Photobucket had recently made a very dick move by disabling all third-party embedded pics unless I pay $399. I've been blogging for 13 years and have 2000+ embedded pics across 650+ blog posts, which are now all unviewable. I'm working on moving my images to a new host, so until then, please do bear with me if you cannot view any images on my older blog posts.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Chp 373. Family bonding weekend

Sup, folks. Great Monday aye? (unless of couse you’re a Chelsea fan). Well, today’s the last day of October, which usually means playing “November Rain” from tomorrow onwards, but this time, I’m gonna play a song dedicated to October.


[The Rasmus feat. Anette Olzon – October & April]

Yeah it’s not a new song, but I still love it. This song says a lot about me and my relationship, if you know what I mean. Plus, this song was performed by The Rasmus (of “In the Shadows” fame) and Anette Olzon, the Nightwish vocalist who replaced Tarja. Perfect match for each other, if I may say so.

 xxxxxx

Now coming to this post, I invited my “little” niece over to my place for the weekend. She’s my cousin’s daughter, and she had just joined an MA course here in Mumbai two months ago. The last time I saw her was a few years ago at a family dinner at my place in Mizoram when I graduated from Engineering college. Dad invited our entire relatives for a grand feast because he was proud as hell to have a B.E. son.

This was her then, that night when we celebrated my B.E. graduation at my house. The one on the extreme right, sitting and smiling shyly.



I picked her up from Bandra last Friday. I was still expecting her to be the small bespectacled pony-tailed little girl, but wonders of wonders, NOOOO. I guess she underwent some strange mysterious paranormal phenomenon called “growing up” because this is her now:



And from the previous other pic above, the other two girls in the pic are nieces of mine too, the daughters of another cousin. You see the one in the middle? You see the innocence in her eyes? Well, apparently this is what she is today:



The third niece in the pic had also transformed into this now:



Holy mother of *beep*, how (and why) do they grow up so fast??? They just make me feel like I am stuck in some limbo while everything and everybody else is moving swiftly past me. Swish swish swish…

Well, I know from my dad’s side, a lot of my cousins are way older than me. Another niece of mine (daughter of yet another cousin) even married one of my closest friends, who I have treated like a brother since primary school days…



…and they already have two freaking kids.

These are just a few of my nieces I’m mentioning here. There are even many other nieces who are older than me! Comon, nieces! Stop it. Give your uncles a chance to grow up at their own slow and desired pace, ok? We’re in no rush, so why should you be?

Anyway, my niece Eunice (which rhymes, capisce?) and I had a great time bonding over family and stuff, and it was something I haven’t done in a really long time. For people like me who had stayed outside Mizoram since third standard, it’s not that easy staying connected with all my cousins and their children (and I come from a really huge family from both my mom and dad’s side).

We spent Saturday watching movies in the morning and Barclays Premier League matches in the evening. She’s a Manure fan (oh the horror!!!) and we watched her team barely win against a struggling out-of-form Everton side.

After that we watched my team AR53NAL play against CH3L5EA. And we all know the result of that match. That, my friend, is the true Arsenal team.

After watching Arsenal hump Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, my niece bowed her head in shame, and quietly uttered, “You know what, uncle? After watching your team and my team play tonight, I have now come to realize that when we beat your team 8-2 at Old Trafford, you guys had around NINE main players absent due to suspension, injury and transfer. Most of your players then were from the reserve team and it was not such a great glory after all to win by that much. In fact when we lost 6-1 to City at our OWN home, with a full strength squad, that was the ultimate disgrace and shame for us. At least when you guys lost 8-2, it was not a home match for you guys. But for us, it was indeed a home match, and we all know the vast difference when it comes to pressure while playing home and away matches. So any football fan will know how much more shameful 6-1 is than that 8-2. As of now, I am going to burn all my Manure posters and I am going to start supporting Arsenal. Will you guys accept me as a Gunner fan? Please, uncle, pretty please? If not for me, then at least for my great grandfather (and your grandfather), the late Pu Zabanga’s sake?”

