Saturday, November 24, 2012

The best thing about life is knowing you put it together

Some stories cut so deep that retelling them are an impossibility. They are the dark selves that we carry and which we will take with us, entombed alongside us in our graves.  Like that Stone Sour lyric said, "some things are better left unspoken.We bury them in places that we really only visit by ourselves; Oh and you were a version like no other". Great song. And since I can't think of any stories to tell right now, and even if I knew, I wouldn't tell, because then it wouldn't be a "cuts too deep" kind of story, would it, so yeah, here's a little ramble down rambly paths.

NIN's "A warm place"-"the best thing about life is knowing you put it together". So evocative and philosophical in its simplicity and yet, for the life of me, I can't think of a way to explain it. 

Much as I claim to love this place despite or because of its many imperfections, it has a way of smothering you in its self-contained little unit so that you cannot think of anything past it. The world outside edges away and you withdraw into the cocoony embrace of home. Security stifles thought, turns your mind into a dull little blade. You forget what it was that had you so excited in what seems like ages and ages ago. Thoughts that would provoke thought are dismissed with a lazy and final thud. 

Re- reading Ian Fleming's "From Russia with Love" and this bastardization of an old quote popped up at me- well, mildly highlighted would be more like it; most things are incapable of popping in my current frame of mind- "Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first ruin with boredom". 

Don't get me wrong. I'm not sad or anything, in fact, I'm a bloody contented fat cat. And this will sound terribly arrogant but here it is-
I want inspiration and something to feel desperate over!!! 
(I should be careful what I wish for, for I just might get it, wouldn't I?)

The best thing about life is knowing you put it together -there's something ironical about it but I can't quite put my finger on it.

This comic says what I need to say, some of it at least. here-  

I need to go hang-gliding in my underpants.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


82 mutual friends and a call unanswered-
Oh the amount of feelings lodged into that one sentence.
Were I a poet, I'd say much more
Elucidated in veiled eloquence
But alas and alack, and woe and sigh
and other exclamatory sad-denoting words,
I'm not a poet
So I won't say more.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hey there November

Thank you for the very facebook-statusable November rain. Sorry I didn't oblige, though. With the status, I mean.

Thank you for the sludge and wet and fog and cold and a day that called for staying in and sleeping in. Couldn't oblige there again, sadly.

Thank you for another thing that I want to never think about again.

Spent the night at a girlfriend's place. We talked about theory and the power of the word- whether written or spoken. I umm-ed and niaa-ed like I understood but all the while, it was words of an entirely un-theoritical kind that I thought about.

"Atirin thu a awm a.."

Words in the beginning, somewhere in the middle and still some more towards the end. Words that you claim reveal too much when spoken, and condemn too much when unspoken.

I now have none left.
I can't think.
I'm going to go watch a Hitler movie.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Obligatory October-ish post

And with a last flirtatious sweep of green skirts, summer sauntered off, not deigning to come back for a while. And now do you smell that, my love? That's winter and Christmas right around the corner.

True, I yearn for far off places, for  paths untrodden, for places unexplored. I wish to see the ocean, feel its waters lapping against my feet, watch the yellow sun sink slowly inside it, and get sand inside my shoes.

I want to go to places where no one knows my name, nor my language. And I would be free to lose myself among a crowd of people.

I want to see Ireland, walk the streets where Yeats ached for a woman with a pilgrim's soul, feel its winds, hear its music, drink its beer, yeah!

Maybe I can only visit these places in books, films and in flights of fancy. Maybe I will visit them someday. And maybe they will disappoint, or maybe they won't.

I yearn for far off places, true, but this I know.
Lying down on an empty stretch of road under an October night -sky, an October rain-sodden dance on a bridge while trucks pass us by, walking through my Xmas tree-lighted neighbourhood on Christmas, guitar music-filled bonfire nights under our fir tree, and finally, the faint air of revelry and hope in cold January- I associate them all with you.
So no matter how far away from you life may take me, October, December and January, I will always be yours, my beloved, imperfect hills that I call home.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

skinny white girls

Yesterday, one of our quieter and more well-behaved students barely escaped suspension. Her crime? She was found heavily under the influence of drugs. Her reason for taking that pill? She was told it would make her fairer and skinnier.

We were surprised because while she's no string-bean Snow White, she wasn't that dark, nor fat, nor unattractive. She was tearfully remorseful and she swore it was her first time and that she would never repeat it again. We believed her because she is a very well-behaved girl- quiet and attentive in class, assignments done well and submitted in time, 90% attendance in class. We received apologies from the student herself, as well as her parents, and the warden at her hostel who expressed shock because this incident was so unbecoming of her.

We pored over her Student Profile page again and again and the talk around me centred on Colonial hangovers and the naivety of our young girls.

I don't need to recount how this obsession to be fair and skinny most probably might be brought about by the images of Korean celebrities that we are now inundated with, and their clear, fair skin and their skinniness. While the Western world celebrates tanned, golden skin, we identify more with Orientals, and being fair of skin is still regarded as an indicator of beauty.

And for celebrities, looking good is their profession and they work with dieticians, personal fitness instructors, make-up artists and even cosmetic surgeons to look that good. Its well nigh impossible for the average girl to look like them. And yet, we try.

There's this pill I've heard about which is used to treat ovarian problems or something and the required dosage is one a day. And these young girls take upto 10 pills a day because it makes their skin whiter and paler and makes them lose weight. A short-cut method to looking like the celebrities they adore, I suppose, but at what cost?

That student might never take those pills again but will she stop undervaluing herself because she is not as fair, nor as skinny as the girls she sees on TV?

