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.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Chp 450. Bye bye Posterous. RIP.


So today, 30th April 2013, Posterous is officially closing down. As my friends say, this is just another case of the big fish swallowing up the smaller fishes. Less than a year since Twitter acquired Posterous, it’s time to say goodbye. Remember what happened to TweetDeck when Twitter bought it? Yup, they’re now shutting down all TweetDeck apps for Android, iPhone and AIR desktop.

Anyway, I guess business is business. My main blog is here at blogger.com, and I’m sure Google will never shut it down. Google bought blogger in 2003, and later bought YouTube in 2006. If you can’t beat them, buy them.  Thank God Google isn’t killing them off after acquiring them, like how Twitter seems to be doing with all their acquisitions (although Google is shutting down Reader come July 1, aaaaarggghhh… but then, that’s a different story).

But I feel kinda sad that Posterous will be no more from tomorrow onwards. Our younger generation will never know it was quite big during it’s hey days, like during the days of digg, and stumbleupon, and del.icio.us.

Even though my main blog is at blogger.com, what I really loved about Posterous was that, three years ago when the smartphone boom happened here in India and Android because a large player, it was the only microblogging platform where I could easily update via my mobile through an app. I didn’t have to login to a website and shit. Blogger.com too had an app, but it was buggy as hell. And there were many third-party apps for Twitter but those were just 140 characters long. Posterous became an ideal platform to quickly rant about something on the fly.

I used my Posterous blog for my June Pledge. It’s a pledge I took back in June 2011 about abstaining from alcohol for an entire month. And it was quite a successful pledge.

Unlike others, I am not going to import my Posterous feed to Tumblr or other platforms (Heavens, no I am NOT migrating to posthaven and pay $5 a month) because like I said, it’s not my main blog. But I will instead copy-paste my Posterous content here, so that I can always read them again later.

Feel free to continue reading if you want :) Don’t mind the typos, because I’m putting it here as it was. Remember I was live-blogging from my mobile.



June 1, 2011
Day 1: Here I come

Yup, today is D-Day. Today is the day I begin my June Pledge. If you don't know what I'm talking about, please read here on my main blog.


On this blog, I will be ranting daily for the next 30 days, mainly about alcohol. lolz. Here starts a new day.



June 1, 2011
Day 1: The forbidden fruit syndrome

The toughest part about quitting (even if it’s just a one month ordeal) is knowing the fact that you're not allowed to do that particular thing. That makes it even more enticing. The forbidden fruit always appears tastier.

It is human nature to want to do something that we are not allowed to do. Here in Mumbai, I may not drink every day, but on DRY DAYS, the urge to drink increases multifold, simply because we know alcohol will not be available that day. And so we spend twice or thrice the amount buying it in “black” on that day.

Hence, to quit, we have to convince ourselves that it is not a forbidden fruit. That it is actually a rotten fruit nobody wants.

Day 1 of The June Pledge ends now. So far, so good. Signing out.



June 2, 2011
Day 2: No glug glug, no worries

My June Pledge couldn’t have come at a better timing! Yesterday, the Maharastra Government raised the legal age limit to consume alcohol – from 21 to 25.

Also, the dreaded and archaic system of “Alcohol Permit” has re-surfaced… So you need a special permit to purchase booze and you can buy only two fulls (750ml + 750ml) per week using that permit. Actually this law has always been in place but nobody follows it. A good friend of mine has this permit and I will try to post the pic here later.

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, whether a permit is mandatory or not, or even if I am younger than 25, all these issues suddenly don’t matter. I. Have. Peace. Of. Mind. :D



June 2, 2011
Day 2: Stereotyping the drunkards

This morning I wrote about the new Maharashtra law that raised the legal drinking age from 21 to 25. IBN Live wrote a pretty good report about this law where they compared the legal age limit of not only different countries but different states of India as well.

And of course, Mizoram had to be mentioned because it is one of the only two states in India where Total Prohibition is enforced.

The entire news report was researched quite well, until I reached the last sentence of the article. IBN Live ended the article with this line –

Underage drinking is a big problem in the US and on the streets of Aizawl, the capital of the Indian state of Mizoram where liquor is prohibited, you barely meet a person who is not drunk after 7 pm.

