Jul 7, 2010

Green Uniforms and Gatsby Super-Hard hair gels

Just when the pain of dissertations, the last minute work before submission and the complaints (and scoldings) of supervisors become too much to bear, stress buster came in the form of Nostalgia!

A childhood friend of mine (still my friend nonetheless) uploaded a whole album of our high school days. I had a nice time laughing at our crazy antics, our faces at 16, our school uniforms and our memories.

And first things first, whoever said that women look their best at 16, I’m way hotter now…. At 25!

Of course, green uniforms and gelled-back hair didn't do wonders for you looks! I consumed 11 tubs of Gatsby Super Hard hair gel during that year. Unbelievable?? Believe it. I just don't like my hair falling on my face and I was diligently following school rules of single ponytail policy for girls!

Why were we in such a hurry to grow up?? What were we thinking?? Life was best as it was!

Our crazy class teacher in Class 10; the one who labeled supari as ‘drugs’, the one who taught with such passion that the word ‘Imperialism’ is etched into our memories with a particular action, the one who made us wear wedding gowns for a candle dance!!! (I still can’t figure out…why a wedding gown???). This same teacher, a Catholic nun, once gave us a surprise quiz in History class. It was indeed sad that she asked questions from the ‘points to remember’ column at the back of the chapter from top to bottom. When we got the hang of the question pattern, one boy answered even before she could finish her question. And instead of getting suspicious, she ended up praising him for working hard!!!

I wonder if Sister Benny is still alive, and where is she now???

Our favorite version of Lolly’s ‘Mickey’

“O Haba you’re so fine, You’re so fine you blow my mind

Hey Haba… Hey Haba”

…which we would scream at the top of our voices. Sorry, Lallawmkim, I hope we didn’t make your life hell back then!

That fateful day when Brother Principal (nicknamed “Da Prince”) caught us hogging down our lunch box during a study period! We were made to sweep the corridors for one whole week.

Two very talented classmates, who were pros at mimicking every single teacher, their accent and their body language up to the way they blink their eyes. Almost every break hour was kept aside for their hilarious performance. Their favorite victims being a particular teacher couple!!

That Math teacher, who used to call my notebook pages ‘chicken in the garden’ if I get too hurried solving my problems. He passed away recently! He will be thoroughly missed.

That Chemistry teacher who nicknamed me ‘slum girl’ because my locality was declared a model-slum then! Sad isn’t it? A friend of mine was also nicknamed ‘Andaman boy’ because his dad was posted in the Andaman Island for the shortest of time.

And now I look back and smile at our class picture…

Class X 'A' ( 2000-2001.)

St.Paul's Higher Secondary School.

Some are doctors, nurses, engineers, academicians, teachers, businessmen &women, managers, consultants and more.

But one thing I’ve also noticed, only 3 out of the 40 strong class is now married and settled, which makes me question, Are the rest 37 just too smart or are just not “in demand”???

Jul 2, 2010

Love Letters

Okay… I’m just gonna come clean with this!

I have never written or received a love letter in my life! There… I said it!! And I’m not sure if it’s something to laugh or cry about!

For starters, I was never ‘in demand’. Secondly, the only relationship I’ve been in (prior to my current relationship) was a long-distance, seriously complicated, one-sided relationship. We talked on the phone a lot and we do mail each other a few times. However, it was always a friendly letter narrating trivial things like our daily schedules and the likes. Oh Yes! Most importantly, our letters always contain “advices”. Yes, we strictly stay away from the dreaded subject and so sadly, they were never ‘love’ letters! Well, that was ages ago and sadly, the closest I ever came to writing or receiving a love letter.

Four years ago, I met my man. Fortunately (or in this case unfortunately), we were already in the “cell phone age”. So letters were just out of question.

I find love letters very romantic in a ‘vintage-y’ sorta’ way. And I mean the heartfelt “love letters”, not the ones that my peers use to write or receive in high school, which would have lines of Shania Twain’s lyrics. Yeah! You know what song I’m talking about!

The writing, the anticipating and the pure joy of receiving an envelope with your name written in handwriting you know so well. That particular hour in the morning when you would wait for the familiar postman, hoping he'd bring you an envelope with your name on it. Or maybe that joyous feeling of picking out the right pad, the right ink and the right perfume to spray on that letter you are writing. Maybe it has got to do with my parents getting married following a single telegram (maybe I’ll blog about this too!).

Gone are the days when people were so faithful in long-distance relationships and they have stacks of well-read tattered old letters to prove it. My aunt still keeps a chocolate-boxful of letters that my uncle wrote to her before they were married. And she claims to value it more than anything. Lucky woman!

