Manipur Governor Dr Najma Heptulla on Saturday afternoon released a Manipuri novel ‘Peeshumlei’ during a well attended gathering at the banquet hall of the Raj Bhavan in Imphal.
The novel ‘Peeshumlei’ (meaning a rare flower) was authored by Prof (L) Ningthoukhongjam Tombi Singh, an educationist, seasoned politician, writer, journalist and a cultural activist of the State.
In recognition of his valuable contribution in the field of literature, N Tombi was posthumously awarded Gang Sharan Award and Sahitya Bhushan by Manipuri Sahitya Parishad in 2002. The book is the author’s first novel written in Manipuri describing the state of affairs in Manipur during the 35 years reign of Maharaj Bhagyachandra and several kings before him in the 18th century.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor Dr Heptulla said that the novel will be a popular socio-political narrative of immense historical and cultural value. She said that late N Tombi had carved out a distinct identity for himself in public life and also in the literary sphere as a prolific writer.
His contributions to the growth of Manipuri language, art and culture have been widely acknowledged by the scholars of the State in their works, she said adding he strived to serve the people and enrich Manipuri literature simultaneously experimenting with many forms of writing novels, poems, essays and plays.
Expressing her satisfaction over the publication of Khamba and Thoibi, Manipur A Study and Manipur and the Mainstream by Tombi in English, Dr Heptulla said that he have earned wide acclaim not only in the State but also outside the State. The novel ‘Peeshumlei’ is a praiseworthy endeavour on the part of the author as he presents before the readers a convincing picture relating to the cultural and social life of the people of that time.
Stating that the style and usage of language in the book will add flavour and further enrich the Manipuri language, she said that N Tombi will continue to be a source of inspiration to the young writers and poets. They can build a society with the richness of their ideas and the intensity of human emotions, she added.
In his preview presentation, eminent scholar, Dr Nongmaithem Tombi Singh who is the former president of Manipur Sahitya Parishad said that the novel ‘Peeshumlei’ is a historical fiction set against the background of King Bhagyachandra, a lover of art and culture and who founded the popular Ras leela and natsankritan of Manipur.
Nintyfive-year-old eminent writer Elangbam Sonamani Singh, renowned guru of Nata Sankirtan Padmashri Ksh Thouranishabi Devi and publisher N Chittamohini Devi of ‘Peeshumlei’ were also present during the function. A recital of the epilogue of the novel was also presented as part of the day’s launching function.