Oct 11, 2009


Another lonely prayer prayed
As I crumpled against the pillow;
The night has never been so cold
And I have never felt so empty.
I remembered Leah, the unloved!
I remembered how she fought with her own blood
For nothing, but the affection of a Jacob.
Leah am I, tonight!
As I fought with myself;
For nothing but the love of a man.
Jacob, his name not quite!

Another silent tear shed;
Another dream turned to dust
As I try to keep my head above the waters.
A ray of light dawned on my window,
As I recalled how God remembered
Leah, the unloved!!
For at last she won the fight.
For in death, she lay with him;
Him whose love she longed for her whole life.

Leah am I, again tonight!
For I know God sees and remembers
The lonely prayers, the silent tears;
The aching nights so cold and lonesome,
Longing for the love, so long denied.

Leah am I, not quite, tonight!
For I know I will win this fight,
Not in death, no, not in the grave;
But in giving rather than receiving
And knowing I am loved still,
In a way no Jacob ever can!

** Delayed Attempts at poetry!! I know it sounds weird... But I was really inspired to write that night. And the inspiration's pretty pathetic too!! :D It'll be my last attempt. Promise!! :D

Apr 22, 2009


Ka Nu,

I feel weird typing this rather than speaking out! How I wish I could talk to you! But anyway, it feels better typing this out rather than talking to a wall which I have done for countless times. Words fail me every time I try to describe how much I miss you… so I have stopped trying to say so!

The time of the year is approaching again! I can’t tell how much it hurts to put yet another bouquet in the place where your body lied… And I can’t even describe how much more it hurts for me not to be able to be with Dad in that time of the year! Dad hardly talks about you, but I know he misses you when he looks at me with that faraway look and tells me that I look more like you every day! Why just last December, he encouraged me to wear your old puan and gave me your wedding ring!! I didn’t even know how to react!! Dad’s rather stubborn! Every time I try to convince him to let me leave my studies and let me stay back home to take care of him, he pushes the idea out and tells me that I should live for myself and not for him! He always tells me that I am living both of your dreams!! And even though it hurts him to see me board the plane after each holiday, he still let me go because he wants what’s best for me!! And I, with tears, would try to follow the verse you used to teach me Obedience is better than sacrifice.

I haven’t changed much! I still have your eyes and your voice and I still walk around in Daddy’s feet! But my pimples have finally shown mercy after all these years, and even though they drop by to say ‘hi’ now and then, I walk with confidence! Why!! I’ve been accused of being pretty a couple of times!! I still sing my heart out in the church choir and I’m sure you would have been proud to see me lead worship in the Easter Sunrise Service this year! I still can’t cook like you do… but I’ve found someone who pretends to like everything I cook (at least!!). And Dad has finally allowed me to date!!! Me being in post- Master’s and all, he ran out of reasons to lock me in!! But A U Mama is still reluctant!! Boooo!! At least I’ve got green light from the higher power!

Sometimes I wish I could turn back the time; so that I would undo the things I’ve done. I would undo all my rebellious teen years and spend my years trying to be the perfect daughter who never broke your heart! I was just learning to open up to you, just getting to know you when He decided it was time for you to go home. Maybe things would have been easier if I had a sister, not that the boys are insensitive or anything! Sometimes I got so lost growing up, moving from this phase to that phase of my life that I just couldn’t help but miss you! I know that crying or making my life miserable by missing you is not going to bring you back…. But sometimes… just sometimes, I cry. But I do so only when the world sleeps or only when I have a pillow big enough to muffle my cries!

It’s been shade of blacks, whites and grays!! The dark shades can get so dark but now they’re beginning to blend in with the grays! To look at the brighter side, Nu, I’ve learnt to love Dad the way that I would never have, had you been here! And I’m learning to cherish those I love, lest I get no time to cherish them again! I just hope that I make you proud with the person I am today and the person I aspire to be!

I know that it’s all beautiful and you love it up there, but please do take some time to miss me too!! And I know I should have said this when you were here, but better late than never… I love you…

Apr 6, 2009

(Un)Leggy Tales: Living with "tummied" calves

** Semantics Course, MA 1st semester; Class on Ambiguity**

Example sentence: The lady climbed on the table with thick legs.

I laughed silently. In the sentence, the lady with thick legs appealed to me rather than the table with thick legs.

Taking after my father’s thick paunchy legs, my precious legs and calves are the most ridiculed body part since high school. I don’t know why I didn’t take after my Mom’s slender legs; my brothers did!! And I, the only sister, am stuck with legs that only an athlete or a ballerina would possess… of which I am neither! So I grew up with my precious legs. High school was difficult; partly because the uniforms were knee length skirts, as I grew more conscious of my paunchy calves and partly because my best friend, whom I go to school every day with, has the legs of a supermodel. The two of us would walk uphill everyday to school with young boys behind us making fun of our calves… my calves in particular. Before long, I got used to the chawnsek chawnsek chant of the boys in my locality who always find the time to tease me on my way back from school. That was probably why I started wearing ankle length skirts to church since 8th grade, and soon switched over to puan way before my peers did!

Uniform regulations in school saved me. Skirt lengths should go below knee. O Happy day!! In fact I went overboard lengthening my skirt till it covered the stripes of my uniform socks… That way, my paunchy calves have more places to hide and I was never in trouble for violating uniform rules! Thank God uniform in secondary school was a salwar suit.

