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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Chp 9. Exam-I

Oh My God….
Blogging is so freaking addictive… I promised not to blog again until my exams are over. Why for the love of sweet Jesus did I ever start blogging right when my exams are just around the corner (tomorrow) :-(

All my frens around me are slogging their asses off. Life is tough here. Lets see what I studied today. Chapter 11 and 12 from Organizational Behavior and chapter 3 and 4 from Kotler’s Marketing Management.

And how is this going to help me?

Well, in the short run, its not going to help me at all, because for both these exams, the papers are going to be purely based on how we implement the hazaar concepts and strategies on a given case. In other words, there is no point in mugging them actually, but all of us got no other option…

And in the long run, its not going to help me at all again. Who the hell is going to remember the five different threats that competitive forces pose which determines the intrinsic long-run profit attractiveness of a market or market segment industries? Or what Hersey and Blanchard’s Situational Theory is three years down the line from now when we are sitting in our own air-conditioned office in the HR department???

Then why am I mugging away to glory over here? Because that is how things are, and we cannot beat the system however illogical it may seem. But at the same time, there is one reason why I really appreciate the way things are over here. All these mugging does help us in a great way which many people don’t usually realize. It teaches us how to be tough and how to face stress. It teaches us that life is not a bed of roses out there. It also teaches us how to nail down others, even if they are our frens, coz that’s what the Corporate World is all about. You stab my back and I’ll stab yours, and then we’ll go for a drink after that. I learnt it the hard way that sacrificing for a fren or giving up something so that the whole team can gain is wrong. Its every man for himself. Even though we learn about team work and team dynamics, we also learn how to watch our own back. Relative Grading sux big time, but it does make a man out of us.

I’ve just finished walking around my block. Nearly 70% of junta is asleep (its 4pm right now). It’s the unofficial bed-time here at IIMB. Man, my hands are just twitching to blast my 2500 Watt music system and wake up everybody!
*evil chinky grin*

And to make matter worse, the PGP2’s (second years) are mocking us because they will be partying on NY’s eve while we’ll be studying. Poor guys, they went thru the same phase last year, I think they deserve to take out their juvenile frustration on us this year :-)

Okie dokie… time for me to hit the books again. I will get back to you guys when I take my next break. Sayonara for now...

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Chp 8. New Year

Farewell for now my frens.

My final exams are coming up – 31st December, 1st and 2nd January! WTF. IIM truly knows how to push a person to their limits (and also to the edge of insanity).

All my frens are calling me up and inviting me to various parties – KGA Club, Bangalore Club, Hollywood 2005, Speed Zone, Club X, The Club, just to name a few. They are going to welcome the new year with a bang. And you know what I’ll be doing? Here, let me show you a glimpse of what’s likely to happen on 31st midnite.

11:55pm : Study
11:56pm : Study
11:57pm : Study
11:58pm : Study
11:59pm : Come out of my room
00:00am : Scream out happy new year!
00:04am : Finish wishing all my frens a happy new year
00:05am : Go back to room
00:06am : Study
00:07am : Study
00:08am : Study………

Oh my my… this New Year celebration is going to be so exciting, I just can’t wait for it to happen! And considering the fact that I’ve spent the last new year at a private party in Hyderabad with my Arab frens, belly dancers, hot chinky babes everywhere, and the previous new year party before that was with my sweet ex (when we were still going around) and some 30 of my other frens at this posh Golf Club, and the year before that… **kima breaks down and cry**

Sniff... sniff… Happy New Year everyone. Party hard. And play it safe.
This is me signing off for the year.
~Kim.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Chp 7. Christmas

Got up at 9:30am! No time for breakfast… rushed to the bathroom for a quick shower. Ran to Amol’s room after that and woke him up. Got his car keys. But not before running to Monu’s room, waking him up and asking him if Amol can borrow his car in the afternoon for a short while since I am borrowing Amol’s car. Lol, this might make a good story line (comon, its much more interesting than that Bold and the Beautiful crap which is still running even today!)

Dressed up in suit and everyone I passed by wished me a merry Christmas and complimented that I look really good (boy, talk about being humble).

