Tuesday, August 31, 2010


... he smiles tow'ring shiny metallic purple armour"- Jimi Hendrix (Bold as Love)
He's wrong. It's an all-consuming fiery crimson red.

What gets your goat? Normally a relatively placid being, these days I'm like a lit firecracker, exploding at every turn. 

Its been a busy, busy time- house construction, demolition, moving, cantankerous nephews to babysit and personal problems of my own, which all adds up to make me a very volatile person right now. I'm generally "Slow to anger, quick to forgive", or at least I think I am. But when I do get mad, I need a good, healthy bellow before I can move on. 

I wish I could be like those people who, when they get mad, keep silent and go away for a while and return when all's well. Me, when I can't find an outlet I brood and my anger just builds. And now its even worse because it seems my temper is frayed all the time. And the sucky part about my kind of anger is, its the kind that's a precursor for crimes of passion. 

Take my conversation with my hyper-active 5 year old nephew yesterday. 
He: "Nu Kuku, can I play with your lat-top, Anuteii's det-top doesn't have bike games.
Me: There's none in mine either, bawih. Besides, I told you you can use my laptop only when you turn 7. 
He: pleasepleasepleasepleasePLEASEPLEASEPLEASE....
Me: No. Here's some crayons. Go play.
He: No (throws them away)
He: (startled, backs away) Nu Kuku, min ngei ami? (Do you hate me?) *walks away sadly.
Me: No...  (heart breaks)

These days it seems my family gives me side-long glances, then hastily averts their eyes when I look at them. I try. I really try to be calm. I take out my Bible very night and pray. But right now Im currently on the chapter where Eve's descendants are cursed to battle forever with the snake, so I guess I'm in battle mode too.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Reread Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid". And no, this does not indicate my second childhood.
The full story's here. This is becoming my favourite fairy tale. Beautiful lines there- "mermaids have no tears, and therefore they suffer more". The pathos in this sentence really got me. Mermaids aside, its awful when you cant find an outlet for pain through tears. Well, not that its happened to me, being a closet crybaby. My sister described giving birth as "pain beyond tears". I once went to a funeral where the deceased's husband kept patting the body of his dead wife, his body racked occasionally by dry sobs that refused to give vent to tears. I cant imagine greater pain-physical or emotional- than those. Ariel's story, where she loses the love of her life and gains a soul in the process made me reinforce that old cliche, "Its better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all". Love might hurt like a b!t$h, but its always worth it.

The Lit student in me remembers the feminist dictionary definition of fairy tales as a "harmful cross-cultural educative story told to unsuspecting children that shows women as passive, opportunistic or cruel" (Cheris, 149) where passivity is praised and "powerful female figures ... were either deprived of (verbal) power or their power was transformed into the wickedness of witchcraft" (Bottigheimer, 149). Yeowtch!

Rewatched Nirvana's 1993 MTV Unplugged performance. It was thaaat long ago. Swooned all over again. Kurt Cobain is one good looking dude, despite or maybe, because of that greasy unkempt dirty blond hair, disheveled clothes and moody attitude. Laughed at Dave Grohl's angsty grunge avatar :D
kurt cobain grey collage pictures, backgrounds and imagesThe band and MTV originally had differences of opinions about the song line-up because the band didnt want it to be a rock show where the band would play their hits albeit with acoustic guitars. They preferred working with a few of their lesser known songs and covers and also preferred cameo appearances by a little known band, The Meat Puppets, rather than some famous name. They went with their instinct and, IMHO, went on to present the best ever Unplugged performance in history. The grungemeister didn't sell out to MTV execs and in the process, left a musical legacy that thrilled with its creative promise, a promise all the more haunting because it remained unfulfilled. 

Re-listened to U2's "One" after watching a Glee episode in which they covered the song. This song is one of my all-time faves, whether its the U2 single or the one that featured Mary J. Blige or the brief appearance in Lighthouse Family's "Free/One" or the Glee cover. Other covers I havent heard include those by Johny Cash, REM, Pearl Jam, among others. The inception of the song itself is awesome. The band nearly disbanded because of musical conflicts when The Edge came up with a chord progression that inspired the group to improvise the song and everything fell into place again. The Edge describes the moment as one that defines why you're in a band.

Though the song is about romantic relationships, it has been reinterpreted in a variety of ways, a major indicator of great writing (or lyricism, in this case). Often used as a theme song to promote human rights or social causes, the song advocates getting together not because of some spiritual belief that we are one. In fact, it says we are not the same, but we have to come together because we need to to survive. Bono suggested that "the line "we get to carry each other" introduces "grace" to the song and that the wording "get to" (instead of "got to") is essential, as it suggests that it is a privilege to help one another, not an obligation". 

