I write this from the village Ijeirong in the Tamenglong district of Manipur.
Women from two generations of the Inpui Naga community sit in a kitchen. I watch them in their animated discussion. I attempt only little to want to know what they talk about. But, I model them – laughing when they laugh.
There is a point in time when I burst out laughing as though I had comprehended what they had said. That laughter had emanated from a certain depth inside me. It may have been a sign. I let it all be for there is little reason to doubt.
These women have borne children and have raised grandchildren. They continue to work in fields, walking miles of the forests. Creases have formed on their skin as the sun fills itself in them. The earth has settled in their hairs. I look at them and fall in love with hope again. It is all so simple, I recall. That same voice which has come up again and again.
After a while, I leave their discussion to do other things. Theirs was a hope which I borrowed.
So be it.