I immediately commented –
Good article, but your last paragraph reeks much of sensationalism. Yup, underage drinking, or any age drinking for that matter, is quite a problem in Mizoram. But to say that you barely meet a person on the streets who is not drunk after 7 pm is a GROSS exaggeration!!! Has the writer of this article even been to Aizawl??? I would wager anything to walk with the author on the streets of Aizawl and count how many drunk and sober people we will meet.

Did they publish my comment? Nope. As of now, it still hasn’t appeared on their site. But they DID change the last sentence a few minutes ago -

…on the streets of Aizawl, the capital of the Indian state of Mizoram where liquor is prohibited, you come across quite a few tipplers after 7 pm.

Ok, now THAT, I cannot argue with. That is a safe sentence to use. I may not be a journalist, but being a copywriter, we must always word our sentences carefully when writing for the masses. Whether they approve my comment or not, I’m glad they have rectified their tone. I hope CNN IBN doesn’t become like the Times Of India, whose only job it seems, is to print false news and allegations about the Mizos or Mizoram.

Looking back at this incident, I can’t help but think – the author most probably has never been to Aizawl to say something as ridiculous as that…. so… were we stereotyped? Because, yeah, many of us Mizos staying outside Mizoram do love our alcohol. If it’s a case of stereotyping, then that gives me one more reason to continue with my June Pledge and abstain from alcohol, so that we can prove all these idiots wrong!

Go June Pledge! :)



June 3, 2011
Day 3: Mobile go go

Ok posterous is known for its ease of posting from different sources like email, twitter etc. so I'm just checking it out.

I have just downloaded the posterous app for android to make it easier for me to post here everyday from anywhere. I have also downloaded an app called superious which is another popular posterous app.

Also, lemme test the pic posting option in this same post..




June 3, 2011
Day 3: Amazing dinner, and a test!

Im currently at a private dinner party hosted by Coral. Its at Prahlad Kakkar's Bandra cottage, to be precise. Around ten people are invited, most of them renowned foodies. Strangers to me but Im slowly starting to get to know them. Entry is 800 bucks per head.

I wouldnt have gone had it not been for my friend Pawan who insisted on my coming, and the menu is PORK - coorgi pandi curry. Who can say no to that? Its delicioussssss!


Lots of free wine, but I am still sticking to my June Pledge so Im drinking ginger ale! Lolz. I have never spent a Friday evening like this before :)

I am attaching a pic of some of the food served... the pork has been deep fried really well and I am now going to get back to my food now. Hope the pic shows properly.



June 4, 2011
Day 4: An evening to remember

Its past 4:30am now. Just reached home from the dinner event I mentioned in my previous post. Ah, what a memorable night.

We talked about everything related to food, catering, restaurant business etc. till 4 in the morning. I learnt a lot about the food industry because of the other guests.

As for me, had I come home at 4am in the morning on any other time (especially saturday mornings), I would have already been really sloshed. It is different this time. Ginger ale does not give you a kick. lolz.

KC (owner of Cafe Goa) even left behind a full bottle of Whyte & Mackay whisky after having just two drinks from it. Pawan looked at me and asked if I want it. Dayyymmmm.... but then, with a heavy heart but a strong conscience, I said no.

Right now I am tired, but it sure feels good to come home from a "party" this late, completely sober! Now, time for some sleep :)



June 6, 2011
Day 6: I passed my acid test!

Yeah, it’s Monday! And I’m still clean!

I may have gone without booze from Monday to Thursday before, but frankly speaking, I clearly don’t remember when was the last time I DIDN’T drink during the weekends (Friday night, Saturday night and sometimes Sunday night).

Weekends were always the time to relax, unwind and open a bottle of Old Monk. Plus there was always an EPL football match going on. How could one not drink while watching your favorite team in action? :D

Fortunately for me, the EPL season is over and there is no football this month. And it’s hard to picture myself drinking while watching the French Open. Haha.

So this weekend, I bought a whole bunch of non alcoholic drinks like two cartons of Tropicana, Tang (powder) and this absolutely amazing new drink called RIO.


I really got to love this Rio. Cheap (20 bucks) and yet the bottling is quite exquisite. It comes in different flavors and they aren’t like your typical flavored drink. In fact, they are like the teetotaler’s version of a Bacardi breezer! :)

So how did it feel like to go through my first weekend (after ages) without any alcohol? All I can say is, it felt WONDERFUL! The past one week since I started my June Pledge, I had been dreading the weekend... but trust me, with a little bit of determination, it wasn't difficult at all.