I'm not exempt and neither are so many of the girls I know. The fat girls want to be thin, the thin girls want curves, the dark girl wants fair skin, the fair skinned girl wants wrinkle free skin, the straight haired girl wants curls, the girl with curls wants straight hair.
Ka ziahzawm peih tawhlo.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Call it self-fulfilling prophecy if you will. Ever since 2002, I have expected September to be a month for losses and general blahness, and it always delivers. This is the time when I get too weak to fight and I lay down my arms and I give in. A time when I willingly give myself over into the darkness and I hibernate.

This is when I use minimal make-up, when I let myself go, physically; that time of the year that I favour grays and blacks and drab colours; when my hair becomes limp even when its clean.

Looking back at my blog entries, September 2010 I wailed about loss and regret and loneliness. August 2011, my last entry said I was content, yet uninspired, and the first entry in October still said I was content, though questioning the nature of happiness. There were no entries for September. In September I had nothing worth speaking about, I guess.

September is a time of transition, and being someone who finds transitions hard, I guess its natural that this month foreshadows a period of gloom for me. This is the time that the sunshine takes on a different cast. This is when the wind starts to creep inside your bones, silently, sinuously. This is when you realise that the year is halfway done, and you find yourself disappointed by what you have not achieved, again. This is the menopausal time of the year.

I look forward to October. October with its mellow sunshine, when leaves start to turn yellow and the nights are lovely. October is, for me, the old and the new coming together. A time for reconciliations, new alliances, a tentative hello from winter, a lingering caress from summer. And September is the in-between in a way that I can't quite explain.

I suppose September is the woman fighting time, age and the loss of youth. And October is the older woman emerging from that fight, triumphant in the knowledge that there is still some life left in her old bones.

Thusly, I hibernate.
See you in October, love.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On hair

Have I written something on hair before? When one reaches the grand old age of almost thirty, it gets easier to be a little absent-minded, I guess.

I had my hair cut- again. This was the third time in two months. The event inspired me to analyse my character and I ended up hating myself.

I had my long hair drastically bobbed to just below the ears a couple of years back and I have been trying to grow it back ever since, because, no joke, short hair is more high-maintenance than long hair. But instead of waiting patiently for it to grow back, I became impatient for change.

Me a few months back
So I dyed it jet-black.
Then I decided that I wanted a pixie cut.
So i had one.
waited a bit, then when my hair became a little longer, I started to look like Liu Kang from Mortal Kombat. Yes, I really did.

When hair reaches that 'laklawh' stage of either awkwardly curling out or under when it reaches one's shoulders, the only thing one can do is to tie it back or keep it in a bun. A friend suggested I straighten my hair so that I'd no longer have north-east-west-south hair. So I had it straightened. Then I found out that jet-black poker straight hair makes me look like Professor Snape.

Still primping, though.
So I went to get my hair colored a bright red, but the folks at the parlour told me that I needed to pre-lighten my hair so that the new colour could stick. Consequence of the treatment- bright red hair achieved. Stretchy, falling hair also achieved. Also, a disapproving look was earned from our Sunday School Superintendent. Had my hair colored again to a subdued "shows only under direct light" red. Then I had to get the ends of my hair trimmed because all the work I had done on it had given me split ends.

Lesson learnt, I diligently started to grow out my hair, and had it coloured just three times. Nothing drastic though. I just like the feeling of having something done to my hair. And as my hair grew, I resolved to not do anything to it anymore. I did try a different parting, but someone said I looked like L-Ray, a guy who sings. So I went back to my old parting.

A couple of months, it reached shoulder length, but the colour had started to fade. I determinedly kept from colouring it gaain, but succumbed when a friend asked if she could trim the ends. No major changes, whew.

Then I accompanied a friend who needed to get her eyebrows threaded, and at the sight of the combs, sciscorrs (blanked on the spelling, spell check suggested 'Francisco', wth?) scissors and hair products, I felt again the uncontrollable urge to have something done with my hair. The stylist suggested some feathers, and it sounded nice, so I said yes. The cut she gave me, plus my faded red hair colour made me end up looking like MacGuyver, minus the awesomeness :(

I's sorry, okay :(

"Ok", I reasoned to myself, "it will grow out and in a month's time, you will start to look like a girl. Just be patient and stay away from people who cut hair".

But I didn't.
I accompanied a friend who needed to get her hair trimmed, and the guy cutting her hair was such a flamboyant showman, taking small leaps and making artistic-looking gestures with his hands as he deftly wove his sharp scissors in and out of her hair. And I thought, "I need this guy's hands in my hair". So I asked him if he could make me look more girly, and he said that he could make me look not just girly, but smart, too.

Correction, he made my hair look girly and smart, but very short and trendy, and I didn't look like me. So back came the hair clips and the scrunchies. Not knowing what else to do, I coloured my hair again.

All these made me analyse my behaviour. Was this an acting out for a greater change, or am I just one of those permanently dissatisfied people? Did I, despite my easy style of dressing, perhaps crave for a more glamorous image? Or is this like when someone gets addicted to plastic surgery?

So I hated myself. I deleted two blogposts because I felt they were as shallow as I am. I drank coke again after swearing off it. Botched a presentation.
All with my new hair tied up in a bun.

TL; DR: I look like a guy.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


"Friends, lovers or nothing"- so sang John Mayer. Much as I love him, I disagree on this one, There is no "or".  You are all of those for me, shugababy.

Seen me at my best and at my worst. Seen me rant and rave at trivialities, make molehills out of mountains, seen me stumble, seen me afraid, seen how I have faked indifference for insecurity, pride for fear, flippancy for anguish.

