Archive for the 'Memories' Category

22
Jan
11

Denial

Living in Denial

I have been quiet for some months now, not because I chose to, but more because I could not finish my posts. I have a couple lined up, but each without its conclusion, and what’s a post without a conclusion.
A few posts I read from fellow bloggers over the past few weeks kinda compelled me to this moment.
I am living in denial:
– denying the fact that I can make as much a difference in my life as I can in others’
– denying the fact that however childish and immature I want to act out, my age don’t agree no more
– denying the fact that as independent as I feel living out for 15 odd years, my folks are starting to feel homesick and need me more than I need them
– denying the fact that I don’t have much time as I think I do
– denying the fact that no matter how hard I try, the things I found enjoyable a few years back don’t appeal to me anymore
– denying the fact that the bonds formed out of friendships are thicker than those of relationships
– denying the fact that the songs I loved back then are no more music to my ears
– denying the fact that I love a quiet and me-time weekend rather than a huge and crowded party
– denying the fact that I feel the urge to study for a higher degree rather than getting a certification to beautify my resume
– denying that I can do better than what I am aiming for right now

But then again, aren’t we all living in denial?
– Are we denying the fact that we have issues in our own society that needs addressing yet no one dares speak for fear of ridicule?
– Are we denying that our culture is dying because of “westernization” or lately “Korean-ization” which is basically a subset of the afore mentioned westernization?
– Are we denying that our youths are deprived of opportunites because of the closed minded-ness and orthodox values we preach?
– Are we denying the fact that we emphasize too much on outer-humility rather than inner-selflessness?
– Are we denying our youths the confidence they need to conquer the world when all we provide them is fear of the unknown?
– Are we denying the fact that we simply do not have enough experience to make assumptions about what goes on in the rest of, forget the country, but the north-east to guide the young?
– Do we think we are the ultimate judge of all things we think we know about? What about “To err is Human..”?
– Are we denying the fact that no matter how high the pedestal is we perch upon, we have child-rapists, con-artists, corrupt officials, prostitutes, drug dealers and users, murderers and thieves in our midst? Not to mention unwanted children and orphans?
– And having a population barely the strength of a mid-size Indian city, why do we need so many NGOs? Is our government not doing a good enough job, or that, shamelessly, it cannot function without them anymore?
– Are we denying the corruption of our officials, nay, hiding them as if they were our own? Or is corruption a part of life in the 90% Christian we claim our state to be?

I guess the older one gets, life becomes more and more depressing because of the things one could’ve changed but didn’t. The good part is that, no matter what one says, there is no place like home. But then, I only spend time back home once a year, during the Xmas holidays. So all I saw were happy places and faces, but then there were sad ones too. The faces of those who had to patrol the streets every night to keep a check on public disturbances. Respect! Had it not been for the cops who tirelessly roamed the streets, I would’ve had more than 3 close shaves during the holiday season. Yep! That Red Santro who almost crashed into us on 31st night between Haflong and Durtlang, even though I was driving to the extreme left, sober up, buddy! Learn to drive when you’re drunk, you local dumbass!

Happy Belated New Year Everyone!

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08
Sep
10

Barabar barber

FYI: ‘Barabar’ is a Hindi word, when translated literally in English means ‘Correct’. I just confirmed that with my colleague, and YES, we have less work in the office nowadays.

This post is for the guys who have gone through the dilemma of finding a trustworthy barber outside of our small state.

While in hostel days in Dehradun, we used to have an in-campus barber who was old, bitter and grumpy. Considering the fact that he had a steady job, one would expect him to be a bit more chirpy. Haircut-Inspections were something that occurred frequently. So on the eve of one such, there would be a long line outside his small shop while he (Yes, there was just one barber for the 250-odd inhabitants of the campus!) hurriedly ran the electric cutter from “tukhum-to-tukhum” (tukhum:Backside of the skull!), snipped a bit on the top and front, shove you off the chair and call out ‘neeekksshhtt’!

His haircuts were as horrible as the experience of having him wrap you with cloth, supposedly to prevent hair from getting on your clothes, when it was already full of the previous guy’s hair and what-not. One could feel them pricking on the skin as he tightens it around the neck, slowly scraping the throat with the tingly feeling of uneasiness. It reminds me of one Uncle who took great pleasure in torturing kids at Family gettogethers by rubbing his Five o’clock shadow on their cheeks! (How I hated that then, but now I AM that uncle!)

By the time I reached my last few semesters however, I had enough courage and knowledge of Hindi to jump the campus wall and take a haircut the way I’d wanted it, from a local barber whom I slowly came to trust. I would always come back from My Barber’s Shop all rejuvenated and relieved, as if I’d taken a week long vacation. Those were one of the highlights of my Hostel-memories.