But this next upcoming weekend... well... that is a whole new Mount Everest...



June 9, 2011
Day 9: An Epiphany!

So my Creative Director asked me if I am still keeping the June Pledge, and I said yes.

And then he said, "Good! So... you must be saving quite a lot then!" That's when it suddenly struck me - Yes, I will indeed be saving quite a lot of money if I go without alcohol this entire month! lolz.



June 13, 2011
Day 13: The Walk of Shame

And so… I broke my pledge this weekend…

But hey, it wasn’t one of those, “I. Must. Drink. Alcohol.” incident.

When I first took this pledge, I knew there would be obstacles. Challenges. Roadblocks. Temptations. I was ready to face the temptations part. Like I said before, I took this pledge not for any moral reasons, but purely because of my health. Deep down inside, I knew I could resist the urge to drink.

Office parties – I avoided them. Friday night hangouts with regular friends – I avoided them. In order to keep my pledge, I knew I had to become some sort of a social pariah. Because all those events eventually lead to drinking.

Saturday, I was supposed to go to my “ahemz” place. Being with her gives me more strength not to drink.

However, due to the stupid monsoon, it poured the whole freaking day, and most of the roads were flooded. And so I decided to stay at home, alone.

And then around 9pm, I got a call from an old friend – a house warming party, just walking distance from my house! It was like a B-School reunion, meeting up with long lost friends and being in the company of grads from IIMB and IIMK. It was really tough to say no to that… Plus it could be important for my career as it was like a premium kind of networking.

And so I went there… and of course the inevitable happened… Old Monk.

Am I feeling ashamed for breaking my pledge? Well… not so much. I feel sad of course, but the event I went to was really a once-in-a-lifetime type of celebration, and it would have been a great loss for me had I not gone there.

And this incident does not mean I keep breaking my pledge. No, nothing has changed. I will continue keeping this pledge and act like this weekend never happened.

I just want to be honest, that’s all.



June 17, 2011
Day 17: Jogeshhwayee Eeeshh

Ah… other than that tiny blot last Saturday, it still feels good to be keeping the pledge…

I kinda miss the nights I would approach an auto driver and tell him my address – Jogeshhwayee Eeeshh (Jogeswari East).

But I think the best drunken slur I’ve heard is from Southpark (season 9, episode 14) when a drunken Randy gets pulled over by a cop, and he’s trying his best to act sober, so he asks the cop innocently –

What seems to be the officer, problem?

Hilarious! :D





June 21, 2011
Day 21: Thou shalt finisheth thine drink!

Smirnoff
Triple distilled
swaying slowly…
from the brim of my glass to the tip of my tongue;
like a ship on a stormy night
shattering every piece on the rocky shores of guilt.

Pledge
broken again,
falling a victim
this time not to weakness
but to sacrifice rather, for people dear -
one must finish other's leftover vodka
lest it gets spoilt and poisons them tomorrow.



June 29, 2011
Day 29: And so it goes…

So clearly, I wasn’t able to keep my pledge, as evident from some of my updates here. But was it a success? Of course it bloody was!

Four weeks have gone by so far, and even though I broke my pledge two times during these past four weeks, that’s far better than any other months when I would be drinking every weekend and sometimes during the weekdays too. Going cold turkey on alcohol is tough, and this pledge has indeed helped me a lot. The last time I drank just two times during an entire month…. must have been long before I joined college 10+ years ago!

One more day left… if I can keep this up… next month would be a breather.

Maybe next month…. I can do this whole pledge thing again….





Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chp 449. 2013 Aizawl vacation - Hospital


So this past one week had been a hectic ride for me. Flew home, spent a week with my family, and am now back in Mumbai again.

I rushed home because dad slipped and banged his head on the floor. He had minor bruises and cuts, but the reason why I went home was because he fell down due to a stroke!

My dad is quite old now, pushing towards 80 soon. He’s already semi-bedridden, and needs a cane to walk due to his gout and a life-threatening surgery he once had on his leg when he fell inside a cement mixer/grinder machine! That was a long time ago before he met mom.

Perhaps one of the proudest moments for most guys is when they’re finally big enough to fit into their father’s clothes or shoes. The son feels all grownup and the dad feels all emotional watching his son all grownup. Sadly, I never got to experience that because due to dad’s accident, all his shoes were custom made, with two different sizes for both feet.

