This is the photo of 83 years old Ayekpam Inakhunba, a veteran Manipuri Shumang Lila who was once highly acclaimed by the people for his role in Shumang Lila play “Devdas”. He is popularly known as Devdas shaba or bManihar shaba. Inakhunba was conferred the Iboyaima Shumang Leea award for the year 2013 by Shumang Leela Council on the occasion of Shumang Leela Numit 2013 held at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen, Palace Compound.
“Right from the very young age of 14, I joined Shumang Lila play. Shyamjai Khurailakpa was the first play in which I got the opportunity to act on the stage. My shumang Lila party used to gett Rs.15 as Dhakhina for showing a shumang Lila play and the money was divided Re.1 to each artiste after the play. My parents did not like me to join Shumang Lila at first. However, I acted against their wish because of my passion for shumang lila. I have retired from shumang lila since 2000. Despite my old age, I still love to act on the stage”, said the veteran shumang lila actor during Meet the shumang Lila artiste programme held in connection with the ongoing Imphal book fair 2013 organised by state central Library, Department of culture, Governemnt of Manipur in collaboration with Raja Rammohon Roy Library foundation , Kolkata at Hapta Kangjeibung here.