I was home for a month and a half during the summer. I went home after two whole years of being away in the sweltering Delhi heat, and I must admit, during the two years, I have partly forgotten how to miss my family! (Sheeesh!! So much for being the fanu neihchhun!! ). I was home at Aizawl for a month, I spend 11 days travelling south, had my taste of an 'Aizawl wedding' where I had fun seeing people overdress (Facebook Albums just don't lie!!) and met a dozen new cousins, nephews and nieces who were born during my two vagabond years.
I must admit, I was a babysitter/nanny/cook/housemaid/PS/PA to dad/ housekeeper during my month at home. And I loved every single moment of it, down to the moment when I have to scrape ar ek from the chicken coop or when I have to help my brothers with their stint in woodcutting. I realized how much I missed being home and taking care of it. I had slumber parties with my nieces and all of our dolls, watch my youngest niece's toothless smile turn into a two-teeth-smile and went through 10 year old letters from high school! Ah! Nostalgia!
|They spend half the night rearranging the dolls and the other half kicking me in their sleep!|
|I'm all for Green Mizoram. But the tree on our upper slope got too big and too dangerous for Monsoon. Hence we cut down the branches. Made a huge mess in the terrace too!|
Social life in Aizawl?? I have no social life in Aizawl. I went to funerals in my locality with my aunt and condolence services with my dad. I must admit, I feel extremely awkward at church. The few handful (unmarried) people I know were already youth leaders and are already too busy with meetings and other duties to be in the same pace with me. I decided to go to choir practice but I was told that the choir was a closed group! :( SAD!! So I went to church with my dad and left with him! I spend my Sunday afternoons visiting families of relatives who passed away while I was away. Of course, half the time, my dad went with me. So basically, my dad was my partner during my month in Aizawl. Hey!! I'm not complaining, I don't know how long will I continue to be daddy's girl. **wink**
I took my baby brother out for shopping twice. And half the time people looked at me as if I'm taking my 'boy-toy' for shopping. A lady at one shop asked me 'In pa ta tur hi ami?'. My brother and I, we looked anything but siblings. He's tall, broad, handsome and fair and I am otherwise! :D I must say Hutea brings out his child-likeness when he's with me. And most of the time, he'll be all over me, hugging me, grabbing my shoulders or my hands even in public. Can't really blame him, he's the youngest in the family and was only 15 when Mum passed away. And I have been a 'mother-figure' to him since then. Well, what term else would you use when a 23 year old engineer came to you, almost in tears, asking you to give him a head-bath because he couldn't get rid of his dandruff!!!!! And him calling me Seni without a 'U' didn't help identifying that he's my brother.
This summer I had the amazing experience of witnessing chickens (and quails) hatching from the eggs. It might sound weird, but I felt so maternal watching the eggs crack open while chicks and quail-chicks(??) kick their way out into the world. I felt as if I witness the miracle of birth. My big brother bought himself a digital incubator when he came home from Brighton. Believe me, the ar-pawm veteran took great pride in his machine! The machine worked well and during my stay, we incubated three batches of eggs. The night before I left, it was hatching time for the batch of quail eggs. We hardly slept that night!
|The phoren 'world-class' digital incubator with the quail eggs! I should learn how to cook quail before I go home again!|
|The first-born just a few minutes old!!|
|The little fella after 4 hours!! FYI: Quails mature in a month! :D|
I traveled south for 11 days and had the most amazing time meeting people, new and old. I stopped and stayed at 9 towns and villages partly for my fieldwork and partly because of the heck of wanting to travel. I met old grannies, whose language I could hardly understand. Sometimes, I'd need an interpreter. Its got to do with my rudimentary Lai and also with their seasoned-dialected Lai. The biology of language and the overwhelming generation gap!
I must admit, I also made the biggest mistake of asking men about colours for my fieldwork. The different colour charts I took with me didn't help at all.
My interview with Mr. Hmun Hre at the LADC office in Lawngtlai happened as such:
Me: Ok, what is 'red' in Lai
HH: A eng
Me: Isn't 'a eng' in Mizo called 'Aihre' in Lai??
HH: Yes. Seni!!! Where did you learn that?
Me: Oh! I speak Lai too! **Grin** Then what about the colour of oranges?
HH: Yes, that's a eng
Me: You mean 'aihre'??
HH: Yes, aihre.
Me: Then what about this colour? (I showed him a green leaf. Leaf green, not lime green or flourescent green)
HH: That is also a eng.
Believe me he wasn't the only one. Another man I met at Sangau stated 'a sen' to every single colour I pointed except for black and white. Yet another man from Lawngtlai admitted openly that blue and green all looks green to him. Maybe a case of blue-green colour blindness for him? But for the others, I don't know!! I just don't know!!
My lowest of low moments during my summer was at Lengpui airport where I got into a hassle with an airline ground staff (Another namesake, sadly!!) who asked me to weigh my handbag 'since it's a cabin baggage'!!!! My first time in my 26 years of life. And it had to happen at Lengpui airport. And that little imp had to use her 'accented' English even when talked to in Mizo. But weighing a handbag where I had my netbook, a book and a few toiletries never happened at any other airport before. I wanted to ask her if I should also weigh myself since I was also going in the aircraft. I'll make sure I never fly in that airline again. Cause' if I run into her again, the vampire in me might just awake, 'tear her into pieces and wear her ribcage as a hat'!! ( Lorena of True Blood talking!)
Well, that's a bad tone to end my Summer at home!! Isn't it??? Well, what can I say?? Summers end in autumns too!! Just the law of nature! And I'm just a part of it! **GRIN**