Now, coming back to the present, there were these 3 barbers, whom I assumed were brothers cos’ they looked extremely alike and collectively owned the shop. They have been my MY Barbers for almost 4 years now. Their shop would always have Africans, Middle-East or South-East Asians hanging out. They were friendly people and more than that, they gave good haircuts. Since they interacted with different cultures, they know what we want and they actually listen. And to top it off, they were from a different state, which meant that they were non-locals and that we have more in common.

I’ve had bad experiences (apart from the hostel scenario) with barbers, they were the reason I had grown my hair for months, TWICE, just cos’ I didn’t want to take a haircut outside Mizoram. But these guys restored my then wavering faith in non-mizo Barbers. (Racism has nothing to do with a good haircut!) Everytime I’ve been to their shop in the past few years (Except one time when I grew my hair really long cos I was balding and worried, but then gave up!), no matter how long the gap between each visit, they always remembered the last time I took a haircut from them. I always leave their shop a happy man.

I once paid more than Rs.100/- for a haircut when I visited a unisex Hair Salon in a posh area. It was late in the evening and I desperately needed a trim then. The shop was very elegant, the barber well-dressed and the equipments were state-of-the-art. But all that was worth less than the amount I paid, cos’ the man simply had no skills. Call it loyalty to what I know, but I paid the man, left and never again laid my good eye on the shop (The other eye is just incorrigible).

I recently went to take a haircut from My Barbers, but was greeted by their absence. (I’d stopped by a few days earlier but since they were not there and the young guy in their stead looked a little bit too young for an experienced barber, I had decided to come again a few days later.) It seems that they had left the shop for their home-town in search of greener pastures. The young man managed to convince me to sit on his chair while he carefully wrapped the synthetic cloth around my chest. He talked about how, back in Kuwait, (Bullshit! I thought!) he used to cut Filipino hair and he knows exactly what we want.. etc etc.

He leaned a little towards the gay-side, which I thought was a bit reassuring. (Sexism has nothing to do with a good haircut!) He talked a lot and said something about how my hair is like this and others are like that… I wasn’t really listening cos’ I was concentrating too hard on the mirror in front to make sure he doesn’t do something dramatic with my hair. When it was all said and done, I briefly looked in the mirror, paid him (Rs.30/- to be exact. I remember when they used to be Rs.5/- back home) and hurried home.

WHY?

If you’re a guy, you would know that unless you wash the excess hair off your head after a haircut, you wouldn’t be able to see what it REALLY looks like.

After I had my bath, I quickly looked in the mirror, then stopped looking and slowly started admiring, “Not a bad job” I thought to myself. It seems My Barbers had left me with a worthy replacement indeed, but they will never be forgotten. They were them who restored my faith, my dignity and my close crop hair. (Although with some male pattern baldness now.)

15
Jun
10

Weekend trip

It didn’t start off bad, and the ending was pleasantly relaxing, but in between was the “worth-remembering” part. We had gone for a night-out at a Farmhouse outside Pune to celebrate a friends Birthday, we all needed the change of air as well.
We left on a Saturday afternoon, it was a little over an hour’s drive from the city and we reached early. The rest of the evening and night went pretty much as any other gettogether would of a nearing-thirties-north-east gang.

We all woke up pretty earlier on Sunday, around 7:30 and got ready to leave. We were planning to make it back on time for Sunday Church 🙂 We left by 8:00 with plans of having a heavy breakfast on the way.
The path to the farm from the Main road would take about 10 mins on wheels, and we were to spend the next 4 tiring hours on it. The previous day was sunny, so the road was pretty much dried up and we had little trouble reaching the farm. But it had drizzled a bit the night before (Funny no one seemed to notice then.) and it seemed the route was laid with fine black silt from the foothills of the Western Ghats. (No one noticed that either.)
Never in my life had I seen such sticky mud, maybe that’s why the soil was really good for cultivation. Mud stuck up the mudguard of our bikes blocked the rotation, and there was no way to scoop it out. The next logical thing to do was simply break them, apparently one friend was an expert and took great joy breaking them all. There were 5 bikes, luckily we had suggested to leave the cars near the main road, very luckily.
Before
After
We would push the bikes for about 10 meters, clean the mud, and then start all over again. I would really like to stress on how tiring it was, parched throats, muddy wet shoes, stinking black mud, etc, but no words can express the experience, and the feeling we had when we finally made it out. It was pure bliss. The end.
And here’s the dog that kept us company (He didn’t help much)
27
Aug
09

Power of prayer

It was ’97 Dec. Me and my Junior from Hostel reached Guwahati by train (North East Express) from New Delhi, on our way back home. I was in class 10th and the junior had just joined in 8th. We put up at a friends place for the night and took a night-bus leaving for Aizawl the next evening. It was a journey I was never to forget my whole life.

