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“Some Poems are as Bright as the Glaring Sun, While Some are as Dark as Our Struggles” – Nongwarngam Chinir from Manipur Talks About his Newly Launched Book “Labyrinth”

“Some poems reflect dreams that are as ambitious as the glaring sun, some will depict the darkness we all struggle to keep at bay; may you find yourself in this Labyrinth” – Nongwarngam Chinir

I had the pleasure to share a little warm conversation with this soulful writer Nongwarngam Chinir who recently published his debut book entitled “Labyrinth” – a collection of poems about stories from the eyes of strangers, of love, of courage, of finding the deeper meaning of life, about finding one’s way through this labyrinth called life.  Our young aspiring author introduces himself as an activist, a humanitarian, an old soul but above all just a normal guy who is trying to achieve his dreams in a world filled with chaos. Join me as I take a journey down memory lane with Nong of how this wonderful book was born. 

Nongwarngam Chinir – Author of the newly launched book “Labyrinth”

RootsandLeisure_Nongwarngam Chinir

Nongwarngam Chinir – Author of the newly launched book “Labyrinth”

  • Arep: First, congratulations on getting your book published! Please introduce yourself to our readers.

N. Chinir: My name is Nongwarngam Chinir, I am just an ordinary youth with an obsession with old literature… I did my graduation from St. Edmunds College Shillong. During my college days, I also worked in the NSUS (Naga Students’ Union Shillong) as President of its federating units for two consecutive years.

I honestly believe that college life is one of the phases in life where we see a lot of growth. I’ve always had a passion for writing, and additionally, I also love doing other things like running, working out, reading books, and travelling ..which is usually indulge in some good ‘ol weekend trips out of the city to enjoy the beauty of North East… I think all my friends who know me well, will agree that I love good food, especially any kind of barbeque 🙂

  • Arep: Sticking to your last sentence, how would your friends describe you?

N. Chinir: My friend Andrew Marak says I’m someone who has a good ability to speak, has some sense of humor, a friend that gives good advice, goal-oriented, smart and protective about people close to me… well I’m just glad I have good friends.    

  • Arep:Tell us more about your wriring journey. How did it all begin?

N. Chinir: This journey began with life I guess. It was not a simple one growing up in this era; with the introduction to the internet all of a sudden, and with the ever-changing trends and the inconsistency of the 21st century. So I consider myself lucky to have stumbled upon poems such as “The Psalm Of Life” by Longfellow, “If” by Rudyard Kipling and “The Man In The Glass” by Peter Dale. These poems somehow guided me to pursue certain goals in life and poetry writing was one of them. Although, I started writing only after I maintained a journal. 

“That was all she wanted..” | From Nongwarngam Chinir’s newly launched book “Labyrinth”

“That was all she wanted..” | From Nongwarngam Chinir’s newly launched book “Labyrinth”

  • Arep: From all those beautiful poems, share with us a story about one that feels home to you. 

N. Chinir: I love all of them but if I were to choose one, I would choose the poem “Defeated.”

It is a bit dark.. and centers around the theme of raw, uncensored and primal feeling of the human spirit that never yields; our human spirit is capable of much more than we give credit for. This particular poem hits me close to home for the simple reason that it was this same raw natural resilience that got me out during my dark times.. and the beautiful thing is, this is present in all of us.

“Defeated” | From Nongwarngam Chinir’s newly launched book “Labyrinth”

RootsandLeisure_Nongwarngam Chinir

“Defeated” | From Nongwarngam Chinir’s newly launched book “Labyrinth”

  • Arep: We all love ourselves some good-me-time once in a while, what is your favorite leisure activity?

N. Chinir: I love going out for fishing. If staying in, I love reading; I mostly read mythologies and listen to songs, podcasts and do my little weird experiments on society. I like to hang out with friends, support causes I believ in through protests, work out and enjoy calm lazy Sunday evenings.

  • Arep: Life at times can be harsh, but words from the lips of another can make it easy to fight on. What was one such piece of advice you received that stands with you even today? 

N. Chinir: The best advice that I’ve received is to know when to surrender everything to God; I try to trust in Him more than myself. 

  • Arep: Writers are often born readers first or so they say, can you share with us some book recommendations that changed your perspective on life?

N. Chinir: Well, I somehow agree with it as I myself was first a reader, the books that changed my perspective towards life is “12 rules to life” by Jordan Peterson, “Proverbs” from the Bible, the “Art of war” Sun Tzu, “Principles” by Ray Dalio, and Pareto’s 20/80 law. I also read a lot of poems..many a time, poems tell you little truths about the universe.

  • Arep: Apart from creating magic out of words, do you have any hidden talents 🙂 

N. Chinir: Well, I believe I’m can cook some pretty decent meals. I love making steaks, healthy soups, and maybe a few vegetable dishes. Other than that I guess I play fairly well in badminton. I am planning on joining an archery academy in Manipur, it’s been a childish dream of mine. Maybe this time hopefully I will get some free time to practice.

  • Arep: Last but not the least, there are a lot of people young and old struggling with life; if you can reach out to them with a message, what would that be?

N. Chinir: As the Buddhists would say “Life is suffering” so suffering isn’t rare, it’s a major part of life. Social media tends to paint everything look perfect but to be honest, most of them are far from reality. The world isn’t all bad and all good, but I guess we just have to look at the good and hope on the good. “Two people in prison, one looks at the stars, the other at the mud” looking at the stars doesn’t mean the prisoner will be free but it’s better than looking at the mud and making ourselves more depressed.

“SOUL” | A Poem by Nongwarngam Chinir

RootsandLeisure_Nongwarngam Chinir

“SOUL” | A Poem by Nongwarngam Chinir

  • Arep: But how do you do that?

N. Chinir: We do that by looking at the things we still have, we do that by appreciating the little good things in our life that we have been taking for granted…  We should look more into ourselves because most of us know what we are doing wrong and maybe the most practical thing to do is to correct/make right where we can.

Life is weird, it’s like a labyrinth without a map.Being human can suck at times, but while we are alive in this planet, I believe the noblest thing to do is to put our efforts into making this world a little better than how we found it.

Arep: Thanks Chinir for an enlightening chat. We wish you great success, and congratulations again on your book launch! 

Get your copy of Nongwarngam Chinir’s newly launched book “Labyrinth” on Amazon

RootsandLeisure_Nongwarngam Chinir

Get your copy of Nongwarngam Chinir’s newly launched book “Labyrinth” on Amazon

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