Finally left hostel by 10:45! And the mizo church starts at 11:30. Hope I can make it in time. And here is the best part. The church service is taking place at this Theological College near Cantonment Railway Station… and I have never been there before! Leave driving over there, why, I haven’t even been to those parts in an auto. I have no clue how to get there. And my fren Hminga (the only mizo I know) so coolly told me to ask the autos how to get there. Like hell, it was the most stressful, terrible day of my life! And the fact that today is Christmas is sheer irony. Hah.

My knowledge about the Bangalore roads is limited only to Jayanagar side, Koramangala area, Airport route and Brigade/MG road. After that, I’m just another fish lost in this huge ocean of traffic jam, dirt and pollution.

So there I was, completely blind the moment I took a turn into Commercial street. After that I could vaguely remember following the instruction of taking the first left. Then everything else is all hazy after that... I remember asking atleast 30 different auto drivers how to get to Cantonment. I remember blocking traffic in the middle of a green signal at a junction because I didn’t know which road to take: right or straight? I remember asking a traffic cop if I was in the right lane leading to Cantonment. I also remember him giving me that suspicious looks. And then I remember remembering the fact that the car I’m driving does not have all the proper papers. Hence I remember suddenly driving away from him after he started showing deep interest in me :-) Man, I also remember driving thru the Bangalore Central bus-stand. I had to drive at minus 20km/hr (that slow). All along the way, the traffic was full, and the only sound coming out of the car was not my music playing, but rather my distressed voice shouting “Cantonment!” “Cantonment!” to any structure that bears the remotest resemblance to a human being.

Finally after sweating out nearly 2 litres of stress, I reached Cantonment. Phew! Parked next to the Call taxis and called up my fren. Ooops! Its 12 already! Just as I feared, he did not answer. The Church service must be going on. And I got no place to go… So I just sat there inside my car, watching the traffic pass by. And every 15 minutes or so, there was this huge exodus of people coming out of the railway station. And then there was a brief lull for 5 minutes or so when the railway station was quiet and peaceful, only to be all packed up once again. I just wondered, why the hell would anyone wanna travel on Christmas day? And this is not from a religious aspect. Even on Diwali or Eid, I would never dream of traveling. I think being brought up in a multi-culture, multi-ethnic, multi-religion background, one comes to respect each occasion with utmost sincerity.

Finally, at 12:30 my fren calls up. I told him I have reached Cantonment and dunno how to proceed from there. And guess what he told me? He said “Good. Now remember that right turn to Cantonment? Don’t take that turn. Come straight, passing Cantonment on your right!” #$%#$%$# WTF! I told him I already took that turn, and now Cantonment is on MY left, and it’s a one way so I cannot go retrace my steps….

And so, within 10 minutes he came in his car and I followed him. We took a big round and finally reached UTC (United Theological College). Mizos everywhere… as usual sitting together in groups of 5-6 scattered all over the green UTC campus. And then I realized, I am the only guy dressed in suit in my age group. Every body else were wearing normal formals. (Another reason why I should kill Hminga, coz he told me to wear suit, and then he himself wasn’t wearing one!). Went and met Hminga’s parents, and all the other elders, and a couple of other mizos that Hminga knows. Some of the girls were really hot, but blasted Hminga said he doesn’t know them well enough to introduce me. And they were all talking in a group, so I felt a bit awkward going over there and introducing myself to the girls. But some of the guys I met like Paul, Avi, Dennis etc were really cool. And everywhere I was asked the same question “How come you have never come for any mizo function before? Studying real hard huh?” Lol. Studying hard? Ha ha ha…..

Lunch was served at around 3. Beef boiled in the typical mizo style! It was soooo delicious. I ate a lot. After that we had the recreation. It was kick started by a dance number, performed by the 3-4 years old mizo kids dressed as Santa’s little helpers. Aweee… they were chooooo chweeeet. Everybody gave them a standing ovation after they finished. Then there was a game for married couples, where they had to walk on a piece of paper which grew smaller every level. It was hilarious. The couples tightly hugging each other, and some of the guys even carried their wives! :-) And for the youth, there was a game where random guys and girls were called out. A balloon was tied to the girl’s leg and the guy has to protect that while at the same time trying to burst other girl’s balloons. We laughed our asses off. You know, this is what I really like about my community. You go anywhere, you meet anyone, there is always that invisible force field you’ll activate around you. Its difficult to trust anybody just like that. But with the mizo community, well, I don’t know how to explain this, but everyone is completely at ease with each other. Any mizo is welcomed with open arms anywhere. But the downside is, any alien force trying to enter their group is met with fierce resentment. They become extremely defensive and protective when dealing with someone outside the community. But once that outsider is accepted by any member of the group, then he is automatically accepted by the entire group. A very strange an interesting phenomena which people should do a research on.

