Monday, November 22, 2004


Did the TV crew follow us here too? I see them interviewing the group, one by one. They want to interview. I hope they did not think me churlish that I declined. For one thing, I don’t want to say anything until it is all over. Then also, what my guests say is more important. Lastly, I do have this tendency to lecture and pontificate.My speaking my mind about this project will surely come across too heavy. It is better that they see the project as it happens and not hear from me, no expert on Manipur am I.

I have so many things I want to achieve with this project.

So what might I have said?

That the Field Trip brings two halves of my life together.

That it is searching for my roots perhaps, a rite of passage in becoming American, a Manipuri-American. Oh, banal!

That I needed to have my friends to know Manipur with a crash course of my own design, if I am to convince them to work with me on Manipur-related projects. Then again, it still is up to them.

That it is lonely without a community, a cultural Manipuri community, in NYC. So I hope my friends will become part of an extended Manipur support group there if the trip is good.

That I happen to think Manipuris need to once again tell their own stories, peopled with their own notions of who they think they are, for this new globalized age.

That culture is the best, perhaps the only available conduit, where all other avenues seem deadlocked in conflict.

That independence is in the mind, not in a flag. And imagination and creativity can be a way to fulfilling some dreams. Whatever.

So, you see, too much for a sound bite.

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