Sunday, January 30, 2011

Grave matters

I promised myself I would write a happy post, but as Confucius said, “He who makes a promise is a liar”, so I'm not entirely to blame for any sad words that may follow.

Death. It’s so certain, yet it still remains the most uncertain part of our lives. It’s there, waiting for us. Most of us don’t want to die, and probably never imagined ourselves as dying, gone from the world, all the hard work we had done in our lives, all the riches we accumulated, all the hatred and love we carried inside, all gone in that instant when our hearts stop beating.

I have been extremely lucky in that I haven’t lost anybody close to me. My father’s mother died when I was four, his father died when I was twelve. I have vague memories of my grandfather, he lived in Champhai and we would exchange letters, and he would visit us occasionally. But I clearly remember the time when he was hospitalised, and I was in the next room when he breathed his last in that small hospital room. I didn’t cry, and I don’t remember being sad. My parents went to Champhai for the funeral, and when they returned I joked that now that his parents were dead, my father was now an orphan and maybe he should live in an orphanage. It was mealtime, and everyone laughed. But now I realise it was a very crude and insensitive thing to do, and not in the least funny. I never understood how lost and lonely my father would have felt after losing both parents. I still cannot imagine how that would feel like, because thankfully both my parents are still alive. I have seen people losing their loved ones, have seen them cry and mourn, but I cannot truly sympathise with them because it’s something I have never experienced.

My mother’s father died four years back. He too lived in Champhai, and we rarely saw him. So when he passed away I didn’t really mourn as one ought to mourn for one’s deceased grandfather. I know I seem callous and insensitive here again, but to tell you the truth it’s really hard to feel the loss of someone you hardly know, no matter how closely related you are.

So when I say I haven’t lost anybody close to me, I'm talking about the people who are close to my heart, related or otherwise. You make your own relations in life; your ancestry is just a part of it. As you grow up and make friends, you decide who to love and who to remain close to, you choose the people you’d mourn with all your heart and soul should you ever be parted by death. And all of us are going to go through it, we don’t have a choice, life gives us no choice.

I think I've made you pretty sad by now. And I haven’t even got to the point of this post. I used to have a friend who would skirt a topic for hours until you tell him to get the point. I hope I'm not becoming like him.

Death is unavoidable, we all know we are going to die, our loved ones are going to die, and nobody knows whose turn will come first. We wait, and in the meantime try to have fun and collect riches. But how often do we think of death? The seriousness of it, the everlastingness of it, the inevitability of it all. We fall sick now and then, but we never think of dying. Our loved ones fall sick, and we just assume they would get well again in a few days. No matter how ill someone is, the human mind still clings to that thin thread of hope that everything will be all right, that things will all work out for the better.

My cousin’s wife has been diagnosed with brain cancer of the 2nd stage, and she now lies in a hospital bed waiting for surgery. It is at that stage where it can be cured or it can turn aggressive. We all pray and hope for the best. Please remember her in your thoughts and prayers.

Sometimes I feel God put pain and suffering in this world to wake us up, to shake some sense into us, and to remind us not to take anyone or anything for granted. I know this may sound like a cliché, but cherish every minute life gives you, because you don’t know when it will be taken away from you.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Pathianin nungdama min la zuah zel te anih chuan engtik hunah emaw chuan kan lo tar ve ngei dawn sia, ka peihlo lawk! Ka peihloh nachhan ber chu thalai te nun ka man loh lutuk dawn vang pawh ni lo, kawm tur an awm dawn loh vang pawh nilo, ka khirh dawn lutuk ber hi! Tu leh fa te kan la nei ve ngai te a nih chuan min ning thei ngawt ang. "Ka pi hi chu phunchiar si, thil awmzia a hrethiam si lo,a ninawm ngawt mai" min la ti ang a, an nu te khan "In pi neihchhun a nih hi, duat rawh u" kha an lo ti bawk anga. Pasal te kan neih loh tak leh unaute bulah kan khawsa ang a, "In ni hi duat rawh u, duattu tur fa te a neih ve loh hi" an ti ang a.

Mahni kan inhriat ai daih leh kan rinai daih hian kan thlahtute hi kan lo chhun thin. Mizia ah te, chezia ah te, ngaihtuahna thleng te pawh a niang chu. Kan seilenna leh kan lehkhazirna, hnathawhna, chenna hmun te hian kawng tam zawkah chuan min influence mahse kan mizia tamtak hi chu kan thisen ah hian a bet hi ka ti ve tlat.

