My father taught me to love: Ariba Anar from Seyochung Village, Kiphire

Kiphire: My father used to say that he went along with his elders from Kiphire to Kohima on foot after the World War II

BY | Sunday, 18 June, 2023

“I miss him dearly. Father’s Day is a reminder to me that I am loved by my father,” Ariba Anar says as he remembers the “simple man from Seyochung village who never spoke bad words and was always in cool mood.”

“I have always been inspired by his lifestyle and character, he is my hero, my mentor,” he says proudly. “I have love for others because he taught me, I have empathy for the needy because my father taught me and instilled in me a desire and a love to share with all humans I encounter in life,” Ariba adds.

His father, a skilled craftsman in bamboo products, invested everything on his children’s education. “I still remember him making a bamboo basket for me at night because I needed a dictionary. He told me to become a great man someday after reading the book,” the grateful son remarks.

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The man had always been self-reliant. Every time his children required something, he would quickly make baskets and arrange them. Even in his old age, he would go to the shop and barter with his bamboo baskets.

Ariba mentions that the fondest memory he has of his father was when he made small baskets for him and his siblings to carry small tree branches to be used as firewood. They had also used the baskets to carry water.

The father would wake up at dawn and go to bed by 5:00 pm in the evening but whenever the grandchildren visited, he would make a bonfire and start sharing folklores and folktales. On such evenings, every passerby would come home for a cup of black tea and to listen to his wise words attentively.

“My father used to say that he went along with his elders from Kiphire to Kohima on foot after the World War II. It took them three days and two nights to reach Kohima,” Ariba says in awe.

“He was among the first to dig Kohima-Kiphire road and also roads in the Seyochung area. With these daily wages he managed the education expenses of my elder brothers and sisters. He was a very responsible father and a family man,” the son narrates in admiration.

His father possibly walked alongside the head hunters when he was young, drinking rice beer and smoking local tobacco made from local plants.

Ariba mentions that his father was among the first in the village to accept Christianity and to be baptised, after which he let go of his old habits of drinking local rice beer and smoking and never touched them again.

“I learned later that he served in my village church in Seyochung village all his life at different capacities as church treasurer, deacon and kitchen volunteer until he could no longer walk due to old age,” he states. But old age did not shake his faith as Ariba remembers his father praying for his children every night and every morning without ceasing.

His submission to God through prayers was consistent every day, he says.

His father was satisfied with what he had in the present and would not worry about the future saying, “God will make a way.”

“He would always advise me never to create enmity among my family, always to unite and live in harmony with everyone.”

“He passed away at his old age of 94 in the year 2012, but his memories and wise words still lives in my heart. I shall cherish and live up to his dreams,” affirms the devoted son, Ariba Anar, Samvaad Fellow 2020 and researcher.

Ariba Anar

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