And then the event everyone’s been waiting for. The Gift Exchange! My number was 40 and Hming’s was 51. People having the same number are called up to the stage and we have to exchange our gifts. It’s a strictly guy-girl thing. We’re suppose to wish each other a merry Christmas, exchange gifts, and hug each other. What happens after that is purely up to the two individuals, but it sure serves as a good ice-breaker. When my number was called out, my partner was this cute but extremely shy girl. After exchanging our gifts, I bent over to hug her. She forgot to hug and already turned, and then she realized she didn’t hug and turned back to hug me, but by then I had already leaned back.. lol… everybody laughed as the girl went running back to her seat blushing like a budding red rose. I was totally cool and walked back smiling. Hminga was laughing at me the whole time! And I just kept quiet. Until his turn came. His gift-exchange partner was a married aunty! LOL…. I nearly fell off my chair laughing when I saw the look of disappointment on his face… ha ha ha… guess who had the last laugh huh? :-)))

After that, there was a prayer meeting, so Hminga and I went to Tushy’s place at Airport road to wish them all a merry Christmas. Hanged out there till 7:30, and then went back to UTC. We were just in time for the mizo dinner. I’ve been looking forward to the pork that was going to be served. Ahhh… pork… cooked in the perfect mizo way. There is no food I’d substitute for this. The very thought of it can still make my mouth water…

There was this really sweet mizo girl called Felia. I find her extremely attractive. Even during the gift-exchange thing, I was wishing she would be my partner! :-) When Hming and I walked into the dining hall after filling our plate with pork and more pork, as luck would have it, the girls were sitting at a table alone. So we joined them. Got into a conversation with her, and I believe we hit off quite well (Atleast from my part, I hit off very well with her). She’s doing her I.A.S coaching, and stays in a hostel in Jayanagar although her parents are also here in Bangalore.Even after dinner, we continued talking outside. Soon it was time for her to go home with her parents. Said goodbye. I thought of asking her for her number, but felt a bit shy doing it infront of the other mizo girls and parents. So I asked Hming if he has her number. He said yes. Bastard! Later we found out he doesn’t have her number!!!!!!! So, Felia, if, by the remotest chance, you happen to read this blog, just wanna let u know that I’d love to get to know you better…
:-)

Hming and I went back to Tushy’s place where there was another party. I stayed there for sometime, but later got bored coz everyone’s drinking and I dared not drink bcoz of the b’lore cops stopping every car and making the driver undergo a breathalyzer test! Its not my car, so I don’t wanna take any risk. Went back to hostel around 12:30 in the night. Man, I was completely exhausted.

Back in hostel, we had an L^2 party. I was so tired that i did not feel like partying at all. I drank my Scotch and tried to sleep even though the music was blasting from the party (right outside my room) and everyone were having so much fun. As I lay there, letting the alcohol slowly take its effect, I thought about today. Was it worth taking all the trouble just to socialize with other mizos who might not even remember me tomorrow? Like hell, yes, it definitely was worth it. Merry Christmas once again everyone…

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Chp 6. X'mas eve

Ah Christmas… wonderful Christmas. The birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The day that makes me really proud of the fact that I’m a Christian. Also, the day I feel sad I’m the only Christian in my close circle of friends here in IIMB. Coz there is nobody else to split the bill with when I am treating them!