We met a few Mizos on the bus, happy cos’ we never get to meet our own from where we came. The bus started off, late as usual but we never really cared much as long as we were nearing home. I woke up around 4 in the morning to find the bus had stopped and all I could see was darkness. But as dawn broke, we could see a whole line of buses, trucks and other vehicles facing the worst Sonapur landslide ever.

The plan was to cross the landslide with whatever luggage we had, to the other side where another bus of the same Travel Agency would take us onward. We gathered our bags, which was hardly heavy, 2 boys back for vacation from an Army hostel don’t bring home much, and made our way among the winding line of people.

At one point, there was a Tata truck which was covered in mud to the point where the driver could’ve barely crawled out from the top of the window. A lady had slipped off the makeshift path of rocks, to step in waist-deep slush of yellowish mud. It was drizzling lightly which didn’t make the trip any easier. We were wet to our socks.

We reached the other side, covered in mud from the knee down and finally managed to find our bus. Only a few co-passengers had reached, so we loaded our bags and, being the honest boy scouts we were, started back to help out others. By the time we reached the old bus, we found it to be empty and everyone had gone. We started back lightly, but happily, running a few paces, to the other side again only to find our bus had left.

We had kept all our cash, except for a few change, in our luggage with our wallets. We didn’t want them drenched afterall. So we were ROYALLY SCREWED. There were no more Mizos, no familiar faces, and we were stuck in the middle of nowhere, without our luggage or money. Cellphones hadn’t even reached India. That was the worst feeling ever.

I knew some Hindi at that time, so I approached a bus driver who had just emptied his passengers and fortunately not many to bring back. He was kind enough to hitch us a ride till as far as he went, which was on the outskirts of Silchar. Upon reaching there, we started asking around for any vehicle that might take us to Silchar so that at least, we can somehow make it to Vairengte. That was as far as we had planned, to reach Vairengte and somehow make a call home for help.

It turns out that Silchar was far, far away from Vairengte (Never knew that then!) and the localites told me I needed to get to Bagha first before I can even think about Vairengte. Finding no means of transport and unable to afford the available ones, (We probably had less than Rs.100 between us) we started walking towards what we figured was Bagha. We didn’t have anything to carry so it wasn’t such a bad idea.

It was high noon. We had walked for quite a while, enough to dry even our then-wet shoes, when we reached a CHOWK kinda place where there were a couple of roads that led out. We hadn’t thought of this possibility and we were screwed once more. With the little amount of money we had, we decided to have chai and think it out.

In the midst of the confusion, a miracle happened. There was a man with a small shop next to the chai-wallah, whom we had asked for direction. He happened to know that we were Mizos, and could speak a little broken words himself. Who would’ve thought that in the middle of halfway between Silchar and Bagha, one would meet someone who actually spoke Mizo, no matter how bad. He had worked in Aizawl for some years and used to stay in Tuikhuahtlang. I still regret not getting his name or something, but then, that was the last thing on our minds.

He showed us the right direction and said we might get a Town bus had we waited for some time. We were too excited to be on the right path again that we left once more, on foot. We tried hitching a ride as vehicles passed by, but no one wanted to give a ride to us 2 dirty, slit-eyed young boys lest they rob them or something. We really didn’t notice time passing cos’ neither of us had a watch, but after what seemed like an eternity on a humid Silchar-winter, we finally hailed a Town Bus. Never in my wildest nightmares had I thought I’d be riding in a Town Bus in Silchar, surrounded by people who eyed us suspiciously. We weren’t a normal sight.

We somehow reached Bagha. It was probably my 3rd time in Bagha and 1st time on foot, it took us quite a while, but we managed to find the MST Bus station. We were told that the next bus leaves in the evening, but we didn’t have enough money to pay for the ticket. So, we started off again for Bagha Bazar where they said we could get an Auto to Vairengte post. It didn’t take us much time reaching there. It was late and starting to get dark, but we still had a long way to go.

Bagha Bazar was like heaven compared to what we had been through. There were a lot of friendly faces, and even the unfriendly ones at least could speak Mizo. We saw an old lady who was tugging a huge bale of PAAN leaves, too big for her anyway. We helped her load it and she agreed to share an Auto till the post. With uplifted spirits, we reached the post and on Mizo territory, we were halfway home.

