Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Luira Phanit

The Luira Phanit is the biggest cultural festival of the Tangkhul Naga Tribe. I had the opportunity to witness and cover the festival which was held in Pune this Sunday.  


Before the program started, all were served with lunch. Those who love Naga food will enjoy it.



One of the guests interacting with the host.



The program started off with the seed sowing ceremony which was performed by young boys and girls. 



These guys with the spears were very agile. The way they were jumping off the ground, I thought they would not need a running start for the Fosbury Flop. (if they ever took part) 



This was part of the dance. Could be that the guard is keeping his ear to the ground to detect any approaching threat.



Seen here is Rock Lungleng the event co-ordinator receiving one of the guests.



I enjoyed the strumming and the singing by these couple. Most of them were folk songs. 

Omega Phazang and Singyophy Hongchui

Vareiya, Pampamloi, Depend, Timdharla

Rafealla Pheirim and Gilbert Ragui

Mr & Mrs Yarngam Phazang

Guru Rewben Mashangva is known as the king of the Naga folk blues. He has a way with the audience and keeps them engaged with a few jokes here and there. 


Then came the competitive games and what better way than to start off with the pork eating competition. 



As per the compere, last year’s champ has retained the title, and guess what the prize was ? One more free round of pork !!!  While he was munching the prize, he casually remarked that he was the champ in 1916 too. 


There was this guy doing the stand up comedy. Even though I did not get the jokes, I could see that the audience were in splits.  



The sighui kaphung (wooden stick race) may look simple but locking the stick with the legs and walking with the hands is no easy task. 


Hopping on one leg and knocking off the opponent was a matter of wits combined with a little bit of force. The last one standing was declared the winner. 


For the arm twisting, there were some girls too who were willing to try out their muscle power.  


Bare hand wrestling was for the tough guys and our pork eating champ tried his might here too. 


The first session closed with a round of tug of war. I am sure all of them had blisters on their hands on the next day (at least those who tried real hard) 




 The Gents winning Team

The Ladies winning Team

There was a break and the evening session started off with rock music.




Phapha Gachul and Rewben took over and rendered some good folk music. You can see her performance in the video.


Incidentally  Phapha was Miss Manipur in 2016 


She also did the choreography for the Fashion show.


 I got some pics of them on stage





 but the one I got off stage was better (maybe because most of them were smiling)


There were more singers and more stand up comedies. I liked Thangmeiso Shinglai's style of singing. He also made it a point to interact with the audience. 




A special mention should be made about the compares who did a good job of holding the program together.




As the program was winding up I saw this mother tying her baby to the back. Such a simple procedure with the baby snug and secure and the mother happy to have both her hands free.  



Made a seven minute video on the games. More videos coming up.  
Meanwhile here is a one minute Trailer on the complete episode.




Thursday, February 8, 2018

Birds in Chandigarh

It is so nice to see new leaves sprouting up at a place where a tree is cut. A sign to say that life goes on 


It is also nice to see birds doing the balancing act to get to the flowers. Here is an Oriental Reed Warbler among the sarson field (mustard field) 



Had been to Chandigarh last week and clicked some of the birds over there. 
Have heard the tuk tuk sound for so many decades but was never able to pin point the actual source. It was only last week I saw the Coppersmith Barbet in action, and I was like “OK so this is the guy who was eluding me all these years” 


I captured him in action by zooming more than 100 meters and hence the sound is very faint  (in the video) Even though they don’t have long beaks like the woodpecker, their nest is made by carving out a hole in the tree trunk. 


The Oriental White Eye was hopping around pretty fast and it was a challenge to keep her in the frame. 



The Indian Grey Hornbill was sitting on top of a Pipal tree swaying in the breeze.


 I have observed (even in Pune) that these hornbills move around in threes 


Almost all the birds were up but this parrot was still sleeping 


These two looked like a pair but the one in the foreground was ignoring the other one with the expression “Is that guy still behind me?” 


The Mynas were having a good time sharing their food with the squirrels. 


I even noticed a single legged Myna hopping around 


The Ashy Prinia was sort of lurking in the mustard field. 


The jungle Babbler is quick with his beak, looking for something tasty between the dry leaves. 


The Guldenstadt’s Redstart had a bobbing motion while sitting at a place  



The spotted Dove was casual in its movements 


I took a long shot at the Steppe Eagle who was majestically sitting on top of a tree.





"Is he gone ?"

I had spotted a Greater Yellownape Woodpecker too, but by the time I fetched my camera, he had disappeared. 
All the pictures/videos were captured with a hand held camera.