Took out my frens to this wonderful restaurant at Church street called “The Only Place”. Had an amazing time there. Ordered the special Turkey Steak. Yumm yummy… Everybody ordered a steak related item, except ofcourse for dear Ankita who is the sole vegetarian in our group. I can never get enough of taking her trip about being a veggie. Man, I seriously dunno what veggies eat on special occasion… Roots and leaves cooked in special schezwan sauce topped with la crème de lait? LOL… anyway, the others had a great time gobbling down those scrumptious red meat…

And then my frens surprised me with this lovely Christmas present… an expensive scotch whisky! This is the perfect gift a guy like me can ask for. I can already hear 100 pipers playing in the distance… :-)

After our grand dinner together, we went to Brigade road. Man, it was sooo beautiful. The lightings, the Christmas spirit, the party animals, the cocktail of people who roam up and down the well renowned street, even though it was chilly and 2 in the morning. Took a couple of snaps there. It was such a wonderful feeling u know… Christmas time, and here I am with my wonderful frens basking in its warmth. Everyone dressed up so nicely… Amra and Monu looking cute together as usual, Ankita with her red top that she changed for the umpteenth time just before leaving, Tommy trying to enjoy the moment as much as he can without thinking about how much time he’s wasting by not studying! Amol and I wearing the red Santa’s cap, and Momo looking really great with her faded denim skirt that I’ve never seen her wear before.

Initially, yes I was regretting the fact that I’ve turned down an invitation to party at the Catholic Club. But after spending time with my frens tonight, well, this was way better than partying anywhere. Frens give you something that partying at discs cannot. You may find joy at discs, you may find passion. But with frens, you have warmth, which no discs can give you. Period.

I am on my 4th glass of my Christmas present here. I better get some sleep now coz tomoro ( I mean today) is gonna be one hectic day!!! I decided to spend Christmas with the mizo community… and I don’t know anyone! Jeez, this is going to be fun….

Church at 11:30am…

Gnite…

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Chp 5. Fever

Man, it’s such a different feeling u get when u fall sick. Especially in an institute like IIMB bang in the middle of a project submission. Suddenly everything becomes so unreal, as if you’re living in a dream. Life moves extremely fast here, but this time you have missed the bus. The only thing you can do is sit on the pavement and watch everything as they passes by. Looking at my surrounding as I sit typing this, I’ve realized things are not the same as before. My table has never been this messy. Two empty chicken flavored Cup O’noodles with forks sticking out, my marketing case-lets lying in one great big heap of jumbled mass, disprin and “Vicks action 500” tablet strips strewn all over the table, an empty can of Red-bull rolling to and fro, and ofcourse pieces of stale cake (the only food my stomach seems to accept for the moment) all over the table… even the music I’m listening to has changed. No more Snoop Dogg and Door’s latest remix “Riders on the Storm” (by the way, if u haven’t listened to that song, then, my my, ur missing a great music, an amazing fusion of rock and hip-hop). Instead I find myself listening to… Norah Jones’ “Turn me on”!!!! On top of all these, there are the numerous glitter strings and paper flyers coiled up all across the floor because of my incomplete Christmas tree decoration. I am just too plain lazy to do anything now, except sit infront of the comp and type this blog (after all, I am using just my fingers)

When you fall sick, you also find out how concerned your friends are. I have been excused from any remaining marketing project work, and my project-mates have taken up my part of the work without any complain. And my close circle of friends ping me on bracket (our internal communicator) or come visit me every now and then. Its only when you fall sick that you realized how vulnerable you become. No strength to play any physical sports as of the moment. Why, I don’t even feel like playing the NBA 2004 PC game on my comp! And every passing minute, the only thing in your mind is if you can just wish this fever away, *poof*, just like that…

As I was lying on my bed today, all alone, with temperature soaring up high, I suddenly became so lonely. I started missing all the people I have cared for… the first person on my mind was my ex girlfren. She has always been by my side whenever I feel down or dejected. She was always there to put a smile back on my face. Even though we have broken up a year ago, we are like the closest of frens, and keep in contact with each other. Why we broke up was a long story. She being a merwari and me being a mizo, our future was not so bright in terms of family ties and stuff, so after a serious 2 years relationship we both decided to move on separately. We have both gotten over each other, but because of our history, we still have that trust in between us, and many a times, turn to each other for advice and stuff. And then I missed my two dear roomies back in Hyderabad – Hyder the Iraqi and Alaa the Syrian. The funniest Arabs I have ever come across in my entire life, these two have certainly changed my entire perspective about the middle east people. What we had among the three of us was a true value of friendship and togetherness. I really miss all the times we spent together back in Hyderabad. Speaking of Hyderabad, I miss my dear Kinsipoo. Best buddy and extremely hot, she and I clicked immediately the moment we met at the YMCA basketball court. I miss taking her trip with my smart-ass remarks. I miss hanging out with her almost everyday at Lifestyle back in Hyde. She and I shared so much in common, and the best thing I like about our relationship is that we can spell out everything to each other, even the most embarrassing secrets, bcoz there is no romance between us to play spoil-sports. And then I miss my dear three sisters. Ever protective, ever pampering me to the max, although we have our regular brother-sister fights, they have made a big difference in my life. I love them so much. I missed my mum and dad. To them I will always be their sweet angel, their youngest and much cherished only son. I miss all my frens, right from Montfort to PSG to Hyderabad.

