Laishram Lalitabi

Daniel Chabungbam *

Laishram Lalitabi

Laishram Lalitabi

The journey of Manipuri cinema has ups and downs since its first feature film produced in 1972. Since then the local artist have shown their talents. The artists as human has their own journey which also has ups and downs. But, one of the most sought after artist who is acquinted to each and every role she plays is none other than Longjam Lalitabi.

She was born to Laishram Gourachand Singh and Laishram ongbi Chandramukhi Devi. She was on September 15, 1949 at Porompat Thawanthaba Leikai. Lalitabi was married to Longjam Tomba Singh of Nongmeibung Porompat Chuthek in Imphal East district.

Lalitabi who also works as a theatre artist has shown her talents in Manipuri films by taking the role of an ideal mother, a caring mother-in-law, a widow who looks after a family. She took other various character. From celluloid films onwards she is still associated with present era films. she is presently enjoying a monthly stipend of one thousand five hundred rupees from Mumbai like other artist who gets the stipend for acting in celluloid films. So far, she has acted in more than 300 films.

She was awarded best supporting actress award for the film Inthoklabi (2001) celluloid film in the Manipur State Film Festival organised by Manipur film Development Corporation, best supporting actor of the year 2012-2013 (female) on the 7th RJ film vision award, best supporting (female) for the film 'Nongdamba Tanoubi' (digital) in SSS Manifa 2013 jointly organised by Sahitya Seva Samiti Kakching and Film Forum Manipur.

Lalitabi from her childhood has keen interest in leela, drama, film and music. She recite poems, monologue during her school days. She got the offer to join theatre after she was married. Her husband who works in United Bank of India was posted in Kakching. Kha-Manipur Dramatic Union based at Kakching offered to act in a drama and willingly Lalitabi joined the union when they were in staying at Kakching.

Her husband did not believe that she can act in the drama. But he along with his friends of the union was kind enough to let her join in drama. Lalitabi took the character of a girl who became a mother before marriage in the play 'Ima' of Maxim Gorky.

Laishram Lalitabi

Laishram Lalitabi

Further, she got the chance to become an artist of Manipur Dramatic Union (MDU), Imphal. She acted in the play 'Sunugi Mahao' of Sudhir Naoroibam which was directed by Oja Gojen. Oja Gojen was a driving force for Lalitabi. Gojen trained her in the right direction and Lalitabi was also interested in her role. Sunugi Mahao was staged more than 50 times.

She acted in plays like Ijjat, Mashing-ga, Kari kumheino, Khangdana Asum Lenkhrasanu, Jana Neta Irabot and so many others. Jana Neta Irabot was staged on yearly basis. Her late husband was very much interested in the play of Jana Neta Irabot. He told her that even if MDU did not ask to act for the play she must go and join.

Till now, Lalitabi is still a part of the MDU's play Jana Neta Irabot. She was awarded a prize in a Folk Drama Festival organised by Manipur Dramatic Union in 2012. Talking about awards, she narrated that she never join theatre to get awards, besides many expert artists far better than her is worthy of getting awards.

On her journey towards films, Lalitabi said that Keke Wahengbam who resides in her locality, is a freind of Thoungamba and Thouyangba producer of K T Films. Keke once urged Lalitabi to take a role for a film. She decline fearing she might not do well. But with the permission of her husband she finally got the chance to act in film for the first time.

Her first performance in films was in a celluloid film titled 'Thawaigi Thawai'. Her next venture was the role of Zahera's mother in the film 'Zahera' (1999). After which she got so many offers in films. Zahera is a film based on the famous script of Hijam Angahal. Many artist feels that playing a role for the film will not be an easy task.

But without such ideas she just accepted the offer after the producer Chandam Shyamacharan approach her. But she found playing a role of a muslim mother was quite difficult. A scene where she and comedian Tolhal was a superhit part. When the spectator clapped hands by watching the scene all the hard works just vanished. She thought that her character was a success.

Lalitabi was awarded the best supporting actress for her role in the film 'Enthoklabi' where she played the title role. The films tells about how marriage between same clans were not allowed. If this occurs both the couple will be expelled by the family, locals and society. She really felt emotional when she talks about the film.

She has played many role of heart broken mother. But she likes to play the role where she could touches every heart. She took the role of a comedian along with Sumang lila artist Chinglen in the film 'Heinoujom Yumbal Tellanga Yahip' directed by Suvas E. She was also associated with the comedy series of RK Ruhinikumar's Nokphade.

Lalitabi has acted in films like Mister Khadang, Ataoba Khangpok, Nangna helli nungshiba, Pari Imom, Khaangamdrabasu, Mani-Mamou, etc. Apart from films and drama, she is also engaged in singing Sankirtan for Nahutpa and marriage ceremonies.

* Daniel Chabungbam is a frequent contributor to
This article was webcasted on May 10, 2016.


Who is the Best Actress?

  • * Abenao
  • * Binata
  • * Devita
  • * Kamala
  • * Manda
  • * Sonia
  • * Sunila


Powered by Disqus

Back to top