His nickname back then was RKB. Crudely put, RKB stood for Rem-ke-baia (dad’s name being Rema, and “ke baia” means “one who limps”). Of course all the name calling stopped when he became one of the first Chief Engineers in Mizoram, and the first Mizo Chief Engineer in the Power and Electricity department, Govt. of Mizoram. He slogged his ass out to show all those who looked down upon him because of his disability that just because one was disabled, that didn’t mean it’s the end of the world.

So when dad was admitted at Aizawl Hospital, Mission Veng, my mom or my sister had to stay with him in the hospital during the nights. Since they both had their own stuff to do too, I flew home to relieve them. And so I landed in Aizawl last Friday and spent the night immediately for the next three days until dad got discharged on Monday.

Below are some pics of dear ol dad lying in the hospital…



And here’s where I slept. Tiny freaking bed, the first night I was in the hospital, I kept thinking that I was going to fall off, hence I held the edges tightly throughout the night…


And of course, Aizawl hospital was no stranger to the water shortage in Mizoram, they even had to hire one of those water supply trucks to deliver water for the patients.


My only criticism about Aizawl hospital? My cousin works as a nurse in the next floor. She visited us daily and was extremely sweet to us, but some of the nurses posted on our floor… man, I didn't like them at all. Bunch of people with attitude issues. I once asked them casually till what time the evening visiting hours were. They could have just told me “till 6pm”. Instead they told me, “Its printed right there on the door, go look at it yourself.”

Seriously?

But then of course, not surprising. We Mizos still have a long way to go when it comes to the service industry. I’ll put that post up for another day. Until then, cheers.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chp 448. Of tea with cops and sake with friends


So after my tea with DCP Nisar Tamboli last week, I wrote a mail to Mr. Sadanand Date, Jt. Commissioner of Police, Law & Order, Mumbai, thanking him for setting the wheels in motion.

Dear Mr. Sadanand Date, 

First of all I would like to convey my apologies for not writing to you sooner. As this was a very busy weekend for us Christians due to Easter, I wasn't able to come online at all. 

I would personally like to thank Mr. Tamboli for such a warm reception at Malabar Hills police station on Thursday and spending his precious time to meet us and listen to us. I was also extremely impressed with our Mumbai police when Mr. Tamboli showed up at our Mizo Church after Good Friday service. He addressed us and assured us that we'd be treated as equals, as Indians. It's not just us Mizos, but all those who have been following this incident who have regained faith in our Police (if it was lost in the first place) by the kind gesture you and Mr. Tamboli have taken. 

Last but not the least, I would like to thank Aunty Shobha for forwarding my issue to you. I have written initially that not even the 53rd cousin of the constable would read my post, but I was so wrong because of your reply and it felt so wonderful when I hugged the said constable and we became friends, which was all possible because you initiated this drive. 

So thank you once again, dear sir, not just from me and my Mizo community, but from every Mumbaikar as well. God bless Mumbai. 

Warmest regards,

Kima

He replied, and completely surprised me when he said he himself wanted to sit for a cup of tea with me!


Dear Kima,

Thanks for your e-mail. Your post was a very responsible and kind act which every citizen is expected to undertake. I am sure Mumbai Police is one of the best police units- but we have a long way to go to become a perfect police unit. And till we reach that destination- we must learn a lesson as and when we fail in discharging our duties well.

Nisar has kept me posted about all the developments. And I am thankful to you for being kind, patient and considerate.

May I suggest you something:

1. As and when your schedule permits please do see me in my Crawford Market office over a cup of tea. It would be pleasure to meet you.

2. This 15th of August, can we have participation from different states in flag hoisting functions in our police stations? We can organize it from our side. It will be just coming together and realizing that we belong to the same nation. If you have an association of NE states, this can be organized in a meaningful manner with presence of participants from diverse states of NE.

Please let me know your views.

Regards,

Sadanand Date

And so we fixed up an appointment and I went to his office along with three of my Mizo friends on Monday.


I was nervous because Mr. Sadanand Date was not only the Jt. Commissioner of Police, he’s also our 26/11 hero. A highly decorated officer. He was shot when terrorists attacked Mumbai five years ago. Before meeting him, I read through my old blog post on that fateful day, about the fear and insecurity every Mumbaikar felt that night, and I had nothing but immense respect for the man.


I asked him about his personal experience on that day.