I just wish this blasted fever would go away. Its making me delirious… its making me say things I never meant to say… recently I met this wonderful person over the net, and the other nite as we were talking on the phone, I said a really mean thing to her. And now she’s not talking to me…. Damn fever. The sooner you go, the better I’ll feel (pun not intended).

Monday, November 29, 2004

Chp 4. Castrol

Finally I have recovered completely from all the partying!!!!! Man that was one heck of a wild week…..
Here is what all happened….

After a fruitless Day 1 of my placements, I got back to my tiny pad and noted down the points where I should improve during interviews and GDs… but even before I could reach point number two, my mind was already off to the NBA2004 game that I’ve just borrowed from a friend. So I said screw it, and started playing…..

Day 2 was my lucky day. Part 1 of Day 2, my interview with Castrol (British Petroleum) went off really well. I was asked only personal questions and I could relate all that with the current marketing scenario (like, I was the captain and pointguard of my college basketball team, and in today’s world, we need more pointguards than pivots bcoz the pointguard is the play maker and the entire market depends upon how he makes his decisions etc… you catch my drift?) and I was quite confident I would make it to the final round. But never-the-less I attended all the other GDs which have an open slot. That night I went to sleep with a much lighter heart. No NBA2004. I really need a good rest.

The next day, which was part 2 of Day 2, the final interview list for Castrol was released and only 5 people made it. I was one of them! But sadly that interview did not go as well as yesterday’s. It was a purely technical interview, and I blabbered everything I knew about the market and economics. Yes, I felt indeed dejected… but all my closest frens (who got placed in Day 0 and Day 1) were always there besides me cheering me up… I went to the balcony and dozed off under the cool Bangalore shade… At around 3pm, the Placement Oficials came up to me and said they needed to talk to me… My heart started pounding away and my knees felt a bit weak (or was it just my imagination)… they took me aside and they said “Kima, don’t tell anyone. Just go to the Placement Office and sign-out bcoz…” Even before they could complete their question, I was already in Cloud 9. Yes, I nailed the big cat called Castrol!!!!!!!! Woohooo…….

After showers and showers of congratulations, I satyed back at the MDC. A couple of my close frens still didn’t get an offer. Anyway, the offers are usually released only at the end of the day and only few companies like Castrol gives out the names in advance bcoz they have to fly back to wherever they came from. Soon, the final lists was out. Yup, all the guys in my gang got an offer!!!! Which means we don’t have to dress up in our suits for Day 3. Yipppeeeee……….

That night, we head-banged like mad @ this pub called B-11. All of us were completely sloshed and man my body and throat were in deep agony the next day. But it was all worth it. And on Sunday we had the L^2 party to celebrate a 100% placement. The remaining students all got placed in Day 3. IIM-B truly rocks…. Monday, we all had another party… Tuesday we had a small drinks party in my room… Wednesday and Thursday we didn’t drink bcoz of a tough marketing class…. Friday, partied away to glory and Saturday another L^2 party!! Danced my brains out till 8 in the morning… Sunday was a weezy day, if u know what I mean. So, after all that, its finally time to get back to Acads….. No wonder the motto of IIM-B is “Work hard, Party harder”.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Chp 3. EDS

Today was my first job application ever (other than the fact that I did apply for a job once, and that was an interview infront of a camera in a Pub which was then broadcasted to thousands of viewers later on TV… yes, I once participated in the SS Music VJ Hunt a couple of months ago before I got into IIM, but then that’s a different story…)
Our Summer Placements started yesterday. Yesterday was Day-0, and only the top Investment banks and Consultancy came… I obviously was not short listed for any of them…  Today was Day-1. For various reasons I cannot reveal the names of the Companies that come here for Summer recruitment….

