A trip to Liangchi village, Manipur


It all began when our beloved Liangmai elder passed away in his sleep after a prolonged illness in the early morning hours. Mr Achong, the only special contractor and highly respected elder in my Liangmai community. He was one of the founding fathers of the Liangchi village and also one of the early members and initiators of the Liangmai Baptist Church, Imphal.

I was on my terrace practicing martial arts as usual around 8am when I heard the news from Vicky. I took a quick warm bath and left for his place with my Dad in Dewlahland which is about 2km away. There, I met my church youth and we all decided to travel to his village, Liangchi to pay our last respects along with his grandson. After taking due permissions from our respective parents, we started our journey driven by Vicky to Liangchi village which is about 110km from Imphal at about 1:30pm and reach late into the night at around 6pm to be greeted by the mourning village elders at the village community hall, the roads being pretty dusty and bumpy, we couldn't drive faster than 30kmph! Sitting in the front with Vicky was Bambam, the grandson. Six of us sat at the back of the Gypsy. Christina, Khollung, Pipi, Livingstone, Belakbou and me. We also stopped at Benna village for a short prayer service which lasted about 15 minutes.

After the prayer service in the community hall of the Liangchi village and his friends & families saying a few words, he was finally buried in the village cemetery located about 300m from the village. The night ended with a grand feasts from the family beside the bonfire. Spoke to his grand daughter, Kokko to give us a tour of the village in the morning and she agreed. 5 of us, boys, were accommodated in the church office. Bambam slept elsewhere. The two girls, Christina and Khollung went to their friends' place. The village authority arranged us beds with clean blankets enough to keep us warm and cosy. The arrangement was way better than we had expected. It was a very dusty road and we needed to get freshen up before going to bed and so went to the water tank which comes directly from the hill top spring, it was just too cold. Pipi who went in first to have a head-bath exclaimed, "I can't feel my head and hands anymore" and we all had a hearty laughed at his reaction. Oh boy, he wasn't kidding!! We all came back together and after a good discussion about various topics with Belakbou and Vicky, we all went to sleep around 3am in our comfortable beds. Pipi and Livingstone who slept early woke us up in response to our LOUD discussion the night before. Revenge. Too little too late :D

After we got freshen up using that freezing cold spring water, we went down to the community hall. Lunch was already ready!!! 9am!! Yes 9am!! I was looking forward to check out the village. As we ate, I saw Kokko again. She's beautiful. After the light lunch, we toured the village. It is not plain but not hilly either, sloppy at best. The church is located at the top and the pastor's quarter is more than impressive. Most of the houses are built with wood and tin roofs. The timber business much to my dismay and horror seems to be doing well. At the far end of the village bottom lies the spectacular River Ahangki. I wanted to swim in it but oh dear, the water was freezing. Walking bare feet in the river for a few seconds was cold enough, swimming was beyond options.

We then visited the grave again, took a few pictures and eight of us finally decided to head out. A long journey awaited us. We took off the Gypsy cover, stood up and sang some "fake" songs heartily along the road cautioning a bit at Kuki villages, took a few pictures along the road and finally reached Imphal around 6pm. It was 30 hours well spent. Oh Memories :)

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