That’s what she told me that night…

Actually I think she said something like, “What shall we have for dinner?” but that’s what I heard coming out of her mouth.

Anyhoo, I finally dropped her at the station on Sunday evening as she had to get back to her hostel. Strangely, as I watched her go, there I was, standing like a proud uncle.

After she disappeared into the sea of commuters, I went to Santa Cruz to meet my old school mate and really close friend Hminga, who had come down to Mumbai with his dad (Pu Rinsanga, IAS rtd) and dad-in-law (Pu Liansanga, Engg-in-Chief rtd). They were on a vacation.

They wanted to try seafood, so I took them to the best seafood joint I know – Soul Fry @ Bandra. From Bombil cutlet to Surmai fry to Pomfret masala to Crab & Prawn main courses, we tried them all, occasionally flushed down with a pitcher of Tuborg draft beer. And they absolutely loved it.

Both the dads knew my parents so well that it was just like sitting with my own family members. They told me stories about my mom’s school days, my dad’s bachelor days, how they met each other, when they got married etc etc. I really had a great time sitting with the two wonderful dads and listening to them talk. What was even more fascinating was that they both knew my girlfriend’s parents extremely well too, and they started telling me stories about them also, while teasing me now and then.

I still can’t stop marveling at how so many of our previous generation knew almost everybody, whereas when it comes to our generation, we hardly know each other.

We soon parted ways, and with that ended my awesome family bonding weekend. This was definitely one of those weekends worth cherishing for a long long time.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Chp 372. This week in the BPL + Fantasy Football

What a weekend huh? Manure got thrashed 6-1 at home, Chelsea lost 1-0 to QPR, Liverpool drew against Norwich, and Arsenal trashed the giant killer Stoke City (who drew against Manure, Chelsea & Spurs and even beat Liverpool & Bolton).

This was even bigger news for me at the fantasy football league I’m playing. Although I am still 8th rank in my league (the same as last week), I’ve come a long way. I started from 27th rank! Why? Simply because I hate Manure to the core and I vowed that I will reach top 10 without using a single Manure player. Now my aim is to reach top 5 without any manure players.

If you’re a fantasy league player, you’ll of course know that Manure players, especially Shrek, had been pouring in points after points every week. In spite of all that, I managed my team carefully every week, and I am in 8th position now. Most of the players above me are using manure players, so this week’s result brought me one more step closer to overtaking them.

This week I scored 46 points. I know, that’s not much, but due to many disappointing match results, others too didn’t score much either. Although I am still at the same place in my league, I moved up at the global leagues, India league, Gameweek 2 stats, and Overall.

My strategy:

This week, I took a big gamble and placed all my Man City players in the game. I mean, I could have played safe, but there was no point getting x points, and the people above me getting the same amount of points. We would all just be moving up by the same amount. My aim was to overtake them, so in order to do that, I needed to have players their players were paying against.

And yes, my gamble paid off. My biggest points this week came from my captain Aguero (12 points) and Silva (10 points) who both scored a goal each against Manure.

But I didn’t fare well with my other strikers. I got a disappointing 2 points from Suarez, and 5 points from Agbonlahor (who had an assist).

Newcastle versus Wigan, I knew who was going to win, so I placed my trusty Taylor duo in the game again. They both played their 90 minutes as expected, and I got 6 points each from both of them.

Bolton versus Sunderland, I placed my bets on Bolton, and put Cahill & Muamba in the game, while I made Larsson sit out. Bad choice. 1 point from Cahill (2 goals conceded) and 0 point from Muamba because he didn’t play (Ohhhh I am so transferring his fat ass this week), while Larrson could have at least given me 3 points had I played him.