 You whom I talk to when I'm happy, sad or embarrassed.  You whom I turn to, always. You who know me inside and out, and yet a mystery to you, for I hold back, fearful of scaring you away with how much I need you. Friend? yes, truly that. You are my punching bag, my soundboard, my champion, my reality check, my critic, and my love, yes, my love.

Lover? Yes, that you are. My all, my me, the rib from which I am purportedly created, my self, my completion, my love, my biggest strength, my biggest weakness. You are me and I am you, and yet, I do not know you fully, and you have yet to know me fully. My madness, my refuge, my calm and my storm. I camouflage my fear in arrogance and you create laughter. Yes, you laugh, you are sarcastic, you are brilliant, and I marvel everyday at your brilliance and I wish.. you know me. You know what my wishes are. You drive me to insanity. You take me to the brink, you fulfill me and yet I am left wanting more. I dance to your tune, a desperate, mad little dance, my darling, and you with your simple, kind, large-hearted way, am unaware of my insanity, of my desperate dance.

Nothing, my love, nothing. That is all I can give you. "Life is ...a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing". I am the sound, I am the fury, and I signify nothing.

I grieve, my love. This is my way of grieving.

I've never been a poet(ess). In the end, it is in empty words that I try to express myself, that in which I try to find succor, that in which I seek refuge.

Happy friendship day.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


We went for a walk here, remember? And I said something that made you laugh. Do you know how much I like the feel of your laughter?

Did it rain that day? I can no longer remember. Memories of what we actually did and say have started to splinter. All I remember clearly is you.

We both loved that scene in “Meet Joe Black” where Brad Pitt and Claire Forlani kept looking back at each other when they met at that coffee place, just missing seeing the other person trun back. Then Brad Pitt gets hit by that truck. Funny thing, though, sweet-looking Claire has sex with Death, who inhabits Brad Pitt’s body. So there’s spiritual possession and necrophilia involved. Heheh. No, I didn’t come up with this bit of info on my own, surprisingly. It’s courtesy of… Cracked, yes you guessed it. I love that site. Maybe because I am, a bit, too. Cracked, that is.

I don’t know if you’ve seen that movie “Serendipity”. John Cusack and whatsername that hot vampire chick? Damn, I knew her name just a minute ago. Selene ti mai ang, her Underworld character. So they just keep missing each other, and Cusack is about to give up when he sees Selene’s hand glove or something, and then he finds her lying on an ice rink , I think, and he just lies down beside her.
How many misses before we find each other?

Time is funny, isn’t it, in all its arbitrary capriciousness, One minute you think you have all the time in the world, the next you realize how much time has gone by, and with it, how many missed opportunities.
Time goes by so fast and our lives are spent in the pursuit of so many meaningless things that one day you wake up to find you no longer know what to say, so you hold imaginary dialogues in your head. Or is that just me? Does anyone out there do it too? I think I might be a tad bipolar.

I want time. I want time to redo what we have done and the things we still have not done. I want to walk barefoot with you on grass where there are no leeches, worms or dog poo. I want to fly a kite with you, I want to do the dishes together while some old tune plays somewhere in the background. I want to read quietly while you do your own thing by my side. I want to fall asleep talking to you, I want time to fight with you, and make up soon after. I want time to play truth or dare till we run out of truths to tell, and dares to dare. I want time to re-watch “Up” and “Megamind” together. I want time to do your laundry and iron your shirt, though only on a one-time basis, the rest of the time you please do it yourself thankyouverymuch (Do you really not mind that I’m not a very domestic person?) I want time to hold endless,  senseless debates with you. I want time with you. I think I am OCD-ish about you.

I want time to kill time with you.

And I want to walk there with you again.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Fake tales of freedom

"So," I tell him,  "there's this woman I know who has been diagnosed with manic-depressive disorder. We were talking the other day about freedom and she said, 'No matter how abnormally I act, people always indulge me because I'm 'insane'. It's like I have the license to misbehave! I feel so liberated!'"

"Interesting. That's one way of looking at it, I suppose," he says.

"She reminded me of this novel called 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' in which this character whatsername deliberately encourages her puritanical society's belief that she is a scarlet woman so that she could be ostracised from that society, and thereby be free of its sham conventions and moral obligations".

"How is it that you can recall my obscurest f**k-ups and yet be unable to remember any of the names of the characters in all the novels you've read?"


"You do, you know".

"Well, that's immaterial. What I'm trying to say is, is ultimate freedom only possible when one loses one's society? Because what we call freedom always comes with some kind of responsibility or an obligation to someone or something", I persist.

"Why is it that when you bring up some peeve, we have to talk it to death, but when I do, its 'immaterial?'"

"Fiiinneeee. What do you want to talk about then?"

"Never mind".

"Hmm, okay then".


"If you truly loved me, you would not pretend not to know what I want to talk about."

"You're the guy! Guys are supposed to get straight to the point! So what do you want to talk about!?"

"Oh right, so its okay for you to gender-stereotype."

"What's with you???"

"Sorry. I'm just depressed".


"It's also been said that true freedom exists when one knows one is loved unconditionally", he says after a while.

"I don't know. I don't really buy this unconditional love thing".

"So you believe in freedom through lunacy and ostracism, but not through love?"


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Where my head at??

Had to go to the university today by bus, so that meant I had to leave the house by 8:15 to catch the bus. I'm not a morning person and in the rush to get ready, I stuffed overdue library books, certificates, make-up, money and a pen haphazardly into my huge bag. Nanoi was waiting for me at the bus stop, and she kept messaging, "Are you almost here yet?", and as I clambered frantically into a taxi, I typed out a hasty message about a truck causing a traffic jam. Sent it to the wrong person, who accused me of being an attention-whore, wth? :( And that was just for starters. So here's a brief point-by-point account of how I left my brains in bed.