How I wish people would still be in the mood to write in spite of all the latest technologies, where everything could be done with a keyboard and a click of a mouse!! But like they say, it’s never too late to start; I just might have the chance to write a heartfelt letter which bleeds with emotion and is bathe with tears! Until then, I’ll keep thinking of the perfect words to write when that day comes!

Apr 24, 2010


A certain friend of mine complained once that my blog is too irregular and way too serious … well, the word he used was ‘depressing’! He should have known, it was my intention to keep it that way! But anyway, a serious rambling could also indeed spice up the “depressing” blog! And about the irregularities, well, I have to work on that…. But on my defense, I just can’t write without being inspired.

So here you are…

Random facts about me you just might not know!

· When I was 6, I fell from the dining table. Yes. The dining table (God knows why I was up there!). I had temporary blindness for a couple of days because I hit my head and supposedly my optical nerves were badly swollen. I don’t know how that could happen. I blame that accident for my myopic eye. I know, it doesn’t make sense. But I still like playing the blame game.

· I was 7; I fell from the fourth floor to the second floor of our building. I was in crutches for a week. That didn’t stop me from getting into a fight with a boy from our locality who made fun of my limping. My brother came to my help, but I already had my fair share of victory… That boy should’ve known crutches have multiple uses!

· I was 3 when I ‘volunteered’ to be the hair model for my 5 year old brother’s skills with the scissors. My mom almost fainted when she saw us that evening. Ed with his hair gnawed off into several patches; my previously shoulder length hair could now expose one ear and was grazed up to the neck on the other side. I think I would have looked fashionable… if only the emo hair was in!!

· My pinkie toe is larger than the one next to it. I get picked for my big pinky a lot! What can I do?? Basic genetics coming to play!!

· I wrote a song when I was 5. Yeah! Three songs, in fact, and in English. Brilliant me, I just started the English alphabet that year itself. My dad was witty enough to type them down and laminate it. Well, it’s just a jumble of all the English words I learnt in school, so sometimes it doesn’t make sense, my brothers don’t even call them songs. BUT, I wrote them out and sang them to my Grandma then and there( Yes, my dad note this down too. Bless him! )… so I still call them songs. :P Maybe one of these days, I’ll scan it down and post them… just for the heck of it!

· My first respond to my brother’s attempt in teaching me English “What is your name?” was "Ka nem lo”! I think I picked it up from some Thangkura audiotapes (I’m a big fan).

· I pulled out three of my own teeth with a string before I was 10!!! I was scared of dentists. So much that I’d rather do the job myself when my tooth starts shaking, I’ll hunt for sai-la. Running to parents with bleeding gums is compulsory after that!!

· My brother’s would never let me join their football games when I was a kid. I was never about me being a girl! I always get thrown out because I was too rough!! The boys from the other team always ended up with torn shirts if I played.

· Chukchu was Churchuk for me till I was 9, Dumka was dumde till I was around 7.

· I was caught smoking a churut with my cousins and my brothers at a friend’s garden. I was 8!! The price of having only boys to hang out with. The youngest one among our group, when his parents interrogated him, answered “Pak tum tauh” (Pak thum chauh). By the way, I don’ smoke. I started early, quitted early! :D

· I had my first crush when I was 14… I know, I’m a late starter. It was on a guy from an Irish boyband, beyond the seven seas; who doesn’t know I exist and ….later turn out to be gay!! 11 years later, I ‘googled him’ and ‘youtubed’ him and realized that my heartstrings are still tugged when he gave that lopsided smile. Sigh!! The charms of a gay guy!

· Talk about being a late starter… I had my first kiss at 22. I was ‘saving’ myself for the right person. I still kiss the same guy. Lucky Bastard!

· I cracked my front teeth biting on chhurpi in Bhutan. Don’t want to use dentures just yet. I’m still roaming around with cracked tooth! L

Randomness indeed!!!

Apr 20, 2010

The Licking Tribe

It was my fresher year in Delhi. Dr. Thangtea, the then Education Minister was the Chief Guest for the DMZP fresher meet. As much as I respect the guy and his achievements, I grunted when he mentioned a particular topic during his well prepared speech. He talked about the Japanese people and their perseverance and self discipline and mentioned with great enthusiasm about how they even restrain themselves from eating salt. I snorted. On the way back, B.Zara, a senior and a friend disagreed passionately on the salt-restraining trait of the Japanese. I grinned, I am going to like this guy not because he ‘beaked’ his lips when he speaks with a ‘certain’ sing song accent or because he walks with a certain gait (Sorry, Pu Kel)… but because he also has a passion for salt.

Darwin believed that humans have an ape-ancestry. I prefer the biblical beginning. But if I have to argue that I have an animal ancestry, I will have to say that I have a goat-ancestry. Because I cannot live without salt! And I don’t mean just without salty food, I mean without licking salt!

