tied the knot and stayed in Ukhrul, a beautiful hill station in Manipur. He works in an NGO and promotes education among tribals, sending poor students to Pune for higher studies.
For her sake, he turned into a Manipuri and wears local outfits. For him, she turned into a Maharashtrians and cooks the most incredible Maharashtrian dishes. I had the privilege of eating ‘sheera’ cooked by her. It was absolutely delicious.
Love always wins.