Kohima: A collection of 53 poems penned by senior journalist Kopelo Krome was on Monday released by Nagaland MLA Khriehu Liezietsu here in Kohima.
Talking about his poetry collection “Beloved”, the 55-year-old author said, “I started penning my thoughts, which was for my own consumption then, because of the desperations and frustrations.”
He said his immediate elder brother Zekope was gunned down “with a single bullet straight to his heart on the 15th of August, 1987, in our very own capital town Kohima”.
The book consists of poems that were written mostly with the thoughts of the Nagas, “who had endured and experienced unaccountable sufferings and incidences during the last many unforgiveable and unforgettable decades”.
Krome, who was also an advisor to Kohima Press Club (KPC) during the late eighties and early nineties, said, “As you go through my works, within your own confines and try to digest the contents, you may wonder why it is penned with protests and lamentations. It is so because of the disillusions, disappointments, frustrations, betrayals and so on.”
Krome’s debut book is published by PenThrill Publication House.
Beloved is PenThrill’s 43rd publication. Publisher and journalist Vishü Rita Krocha said, “This book has been long overdue.”
Recounting a meeting once held at Krome’s residence when he was the president of the Kohima Press Club and she was the general secretary, Krocha said that Krome had shown his work which was neatly typed from a typewriter.
“We discussed the possibility of publishing it in a book form. Briefly scanning through his work that time, I was already convinced that it was a very important work of art. Especially for the new generation of today, I always think the children will grow up thinking differently, and with a misguided ideology of the long-protracted Naga issue,” she said.
However, to her, Krome has lived experiences of an era even as a young college boy who had witnessed unimaginable things—things that children of today would have absolutely no idea about.
Speaking about the book, she said the author has written in “protests against the so-called Nagas who are indifferent to the call for a changing Nagaland to a better land, but falling into the trap of easy living, being nonchalant, with love for their very own self and blind in their greed to see the sufferings of their own blood flowing deep into the earth”.
While the book lay unpublished for a couple of decades, she said, “I am sure it wasn’t because he couldn’t find a publisher. Maybe some things just fall into place however long it takes.”
Khriehu Lizietsu, member of Nagaland Legislative Assembly and Krome’s childhood friend who released the book, said the author is a “great storyteller” who speaks from the heart and is honest.
As he congratulated the author, he hoped that the readers will be able to relate with the writings of the book and appreciate life.
Krome began his journalistic career as an associate editor of Oking Times Newsweekly during 1985-86 and was also instrumental in the Nagaland Chapter of the North East Sun Magazine published from New Delhi in the 1990s.
He served in various capacities, including being an editorial member of the North East Herald (Daily) in the early part of 2000.
He was the founding editor of Youth Avenue (Newsweekly) and also a founding member of the Kohima Press Club, where he went on to serve as president during 2012-2014. He has since been an advisor.
The book will be available at Crossword, Kohima; The Common Room, Kohima; Bible House, Kohima; Fusion Store, Dimapur; and OM Books, Dimapur. It will also be available online at www.ilandlo.com and The Naga Bookshop on Instagram.
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