My biggest dilemma this week was Swansea versus Wolves. Both teams are unpredictable and inconsistent. I had both Ward (Wolves) and Dyer (Swansea). It is always a bad idea to have two players from teams playing against each other (especially a defense + midfield combo) to play at the same time, but I didn’t have any other choice. Got 3 points from Dyer and 1 point from Ward.

Although my gamble with Manure paid off, my Chelsea players screwed me over. Ramires didn’t play, and Bosingwa gave me a freaking -3 due to his red card (but I couldn’t help chuckle at those players who must have used Drogba, especially if they have made him captain. His red card + captaincy would mean minus 6, bwahahaaa!)

Goalkeepers – I had a tough time deciding between Hart and SZCZ. In the end, I decided to stick to Arsenal loyalty and used SCZC. He gave me 2 points. I could have got 3 points had I used Hart, but that’s okay. Being an Arsenal fan, I am happy to have at least one Arsenal player in my team.

I used to have Vermaelen, Arteta, Mertesacker and Ramsey. I eventually had to transfer them due to injury and also because the others weren’t giving me any points. But I will definitely buy an Arsenal player/s again, once the team has settled down and the famous game dynamics and one-touch play of Arsenal is back in the game. (RVP is too bloody expensive so I can’t afford him anyway).

All in all, I think I am performing quite well so far, given the fact that this is the first time I am playing fantasy football in my life

My Team.



Cheers.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chp 371. A True Story… of Love & Romance

“Bawihi…” He softly whispered to her, as he pulled her hair back gently beneath the pale moonlight. She looked at him with her soft innocent eyes and parted her trembling lips… She sighed, “I’ll forever be yours… Bawiha.”

.............

The young couple had been in love since time immemorial. They could be you and me, for they represent every young Mizo guy and girl in Mizoram.

In our Mizo culture, unlike most other Indian cultures, being in a relationship at an early age is not only accepted, but sometimes encouraged by our parents too. It is perfectly normal for young boys to visit a young girl at her house and woo her. This concept is called “Nula rim” (Nula means a woman who is single, and rim means to court).

Traditionally, during the process of “rimming”, it is the duty of the girl to welcome the guy (who is sometimes accompanied by his wingman) to her home. She makes tea for her suitor and sits with him in the living room. Then they talk about different things, trying to see if they have anything in common or whether he can make her laugh with his corny jokes.

Sometimes, she gets multiple suitors coming from different places (and such women are called “nula luck”). In such a scenario, the second suitor usually leaves on seeing that somebody’s already beaten him to the house, but there are also incidents in which guys from different places do sit together, each one trying to impress the girl and outdo the others (pretty much like a Group Discussion round of an MBA admission process).

Meanwhile, her parents too do not get involved and while most parents move to the bedroom to give their daughter privacy with her suitor/s, there are also some who do stay within earshot of the conversation, spying and listening to make sure nothing hanky-panky is going on and that no lines are crossed.

The girl eventually ends up liking one of the boys, and they soon become a couple. He lovingly calls her “Bawihi”, and she returns that love by calling him “Bawiha”. The words bawiha and bawihi means “Loved one”. People in love show their affection to each other by uttering those words to each other.

However the concept of “bawihi” and “bawiha” is not something new in our Mizo society.

During the days of “Zawlbuk” (a dormitory right next to the Chieftain’s house, where all the young lads of a village would sleep together. Useful especially if warriors from different clans raided their village as all the young men could quickly assemble and fight back), there were times when the girlfriend of one of the young warriors would hide behind the bushes below the Zawlbuk and wait for everybody to sleep.

Then she would gently call out, “Bawiha…” in the middle of the night. Her lover would then secretly leave the Zawlbuk and whisper back, “Bawihi…” In the darkness of the night, they would keep signaling “bawiha, bawihi” to each other and move towards the sound until they had found each other.

Such was the sweetness and romance of bawiha and bawihi.


.............

At this point, my friend could not control himself anymore. He fell to the ground and laughed uncontrollably, tears gushing out from his eyes. And then taking a deep breath, he looked at me and asked, “You seriously wrote all that shit?”