I remembered once during Secondary school when I needed to submit the Original Scheduled Tribe certificate for verification. I called up my dad and asked him to mail me my original certificates. He laughed. I remembered his exact words. I chawn hmuh la, Tribal I nih chu an hre mai ang. Verification awlsam ber ani mai alawm. (Show them your calves and they would know you are a tribal. It’s the easiest form of verification.) Fuming, I hung up the phone.

That was my dad, at least, and he did that to pull my leg. But one incident I could never forget was with a guy visiting from my father’s village. One morning, I was making tea before school and this guy was with me in the kitchen. I was just up from bed and was still in my shorts. And this mikhual of a guy exclaimed “ You have the legs of Roberto Carlos!!”. I never served him tea that morning.

But from that morning, deep inside me grew a feeling that I will never have the legs that would escape people’s notice. First of all, I blamed my father. Yes!! Blame it on the genes. And then I blamed my mother for letting me go ‘in rubber miss’ when I was a kid. Well, I didn’t really know if skipping, hopping and jumping with rubber band works up the claves. But it helps when you have someone to blame for that self-loathing feeling.

That was years ago. Today, if you see me walking around campus with a knee length skirt, don’t be surprised. I have finally learnt to love myself and get comfortable with my short ‘unslender’ legs. When people joke about my legs and calves, I can finally laugh with them and pull my leg further, enjoying the joke all the while. The strength lies in being comfortable in one’s own self. And by being comfortable with my legs, it doesn’t mean I run around wearing a micro mini, but it’s that feeling of being contented with yourself and loving the body you’re living in. Well, if I can’t love myself, who else would? Mimi, my partner in the short ‘unslender’ legs society, once said, “People notice only when you’re uncomfortable and fidgety”. She couldn’t be more right.

The other day, I met an old friend who, without hesitation pointed at my legs and laughed. ‘God, your calves still have tummies of their own’. I laughed with him ‘I’m glad they don’t have minds of their own any longer’. Well, I’ve finally learnt how to be contented with my short thick legs. There are people out there who survive everyday without one. I should be counting my blessings instead of being ashamed of it. And in fact, lately, I’ve realized that my ridiculed short thick legs are really not that bad after all. If I have slender model-like legs, then I would look like a potato on toothpicks!!!! And it all comes down in the end; I wouldn’t mind having the perfect legs that one could dream of, but I sure wouldn’t kill to have one either!!

Mar 17, 2009

Touched by the Taj

I have been writing essays since the third grade and Boy!! Was I excited to see the Taj Mahal for real!! On the pre-planned weekend at Agra with my HOPE tribe… I finally get to do so. The Taj, needless to say was beautiful especially as it has that creamy glow with the March sunset. It evoked all sorts of emotions within me. As much as I felt elated to witness such a beautiful sight, deep deep down in my heart, I felt a certain pain. As I stared at the magnificent tomb in the sunset, I couldn’t help but admire its beauty; the marble carving with plant motifs, the symmetry of the columns and figures and the feel of the cool marble under my skin. Tourists around me obviously admired it too as their tour guides mentioned over and over again about the love that Shah Jahan has for his queen. But the love that the emperor had for his wife was the very last thing on my mind as I walked the cool marble floor.

In school, I learnt that the Taj Mahal was built by 20,000 workers who toiled everyday for 22 years. It was said that the workers were all killed/ dismembered by Shah Jahan, after the completion, to make sure that something as beautiful would never be built again: the tragedy of it all. As I hurt my neck from tilting my head too much to admire even just the ceilings, I also wondered the irony of it all. How many people have died to create something this beautiful?? In fact, I could almost see bloodstains on the cool marble walls. Laborers, workers and slaves have toiled day in day out to built this marble tomb by the Yamuna. Well, do they know that they would be killed at its completion? How would they have felt while laboring in the construction of this tomb which was built by the emperor for his late queen while they toil day in and day out to feed their living ones? Questions, too much questions!! How unjust is the world?? While some have enough to build this magnificently extravagant tomb for his dead wife, some don’t have enough to feed their living ones.

Back home in Aizawl, there is this man, a school teacher/owner, who built a “mini Taj” for his late wife; made it a paid visiting site; remarried and carried on with his life. I don’t criticize him much… except for the fact that he made the tomb a paid visiting site!! Well, if that’s the way that he wanted to show his love for his wife… so be it, not to mention that he already published a book about their life together. But a couple of years ago when I went to visit the tomb… certain thoughts crossed my head. Would I want someone to show his love for me this way?? A lovely, expensive, huge, white tomb immortalizing my rotting corpse while there are people out there who could barely afford a roof over their living heads!

With that thought in my head and the Taj Mahal still in my mind’s eye, I write this to whoever loves me enough to do something this huge, for I am sure that I am loved enough even though he/ she may not be an emperor who affords such extravagance. Please do not immortalize me, for I am but a mortal being. The world is just my journey, I’m just passing through it and I don’t want to get stuck in it. I just want to live my life here, love as much as I can, live to the fullest, and go on when my time comes. I want to be remembered for some time for what I do, and later be forgotten too. Please don’t let my name be remembered for all time. Don’t let my name be stuck in history because of the beautiful, expensive, white tomb where my mortal body lies rotting! And lastly, and most importantly, please remember that just because you don’t build me a marble tomb doesn’t mean that you love me less than those who do so ….