Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Sometimes you miss the bright lights. The cinema halls and the restaurants and the food courts, the late night shows and midnight buffets, the neighbourhood general stores that stay open till 10 pm for any emergency shopping, and the streets that quieten only after midnight. You miss the shopping malls and fancy brands and the back alleys where everyone goes to buy their clothes. The festival season and end-of-season sales where everyone has a competition on who offers the most discounts; and store cards and discount coupons, though you never used them. You miss the big bookstores and the fact that you can sit and read there for hours and nobody cares. The shopping area which turns into a second-hand book market on Sundays, and rare books that you discover at unbelievably cheap prices.  You miss having a lot of free time on weekends and holidays and going on unplanned trips with friends. The strange fact that even in such a big city there would be a familiar face to run into at almost every place, although you keep a very small circle of friends. The fact that you feel younger, never weighed down by the pressure that comes from all your friends being married and gone, and being an anonymous face in a city of millions. 

 Twenty months have passed since the relocation, and you begin to feel that things are quietening down a bit. People no longer stop you to ask when you arrived and give their verdict on your weight and looks. Questions about what you do for a living since coming here have stopped. You have met your old friends and are pleased to discover that the friendship is still there. Now you can somewhat match the names and faces of people, especially young people who you have to identify through their parents. You are shocked, however, to see that people from your generation are now beginning to look old, which brings a horrific realisation that you must look the same.  Random faces seen around town slowly stop resembling people from the old city. New friends slowly emerge, and a few old friends reappear.  You discover that you know more people than you are aware of, and find a familiar face or two in almost every place. It’s a small town, and everyone knows everyone else, so there is always a common link with any new person you meet; this however is comforting and frightening at the same time. You could roam about and nobody would care who you are and what you do, and it feels wonderful being anonymous in a city of thousands.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Masi Bazar

Naupan laia Krismas kan nghahhlelh em em nachhan chu kawr thar neih kha a ni. December thla a lo thlen chuan Krismas card in thawn leh kawr thar inensak reng reng hian hun kan hmang a. Bawng talh tur en leh chaw pek sek pawh a la awm tak! Kan la naupan zual lai kha chuan tlang thing phurh kha an la ti thin a, naupang ho kha kan kal ve ringawt zel a, kan lo ninawm thei ngawt ang.

Aizawl Masi bazar tih sawi a rilru a lo lang hmasa ber chu bazar tawt hi a ni, kha i mitthla in i hmuh nghal ringawt kha... lu hliiir lu hliiir a ni mai tiraw? A tawt lutuk hi kan duhzawng pawh kan lei hlei thei lo a, mipui hian min nekna lam lamah kan kal vel mai mai a; pheikhawk lei tum kha a chang leh theiden kan lei a, kawrlum lei tum khan ringworm leh thek damdawi kan lei a, secondhand thin tum khan chow artui chhipchhuan te kan han ei leh ang lawp lawp a, chutih laiin kawnghren lei dawn lai laiin SIM card nung sa kan han lei leh ang bawk a. Chutiang vel chu a ni.

Pickpocket te hi an lo tam tawh khawp a ni awm a, fimkhur tur hian Market thuneitute an au dup dup reng a. TV news ah khan kumin chhung ringawt ah cheng nuai riat chuang bo angin an lo report tawh a ni awm e. Kal pah hian bag hi kan veng run mai a, ka bag zipper hi an lo hawng ru palh ang tih hlau reng reng hian kan dap ruk ruk reng bawk a. Chutih lai in a tlangpuiin mi hi kan la rinawm niin ka hria a, dawr neituten an dawrtute phone theihnghilh pe tura um vau vau te ka hmu nawk mai. Millenium Centre ah pawh loudspeaker ah dawra an thil lei an theihnghilh thu an au lauh lauh.

Kum la rei vaklo ah kha chuan thil zuar te au hi a nuihzatthlak thei hle thin. A then an lo zai thul, kal pah hian kan nui vur thin. Zion Street chhuk thla cassette dawr velah te khan hla thar hrang hrang hi an play chuah chuah bawk thin a, tunah chuan chutiang chu hriat tur a awm ta meuh lo. Sumdawng te pawh an au peih tawhlo a, an aw an record a an play tawh mai a ni. Dawr pakhat chuan tlangval pakhat hi mic in an autir lauh lauh a, tlai lam a lo nih kha chuan a thiante nen khan uluk lutuk te khan an zai tawh vel a; nuam chu kan ti tlang e.