1. Forgot my purse, so transferred all my money into Nanoi's purse. Realised I had forgotten to xerox copies of my synopsis and one of my certificates, so had them done at the univ. Realised I had forgotten my registration form, the specific purpose of which I had gone to the univ, so I went and bought a fresh form.

2. Went to the library. Had to fork over Rs.460 in late fee fines. Upended the contents of my bag because I couldn't find my money. Remembered I had kept the money in Nanoi's purse.

3. My airheadiness became contagious. Filled out some forms, went away, Nanoi realised she had taken the librarian's pen, went back to return it, came back with her purse which she had forgotten at the librarian's table.

4. Went to lunch. Forgot to pay.

5. Waited for our guide, Miz DDB. Thought I'd fill out the forms while we waited. Couldn't find it. Realised I must have forgotten to collect it from the clerk when I bought the form.

6. Begged one of the clerks at the department to give me a lift to the Examination Department to retrieve the form. Reached there, made the clerk search through his desk, and under it because I thought the form must've been blown away by the non-existent wind. Couldn't find it, so I was about to buy another fresh form when Nanoi called to say she had the form with her. I had asked her to keep it because my bag was too full.

7. Rushed back, met DDB. Filled out forms while she chatted with Nanoi. Wrote in the forms that I belonged to the "Department of England". Had to rewrite.

8. Couldn't recall the date when my synopsis was accepted by the Board. DDB suggested I call the other scholars to find out the date. I didn't have their numbers, so I asked Nanoi to scroll through her contacts list for their numbers. Belatedly realised my synopsis had been approved way before theirs was.

9. Went to the office, asked the clerk to search through the files for the date. Accidentally spilled file papers. Had to rearrange them back in order.

10. Finally managed to fill out my form, Got spooked out by DDB's tales of how hard it was to balance work, marriage and research. Leisurely headed for the bus back home. Found out I had forgotten to get my form signed by the HOD.

Which means I have to go to the Univ again. Siiighhhh. I have never felt this exhausted in all my life. I think I've missed out some things, but I can't remember what exactly now. Edited: Why is there those blank white spots down there? I typed something there, but its coming out like that! What's happening to meeee

Why is this happening to me ? :( 

Edited: Why is that white spot there???

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

That old, blue bike

There's an Archie story about the time that Mr.Lodge decides to sell his old car and Archie commiserates while Mr. Lodge gets all choked up - one of those rare moments when the two are in perfect accord over something.

This morning the BF sold his old bike and that's how come that particular comic came to mind. He said it felt like saying goodbye to an old friend as he watched the new owner ride off with that old bike. I felt nostalgic too- that bike had seen us through a lot.

It was 2008 when he got that bike and I remember us just staring and staring at it. We were really really broke, then, and his first salary, just over Rs.3000, was enough to make us feel immensely rich. He had few possessions, so getting that bike felt extra special. Before, we both used to scrimp and save so that he could take the bus to see me on weekdays, and a taxi on Sundays when there were no bus services. But he needed that bike because he lived right on the edge of town, and he had to attend classes on the opposite end, then come back to go to work where he had the evening shift. It was easier meeting up, but we still had to scrimp and save to pay off the loan on that bike and to buy petrol and stuff.

That bike had seen us through a lot. Like the time we went for a picnic without telling my parents, and we had to get home by 6. But we took the wrong road, and by 6, we were still an hour's drive away from home.    How that bike raced to get me home by 630 at least because I lied and told my parents that the university bus had broken down and I would be home by then. And how apprehensive the BF must've felt when he ran out of fuel halfway and he silently switched to reserve. And that time I sneaked out because my mom had said we were seeing too much of each other so we should cool off. We had nowhere to go to, so we rode aimlessly about under a gibbous moon until we got to a huge water tower and we climbed up and watched as the city lights went out one by one.

Those times he would pick me up from the university and we would sing out loud and off-key and unembarrassed because there was hardly anyone around on that fairly deserted stretch of road. The silent, sulky rides on that bike after a fight. Rain-drenched rides over muddy roads as we kept our eyes peeled for possible landslides. And everyone on my street could identify that bike.

It started to give out around last year. One time, the bike kept on bucking and I thought he was being fresh so I giggled but it turned out there was something wrong with the..something. Then it started making high pitched noises. And other sounds. And the self-starter refused to work, and the side glass cracked and parts of it got a bit rusty and there were too many scratches and the spring was shot or something. A lot of somethings went wrong with it, and the repair jobs that it needed kept piling up.

And he finally decided to trade it in for another one. So he placed an ad this morning, and a couple hours later, some guy turned up and rode off with that old blue bike. True, it had become an old bucket of bolts but God, what memories that bike left us with!

I'm starting to hate the new one he intends to get.

(Dammit, I intended posting a pic to go along with the, but the one I had in mind has another couple in it besides us, and that couple would not appreciate old pics resurfacing because they're both with other people now. Damn)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Lazy eye/ Why I Can Never Ever Watch 3D Movies wah

Read blogger Aduhi Chawngthu's latest blogpost about how she watched Spiderman in 3D and how it felt like the flying things were going to hit her at one point. And I am forcibly reminded again of how I can never get to experience what 3D movies look like (Squirm with guilt, Aduh)

I have Amblyopia, or Lazy Eye (I prefer the latter term, sounds kinda cooler), a condition in which one eye loses the ability to see things clearly. I can only barely distinguish shapes and colours with my left eye, and when I try on 3D glasses, all I see is a red image with a hazy blue blur somewhere in the corner of my left vision.