It was a boring day. Right from 8am till 10pm, there I was, walking up and down the waiting hall in my best formal attire. My new Red Tape shoes really hurt my feet and many a times I had to sit down and remove them. All I did was eat, drink, smoke… eat, drink, smoke… eat, drink, smoke….

Hospi did a great job… there was a free coffee and Pepsi/7up/Miranda/Mdew vending machine plus snacks here n there. There was also Dominoes, but unfortunately that was not free. I ate, then had one of the free drinks, and then smoked (oh, even the cigarettes were free!) . After that, I ate again, drank, smoked. Man, I think I smoked atleast more than 40 cigarettes today. Wherever I went, whichever group I listened to, the only thing my frens were talking about were assets, hedging, retail banking, balance sheet… aaaargh!!!! I tried finding a group that was discussing English Premier League or the latest Hiphop songs available on the net or even Paris Hilton’s sex tapes… but alas, it was just me against the World…. So I grabbed another plate of chicken sandwich, poured myself a pepsi and stuffed another cigarette into my mouth….

How time goes by so slowly… Everyone around me so active and running from one interview to the other. Me, I was completely drained, not that I did any running around mind you. I was drained from all the eating and drinking and smoking... At one point I even gave a miss-call to every person on my phone book. But they just smiled at me and then continued discussing whatever they were discussing… demand, supply, segmentation, targeting.. who knows. Some of their discussions were “How much is the price of a barrel of oil in US dollars currently…” Jesus, the only barrel price I care about is the price of a barrel of draught beer! Ah… sweet draught beer… wish you were by my side…

Eventually I was short-listed for one company (Yay, bring out the champagne, ma!) I had a GD. Well, it was a disaster but then I did make one strong point. Ofcourse it was the only point I made during the entire discussion, so who knows, if the Gods are happy with me, I might get short-listed to the interview rounds tomorrow….

So I got back to eating, drinking, smoking. Hey don’t blame me, but eating makes me thirsty. And after drinking, I always feel like lighting a cigarette. And after smoking, my mouth taste horrible so I eat something… and it goes on and on….

So frens, tomoro is another day. I will crash now as I have to get up at freaking 6am! Man, that is too early to start my ritual of E.D.S. (eat, drink, smoke), but then, that’s what IIM is all about. It teaches you how to act under pressure. Goodnite…

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Chp 2. Fight

What makes a chinky fight...

Yesterday, professor Vasanthi was teaching us about Organizational Behaviour, about the work cultures of various individuals from different part of the globe. What motivates people to work hard? Indians work hard mainly because of social status. You can clearly see this, if you look at the Matrimonials...
"24, Male, computer engineer, IIMB graduate, currently working in Goldman Sachs, seeks alliance with beautiful and broad minded engineer, preferably working in an MNC blah blah blah..."
And she also explained why people from the Oriental East progress so fast in terms of technology. It is the fear of failure. Failure leads to shame. And eastern people consider shame as their biggest fear. Hence the brave samurai commits "harakiri" if his dignity loses face. And then i started thinking.... yes, shame is our biggest fear. And as i sit there in the classroom, everything becomes so clear. It was like the Heavens were opening up and a bright radiant light was beaming down upon me. Now everything makes so much sense!

All my life, people have asked me this one question. Why do us chinkies fight so much? Why is it that when we get into a disagreement, instead of arguing, we start landing punches on one another? Why do we stubbornly challenge an aggressor to a fight even though we are out-numbered and the chances of us winning is extremely bleak? Once again, the universal question: Are we stubborn maximus?

And as i sat there, oblivious of the fact that the lecture is still going on, my mind started wandering... far away from this institution, far away from Bangalore, even far away from this present time that we live in. I started thinking about those brief moments i spent in a typical mizo primary school when i was but a mere child. There i was, playing marbles with my friends after school, happily engorssed in our own sweet world, when all of a sudden, three big high school kids gate-crashed our game and kicked our marbles away. Me and my frens stood up and stared at them. It was a three on three situation, 3 puny innocent 6 years old up against 3 ugly pimple-faced 12 years old. We lashed out at them immediately and a short fight erupted. My fren Zova was the first to go down. I remebered that very well because as i look at him fall down, a fist came flying out of nowhere and the next thing i know, i was on the ground along side Zova. As the numerous cloud of stars that i saw cleared up, i could see that our third fren Mark was still in the heat of the battle. He was always the wild one among the three of us, and the big bully was having a hard time pinning him down. Mark even managed to land a couple of soft punches on his opponent's face, until a hard kick on his groin followed by a quick chop on the neck sent him screaming down to mother earth. After ensuring that they won, they left us. We slowly got up, rubbed off the dirt from our body and continued playing marbles. After sometime we all went home.

