Khujinda Yotpi (Nail beneath Nail) - A Synopsis

David Mayum *

 Khujinda Yotpi (Nail beneath Nail)

Khujinda Yotpi (Nail beneath Nail)

Millennium Force Manipur
"Khujinda Yotpi"
Nail beneath Nail
A MIFF Prism 2016 Film

(1) Title of the Film : "KHUJINDA YOTPI" in Manipuri. This film shares the PAIN of a tender teenage girl. One can imagine how painful will it be when a sharp nail is pushed under the nail of a fingertip.

(2) Background of the Film : Manipur is the easternmost state of India bordering Myanmar. High above the sea level, nested over the top of mountains, this tribal hill state has many peculiar cultural aspects.

For instance, you may be astonished to learn that 55% of Manipur's population is Hindu by religion. It is believed that Hinduism started prevailing in this state during the last past of 17th Century A.D. which was made more deep-rooted by the great Maharaj Rajarshree Bhagyachandra. This great king is the creator of Maharas - the internationally acclaimed classic dance form of Manipur - based typically on the Radha and Krishna relationship.

"Manipuri Nata-Sankirtana" is a musical art form of the state associated from the birth till death of a Manipuri Hindu's life. It is spiritual, academic and innovative. Many Nata-Sankirtana Gurus moulded the firm foundation of this musical art-form through generations.

Acknowledging its authenticity and importance, UNESCO has enlisted "Manipuri Nata Sankirtana" in the list of Intangible Cultural Art forms for the people' on the 6th Dec. 2013. It is in serial number 8th of the list.

Manipuri Nata Sankirtana has many branches as well as many reformations from time to time. "BASAK" is one of them. Trained Sankirtana performers (preferably lady vocalists) used to perform Basak performances in many Mandapams of the state related to many occasions. The lyrics content of Basak is directly related to Radhika's pang of separation from Shree Krishna and their ultimate reunion "Jugalrup".

This 'Bask' becomes a dying art form in the land. The Millennium Force, Manipur feels it to be important to restore this art form and make it known to the international arena of Art. This is what 'The Millennium Force, Manipur' attempt to achieve by making this film.

 Biswamittra - Director of Khujinda Yotpi (Nail beneath Nail)

Biswamittra - Director of Khujinda Yotpi (Nail beneath Nail)

About the Film :-

"Leirik" is a Basak learner in her late teens. She is the lone daughter of a poor Brahman in a village of Manipur. Her father encourages her in her way through Basak performance.

Her father is a cancer patient. The poor family mortgage their plot with the Mandir for Rs. three lakhs for the treatment. The father died leaving the family in a pool of poverty. The rich old man marries poor Leirik in lieu of the debt.

The old man becomes 'Aaiyon', Leirik becomes "Radhika" and her fiance. Ibomcha becomes 'Krishna' in parallel to lyrical contents of Basak.

At last, Leirik, on her semi conscious state left the world.

Motto :

The film intends to promote the dying art form of Basak to a contemporary audience. It may show the depth of the Vaisanavite/Vagabat Science in the easternmost tribal hill state, Manipur.

* David Mayum is a frequent contributor to
This article was webcasted on February 12 2016.


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