We hardly noticed the walk from the post to the first shop. It was too good to be true. We had a few change left and we decided to use that for a phone call home. Knowing the telephone connection those days and the price of STD, we just had enough time to freak our parents out. I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes at that point, ever!

It was dark, and chilly. we could hear the sound of dinner in the houses nearby. Without a plan, without money, with no direction and no hope, we started out for the post, hoping the guards there might be of some help. They were kind enough to allow us to check the registration numbers of Vehicles coming in from Silchar. We had noted the number of the Bus we had loaded our luggage into, and it was 3443, but it was nowhere on the list. By our calculations, by then, the bus would’ve crossed Vairengte hours prior, if not reached Aizawl. We were once again.. you guessed it.. SCREWED!

I don’t really consider myself a very religious person, God-fearing, yes, but not religious. But at that point, I decided it was time to put the situation in His hands. We had done our best, but it was not enough. I excused myself to go to the loo, locked myself up and prayed like I’d never done before in my life. I came out the same person, nothing different.

An hour later, a bus, smaller than the one we were supposed to be on, stopped at the post. We wouldn’t have given it a second look had it not been for the Number Plate. Interestingly, the number was 3434. Upon closer examination, we saw the familiar faces of our co-passengers. They had stopped to change buses in Silchar and had, MIZO-ly, loaded our luggages onto the new bus, thinking they would at least leave it at the station in Aizawl had we come to claim it. They had even asked the driver to wait for sometime in Silchar, in case we might turn up. That was why they took so much time to reach Vairengte.

No words could explain the relief that overwhelmed us at that moment. It was pure bliss. I thanked God all the way home and couldn’t believe what we had gone through the whole day. Later on, I wondered if the situation would’ve been different, had I stopped to pray when the bus had left us.

09
Jul
09

Life, Computers and everything else

I recently upgraded my computer. The old one I had been using was from 2003. It had 128mbRAM and an Intel Celeron 1.7Ghz which me and my roomie had collectively purchased for 21,000/-. It seemed a pretty good deal at the time. Who would’ve thought computer prices were going to reduce so drastically.

I upgraded the Motherboard to an Asus M3* series with in-built 512mb Nvidia Graphics, AMD PhenomII Tri-core and 2GB of RAM. It cost me 17,500/- after a lot of bargaining. Pretty good deal, I think! I didn’t change the cabinet or the SMPS, that will be upgraded later with the RAM (READ: No more funds).

I got a few games and have kinda been addicted all over again. Also, I started playing Mafia wars on Facebook exactly 2 days back and I’ve been hooked ever since. (I knew it was a bad idea!). I heard it was addictive but didn’t think I would be much of a victim. Now, all I think about is increasing my energy so that I can do more jobs, get more money, fight more gangsters.. etc etc.. I need a life!

Last night, I was with Lara, exploring Mexican Jungles to find Thor’s Belt located beneath Aztec ruins, while fighting off cougars and poachers. Before that, I parkour-ed my way around rooftops with Faith, dodging cops and bullets to deliver messages in the new and realistic game “Mirror’s Edge”. It was 3:30am when I finally slept and had to get up before 10am to be in time for work. We’ve really come a long way from playing Pong on Atari and Mario, Battle Tanks, Zelda etc. on Nintendo. Not to mention flying kites, riding BMXs and making Parachutes from Polythene bags tied to stones.

I guess in a way, I kinda felt our generation had experienced the best there is. Today, kids aren’t so safe outside as back then. No hills to fly kites, only rooftops. Novels are discarded for serials, movies and sit-coms, suppressing imagination. Information is available at the press of a button, when we had to actually “Research” on something to find relevant data (Gives a whole new meaning to the word, doesn’t it?).

And song lyrics!! Man! I’m sure many of you remember those famous YEARBOOKS. I never owned one, but borrowed a few. There was this guy at school who would manage to get lyrics of the latest songs, and that was a big thing back then. Imagine my excitement the first time I got online and found www.lyrics.com ( Back then, I thought the internet was kinda like, if you want something, prefix www. and add .com at the end! That was how I managed to get to www.drewbarrymore.com, who was my fav. actress!)

Speaking of Fav. actresses reminds me of those Slam Books, especially the Hand-Made ones. Then, there was the Green Bag, Man!! Were we lame back then!! I think school was just an endless plethora of one Fad followed by another, some even simultaneously co-existing in tandem. Here’s the list of Fads I’m sure some of you have gone through:

1. Wearing school sweaters, even on a hot summers day

2. Playing marbles on school grounds

3. Terrorizing kids playing marbles on school grounds

4. Buying Alu-chop/Momo as side-dish for lunch

5. Hairep + Vur / Alu + Papawr / Vai pa Mix

6. Sucking Acid from the tie-tip while in class

7. Exchanging comics / game catridges

8. Beef soup after school.. etc etc.. 

Life was so much simpler back then… Guess I’m showing signs of growing old. Oh well..