Now as i think about those good old days, two things which i have never realised before struck me.

1. We fought even though we know we couldn't have beaten them. There was no fear in us, and even if there was, it was subdued by a much bigger element. Shame. The shame of running away from a fight. Come to think of it, i have been in and also witnessed many fights back in Mizoram. People fight solely because they do not want to be branded a coward. It does not matter if you win or lose. As long as you accept a challenge, then you are a man. The moment you run away, that is when you lose everything. You cannot show your face in public, you cannot socialize, you lose every respect that others have for you. In other words, run away from a fight and you become an outcast. Such is the intensity of what shame does to people. I just want everyone to understand that we do not love fighting, as many people perceive it to be. Having that false opinion also make others think that we from the North-east are uncivilised. That is just the way we are, and the way we are brought up. Its like how a southie would eat his daily meals from a leaf, or wear a piece of cloth around his legs to a function. That does not make him any less uncivilised. That is their culture and tradition, the same way getting into a fight is in our blood.

2. The other thing i realised that day when i was lying on the ground with my fren Zova wallowing in our pain was, Mark was fighting with the bully all by himself and as i have mentioned, at one point, he managed to punch the big guy. But even then, the bully's two frens (lets call them bstrd 1 and bstrd 2) just stood there doing nothing to help their fren. Thinking about that, i realised that, in all the fights i have seen in mizoram, there was not even a single case of people ganging up on one guy. Every fights have always been strictly one on one.

One fight i remembered so well was a couple of years back. Me n my frens were playing basketball and one of our frens got into an argument with another guy regarding a foul call. So they said lets fight. Since we respect the sancticity of the basketball court, we all walked outside, formed a circle and these two guys faced each other inside. Some passer bys also joined us, and there were these two police men who came running to watch the fight too! One of them even said "No hitting below the belt" before the fight started, but it was more of a joke rather than an authorative order. And then the fight started. Within no time our fren was bleeding profusely. The other guy was thrashing the lights out of him. And finally we guys rushed in to stop the fight. Our fren still wanted to continue fighting for fear of losing face, so the other guy finally said he doesn't want to fight him anymore as he's "tired" and that our fren has won the fight (which was just a polite way of saying, "dude, i don't wanna kill you"). The point i'm trying to make is, even though he was a very close fren, we did not help him fight the other guy as it was his own personal fight. Helping him is like insulting him, as if we are mocking him that he can't handle a guy by himself (which was clearly the case this time) :-)

As we grow older though, we fight lesser and lesser. Just recently, we were playing this basketball tournament. It was the finals and dad came personally to watch me play. During the game, one of the guys intentionally fouled me really hard. Although an intentional foul is a part of the strategy tactic in basketball, especially towards the end when we were leading by a small margin, i was a bit pissed off. But after the game, my temper has died down. We won the match and i shook hands with this guy and walked out of the court. Dad came up to me and asked whether i'm going to fight him. Frankly speaking, the idea of fighting someone right infront of my dad does not sound very appealing. Its like having sex with someone and dad watching it!

Come to think about it, yes, fighting is so similar to sex. When we have sex which result in this AMAZING orgasm, it is somewhat similar to being victorious after a gruelling fight. We feel great and definitely don't mind doing it again but not right now as we are completely drained and the last thing we wanna do immediately after this act is to get into another fight or sex (although its a different thing for girls. A thousand curses to them for being blessed with multiple orgasms). And then, there are times when we cannot just perform during sex, thanx to all those damn tequila shots we had just before slipping into bed. That feeling is similar to losing during a fight. It sux, but never the less, we are filled with small sense of satisfaction because we know we just had sex, or we just got into a fight.