Apparently, when I was a child, I had a fever. My hands didn't feel just like two balloons but I got severely cross-eyed. Some doctor managed to cure me of it, but my sisters still like to talk about the fact that at one time, my identification mark was, "left eye on the right side". Still crops up occasionally when my eyes are tired and my friends like to point out, "Awi, kha a kalh, a kalh leh lo! A kalh leh chiah!"

Anyhoo, my parents and I thought all was fine and dandy until the time I complained of severe headaches when I was in class 5 and we went for an eye check-up. The doctor revealed the fact that I could only see clearly through one eye, which startled everyone, most of all me, because I had been having very clear vision. But it seemed that while my left eye is lazy as shit, my right eye has been over compensating like mad, hence the headaches.

"Your daughter will become blind within three years", proclaimed the eye doctor, "unless she wears an eye-patch for seven years and force the unseeing eye to see!" So I wore an eye patch. Like so. Unfortunately I wasn't as cute as the little girl there. And trying to navigate the world and especially school seeing just hazy outlines and colours was pretty harrowing for me. For one thing, I'm naturally clumsy, and the patch made me lose my depth perception, so I kept on falling down stairs, tripping and bumping into things. Also I fell way behind on my school work since I couldn't read anything. And I looked like a dork. So I gave up the eye patch, and nothing my parents said, not even the threat of blindness could make me take it back. And Lazy Eye is curable only with patching.

The doctor was wrong, though. It's been many many years since her prediction but my vision is still the same- left eye lazy, right eye workaholic. Also, since I've  never known what it's like to see the world through two functioning eyes, I've never felt deprived or anything.

And then they had to invent 3D. So now I feel a little bit miffed. And I also have a tiny headache too because I've been straining my eyes a lot lately.

So damn you, you prejudiced-against-visually-challenged- people-3D inventor!

Nah, not really. I still have my books, my 2D movies and the ability to see the funny side of most things, so I'm pretty good. And thankful. And to everyone with two functioning eyes, go watch the 3D version, Aduhi makes it sound pretty awesome. Ta!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


At a recent PTA meeting at the college where I sub at, one of the parents asked why children today are so weak in English, especially spoken English. While there could be any number of answers to that question, the best and the most obvious one would be that we Mizos have very little opportunity to actually talk in English. So while there are many who can write well in English, actually conversing in the language is still a daunting prospect for many of us- whether its because the sudden shift from a first to a second language confuses us, or because we are unsure of how to pronounce the words correctly or we are worried about our accent.

I have also found that even among English honours students, when conducting a class wholly in English, I am often met by blank or glazed stares and I have to switch to Mizo to make sure that I get my point across to the students. So a typical lecture would consist of 70% English and 30% Mizo.

While in hostel in Shillong, it was necessary not just to converse, but also to think in English. So the words came naturally. But its been ten years since I've had the opportunity to speak English on a daily process, so when faced with a situation that calls for a sudden shift in one's language, I often find myself floundering for words.

 Like the time I had an interview. Prior to that I had stopped off at a friend's place because it was her birthday and she had given me what I thought was some "Burma thil", but which turned out to be tiny hashish pellets. The interview, needless to say, was a disaster, what with my confusion over the shift in language, worsened by my being mildly high. The only thing that came to mind while I was interviewed were the words, "It is." I became more and more flustered by this mental block, and the more flustered I became, the more that mental block grew.

We had advised our students to read more and to assimilate the language more when watching TV, so that they can learn to think in English. We also told them to speak the language every opportunity they get, so that they could be more comfortable with the spoken word. I have another interview coming up, so I've decided to follow our own advice. Hence the reason why I have recently decided to update my blog despite a soul-crushing lack of inspiration, blah. 

The competition is daunting but at least this way, I can redeem myself a bit, and hopefully, not stumble through another interview mumbling, " is.. um, well, it's like this. Ihh.. It is aaa..."

Friday, June 15, 2012

On not being a bona-fide boy

I had a horrible childhood on account of boys. Yes, boys. First of all, I wasn't one. But I was elected to be the honorary boy among us five sisters and that put a lot of pressure on me because I wasn't a tomboy exactly, but I had to do guy stuff. And yet I still liked  girly stuff, but every time I and my sisters played with dolls, I was given the ugliest doll (Still can't figure out the logic in that).

Also, my male cousins treated me horribly because I had no male skills and yet I wasn't all-girl either. I was/still am very klutzy and uncoordinated. I could only get till stage 8-2 of Mario Brothers and could complete Contra only with unlimited lives, so no one wanted to play video games with me. I was always the first to be killed at Inthrengkah. In hindsight I think they killed me off first deliberately so that they could get rid of me. I was always the last to be picked for football teams and I always played defence- badly too, I should add. And they always demonstrated their newly learned wrestling holds on me, and when I cried, they would call me a "Tuai".

And I sucked at girly stuff too. While my sisters made perfect stitches and knits, mine always came undone and I poked myself with the needles. So I tried to learn guy stuff like cycling but my super-protective dad insisted on treating me like a girl and forbade me and my sisters from learning how to cycle because we could fall and die. I asked one of my cousins to teach me secretly and he said, "Girls shouldn't cycle because cycling can make you lose your virginity". I didn't know what a virginity was then, but it sounded like something I shouldn't lose, so I ended up not learning. 