He had responded to a call from Cama Hospital. As I mentioned in my blog post that day, the initial news on twitter were about two gangs shooting at each other. They were completely taken by surprise by the heavily armed Kasab and Ismail in the hospital, facing heavy fire and had at least 7 grenades thrown at them. One grenade blast blinded him while a couple of bullets hit him. It was on that same location that six policemen including Hemant Karkare, Vijay Salaskar and Ashok Kamte rushed to as reinforcement when their police van was ambushed and sprayed with bullets by the fleeing Kasab and Ismail, killing them on the spot.

Later the survivors were rushed to the hospital where doctors managed to remove all the shrapnel and bullets from Mr. Date’s body, all except one shrapnel, which is still lodged inside his eye today! The doctors said it was too close to an optic nerve for them to touch it.

Such was the hero we met that day.


He asked us all what we do for a living, and when my friends told him that they’ve all been here in Mumbai since 2002, studying and working, he was very impressed.

We then talked about how the police can be more friendly towards people from the North East, and he also mentioned about how sometimes people do stereotype but he didn’t want that coming from a uniformed officer. I totally agreed with him. All of us do stereotype to a certain degree and most of us are a little racist inside. But the difference lies in whether we let our actions reflect on our thoughts or not.

If a person knows that calling somebody from the North East as “watchman” or “chinki” is wrong but still intentionally does it, then that is a different case. But there are also a large number of people who utter slurs at us without knowing such words are even slurs and that such words hurt us, then that person is ignorant and we can calmly resolve this through friendly interaction and education with such people. By educating this category of people, we can reduce racial abuses by a huge margin.



My friends who went with me that day, Vanlalruata Fanai, is the Vice Chairman of our BMCF (Bombay Mizo Christian Fellowship) while B. Lalramhluna is the Asst. Leader of our MSYM (Mizo Students and Youth of Mumbai). And they were there for the exact reason that such future initiatives taken with the police and our community would be handled by our Association and not an individual. We also talked about how the police can reach out to various other Northeastern Associations in Mumbai and we told him we’ll ask around and try to give him a complete list of such Association leaders before May.

Frankly speaking, my professional work took a hit the past two weeks due to all the distractions because of this incident and I sure am glad my Mizo Association is now stepping in to handle all correspondence with the police. In case you don’t know, I am one of the Co-Founders of this new start-up mobile gaming company called FITH Media and we are extremely passionate about gaming and know both the internet and gaming industry really well. I got sidetracked and missed a couple of deadlines because of this, but I have a really wonderful team and they managed to roll out two more games recently, entitled “Mumbai ka dabbawala” and “Kutte pe kutta”.



Click on the images above to go to the respective Google Play page. Do download them on your Android devices (and give us good ratings, lolz, shameless me :D ).

And good news for people with iOS devices – our iOS developer’s license had been finally approved by Apple, so we’ll be launching all our games for iPhones and iPads too! So expect our super hit games like “Nikal Padi” (50,000+ downloads on Google Play so far) and “Where’s my cat?” on iTunes soon! :)

That day, after meeting Mr. Sadanand Date, we were in such high spirits that we decided to have dinner together at Kofuku, a new Japanese restaurant in Bandra.



The food was awesome, and their pork Miso soup tasted very similar to our traditional Mizo soup (maybe that’s why the two names even sound similar, lolz). The assorted Sushi platter was not bad for 1500 bucks, and it had a variety of tuna, salmon, octopus and hamachi temaki.



For the food, I would give a 4 star rating out of 5, but the alcohol was quite expensive. Nevertheless, I had Sake, followed by Japanese Asahi beer and Long Island Ice Tea, while saying “Kanpai” (cheers) every time :)



Many of the waiters and cooks at Kofuku were from the North East, so we gave them our phone numbers as we wanted to know the phone numbers of their respective Association leaders. Once we get a complete list, we will mail those to the police. We even got extra gravy for our main course at no additional cost, and complimentary ice-cream from James the chef, who happened to be from Mizoram!


Special thanks to Maruata (Vanlalruata Fanai) who refused to accept money from us and insisted on treating all of us!

  

So for now, here is me getting back to work. More games and updates coming up soon. Cheers.

Ps. Two journalists, Pronoti Datta (Mumbai Boss) and Harish Nambiar (Economic Times) recently wrote an article about this incident, and if you’re interested in reading them, here are the links. They really wrote it well –


Mumbai Boss: Minority Report

[Today’s Economic Times column]


Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Chp 447. Tea with the police, and the aftermath.