So, to sum it up, in our culture, as long as we fight, then there is no clear cut winner or loser... except right now, i am the obvious loser, because i sat through a very important lecture and i did not listen to a single word the professor was saying.
This is me signing out for the day.... ta ta

Chp 1. Freedom


During one of our BGS classes, professor Ramnath a.k.a Swamiji suddenly asked us to submit an assignment on what we think freedom means to us. It should be of our own perspective, and we were shown a couple of documentaries by the notable Amar Kanwar himself who came personally to our campus for the screening. And so i sat in front of my computer the following day, trying to recall what was shown to us... decided to write my own version of what i consider is a definition of Freedom.... it was a very bold and unorthodox move as i did not write much relating to the documentaries we saw... but wonders of wonders, i got the highest mark in our batch! :))

Given below is the assignment that i submitted....

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FREEDOM.
  

Coming from the troubled North-east, the very word “Freedom” has a complete different meaning. Born under the sounds of gunfire and air raids, brought up running from one hide-out to the other, through thick over grown forests and caves, at the same time every parent trying to convince their children that there is nothing to worry about surely has made a deep impact on me about my forefathers and the freedom one has in order to live, eat and sleep.

There is no greater pain and anger a man can feel when the territory he claimed to have owned all this time is taken over by an alien force, brutally. And the voice of the protest is killed by the sounds of gun-fire that cuts through the very essence of struggle. No questions asked, no answers sought. Any individual that dared to stand up against the conqueror is terminated immediately, thus setting an example to the other protesters that their struggle is, and will always be, in vain.

But the spirits of freedom will never die. It cannot be killed by mere bullets. Stories of bravery passes down from one generation to the other, through the earliest form of communication man has invented. Such stories continue to fuel the hearts of every little voice that dares to protest against anything.

Normalcy returned to my state Mizoram in the year 1986 after the Mizoram Accord was signed between Mr.Laldenga of the Mizo National Front and the Indian Government, thus bringing to an end one of the fiercest under-ground separatist groups the North-east has ever witnessed. I have longed come to accept the fact that I am an Indian citizen and that, in times of trouble I am ready to lay down my life for my Country - India. But events that has happened in the past still haunt me, and the anger I have hasn't completely died down. Laying down one’s life for a cause is noteworthy, but how does one feel when no one knows that such a thing has happened in Mizoram. When your very existence itself has been erased completely from the face of this Earth, is there really a need to carry on fighting then? When the rest of the Country is completely blind and deaf about what actually happened during the so called freedom struggle of the 60’s. When hundreds of my brothers were massacred by the Indian Army just because we all “look alike” and they could not differentiate between who’s a separatist and who is not. When hundreds of my sisters were brutally raped by the jawaans in uniform. When lands and houses were mindlessly burnt down by the Army because they believe the “rebels” were staying there. Of course  the “rebels” are staying there. It is their home after all. To them, the only thing on their mind is, “We were never ever a part of any Rulers or Dynasty that has ruled over the rest of India, except for the British. We were happily minding our own business this side of the World. Why this now? Why the aggression? Why are you killing us? Why are you raping our women and children?” Infact, nobody knows that Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram and my dear city, is the ONLY Indian city to be bombed by the Indian Air Force in 1966. Bombing an entire city itself is not only cruel, but diabolical. And do we read about this in the newspapers or history books? No. Why? I don’t know.


In other parts of India too, we had heroes, heroes who laid down their lives fighting for a cause they believe in. Commander Pratap Salve and Shankar Guha Niyogi who were killed while defending the basic rights of the oppressed in Gujarat and Chhatisgarh. They will forever be remembered by the people they fought for, and also the rest of the Country because they were all over the news. But what about those who laid down their lives in the North-east? Forget the names, people don’t even know what those 7 sister-states are. I have come across so many people who have no idea what or where Mizoram, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradeshetc are. They always ask me if I am a Chinese. They not only ask, but stare.

Still, at least I have what my fore-fathers never had, Freedom.
I have Freedom.
The Freedom to walk anywhere I feel like without getting shot by the security forces.
The Freedom to play football without fear of tripping over a land-mine.
The Freedom to drive around in my car without the fear of a bomb being dropped on me from the skies.
The Freedom to marry a beautiful Mizo girl without the fear of an Army man raping her. That is Freedom to me.