Then I tried to learn how to play the guitar, but none of my male cousins would teach me because I wasn't a bonafide boy and 'only boys should play the guitar'. So I tried to teach myself secretly after stealing one of my cousins' booklet on how to play the guitar. For days I tried to get clumsy fingers to play, and I managed to learn a couple of keys. But the pads of my fingers got terribly calloused. I had a crush on this boy in my class, then. I used to do the "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight" wish so that the teacher would make me sit next to him in class, that was all I wanted then.  

Then one day my wish came true! There he was, my crush, sitting next to me in class and me, trying to act all cool and unconcerned about it. Then one day while trying to peek at a drawing I made, he suddenly grabbed hold of my hand and while I tried to still my pounding heart, he shouted, "Eheee, this girl has the strangest fingers I've ever seen! Look, look, they're all toughened up!"  That night, I bade farewell to the guitar and hello to hand lotion. I never bagged that boy, though, and the ironic part is, a couple years later, he showed me his calloused hands which he claimed he got from playing the guitar. Bleh

Most people treat me like a genuine girl now, except for my male cousins. Some ten years back, one of them came over and talked about this girl whom he liked- about how pretty she is, how mischievous and yet feminine, and how she's a total princess. And when I smiled whimsically, he casually told me that I could never be the princess type because I didn't have what it took to inspire the "prince" in a guy. Which hurt terribly.

If my life was a book, a sparkly, vegetarian vampire would fall in love with me because I'm so clumsy and therefore, vulnerable and he would be totally protective of me. But life can be better than fiction and I found that there are guys who are neither sparkly, nor blood-sucking vegetarians, but who still fall for a girl who keeps on falling and falling. And I've acquired a few girly skills, my male cousins discarded their chauvinism and no longer treated me like a wussy boy, so life does get better. And I also found out I don't want to be a princess, being a girlfriend works out jes' fiiiinnee

Hah, who am I kidding- I thoroughly enjoyed my childhood. I miss my male cousins :(

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I love rain! (Not the Korean guy)

And the monsoon is officially here again- I think.
For now, the rains aren't quite that heavy, and after the previous week's scorching heat, they are absolutely welcome.

There's something about the rain that awakens the nostalgic spirit in me.
-Memories of childhood walking along side-drains with friends, carefully picking our school skirts in one hand, and holding our naughtyboy shoes in the other. Sneaking inside the house so that my mother won't nag me about my rain-soaked hair and clothes.

-Curling up in bed with a good book to read and a bad boy to daydream about :)

- High school moments when a crush would seek shelter underneath the same awning, and I would turn crimson with excitement eventhough he never noticed me around.... (He has a paunch now, yay! :p)

- That time I and a friend (God, I forgot her name) were given a free ride by a very nice taxi driver who felt sorry for our drenched selves and we imagined he was taking us somewhere else to molest us and the look of surprised consternation on his face when we begged tearfully that he release us please and he let us out in the pouring rain (May you prosper- good, misunderstood sir!)

- That time when Mimi and I sought shelter at a dingy mithai shop and the shopowner gave us free tea and boiled eggs. Best boiled eggs I've ever had in my life. Thank you, sir!

- That awesome day when a biker splashed muddy water all over my school skirt and he stopped to apologize and he turned out to be a huuuge crush (who has since passed away) and I ended up walking on sunshine all the way back home :):)

- Being walked home by the new (and still reigning :p) BF and one of his friends, and we forgot to be 'cool' and splashed mudwater all over each other. Belatedly realizing I was carrying an umbrella all along, and he gave me a quick kiss under the umbrella right there on that deserted, mist-covered, tree-lined road, while his friend made gagging sounds.

- Recent trip to Shillong, waiting for this roadside chaiwallah's pot to boil, while rainwater dripped from our umbrella and we shivered in the cold. Anticipation + cold + Shillong = best red tea of my life.

- Being cooped indoors with that certain someone and feeling nooo pain at ALL :)

- Having the wind wrest my umbrella from my hands and go billowing right in the middle of a busy intersection, and running to retrieve it while patient Aizawl drivers stopped for me. And not a single horn was honked (Bless you all). And then immediately afterwards phoning the guy to alleviate my embarrassment (And bless him too for being there to receive all my "I just made a fool of myself again" calls).

And there are still so many more rainy day memories- all of which makes me realise that events in themselves are really nothing, except that they are made special by the people we are with. And the memories I associate with rain has almost always been of the best kind. Or maybe I've blocked out the "you left me. Alone. In the rain." kind of shitty memories that makes some people associate rain with pain.

And maybe a few more weeks of this and I'll complain about the wetness and the mould and yearn for sun-dried clothes. But for now, let it rain.

P.S: This is so my rainy day song :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

To shin-kick or not to shin-kick?

So there was I walking under the hotttttt Aizawl sun when I passed this old man enjoying the slight breeze on his verandah. He smiled at me and told me that I was looking very fresh and pretty and I thought, "Wow, what a nice old man, woo, tiny ego boost". Then he suddenly grabbed my arm and leered at me, saying, "I bet its as fresh down under, eh? Hehehe. Can we see?"

So I gave him the shin kick which I reserve for all crossing-the-line eve teasers. To which he responded by clutching his shin and wailing, "You stupid girl, have you no sense of humour? How dare you kick an old man?", and then his middle-aged daughter came running out, screaming, "What did you do to my father?" And I'm left there looking like the villain while I actually am the victim; or am I?

