In the small district of Karbi Anglong lived a man named Klirdap in his 40’s, he had a bright and attractive face. He was dressed up in a traditional attire -Choi and coating his upper body , Poho muffled around his head, Rikong wrapped around his waist and Sator covering his legs. A brilliant smile struck his face as he whole heartedly enjoyed his 10 year son Nongja perform on stage , elegant as ever. Tears of joy filled his eyes as Nongja dancing brought back joyful memories of Klirdap’s teenage years.
Klirdap in Karbi means ‘morning star’ and he was indeed a star in the eyes of the audience as they watched him perform ,the sweet melody of the music would spread all over through his performance. Klirdap’s parents always supported and encouraged him to dance. Klirdap was specialised in dancing Chong Kedam, Lengpum Sokchon Kekan, Rit Nong Chingdi Kekan : folk dances of Karbi. He won lots of competitions and was invited to various dance programs to perform. He dreamed to be a national expert on folk dances of Karbi society.
But a devastating incident snatched Klirdap’s dreams from the palm of his hands.
One day after returning from a dance competition his friends invited him to celebrate his victory. They stuffed themselves with mouth watering delicacies like ;Kalangdang- a kind of curry,Meat prepared by stuffing meat in a raw bamboo called Langpong, Kangthu a dry dish prepared by wrapping a food item with leaves and Hor Arak a type of rice beer. While riding his bicycle home he got a little tipsy and suddenly knocked himself down from his bicycle. The night was pitch black; he saw a pair of light heading his way and immediately tried to get out of the way. A car at full speed was coming straight forward Klirdap almost got to the roadside as the driver struggled to slow the car down and as it screeched along the road. The car did come to a stop but Klirdap was already gravely injured. Blood from his legs splattered the pavement, he shrieked in pain. He was rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately the doctor reported that Klirdap legs would no longer be able to move as it did before and he could not dance anymore. Teardrops rolled down his cheeks. He then stopped dancing and was overwhelmed with anger, sadness and guilt.
He could no longer pursue dreams. He got enclosed in his small house all grumpy and moody, not wanting to go out or meet up with people. He had lost all his hopes and wishes. Whenever he sees the ornaments like Narik (brass made Ear-ring ) , Prinsoroi ( silver bracelet ) or Lekrooa & Lek-enji ( Silver necklaces got from his grandfather , he gets encouraged manifesting a change will come. The local village Rong Sarthe ( Village Headman ) who loves Klirdap keeps encouraging him to come to all local festivals like Swarak Puja, Rongker , Chokk-eroi , Hacha-kekan or Chomangkan etc.
After a few years Klirdap was blessed with a son. Everyday Klirdap explains the story of Sabin Alun ( Karbi Ramayan ) to his son. He started teaching him dance. His son Nongja , grew up to be a lovely young man. He was equally interested in dance and was just as swift and graceful while performing like Klirdap also he too liked wearing the traditional attire of Karbi people. Klirdap was overjoyed, he supported his son in every way he could. His dreams were fulfilled through his son. His son was his pride and joy. He grew up to be a famous dancer known throughout the whole state .
Today watching his son perform in the karbi youth festival the oldest ethnic festival in India locally known as Karbi Riso-Nimso Rong Aje , Klirdap with teary eyes was feeling very proud as his son has brought a new dawn in his life through dance. He started dreaming about the new dance he would teach his son and his eyes glistened....