Krismas tih leh thil thar neih tih hi a inzawm tlat tawh a. Thla a sik dek dek tawh hi chuan secondhand thin tur te hi a tam nghal em em ringawt mai a, kawngsir hmun tinah a inbang kur lek luk a, veng kil tinah hmuh tur a awm a, mamawh lem loh hi kan lei leh chiam thin. December thla tir lamah bungraw hlui tihral duh sale an han nei a, thil tha lei tur a awmlo duk a. Thil tha duh chuan sumdawng ho bazar lo haw nghah a ngai a, a man a to dawn tih kan hre reng si, han lei mai tur awm thin si lo, a buaithlak thei teh e. Krismas a lo hnai a mamawh hi kan ngah thar ta thut emaw tih tur hian kan bazar vak vak a, a Krismas ni tak chu a rei lovin kan hman dan leh kan inbuatsaih dan chu a inmil leh em em lawi si lo. Kan inlei vak vak a, in kan chei a, khawlai kan chei a, a hnu lawkah "Krismas hi a ho tawh e" tiin kan phun kan phun leh a. A ti ho tu chu keimahni lek hi kan ni si a. Kan hman dan hi kumtin a ngai a, kumtin a ho kan ti a, hman dan thlak chu kan tum der si lo.

A ho tih sawi takah chuan, mi tupawhin kan sawi vek chu kan naupan laia Krismas nawm theih bik zia kha a nia, mahse khatih laia upa deuh te khan nuam kan tih em em kha ho an lo ti viau maithei a. Tuna ho kan tih em em te hi naupang te chuan nuam an lo ti viau maithei bawk a. Chutiang mai mai chu a ni khawvel chu.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Midnight Fright

Ding. Dong. Ding. Dong. Ding. Dong.

What’s that sound? Oh it is the church bell. What time is it anyway?

Found my phone, oh dear it is bright. 3 AM. Who would ring a church bell at three in the morning? Then I knew that someone must have died. I was also thirsty, very thirsty.

I got up, and flicked the light switch. Nothing happened. Switched it again three times, still nothing. Did we always have a power cut in the middle of the night? I never stayed up this late so I wouldn’t know. I reached for my phone, when suddenly the church bell rang again. I dropped my phone in shock, and it fell into pieces.

Well, I thought, now I have to grope in the dark towards the kitchen and find a candle. I cannot possibly reassemble my phone in the dark. So I slowly made my way forward, and it was just my luck that a waning moon was throwing some light through the kitchen window. I had moved only a few inches when I saw that the house was in complete disarray. It was a sight that immediately sent shivers through me.

Just before me, on the floor, was an arm! It had been removed at the shoulder (dislocated is the word I'm looking for), and from the looks of it it must have been separated from its body for many days. I turned away in disgust, and then I stepped on a cloth. With shaking fingers I picked it up, and discovered it was a dress, very worn and torn, obviously belonging to a little girl.

What to do next? I was nowhere near to my destination, the cabinet where candles were kept. I couldn’t move any faster, because the kitchen floor was littered with teacups and plates and pans. And what is a tyre doing on the kitchen table? Who had left it there?

 I stepped carefully, and was just about to open the kitchen cabinet when my feet touched something cold and sticky. Now what could that be? Who had visited us and left behind all this mess?

Whatever the answer was, I had to have some light first. I found the candles, lit the first one, and then the lights came on.

I drank the water. Then with a weary sigh I started picking up the children’s things. The Barbie’s arm, the tiny tea-set, the wheels of the bicycle, and the doll’s dress.  Two energetic little girls can really drain an aunt’s energy, were my last thoughts before I drifted off to sleep.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time I had this strange habit of washing my clothes at two in the morning. I was not mentally deranged or anything, it was just that I worked the night shift those days and 2 AM on a weekend was not that late for me. A few years later one of my old roommates would often ask if I still had that habit.

Once upon a time I was so thin that my collarbones stuck out. We had a school T-shirt which we have to wear once a week (but it was not compulsory). I rarely wore it, instead went for the normal shirt+tie, which I believed hid my collarbones.

Once upon a time my friends and I went to see a Star Wars movie and all of us fell asleep at the theatre. I think they were showing The Phantom Menace then.

Once upon a time at Christmas a friend and I pinched and elbowed ourselves all through the service because the preacher could not pronounce Christmas, and instead said “Hri-ma”.

Once upon a time a friend borrowed one rupee from me and I did not let her forget it.

Once upon a time my hostel roommate and I buried ourselves under the blanket, shaking with laughter. We found it funny that a fat roommate named Hema was oblivious to the fact that we called her Mahe behind her back and made jokes about her size.

Once upon a time I believed that all stories begin with “Once upon a time”.

Once upon a time I would read books before sleeping. Now I update myself with what my friends and their friends are doing and then go to sleep.

Once upon a time my friends and I packed ourselves in a friend’s car and went for a ride, singing many songs, out of which the only song I can remember now is “Baby you can drive my car”.

Once upon a time a friend and I would pretend that we were giants who lived in a snow-filled world.

Once upon a time I could sit down and without trying very hard write a blog post in 1, 2, 3.

Once upon a time a friend and I went searching for “Badam Ghar” (we were told that was the name). Turned out the actual name was Almond House (it was a sweet shop).

Once upon a time I could never make new friends easily. Things haven’t changed much.

Once upon a time I bought a lot of books which looked interesting. Many of them remain unread.

Once upon a time I decided I would be a great novelist and started a serial-type story in a new blog. Long story short, serial remains unfinished, writer busy with other things. (Also she ran out of ideas and was too lazy to pick up where she left).