When I was younger-ish, one of our male Sunday School teachers had this habit of giving us hugs, stroking, tickling and pinching us. And though the other girls never seemed to mind, I used to get really uncomfortable. So I told my mom who had a word with him. Then the next Sunday he came up to me and told me angrily that I and my mother had really filthy minds, and that he had only been affectionate, and that the fact that I was uncomfortable with his show of affection only showed that I was un-Mizo, un-Christian and that my whole family had depraved minds. For a long while afterwards, I felt really awkward around the male sex because I was unable to distinguish between what is often deemed as the Mizo way of teasing, and what is improper.

Later, I came to realise that there is a certain Mizo brand of 'eve-teasing', if it could be called that, which is not thaaat bad. On those days that your mirror tells you that you look ugly as sin, when a random stranger on the road whistles or tells you that you look nice, then it goes a certain way towards soothing your bruised ego. But when the comments are lewd or when touching is involved (which is when I bring out my shin-kick), then it gets really offensive.

What's worse is, those comments and actions make you feel like your'e in the wrong somehow. You start asking yourself- Am I dressed too provocatively? Do I give off whorish vibes? Do I look cheap? And then you start to feel cheap and dirty, despite all the literature out there that says that its not the woman's fault.

So today, I was again faced with that conundrum- did I over-react to a little teasing, albeit a crude one? Or was that old man out of bounds? As the old man wailed and his daughter screamed at me, and curious passers-by gawked, I thought, "Hell, I'm almost 30. It's time I decide what I think is harmless teasing, and what is improper". So, despite that little seed of doubt which niggled, chiding me for being overly sensitive, I managed to tell the old man's daughter calmly what had transpired and how it had offended me. Luckily, she accepted my explanation and turned instead on her father, calling him a dirty old man, and telling him he that he deserved a broken ankle.

And I silently walked away, feeling vindicated, and yet...
OMG, that old man must've been almost 80. I hope I didn't really break his ankle bone. But he deserved it. Or did he? Oh hell.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap related

So, why the name "Leap Year"?  Some say its because we leap forwards four years. But could it also be a leap backwards?

In any other year, March 1st comes after February 28th. So the insertion of an extra day in between would indicate the extension of a year (I know its not an extension per se- we round up the extra 1/4th days of the year on the fourth year), so maybe the leap forwards theory could hold true, but March 1st is delayed by a day, so how could a delay be a leap forwards? Some say its because in any other year, a given date, like maybe March 30th, should it fall on a Tuesday, it would then fall on a Wednesday the next year. But in a Leap Year it would fall instead on a Thursday, so it skips a day, hence the leap forward. But if that's so then what about people born on Feb 29th- Leaplings or Leapers they're called. There;s this 52 year old man who is born on Feb 29th, so his actual age is 13. I guess one could say that his chronological age has leaped backwards, but then he has walked this earth for 52 years, so has he himself leaped forwards, leaving his age behind? Augh!

Have always wanted to use this picture, yay!

And didn't I read somewhere that the 2004 Tsunami altered earth's revolution in some way by some nanosecond(s) and so traditional time has shifted or something? If that's true, would the span of a leap year be longer- or shorter? And would it be a forwards or a backwards leap? And would movies based on the manipulation of time/space continuum have to revise their theories a bit? And if the Tsunami didn't change anything, then why am I wasting time thinking about it?

I went and consulted that repository of all wisdom, Wikipedia, and it supplied me with a whole lot of gobbledygook about Gregorian, Hindu, Iranian and Coptic calendars and it even threw in an algorithmic formula and a Boolean expression. Greaaaat help, Wiki, way to

                                ( Insert Previous picture here again, yay)

Interesting info, though-
In some countries, a woman may propose marriage to a man on a Leap Year. If the man refuses, he is liable to pay fines such as
- a kiss (the utter condescension!)
- 12 pairs of gloves (....)
- material for a skirt ( Can i change that to material for a billowy blouse?)
- a silk gown (Can i change that to silk underwear?)

And a woman who intends to propose to a man should either wear breeches (will jeans suffice?) or a scarlet petticoat (ooh,I like).

So what's the modern equivalent if a man refuses a woman's marriage proposal on a Leap Year? I'm so looking to upgrade my wardrobe with the "compensations" collected from a few rejected marriage proposals :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Great Greedy Guts

It caught me unawares. There was I, stuffing myself with Nanz pastries, fat roadside momos, and Abba chow and curling up in my blanket to ward off the cold Shillong days and nights. One day I noticed that my jeans started to feel uncomfortably tight, and that the flesh on my stomach, no longer content with feeling just the insides of my waistband, had spilled over and started skimming the outside too. And getting in the way of me buttoning my jeans up.

After that there wasnt anything I could do to get rid of my fat gut. It was totally in sync with my movements- it moved when I did, it jiggled when I did, it spread its expansive self all over when I lay down, it doubled up when I sat, it helpfully supported my breasts when I squatted.

Becky said we should play basketball on the courts near the hostel so that we could get rid of it. It heard her and it made the basketball do its evil bidding. The ball tripped me everytime I tried to dribble it, and dodged my hands and instead landed hard on my face or my head when I tried to catch it. I quit the game and till now, retain a phobia about balls (the bouncy kind).

After leaving the hostel, I started to lose weight. My stomach lost weight too, but it remained flabby. It never bothered me because, at least it didnt protrude. And then I watched Transformers. And Megan Fox bending over the hood of an open car engine. Like so.
Camera trick!

And that's when the "Get Fox-y belly and bend over while wearing decent but mid-riff showing shirts" project started. I googled ab-tightening exercises and skimmed Cosmo's fitness pages and I came up with a rigorous exercise regimen. It included names like "Ball Up" (which necessitated curling up like a ball and rolling back and forth), "Hand Pump" (pumping fists vigorously while elevating both head and legs mid-air) and other torturous movements with cutesy names. Some articles also suggested clenching stomach and butt muscles all the time to surreptitiously firm them up. So for about a week or two, I couldn't breath properly because clenching involves sucking and holding in air.

