issue 01


Editorial Note

Team ishi

Not all decisions amount to something new. Yet every decision is the beginning of something new – a renewed hope or a new outlook. Decisions, however, are preceded by something else, be it self belief, necessity or even delusion. New beginnings can be confusing. The infinite possibilities can be confusing, much as the lack thereof. Living in a period where only ends are glorified, where creative expression becomes ‘skills’ to master rather than an eminent part of our humane lives, a confused state of mind is seen as faulty. Confusion, however, is an indication of growth, of movement. How do we make sense of the double sidedness of all these?

In this issue, ishi explores the novelty Ukhrul town and its people have brought about, long overdue cultural dialogues, and personal stories with carefully buried struggles. While some of us have been there, some have just begun. Some are struggling within the shackles of fear and change. This issue is about those decisions, movements and challenges that come with doing something new and anew, and learning to be confident in one’s confusion.

Editorial Team, ishi.


Poems from June

S. Shishak

insides of regular emotions and acceptance in times of suffering, in isolation and amidst lockdown...

Hami and my wet socks

He mumbled something but only a gruff scratch surfaced from his mouth. He coughed then.
Aunty lifted a glass of water to his lips and he drank it before falling back into the pillows. 
He gave us a slight smile before his eyes were quivered shut and breathing became more even. 
I tucked the blankets closer around his shoulder gently and caressed his head on a parting note.


“i-” with ishi

with ishi

What do you see in Theishui?”

In this activity, our participants were asked to capture an emotion/feeling/memory associated with at least 3 of the objects from the still life set-up of familiar objects of culture.

They responded with art.


In the Past

What can the present tell us about the past?

“Socialization of our mind/ culturing our mind is the most significant cultural asset to stay connected to our roots.”
“Mind and culture are inextricably linked and inseparable for Tangkhul Nagas.”
“Culture must be seen as a living entity that is subject to change.”


A Look at Ukhrul through a Newbie’s Eyes

with Pournima

A lot of times, seeing our culture through another lens can bring us a new sense of appreciation for it. This is an attempt at sharing my experiences in this town as I form my own personal relationship with it. Maybe years later when I reminisce about my memories of Ukhrul, I will have stories to tell about each of these moments basking in the individuality of this unique sweet town above the clouds...


Running Shimm’s Cafe

with Shimm’s

Ducks look steady floating in the water. But little do we know of its feet paddling endlessly to stay afloat. Mistakes and unpleasant scenes are carefully hidden. They are bittersweet as a bygone story, but what of the present?

In a face-to-face conversation with Shimm’s Café, we listen to Shimm unfurl unpenned accounts.


Chicken Memories for the Soul

There is more to food than its essentiality to human sustenance. Food is memories in a pot - the aroma, the joy of getting a tiny bit to taste if the salt/sugar is just right, sitting down earnestly at the table, and stomach grumbling as we say grace. Amidst this pandemic, and a series of lockdowns, we believe we could all use some feel-good, comfort food not simply to nourish ourselves but our souls too.


The Je ne sais quoi of Mirinwon

Ngahon Tungshangnao

“If not Mirinwon, I would be a flower farmer.”

“The joy and excitement of finding rare, vintage or luxury pieces. Sometimes I scream in my head in delight!”

“As much as clothes are a way of expressing individuality, it is a responsibility”


Being Shameless

Worrin Muivah

The importance of being tactfully bold and boastful in the 21st century.

Considering my family's financial condition, that was still a considerable amount, and we could not have raised the money. But my parents were ready to do whatever they could to let me get into this Fellowship. As we struggled to arrange the fee, a kind lady, a veteran in the industry, advised me to write an email to the institution explaining my situation and request a full scholarship. At that moment, to ask for more than what I was already offered seemed like I was being ungrateful. The fear of what they might think of me overpowered me to consider this option.



Woryorin Luiram

In memoirs, geniuses describe inspiration to be a hard-to-describe feeling. A feel you ‘feel’ and you simply know it to be right. That when the bulb suddenly lights up, all the small details that had been amiss start to make sense. But, do you know that this sudden 'light bulb' that made them 'geniuses' was actually floating in the sphere of their 'confusion'?


Where do I belong?

Ikhipa thought they’d fit in until they started noticing something. Something that reminded Ikhipa that they were different because they looked different. Coming from a tribal community with features and a lifestyle different from the people they were surrounded with, this story tries to express that point in our lives when we realise we are different and cannot change it.


Lost in Transition

with Avaramtui

Avaramtui is an Instagram account that posts Tangkhul words and sayings with their meanings. Avaramtui translates to mother-tongue in the Tangkhul language. We ask Avaramtui what prompted the initiation and why they felt the need to create an Instagram account. It currently has more than 1000 followers.


Old is gold, but what’s new?

The most remarkable moment in my attempt to wear two earrings was when my dad told me he too wanted an ear piercing. I think it is bold for a father to gush about an ear piercing with his son! I am most glad that he was comfortable telling me. I hope he will be more patient with or accept the new things I am likely to do in the future.


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