(technically, it was coffee :D but tea sounds more poetic :P )

What a ride this past one week had been! What a ride indeed.

For those of you wondering what this is about, recently I wrote a simple blog post about how a policeman uttered racial remarks at us last Sunday and how I wanted to invite that person for a cup of tea, sit down together and explain about the North East to him and become his friend.

The post was picked up by First Post and I got immense support from the online community. I never expected such an overwhelming response in the first place. And the best part was when Mr. Sadanand Date, Joint Commissioner of Police himself replied and mailed me personally!

So last Thursday, I got a call from the DCP office inviting me for tea at 4:30PM with Zone II DCP Nisar Tamboli at Malabar Hills Police Station. I went there with two of my Mizo friends, Charlie and Lawmi, who were present that day when the unfortunate incident took place. Since I wrote, “I will even bring one of my Maharashtrian friends along if communication is going to be a problem during our friendly conversation over tea” in my previous post, one of my dear friends Preeta Sukhtankar immediately volunteered to be that Maharashtrian friend.

Anurag Mazumdar, a correspondent from First Post too came along for the meeting to do a follow-up report since FP first broke the story. He had done a brilliant job of covering that whole meeting with the police and you can read all about it here.

DCP Tamboli’s one of the smartest police officers I’ve ever met. He understood the whole problem and even had a long talk with the constables, making them understand why it was wrong to say those words. Since Anurag covered the whole incident very well, I’ll not repeat what he had already written in the link above, so please do read the First Post article.

I’m very thankful to my friend Preeta who took time off from her busy schedule to accompany us to the Police Station.


She was a star, lighting up the Police Station immediately with her grace and charm. She warmed up the mood of the moment, creating an easy rapport that set the tone for an easy and composed conversation. I’ve never seen a Police officer (Sr. Police Inspector Vinay Bagade, head of Malabar hills Police Station) laugh that much.


My friends Charlie and Lawmi too had a great experience meeting the police. Lawmi was a bit shy and hardly spoke unless a question was asked directly to her, but her sweet innocent smile enchanted the police completely :)


We were served this really awesome poha and THAT was when I realized, “Shit, I haven’t eaten anything till now!” because when I got the call in the morning, I was super excited, and nervous. I had never dared to assume that the police would actually take such an effort, and my heart was pumping faster than a NASCAR rally because thoughts like who could I ask to come with me to the station in the last minute, what should I wear, what should I tell the police etc flashed through my head immediately, hence forgetting to eat.


Mr. Bagade explained how the Malbar (yes that is how it’s officially supposed to be written) Hill Police Station functions and where his policemen patrols etc. I was very surprised to know that there were around 1.5 lakhs people under Malbar Hill Police Station jurisdiction! That’s a lot of law and order’ing to do.



And even with such a heavy workload, the fact that not just the PI but the DCP himself took time off to sit with me and talk to his constables about this situation meant soooo much to me.

And the best part was when DCP Tamboli showed up at our Mizo Church the next day after our Good Friday service! He assured our Mizo community and any other North Eastern communities that we would always be treated as equals, as fellow Indians, and this spoke volumes about the quality of our Mumbai police.

Below is the video, courtesy Mr. Vanlalruata Fanai, Vice Chairman of our Bombay Mizo Christian Fellowship (BMCF).



Below are some pics taken that day (Good Friday), source: facebook :P







Frankly speaking, the publicity that this is getting is definitely beyond what I had ever imagined. To have an article about this mentioned on Mid Day, TOI, Telegraph, NDTV, DNA, Hindustan Times, our local papers in Mizoram etc is extremely overwhelming.

And I have read most of the comments on First Post, twitter and my blog, and am extremely thankful to all of you for the positive and supportive comments. And to the few angry comments which I'm hoping are trolls, I just want to say a few things – No I am not an attention-seeking whore. I never wrote that article for First Post, it was merely cross posted by an editor of First Post who chanced upon my blog post (thank you, Anant Rangaswamy). And no I am not using it as a cheap publicity stunt to start my journalism career either because I have no interest in becoming a journalist. I know it is a very respectable profession but I am a tech geek who is currently producing Android games and that is what I intend to do for the rest of my foreseeable future.