Im into rehashes these days. I need to find me newer things to swoon over but then again, these oldies are classics and in no way trashable. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Colour coded Lurve

One of my old teachers loved telling us about the way Mizo women were (mis)treated in olden days. Apparently, women were a silenced lot, who had almost no say in their own lives. Well, I did say almost. When prospective grooms were suggested to them, if she liked the candidate, she would tell her parents, "As you wish", and if she didnt like him, she'd say, "You can have him if you like". But prospective brides, especially those intended for the noble familias had to undergo certain tests to prove their worth. They were made to strip down and their bodies were inspected for blemishes and marks. Their first crap of the day was also inspected. Apparently, a healthy-looking crap signified a healthy body, which in turn, signified a wife who would be capable of rigorous labour and multiple births :D

They were also expected to be modest and discreet. A maiden must in no way reveal, either by a word or a look that she fancies a particular male. She had to treat all her visitors with equal charm and coyness. If a male complains that a certain girl had been rude to him, apparently, the males gathered together and tore down the girl's house. [Came across this interesting bit of info when a guy told me that if the old rule had still been prevalent, my house would have been demolished quite a few times :-( ]  

Of course, women being women, they found small ways in which they could voice their sentiments. When the lads came calling, they served huge lumps of coal to light the pipes (?) of those they didn't like, and tiny embers to those they liked, so that they would have to go back to them again and again. I guess we all know this bit of info anyway. Well, I came across another info in this month's Lengzem (Mizo Rawng) which had me pretty tickled.

When rolled cigarettes replaced pipes, women found another great way to express their affections. They would roll cigarettes for their gentlemen callers and they came up with certain colour codes in the threads they used to tie these cigarettes. 
If the thread she uses is white, it stood for indifference- neither dislike, nor affection. Just plain and simple nothing. Nada.
A black thread signified sorrow. She might be telling a suitor that her parents do not approve of him.
Red stood for anger. A cigarette tied with a red thread was a silent but strong accusation or reprimand to a lad.
And green. Green literally means she's giving a lad the green light. It stood for LOVE (in caps-yes). A ciggy tied with a green thread could  literally be an un-smokable treasure for a love-struck lad.
And finally, if a maiden used her own hair instead of a thread to tie that ciggy, it signified not just love, but also complete and utter surrender of her self. It stood for "Im yours. Send emissaries NOW". 

Can you just imagine our forefathers grinning foolishly in the firelight staring at a ciggy tied with a green or hairy thread? Bring back the romance! Or maybe not. Not being able to freely tell the one I love that I love him would probably frustrate the hell out of me. Still, it would be such an exhilarating moment, when a maiden shyly ties a ciggy with her own hair and hands it to her lover in trepidation. And lover boy would receive it, comprehension slowly dawning on his sun-burned face as it breaks out in a face-splitting grin. 
Love, I guess, speaks its own language and finds its own way- Cliched but true.   

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

When a man's needed

Feminists be damned, theres one area over which we females will never approximate to a male, and thats in brute strength. Sister #5 and I have pleaded, begged and badgered mom to get a male servant but she thinks she has a man's strength so she remains adamantly against the idea. 

We once had the perfect male servant. Well almost- he went out one Sunday and never returned and some of our stuff mysteriously disappeared with him too. He was 5 ft of muscle. He can hoist himself off the ground with just his arms, using a pole as support, aligning his body perfectly parallel to the ground. When he carried heavy loads he's skip merrily, waving his arms and saying "Heiha huiha". And he also fancied laddies so it was perfectly safe to leave him around with five little girls. Now he's gone :(

Our house is located on a hill and all routes to it contain hundreds of steps, vehicle inaccessible. Many's the time #5 and I have staggered our way up those steps when theres a delivery of sacks of rice, building materials, gas cylinders etc. Today, a truckload of sand unexpectedly arrived. We had only one worker to help and he was scrawny and puny. It looked to be a long day's work for #5, me and him.

Bro-in-law #2 came over, bought us icecreams, said he had work and couldnt stay, told us to change into long pants (we were in shorts) because we had Vai workers and they might ogle. We dimpled prettily but didnt change. Who ever heard of mucking about in sand in long pants?

Then #4 and her hubby, bro-in-law #3 came over. #4 wants to "play in the sand" too and she told her hubby to take their six-month-old son. Hubby insisted on being a man (yayyy) and helped us instead. So there was no longer any need for #5 and I to walk up and down the steps carrying sackfuls of sand. All we had to do now was to load the sacks with sand while bro#3 and puny worker carried them. And God made the weather blissfully cloudy so it wasnt too bad.