Asangba, a Naga friend of mine and a great cook often invites me for lunch and dinner. And no matter how well cooked and well seasoned the dishes are, I’ll always hunt around for salt after having a morsel. And once I do, he’ll start worrying and follow me with strings of “Isn’t it salty enough?” questions. I usually just tell him I need to lick salt. Puzzled, he asked me once “Zuali, I’ve seen you cook, I’ve eaten Mizo food too. And your dishes are never that salty!!” I grinned “We, Mizos are the licking tribe”. Now, every time I get invited to taste his cooking, he’ll always make sure that the salt container is right next to me ‘lest the Mizo belle loses her appetite’.

Have you ever noticed that in traditional Mizo feasts, there will always be a packet or a plate of salt with a teaspoon at the end of the buffet. I have noticed this is not so with other tribes or people. Back in my college days, my best friends were mixtures of Khasis, Nagas and Garos. And I get invited a lot to their traditional festivals and feasts. I’ve noticed, they never have free flowing salt at the end of the buffet table. And there came a time when I finally got around to bringing a mini container of salt for myself whenever I get invited to such buffet feasts. The heights!!!

Last summer, a Mizo couple got married here in Delhi. The wedding feast was catered and the wedding party happened on the Army Cantonment grounds. And since it was catered, we didn’t eat Mizo food. While we were on the buffet line piling our plates with food, two Mizo aunties who were just in front of me started complaining that there was no salt in the buffet. I grinned!!

Maybe it’s just one of the things that we, Mizos as a whole, generally practice. I don’t know if we all agree on that.

But we do agree that Mizos sing well… right!? :D

A garo friend of mine once mentioned that Mizos have big heads! I shot him an acidic glare…"Mizos have big heads to contain the extra brains that we have unlike Garos whose brains are painfully miniscule that even their small heads are hollow .”

Well, that argument is another story altogether.

Mar 5, 2010

Dark Clouds

Dark Clouds?!! Where do i even begin? I guess I’m not the first one to feel this way but when you’re on an intensive language research with a six month deadline and battling bad health at the same time, it can seriously mess up your mentality.

Research Deadline: July last week.

Present date: 1st week of March.

Time remaining: 21 weeks.

Work finished: Scribbles of first two chapters and skeletons of last two chapters.

Work pending: A complete dissertation with a minimum of 80 page ‘quality’ work.

Work complications: I just realized I have to brush up on Maths (probability, permutation, matrix and set theory, the like) after 6 years of happily switching over to Arts stream (Why on earth is it even related to linguistics???) I should have known I signed up for logic when I signed up for semantics.

Work pace: Super slow!! My supervisor just told me to mail her my write-ups even though I badly wanted to meet her in person.

Health Status: 1.. Just recovered from bronchitis (bronchial spasms ain’t fun at all).
2. Still on a regular 2 week injection visits to Apollo hospitals for hemorrhoid treatment. (Sigh!My doctor told me that hemorrhoid is an indicator of bad health!) I'm no fan of needles; my body is really hesitant in responding to the treatment and there is absolutely no way that I am considering or even entertaining the 'S' word.
3. Sinusitis loves me. He has for the past two years. I mope and disinfect my room twice a day and wash my curtains every week just to make sure that my room is dust free! I realized it’s not the dust in my room… it’s me or rather, my magnetic personality!

Emotional Status: No room for such…. Thankfully!

Mental status: FRUSTRATED. On the brink of depression!

Venting process: I know it’s sounds stupid...
1. Facebook Games. I just realized I’ve become super aggressive. I attack every single player I come across in “Sorority Life”. Pretty Biatchy huh?!
2. I blog… after staying away for more than four months! But writing is therapeutic, so blogging must also be. (Well! This step ain’t really stupid!)
3. I kissed my social life goodbye , except for Sunday Schools(I can’t stay away from my kids!) and Choir practices ( I will attend only till the Passion weekend!)which doesn't make sense because I have more time to get depressed!

Well! I know that a lot of senior researchers must have gone through what I’m going through now! And I know it might seem either stupid, futile or funny… But I wonder how those people sail through their storms.

To wrap it up… let’s stare at the dark cloud.

Dark Cloud: All of the above.

Silver Linings:
1. Hmmmm… First things first. It got me blogging and most importantly, writing again (Even though it’s just a scribble). I haven’t done much writing after starting research.
2. It got me back to “ordering my private world”. My room is spotless, no dirty laundry in the basket, I get up at 7:00 am (sterling silver for that!). Have you noticed how organized my writings are? Numbered, pointers and the works! :)

So… the dark cloud and the silver lining; a whole page against two points. Well, who said the silver lining should be bigger than the dark cloud! ?

And as if Someone knew what I’m going through; I came across this ‘chhum ve mai mai’ pic by CHDA while leisurely browsing through www.thlalak.com. Needless to say, I steal a silent smile!