By Donald Sairem
To preserve in writing what the historians failed to write and ignored is the focus of Laishram Biramangol, who was honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Award nomination for his novel Ei Amasung Adungeigi Ethat in Manipuri language.
The Sahitya Akademi announced its annual awards in 23 languages on Wednesday and Laishram Biramangol’s novel Ei Amasung Adungeigi Ethat was nominated winner for the Manipuri language. With it, Biramangol, who writes with the pen name Beryl Thanga, became the 45th writer from Manipur to be honoured with the prestigious award.
“My primary focus is to preserve in writing what the historians failed to write and what is being ignored throughout a very long time like the extinction of a culture or identity,” Biramangol said in an exclusive interview to Imphal Free Press on being nominated for the Sahitya Akademi Award 2019.
Hailing from Thanga Khujem Leikaiin Bishnupur district, Biramangol now lives with his family at Naoremthong Shamushang Uku Leirak in Imphal West district. Eldest of two sons and three daughters born to Laishram Yaima and Kh Ramani, Biramangol started writing when he was studying in class 7 and writing for him also means protesting the socio-political ills, he said.
As narrated by Biramangol to Imphal Free Press, one of his teachers was impressed by his writings published in a school magazine and that encouraged him to continue writing.
“However, I got devoted to writing only around 2012,” he said. That was when his second work Henjunaha Lairourembi was released, 33 years after the publication of his first book, Mamal in 1979.
“I wish I had devoted to writing much earlier. I have so many thoughts of writing. But, it is hard for me to actually turn these thoughts into words,” stated the 65 year-old writer, who has plans of documenting some stories of some of the endangered communities of Manipur.
Biramangol’s Ei Amasung Adungeigi Ethat is a novel based hundred years ago in Thanga village, an island in the Loktak Lake. It tells the story of a boy who disappeared from the village and returned when he has attained ripe age. The lives of the people of Thanga during that time and the forgotten past are portrayed through flashbacks by the character.
The writer also disclosed that he has a yet to be published poetry book, which he plans to publish in later years of his life. His published works are Mamal (1979), Henjunaha Lairourembi (2012), Ei Amadi Adungeigi Ethat (2015), Esheini EigiPunshigi (2016) and Mami Shamjilakliba Khonggulsing (2018).
The other awards won by Biramangol are Ima Thongam Thoibi Ningshing Khorirol Mana in 2015, Koijam Kulachandra Amasung Sanayaima Devi Novel Award presented by Manipuri Literary Society in 2018 and BM Novel Award presented by Manipuri Sahitya Parishad in 2018. As the interview with IFP wind up, the writer called for ending nepotism/biasness in the Manipuri literary scenario, which he said has been shrouded with nepotism.