Yes, yes, I know, we look like models on an exotic fashion shoot but still, it was grueling work. Anyway, one highlight of the day was when two little schoolboys, probably 6 or 7 years old came over and insisted on helping. The held open the sacks for us and then asked for a handful of sand as payment :D
Then they ran away, cupping their treasures in their hands, whooping in delight. I want sons like those. And thats another instance where men prove helpful too. To help in procreation.

Anyway, its now time to clean up the mess the workers made, and to start preparing dinner. A woman's work is never done. Thats when its nice to have a man around to talk to after a hard day's work.

So feminists and supporters of all-female utopias be damned-again. Men do have their occasional uses. And I for one am going to badger my mom again about seeing to a male servant. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010


After a bout of housecleaning on a hot summer's day, there's nothing worse than stripping down for the shower only to realise that the only soap available is your dad's Lifebuoy soap. Dont get me wrong. Im sure Lifebuoy's a good soap, with skin enhancing properties, environmentally friendly, not tested on animals etc. I just hate the way it smells. Choiceless, I used the soap, uncomfortably aware that I smell like my dad. 

I used to love smelling like a man. Probably the first body spray I used was El Paso, Im sure those of my generation remembers it. And Jovan White Musk for Men. I liked the hints of musk, wood, tobacco and alcohol in perfumes and sprays. 

Each of us have our own distinct smell and the same perfume smells different on different people. The one Im currently using smells like crisp spring day on me. And on another girl I know, it smells like summer flirtation. I hate that girl. She makes every perfume she wears smell like a weapon of mass seduction. But thats how it is with some people. 

I read somewhere that the purpose of having hair in pits and pubes is so that it would trap our natural smells and act as a seductive pheromone something or the other. And while we might not exude such strong personal aromas as our cavemen forefathers, we all do have our personal scent that nothing can quite disguise. Which is why the scent of an ex-lover is such a strong trigger for nostalgia (or revulsion, depends on one's experience). 

And this is the main reason that God made men generally taller than women. Its so a woman can burrow her face in a man's chest and inhale the essence of him. And a man can bury his face in a woman's hair and know how distinct she is from every other woman. 
All this just to detract from the fact that I smell like my dad.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My misfits :)

Its ironic, really. 
One comes from Lunglei and I am sure you know trotrally all troo well what has been said about those coming from those parts. That they are small-minded, they get married too young (!) and they are wannabe Aizawlians. 

Then one's a hybrid. They're supposed to be two-faced, small-minded and disloyal.

Then there's the "nuthlawi". Supposed to be a cougar that breaks in boys and then breaks their heart and homes.

And there's the UPC. Small-minded (too!), rigid, with looooong unstyled hair.

My best friends are those that society has casted into one stereotype or the other. Nopes, its not a conscious choice :D  Ive often heard what people say about my friends and find them ridiculous. However it does make me think, if birds of a feather flock together, what about me? Am I the odd bird out? Or do I fit a stereotype too and people are talking about me and Im blissfully unaware as usual and my friends are protecting me again? 

Lunglei-wallah makes fun of the way she is stereotyped. Small-minded? No, just principled. Marriage centric? I wish! Its past time for her to get married. Wannabe- Aizawlian?- If there's one thing I know about her, she isnt a wannabe anything. She IS herself.

Then Vainu :D Small-minded? Hah! She's a little bit too tolerant. Two-faced? If she is, then I want her faces. Disloyal? Far far too trusting for her own good. 

Nuthlawi. The 'cougar' on the prowl. Sometimes I want to give her a big hug because I know so well that she so is not. It doesn't matter that she has had just that one boyfriend, the one who made her a nuthlawi. That nuthlawi status will forever label her as a fallen woman.

UPC. Long haired- yes, but very well-styled. Rigid and small minded?- Probably has the kindest heart of anyone I know. Had a steady boyfriend whose friends rag him mercilessly for having a looong-haired UPC girlfriend. They've broken up since, though they still burn for each other.  

My misfits make it easy to forget how hurtful it could be for them sometimes. They make politically incorrect jokes about themselves- their way of thumbing their noses at those who stereotype them without knowing who they really are. Lunglei-wallah has us in splits about trotrally Lunglei jokes. Vainu will say, "Vai velh tur, ka pa hi lo beng r'u". And nuthlawi will say things like, "Ka lo ti ang. Nuthlawi alawm ka nih, ka zahtheihloh kha". And UPC smiles beningly whenever religious discussions come up and someone will always, ALWAYS say something bad about UPCs. 
And despite their problems, whenever I wail, "Im loonely", they call, suggest we meet up, and proceed to make me laugh my blues away. 

So this is a tribute to my four social misfits. I don't need no Friendship Day to tell you I love you all and that Im proud of you for not letting the narrow-minded bigots get  you down
But Lunglei wallah told me to write a friendship day post and Im a good friend too. So here it is, luv. Hope it makes you smile and get you all puffed up.