17
Jun
09

My Birthday!

Tomorrow (18 June) is my birthday, so there is another 1hr 15mins before it starts. So, a happy advanced B’day to me!

Like most people.. hehe.. I have an Official and Unofficial B’day. I had changed my B’day date on paper to 18th July (And no.. not for the sake of applying a premature Driving License. I didn’t know how to drive a car till I was 20). The reason is a long story which is best left unsaid.

SO, in a way, I guess I’m lucky cos’ I can celebrate my UNOFFICIAL B’day with close friends, and enjoy the OFFICIAL B’day with my colleagues at work. Here I am , enjoying the strike of midnight with special ones, and I will probably be doing the same next month with colleagues. I guess the real one matters.

SO, Its been a lotta years  since I had been born, and a lotta experiences and lessons to learn. I guess I’m still doing fine, on the wrong side of twenty-five!! In fact, like they said, thirty is the new twenty!!

Lemme Explain…. Thirty is the new twenty: Cos’ at twenty, we were still either studying or looking for a job, and we were broke most of the time. Now, we are turning thirty and we are in control of our lives. We know what we want to be, and what we can achieve out of life. Our dreams at this point are more realisable!! Not like the PILOT I wanted to be when I was a kid, cos’ that really BOMBED!!

I had dreamt to join NDA, join the AirForce and be a pilot. I cleared the written twice, but got rejected in the SSB (Service Selection Board, for the uninitiated).. You guessed it!!.. twice!!.. so, I kinda gave up and took up Computers. Sucks right??! Tell me about it, I get the chills whenever I see a Sukhoi take a pass over Pune city, it doesn’t help when they have an air base close to the city, one of the few with a Sukhoi Squadron!!

Anyways, life is never as one imagines it to be. Nothing ever goes as planned. I had planned, If I had joined the AirForce, to take premature retirement and get a job as a Commercial Pilot, who, btw, get paid in plenty!! If you know what I mean!!

Whatever…. blah blah blah!!… See you at the next post!! Live has its own way of giving it to you!! If you know what I mean!! 😀

17
May
09

My First Blog

I finally found it and taken control again!!

 I had created the blog back when www.blogger.com was still www.blogspot.com ! (No wonder I wasn’t able to login with my account details on blogger!) It was my college days and I had read somewhere about how some lady’s blog had become so popular that she was offered a Book Contract! I was broke most of the time, and money was hard to come by. It was a great idea at the time to start a blog and earn millions. I was staying in a flat with 3 other guys whom I’ve never met before, and paying less than half of what I’m paying now as rent. Food was in the form of a “Dabba” which was pure veg. We paid 650/- monthly for lunch and dinner which the delivery boy would leave at our doorstep.

The upside was that internet was cheap at 10/hr and it was my only means of keeping in touch with my friends (Chat-friends to be exact.. mIrc ruled!) No other chinky in sight (Except for the local roadside chinese who are mostly nepalis and they don’t speak English and I didn’t know Hindi/Marathi). So, in the evenings after class, before dinner-boy comes knocking, I’d be cramped up in a seedy cafe, with the stench of sweat, and the rattling of the dust-covered ceiling fan which looked ready to drop anytime and splatter the room with fresh blood, squinting my eyes to see the small text on a 14″ CRT which had a greenish tint, badly in need of degaussing.

Anyways, a few days back, I realised I had forgotten the name of the blog. So started a frantic search and after a while, I finally figured out the name. mizoblog.blogspot.com. That was the simple part. I tried to login and edit the blog, but my username and password was not correct since it was the old BLOGSPOT account. It was a long time before I actually decided to click on the following link:

oldblog1

(BTW, you get this page when you enter an invalid username and password in www.blogger.com). SO, I finally regained control over my old blog, but it’s kinda redundant now cos’ I have another already, and no offense to Blogspot, but I love Wordpress.

I’ve left the old blog without making any changes just for fun. I don’t have any intentions of continuing it as of now, although it would’ve been nice to have found it before I created this blog. Cos’ then, I would’ve been one with the oldest blog, if not one of the oldest bloggers.. Eat your heart out, Sandman! Hehehe!! (This phrase was taken from the old “Plasticman” cartoon which he shouts while swinging from tree to tree with “Eat your heart out, Apeman”! *Inserted just for nostalgic content!)