OI-NITOM-Folk song of Misings

The “Oi-Nitom”  is the accurate outburst of Mising Peoples inner longing, a vent to appreciate the beauties of the nature in abundance, and thus it covers every activity throughout their life. Bring out every conceivable reference where absorbing smile blossom forth, unfold the throbbing story of their joys and sorrows. Romanticism is also a distinguished feature of these ‘Oi-Nitoms’ and such it is dear to the hearts of the younger population.

The Oi-nitom has exhilarating rhythm, youthful vigor and delicious composition mostly related to there love making, sung alone or in accompaniment of drum and dances. The oi-nitom have the unique characteristic of having seven ‘Tal’ or rhythm in each lines and four lines in each verse or ‘nitom’, complete in itself conveying the desired message. For example, they sing after a good harvest:

Amro arik elangka,

Mema Sakmape dolangka;

Dolu mimbir yatlangka,

Yume  rowyem kalangka.

(Do cultivate Ahu paddy and eat and drink for the rest of the years. Do love a village belle, and have her glimpse morning and evening as you feel like.)

Here, each line has seven ‘tal’(rhythm or Syllable)  as thus:

Am/ro a/rik e/lang/ka,
me.ma sak/map do/lang/ka;

Do/lu mim/bir yat/lang/ka,

Yu/me row/yem ka/lang/ka.

And the village belle are no way to be left behind and tauntingly come the reply in these lines:

Sagi gilai kapiyen

Miksi dilai kapiyen,

Menam oime pamamil,

Turra dulai kapiyen.

(What for your sighing, what for the torrent of tears in your eyes. This life is not worth living if you cannot have the love of the girl you are yearning for!.)

In this verse too, the principle of seven, ‘tal’ os syllable holds good as thus:

Sa/gi gi/lai ka/pi/yen,

Mik/si di/lai ka/pi/yen,

Me/nam oi/me pa/ma/mil,

Tur/ra du/lai ka/pi/yen.

Examples may be multiplied. However, any number of suffix or prefix may be added to this principal rhythm. Sometimes the similar  used is farfetching, and at times it reveals their power of penetrating deep into the worldly truth. Here are some examples of absorbing simile picked up by the Mising to their best advantage.

Adi jili jiliko,

Miksi jili jiliko,

Adi jili pinyepe,

Miksi jili pinpemang.

(The torrent of my tears compares with the torrent of the hilly streams; the hilly streams have chances to dry up, but mine has no parallel; it is perpetual.)

Mepak name rigado,

Oko agom lumane.

Mepak name konedo,

Oko agom lumane.

(What plant on the earth would not grow in a deserted land! To extent a deserted woman would not ill-use her tongue!)

But their entire philosophy of life and death, soul and salvation may be expressed as simple as in the following stanza:

Chapori oi chapori,

Chopan sula romdaggam,

Oi ngonyik mikkide

Tolo yipum suyepe.

(We may be buried or cremated apart in islands located in distant land. But the smoke or the soul would surely unite above, beyond the reach of the worldly being.)

Evidently, these Oi-nitoms appear to be a later development and a variation from above ‘kaban’. “Kaban” literary means lamentation and invariably expresses an air of dejection; but the Oi-Nitom has an expression of joy in better part of it, though certain expression of inner longing or sadness is not completely excluded. The Misings after coming down to the fertile land of the Brahmaputra valley, found themselves amidst beauties of nature and abundance of food and other necessities of life in lieu of nominal labour. Consequently, they looked for vent of expression of new found joy after a good harvest. They modulated their ages-old ‘Aabang’ and ‘Kaban’ into certain rhythmic lines and tunes which resulted ultimately in those “Oi-Nitoms”. It is noteworthy, in this context, that the groups of Misings who had not been much influence and affected by changed circumstances of the valley, have seen little or no change at all as regards to their mode of expression of joy or sorrow. The moyings living in the banks of Jiabharali river are not quite familiar with oi-nitoms so popular amongst all other groups of Misings living elsewhere. Instead, they have stuck to age-old ‘Aabe’-a recitation in prose which cannot be considered musical by any standard. How ever vogue in the Adi hills also. But the ‘aabe’ of the Adis are related to the institution of ‘Kebang’.

Innumerable Oi-nitoms that now available are the contributions of many an unknown illiterate Mising poets composed over centuries, memorized and passed over from lips to lips across the Brahmaputra valley. Of fate attempts have been made to serialize these fragmentary ehapsodies to certain volumes.