I was as serious as hell. “Yeah… I mean that was just the gist of what I wrote. I ended up writing for around 7-8 pages, you know, so that I might get more marks.”

He laughed his ass out once again.

I was starting to get a bit irritated, and a bit worried too.

“What’s so funny? Did I not get my facts about our Mizo history right?” I asked him.

Finally, with a straight face, he said, “When they asked you to write an essay on the Bawih system in our Mizo society, they didn’t mean “bawiha”, “bawihi” and any of those romance crap. They meant “slave”. Hence you were supposed to write about the slavery system that prevailed in our Mizo society before it was finally abolished in 1914, how slavery worked, the two types of slaves, how slaves were treated etc…” 

Pin drop silence.

“Oh…” was all that could come out of my mouth…

That was the first AND last time I ever decided to write the MCS (Mizoram Civil Service) exams. A True Story indeed.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chp 370. Dream interpretation, anyone?

Got this really crazy ass dream/nightmare last night. I for one, am not one of those bloggers who rant about their dreams… but this time, I just want to pour it out here because it was so realistic and… intriguing as hell.

The thing about dream is, no matter how realistic it feels then, by the time you sit in front of your computer, everything had become hazy and blurry. So when I woke up suddenly this morning at 4am, I immediately took my trusty Android and started writing down what I just experienced quickly in shorthand.

Now as I sit in office typing this, if you are the type of person who’s really into all this dream interpretation (and the paranormal), maybe you can explain the meaning of my dream…

In my dream, I was asked by Arsenal FC to play for the team since most of the players were injured . So there I was, playing my first match for Arsenal.

Ok, so far, I’m sure it doesn’t take a Jung or a Freud to deduce the meaning because after all, I am a hardcore fan of Arsenal.

Now the strange parts begin…

First of all, though I love Arsenal FC, when it comes to playing, I am more of a basketball player. I have indeed dreamt many times before about dunking over Yao Ming or Shaq, or scoring a buzzer-beater on game 7 of the Conference Finals. But last night was the first time I ever dreamt about playing football (as far as I can remember).

Secondly, yes, Arsenal is my favorite team, but any football fanatic knows Arsenal is performing extremely badly this season. We are close to the relegation zone due to the loss of important players, and the last minute players we bought don’t seem to be working out at all. So how come I’ve never dreamt about playing for Arsenal during our glory days. Why now?

Thirdly – this is the strange part – I scored four goals! We were playing against Newcastle United, and the full time score was 4-3. We won because of me! But what’s really strange was – all the four goals I scored were just very simple and ordinary. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time, and none of my finishings were awesome or outstanding… the ball slowly and meekly rolled into the goal, just inches beyond the goalkeeper’s reach.

Now this is my dream we’re talking about. How come I didn’t tackle through 4-5 defenders as Messi would or score a goal with an unbelievable back volley shot or even a long range goal from beyond the centerfield? Why such simplicity? Yes, when I dreamt of basketball, I was the superstar. We do the impossible in our dreams, right? …flying over people and having superhuman strength sometimes. But last night, everything seemed to be really humbled.

Fourthly – now comes the strangest part, the reason why I woke up sweating at 4 in the morning.

So there I was, with my Arsenal team mates, hugging and rejoicing. Arsene Wenger too shook my hand and said something to me in French. I nodded. After I took a shower, I quickly went online from my mobile phone, looking forward to what the press would be saying about me…

But… there was nothing! Goal.com and Arseblog.com hadn’t updated the match highlights yet. So I went to arsenal.com, and a short notice read: “Arsenal beat Newcastle 4-3!” But no details of the game were there.

So I went to misual.com, and even there, nobody was talking about the match or my four goals. I thought some of the people there would be talking about how an admin of the site scored 4 goals for Arsenal and that it was a proud day for every Mizos across the world. But NOTHING. Then I called up my friend Amos, another admin of misual.com and a hardcore Arsenal fan. I knew he would definitely be watching the match.