Ka nu te lam hi mi ngaihsam, thil pawh pawm zel thei mai an ni a. Ka pa te lam ve thung hi chu khirh ve angreng, phunchiar ve angreng, taima bawk si an ni a. A khawilam hi nge maw ka chhun le, ka ti thin. Ka ngaih kha chu a sam ve thei khawp mai, hoh pawh kha ho ve thei tak ka ni. Ka thiante leh min hre tute in zawh chuan mi ho ve angreng, thutak pai lemlo, thawveng ve tak ni thin in min sawi ang. Mahse chuti chung chuan khirhna lai te kha ka nei leh thin, ka ngei zawng leh ka ei loh deuh te kha chu polite taka han tuar hram hram mi kha ka ni ngai lo. A chang chuan tawngkam ngeiawm tak tak te pawh ka lo chhak chhuak thin.Thawveng bawk si, khirh bawk si ka ni thin anih ber chu.

Mahse kum te a han liam zel a, khirh lamah hian ka kal ta telh telh maiin ka inhria nih chu! A va han buaithlak em! Nula senior khirh an tih zawng zawng hi ka qualify zo dawn. Nula senior jokes hi kan sawi teh fo a, mahni thu a ar talh ngam ngat chuti khati kan ti a, a hmingin sum tlemte kan lo thawkchhuak ve a, nu leh pa ten min lo duat ve tho sia, ar pawh kha lo talh pawh ni ila enge maw in lo buai le? Mahniin torchlight (cell 3) pawh nei ila enge maw in nuihzat viau le? Tunge thimthamah indap du du peih? Sawi thui lo teh ang.

Tichuan, khirh lam kawng chu ka zawh chho zel chu a nia. Hmanlai anga thawveng taka awm kha chu la chak tho mahila a theih tawh loh. Nu leh pa te sum kha kan ring a, eng lem mah kha kan engto lo a, engpawh kha lo thleng se "A fel leh vek mai ang" kha kan ti liam puat thin a. Mahse tlema lo fin ve deuh tawh hi chuan a theih tawh miahloh. Hna han thawh ve tawh phei hi chuan kan uikawm em em a, kan sum neihzat hi kan hre kar mai a ni. I nuih hma khan han inngaihtuah chiang teh, nangpawh i sum neihzat chu i hre kar a ni lawm ni? Kha daih kha asin.

Khirh in a a ken tel tlat chu strict hi a ni. Strict hle mahila, sual nih chu ka duh lo ve fan tho. Mahse strict nge nge chuan mi kan lo hau zing deuh a, mi kan lo hauh zin deuh chuan min lo ning a, sual nih hi kan lo hlawh leh mai thin. A va buaithlak lehzel em! Thangthar zawk te hi ka rilru ang pu tur chuan ka beisei hauhlo, anmahni ang rual ka niha ka hoh zia leh thawven zia pawh ka hre vek, an rilru tur pawh ka hrethiam vek. Mahse ka lo hau leh thin tho.

Mahse fel thut emaw khirh loh thut emaw chu ka tum chuang lo. Khirh hmasa ber pawh ka ni lo a, khirh hnuhnung ber pawh ka ni dawn chuang lo, tih hi inhnemna nep tak ni mahse tun atan chuan lo inhnem ve der der nan hmang rih teh ang.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

All we ever do is say goodbye

One of my best friends is getting married next month, and I will not be there to witness the happiest day of her life. I am extremely happy for her, but at the same time I feel sad because I am losing a friend of twenty years.

If I have to arrange my friends in the order of best-friend-ness, the ones I've known the longest will have very good chances of topping the charts. Not that I am not good friends with relatively new friends, but there is something, some bond with your childhood friends that you can never experience again with other people. You have been with each other since you were eight-year-olds running wild in the neighbourhood, have played endless games, the kinds of games slowly changing as you grow older. And you don't have to make any effort to create an atmosphere of friendliness when you're with each other, you don't have to grope for suitable topics of conversation. You can simply lie on a bed on a Sunday afternoon, listen to an old song and be happy. It doesn't matter if you don't keep in touch for months, when you see each other again you are still the same best friends, and the months just melt away.

