Thursday, December 10, 2015

Moi Kohimare Adhunika Dalimi

This song, Moi Kohimare Adhunika Dalimi, By Bhupen Hazarika and Runumi Thakur, because I was in Kohima recently…

The English translations of the lyric for those who do not understand the language:

/I am the modern Dalimi from Kohima

/I am Gadapani from the modern plains

//Tonight, we are the companions
On a night train towards Guwahati

/Perhaps you are recalling often
The days of childhood in Jakhama village
Wearing red and blue wings like butterflies
Those dances of so many sweet festivals

/I am not terrified of the foreign land
Because you are so close to me
But reaching Guwahati do not forget
The affections of my Naga Hills

/Do you remember the bomb blast
In Lumding-Diphu a few years ago

/Against that backdrop of so much tragedy
Was the sweet introduction of our hearts

/Today I am the new daughter-in-law of Assam

/I am the son-in-law of Tuensang

//We are the blazing symbols
Of the unity from the East

/That Dalimi of Lakshinath is now lost

/I too am not Gadadhar of the yore

//Yet, today this togetherness of ours
Reminds us of the past still alive

Since the day the first Ahom king Sukapha descended the Patkai Hills and travelled to the plains, there has been an uneasy existence between the Assamese and Naga people. Much has been shared, including the language and the food habits. Yet, the unease remains, resulting into violence more often than not. Artists from the plains have often tried to find a solution to this. While writing the screen story for the first Assamese film ‘Joymoti’, Lakshinath Bezbaruah introduced the character of Dalimi, a happy-go-lucky Naga girl, who falls in love with the exiled prince Gadapani, hiding in the hills. This Bhupen Hazarika song, written in 1970s, takes a leaf from this reference.

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