Dear Friends

It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you of the passing away of Nini Lungalang at Kohima a few hours ago.
Nini was my teacher in school, a friend and a well wisher as much as we all were of hers.

She was a founder- member of the Forum; a vivacious bright articulate loving and outspoken soul whose collection The Morning Years was a first of its kind from Nagaland.

I pray for the eternal rest of her soul.

May she continue to laugh and smile and bring cheer to others in heaven as she did here on earth.

I would request each chapter most kindly to offer prayers whenever the next meet or gathering is held.

We will miss her.

Dhruba Hazarika
President
North East Writers’ Forum

Dust

by Nini Lungalang

 

It’s my turn at the water point:
The trickle is slower today
Each day, slower,
One day, it may stop;
And my field has withered,
Rusted-dry in the staring sun,
The crevices filling with dust.
Tin buckets clash behind me
And a loud voice roughly bawls
“Don’t fill that bucket full!
Fool – don’t you know you’ll slop?”
I withdraw, abashed. It’s true:
I mustn’t spill a precious drop
Not even as a libation
To the gloating sun.

I saw a young man gunned down
As I shopped in the market place.
Two thick thuds, and then he fell,
And thrashed a bit, on his face.
That’s all. He sprawled in the staring sun.
(They whirled away in a cloud of dust
In a smart white van.)
His blood laid the dust
In a scarlet little shower,
Scarlet little flowers.
In the staring sun, the little flowers
Will burn and turn to rust.

I stumble home through arid fields
My furtive footsteps hushed by dust.
I scan the sky – hard, limpid, deep –
O pure and high is heaven’s sky!
Is there no shade for me? I weep
To hide from the glaring eye of heaven.
(Cain, my brother Cain!
I know your fear, your guilt, your pain –
I too have now a brother slain,
I too am sealed with the scarlet stain!)
My ink has crusted in my pen
And in my heart – the dust.