When my parents and other elders talked about their old friends from forty fifty years back, it amazed me that they still remembered people from so long back. And at times they would talk about certain events from their youth as if it happened last week. But now I know forty or fifty years can seem not so long ago when it involved people you cared for. My friend and I have known each other for twenty years, yet I still remember clearly the day we first became friends.

Such is life. We meet, became friends, and eventually all of us have to say goodbye at some point of time. It could be because of a hundred reasons. People moving away, people getting married,  or simply losing touch, and sometimes we have nothing in common anymore so the friendship just dies. And one fine day, when we shed our earthly existence, will be the final goodbye.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hair Colour

If you are female, you would have coloured your hair at least once, is my guess. The female sex is fairly obsessed with hair colour, yours truly being no exception. I bet even Cleopatra and Marie Antoinette must have done something with their hair. Not only hair colour, we are obsessed with painting our faces. When Jezebel was surrounded by Jehu she arranged her hair, painted her eyes and looked out of the window from where she was subsequently thrown down (2 Kings 9:30). She must have known she was about to die and wanted to look presentable in death. And whenever we think of Cleopatra the first image that comes to mind is her dramatic eye makeup. So don’t pass judgment on young girls with eye makeup that made them look like they have been punched in the eye; they are just following a centuries-old tradition.

So what’s with the hair? Colouring hair is fun, easy, and puts you in a good mood. A newly coloured hair makes you feel good about yourself and you secretly wait for others to notice it and shower you with compliments, and who loves compliments more than us females? Can’t afford pricey colouring at salons? No worries, there are hundreds of do-it-yourself packs at affordable prices, and there’s always good old henna.

I was born with fine thin brownish hair, and have been constantly colouring it ever since I was maybe fourteen/fifteen. There were no fancy colours back then, and my mother would apply black hair dye for me and I would roam about with unnaturally black hair which was still better than a sad brown. Then came the henna phase. Henna mixed with oil, coffee, tea, eggs, lime juice, beer, everything which was recommended. Henna makes your hair dry, but I find it very cleansing. And I love the smell.

Nowadays we have all kinds of colour available to us. I have tried chocolate, burgundy, cherry red, metallic red, and an almost blonde light brown. I used to curse my natural hair colour because it made me look like one of those raggedy light haired street children, but now I consider it a blessing. Why so? Well, since it is such a weak colour, any hair colour you apply on it will immediately overpower it and the result is beautiful glorious crowning glory. I’ve had friends who are unfortunately born with jet black hair, who no matter how many bottles of hair colour they apply their hair still remains black. True, natural jet black is beautiful, and sometimes I’d envy them, but I've learnt how to be happy with what I have and work towards improving it.

But the biggest drawback, or should I say disadvantage, of colouring hair is the obvious difference in colour when hair starts growing and ugly roots show up. As much as I love colouring my hair, I have always been lazy in the touch-ups department and so my hair is always a kaleidoscope of colours. Not to worry, I can always go for another round of colouring and bring it to one solid colour.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Apple, The Banana and The Onion

Don’t you think the title should belong to one of the Narnia movies/stories? The Chronicles of Narnia: The Apple, The Banana and The Onion.

The other day I discovered a long-lost apple in the fridge. It must have been there for a couple of weeks, but it still looked good enough to eat. I felt it, it was still firm, and so I decided to eat it. Washed it, and cut it open. What I saw shocked me. The inside was completely black and rotten. So this is how "Rotten to the core" looks like, was the thought running through my head. Well, served me right for keeping it in the fridge for so long. I don't like apples very much and that particular one had been pushed to the corner for quite some time.

If I can't have an apple, at least let me eat a banana, I said, and took one banana from the kitchen shelf. The skin had started to turn black, and that put me off, slightly. But I peeled it and found that the banana was still good, no blemishes or any rotten parts to be found. It was delicious.

It was yet another day, I was cooking lunch/dinner what I don’t remember, when I noticed that some of the onions we bought had started to sprout. It was strange. They didn’t see sunlight, nobody watered them, they remained in the basket with all the other onions; but these three little onions had decided to change for the better and had sprouted.

So which one are we going to be? Looking good and perfect from the outside but rotten inside, like the apple. Or look imperfect and spoiled but with a heart of gold, like the banana. Or would we all take our lives in our hands and decide that whatever happens to me I will get something good out of it?