And oh, talking about breathing, it seemed that there was a "correct" way to breathe! I realised I had been breathing incorrectly all my life. Thank God I hadn't died of carbon monoxide poisoning or something. Some of the exercises also called for the use of dumbbells, and since I was too cheap to buy them, I filled two coke bottles with sand and improvised. The effect was negated somewhat by the fact that I drank up all the contents of the bottles before filling them with sand. And I changed bottles every two days.

After about a month or so, all I achieved was a raging appetite and sunken cheeks and super-muscular ankles and a permanent crick in my neck. Almost all the exercises required the elevation of the head and that strained my neck muscles so bad I almost had to wear a neck brace. 

Also, I lost weight rapidly after that- but only on my upper body. So I had a bony face, skinny arms and a flat chest. With a still-jiggly belly. Everyone said my bony face made me look older than I actually am, so I tried to regain my weight again. Oh vanity of vanities, what hell thou hath wrought!

Now my stomach has started to protrude a bit, so I've taken to wearing loose, flowy tops and I convince myself that Im a Boho-chic girl who's too cool to wear tight shirts. Goodbye all you decent but midriff-showing shirts. And on the occasions that I have to wear a tight shirt, I suck my gut in. Course, sitting's a different matter. It's impossible to suck in all that roll of fat when one sits, so I improvise. Like so- 

Hide behind purse, folded hands or table. 

Monday, January 16, 2012


The days preceding a trip are always punctuated by screaming matches (him + me), sulks (me), moody glares (him), sudden interrogations (him), impatient explanations (me) and a haunted, stressed expression on her face as she tries to soothe both of us. "Him" and "Her" referring to my parents. 

He asks if I've taken care of all the bookings- tickets, accommodation, transportation, I say "Yes" through clenched teeth. I make the mistake of saying we wouldn't be booking a hired vehicle to take us around because auto-rickshaws are cheaper and as convenient. She gives me a, "Why do you taaaalllkkk?" look as he starts to rant on and on about girls being abducted right off the street and raped as they wait for autos. I interrupt him mid-flow to say that, fiineee, we'll book a vehicle to take us around. She quickly uses the momentary lull to tell me that my safety's more important than saving a few rupees. He moodily mumbles, "She'll say yes, but she won't, and she'll use the money to buy useless stuff". 
How well he knows me. 
Of course I protest at the lack of trust he shows me, eventhough he's totally on the mark. Before things get too heated, she asks me to go boil tea, while she soothes his ruffled feathers. 

He tells my sister to call me back after I've gone back to my room. I shuffle back resentfully, acknowledging my mom's silent plea to be patient. He pontificates about the procedure for booking a room at Mizoram House and I say, frigidly calm, that yes, we're aware of the procedure, and that we had taken care of it a couple of days back. He nevertheless calls a colleague of his who has a contact at Mizoram House to confirm our booking. He catches a glimpse of me sulking, and turns exasperatedly at my mom, asking how the hell they managed to spawn such an unorganized daughter as I. I splutter to her that I had already taken care of all the bookings, and my poor mom, caught between the crossfire, accidentally (on purpose?) spills her tea over herself. And then he fusses over her, as I quickly mop up the spilled tea, our little fracas forgotten.

Our flight leaves at 3:50 pm. He tells me that he'll tell the driver to come at 1pm, and to be ready by then. "But that's too early! It takes only an hour to reach the airport, what will I do there?" I wail. "Any thing can happen on the way! Better to arrive early than late" he hollered back. Instant flare-up from both of us. I realise unwittingly then how much I take after him. She interjects, "How about 1:15?" We both agreed.

He paces back and forth. "The driver drinks sometimes. What if he stops for a drink on the way and they have an accident? Or if the delay causes them to be late?" And she says, "When he arrives, we'll have to tell him firmly not to drink or stop on the way, then". 
He resumes pacing. "Today's a holiday. We should both drop her at the airport". 
He then turns to me, "You never think things through. Now I have to cancel our planned visit to the farm". Before I could protest at the unfairness of that statement, my mom again assigns me some task to take me out of the way. 

In my room later, I hiss at her- "Why does he always have to behave like this when I go somewhere? I'm 29! And he treats me like a child! He says I'm irresponsible, but how am I ever going to become responsible if he keeps on treating me like this!? That's it, I'm not going. In fact, I'm going to get married and leave you all!" 
"Just be patient for a while longer. The ordeal's almost over and then, when you get there, you can buy lots of books and clothes and eat all those roadside food." And like a child, I am calmed by my mom's promise of books, clothes and food.

Before we set off (at 1:30. She has a wonderful way of creating subtle delay tactics), she sat us all down for a little prayer. And there, she gives vent to all her unspoken complaints and fear. She chats with God about my dad's tendency to be over-protective, and my inability to respond calmly. She then tells Him of allll the dangers that could befall me, and asks Him to protect me from all those- traffic and aircraft accidents, misplaced luggage, forgotten items, thefts, rapes, cold, muggings, squabbles, indigestion etc. All the while, dad's impatient foot-tapping was echoed by mine. 

On the way he tells me for the nth time to not go out after dark, to not open our room to strangers, to always lock the door, to be careful from theft, to be always aware that I was travelling for research purposes and not for fun etc. 
I sighed in relief when my plane finally took off.

Then I glanced down at the ground and thanked God for my father who continues to always look out for me, and for my mom for managing us both so wonderfully.