I asked him if he was watching the match and he said yes. So I excitedly asked him if he saw me, and he said his TV view had been zoomed out so he couldn’t make out who the players were or who scored the goals!

I screamed.

I hung up and went to google.com from my phone (damn, that visual is still SO clear in my head right now, as if it actually happened!). With trembling fingers, I typed, “Arsenal Kima”.

The only results I saw were of my blog posts where I have blogged about Arsenal.

Then I typed, “Arsenal Newcastle match Kima 4-3”

No result!

It was then that everything became more distorted and my whole world started spinning around, and I woke up sweating and breathing heavily (and a bit angry too). Even after I woke up, it took me quite some time to realize it was just a dream… but damn, it was so freaking real.

-----------------------------

Now comes the interpretation – what does the last part mean?

From my own deduction, it looks like I desperately want attention. Or is it that I merely want to be recognized for things I have done? Things that I deserve to be appreciated for, but sadly ignored and swept aside? Am I being suppressed? Or is it that I want something more out of a relationship or in my life or even in my job, but I’m not able to get more no matter how hard I keep squeezing? At the end of the day, yes, I know it was just a dream. But sometimes, it makes you wonder because some of the reasons I mentioned above may indeed be true.

Like I said before, I don’t blog about things like this… but this one… this one is different. Eerily speaking.


Friday, October 07, 2011

Chp 369. A visit to Mizoram University

Notable poet and etymologist John Ciardi once said, “A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in students.” Whether that’s true or not, I did happen to visit our reputed Mizoram University during my short vacation in Mizoram.

You know you’re really old when you go to a University and all your friends over there are WORKING in the University, not studying.

The day started with me going to my friend OP’s place. From there, we took his bike instead of his car because of the rush hour traffic jam.

The road to MU was, as Chris Rhea crooned, The Road to Hell indeed. I got a sore ass by the time we reached MU and I wasn’t even in Prison picking up soap, if you know what I mean. Horrible the road was. Kinda shocked me as to how our Government could ignore such an important path.

At MU, I met my cousin and friends at the Bio-Tech department. Hung out with them for some time and I got to see all their researches and experiments. Later, we all moved to the MU Guest House where I met my friend Francis who’s the caretaker of that place. Other friends from the Education department too came and we all had lunch together. I met a few faculty members too.

One thing that definitely took me by surprise was the sheer size of the University. I mean… I wasn’t expecting it to be THAT vast. It took me almost half an hour just to travel from the Bio-Tech department to the Guest House. And the University is still expanding as I write this!

Francis took me for a short tour around the University Guest House, and by the time we were done, there was no time to meet my friends in the Administration section, Psychology department (U Baby) and English department (Cherrie)! It was already 5pm then. Closing time. Dayyymmmm!

Had I known it was going to be like that, I would have definitely planned it better. So I really felt bad telling my friends that I wouldn’t be able to meet them even though I was right there in the freaking University.

I did take a few photos and even a really good video from the “highest point” of MU – On top of a water tank!

On our way back, it rained like crazy. There was no way I was travelling back in a bike, but fortunately Francis was on his way to Aizawl for the weekend, so I hopped into his taxi. The road back was scary as shit, as we battled the heavy rain, thunder, lightning and landslides in an almost zero visibility mist while avoiding falling rocks, trees and boulders, but Francis assured me I found it scary only because it was my first time. Suddenly, I was filled with newfound respect for all those who journey that precarious road every day just to earn their living or learn something new.

All in all, I had a great time there, and I look forward to visiting the University again (but of course with much better planning next time).

Here are a few photos and video I took that day. Cheers!







[With my friends from misual.com]






[Funny thing. As we climbed up the “highest point”, water overflowed suddenly from the water tank above and drenched me completely!!!]



A 360 degree video view of Mizoram University from the “highest point”.