Escaped from Underground Nagas

After completing our L.Th. from Serampore, both Bro. Isaiah sand I went to Manipur for an year and worked as school teachers there.  Bro. Isaiah went to Kangpokpi and he got a posting in a good Christian school there.  As for me, I first went to Paicham which is a Kiki village and they did not give us our salary properly.  So we had to look for an opportunity elsewhere.  The Lord opened the way marvelously and we got a posting in Churachandpur  Jawaharlal Nehru Model School.  My friend was one Mr. C.O.Koshy who had come from Kerala after his PDC.  We stayed together in a rented room at Churachandpur for nearly eight months.  We had good Christian friends there and we attended the English Service on Sundays.  I had opportunity to minister the Word there occasionally.

But in Paicham we had our friend K.C.Mathai.  It was he who had actually invited us to Manipur.  We three were staying in a small mud house with thatched roof.  Two days after our arrival, we were sitting and talking after our family prayer.  It was about 9.30 in the night.  With no electricity in the village, and the sun set very early like 5.30 in the evening, 9.30 there is almost like midnight as most people go to sleep by 8pm.  We heard  unusual barking of dogs and KC opened the door to see what was happening.  He fell back screaming in to the room as he found some masked people standing with guns in their hands.  We dragged him inside and closed the door.  Pressing against the door, I began shouting “Hallellujah” again and again at the tip of my voice. Koshy too was shouting for help.  There was a big havoc there.  People outside pushed our door for some time but by then the hostel boys next door and the other residents of the campus came out with torches and sticks only to see the miscreants had escaped.  Such incidents were usual  in Manipur those days with the Naga underground threat.  Once we heard bullet shots at two O’clock in the morning and in the dawn we found two dead bodies just opposite to where we were staying.  I lived in Manipur for exactly one year and it was with great fear that I spent my days there.

I was twenty years old when I went to Manipur and I did not know how long I would be there.  Unlike in the plains of India where marriages are proposed and arranged by parents, in Manipur they almost follow western culture when it comes to marriage.  Boys and girls decide for themselves whom they will marry.  Often it is done by elopement. Tribal girls are notorious in trapping boys form the plains.  Many boys from the plains who go there get engaged with girls.  I was extremely careful not to be a victim and never allowed any girl come anywhere near me.

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