And I did not mean to offend the Nepali community in anyway. As I have been very busy, I didn't have the time to reply to the comments, but let me just make it clear that when I said Mizos, Nagas, Manipuris, Khasis etc don't want to be identified as Nepalis or people from Kathmandu, it didn’t mean we looked down upon Nepalis and hence didn’t want to be associated with the community. And I'm sorry if my previous post might sound as if I didn’t consider the Indian Nepali community residing in the North East to be a part of North East, which I wasn't implying.

This is exactly why I wrote that post. Every time there is a race related article, everybody’s ready to hurl abuses at each other. I’ve been online long enough to know that that doesn’t solve anything. Instead of just fighting, I wanted to try something new. Let’s sit down and discuss amicably. Here's an old blog post I wrote way back in 2007 about the slur "Nepali". Maybe if you could go through it first, then you'd know where I stand. And if you want to discuss more about this issue over a cup of tea, you know I'm always up to it :)

I know how extremely complicated and sensitive the North East is, and the wrong usage of just one word can be extremely politically incorrect or insensitive to some. For example, just two paragraphs ago I mentioned, “Mizos, Nagas, Manipuris, Khasis etc don't want to be…” and a Meitei might say, “If you are identifying Khasis as representatives of Meghalaya, why aren’t you saying Meiteis instead of Manipuris”, and a Garo could take the previous statement as an insult, and a Kuki or Hmar or Naga resident of Manipur might take the next statement as an insult, and then an Ao or Angami might take it as an offense for including Tangkhuls as Nagas, and vice versa, and a Hmar or Mara from Mizoram might say they are not Mizos, ETC ETC and so on. Yeah we are a very complicated and insecure bunch of people, BUT this IS NOT about OUR internal problems.

This is about how people like us, who share similar facial features, are often looked upon differently by the rest of India. This is about educating the masses, about how stereotyping hurts us, especially if it is coming from somebody meant to protect us from those who racially abuse us. This is about reconciliation and how we can make a change, not through hatred or violent outburst or abusive comments, but rather over a friendly cup of tea.

Another newspaper correspondent asked me how long I’ve been blogging about the North East. I just want to clarify that I DO write about the North East and racial discrimination because that is something very close to my heart, but I also write a lot about other stuff, like music, basketball, Arsenal FC, partying, gaming, silly life experiences, relationships, short fictions, humor etc… After all that is what blogging is all about – you write what you want to write about because it is your blog. And the North East issue just happens to be one of the many things I write about.

And then I was asked to name my favorite five posts I’ve written about the North East. I really didn’t know how to respond to that because I wasn’t ranking my posts. But quickly going through some of my old posts now, I guess the five North East related posts below are some of my favorite ones…

1. Chp 94. Racism I: Chinky - What me insult? - I wrote this way back in 2006 and it was cross posted at Sun Magazine, North East edition. About why people from the North East take it as an offense when they are called “chinkies”.

2. Chp 406. Chinki/Chinky in the limelight again - This is about the recent 2012 Court ruling banning people from calling us “chinkies” and the misconception that many had about this ruling. And how it actually made things worse for us.

3. Chp 163. Sex, drugs and North-east girls - About how a prominent Indian tabloid described girls from the North East as a “combo pack of drugs and sex” and my utter disappointment in the quality of journalism in our National Capital.

4. Chp 134. Ethnocide: The Great Hibu Fiasco - About how IPS Hibu released a book that he thought might make life better for Northeastern students but it backfired on him. My personal analysis on what actually went wrong.

5. Chp 1. Freedom - The post that started it all, the reason why I became a blogger. An assignment when I was in IIM-B. I ended up getting the highest mark in our batch, and that’s when I discovered I have a passion for writing, hence started blogging.



If you do read the above posts, you will see that the way I think and write have changed through the years. This is because as we get to know more people, our opinion changes a bit. In fact, in my post “Freedom” mentioned above, I was extremely bitter against our armed force. But as time goes by, my own cousins and friends from Mizoram joined the armed forces and tempers cool down. Of course it still hurts when one is reminded about the past, but there are ways in which we can reconcile now without violence. Compare the post above to my recent post “Silence of the Nightingales” and you will see a difference, even though it is about the same topic.

Back then, had I been racially abused by a cop, would I have invited him for tea to have a friendly conversation? I probably wouldn’t. I might even rant about it on my blog, criticizing the police harshly. But years of blogging and taking part in online discussion forums and meeting new people, different people, awesome people, have made me realize that there are indeed better ways to handle this. More effective and friendlier ways.

As we grow older, we change. Hoping to see changes from this incident too.