25th December 2008:
Mizo Christmas function @ Mizoram House, Mumbai.
Mizoram House, II Floor, Sun Tower,
GD Ambekar Marg, Bhoiwada Parel,
Near Tata Memorial Hospital,
Mumbai - 400 012
This was the third Christmas I’ve spent with my Mizo community at different locations outside Mizoram.
=> Bangalore, Delhi, and now Mumbai.
And each location had its own unique style and ambience.
Bangalore was more like a carefree group of lively people, with the majority consisting of students and Call executives. Delhi had a more matured outlook to the whole Christmassy spirit, due to the presence of a large number of Mizo families and officers. It was impossible to know even 30% of the people due to the large number of Mizos in Delhi.
Mumbai… I would say, is more like a very exclusive and small group of friendly and warm people
Not that I am biased just because I am now in Mumbai – the most memorable time I’ve spent with my community will always be those wild Bangalore days – Land of cheap rentals, party peeps, pub culture, fanoos rolls, no-sweat climate and drag racing. But with occupational responsibility and high cost of living here in Mumbai, I had to adjust accordingly.
And that is what I really admire about the Mizos here in Mumbai. Most of them are extremely matured and responsible even though they are just in junior colleges. I wouldn’t be surprised if our guys back in Mizoram started singing, "Mumbai a mi ngei, nupui min zawn ru." ("Please look for a wife for me, only from Mumbai" – a Mizo colloquial way of indicating that women from that particular area are well bred and good wife material types).
The Christmas function kick started around 3 weeks earlier, with the Mizo youth choir practicing and performing carols at various Churches around Mumbai.
They are led none other than the famous Mr. Maruata, sweetly known to everybody as "U Maruata" (the "U", pronounced "oooh", is used as a prefix when calling an elder brother/sister or somebody highly respected). He’s the guy who handles all these events. He’s the go-to guy, Mister altruistic, Mister always-ready-to-help, Mister Multi-tasking, Pu Mumbai Mizo Association-a.
He won the "Most Eligible Bachelor" Award, 20 years in a row.
However some of us fear he may lose that title to U James this year. Both tlangval U James and tlangval U Maruata are such a goldmine for the Mumbai Mizo community! God bless them.
Seriously, if it wasn’t for them huddling all the Mizos from various places around Mumbai together, the community functions would indeed be quite sad.
[Ps. All pictures in this post are from the orkut albums of Maruata and James. Please do not reproduce them without their permission.]
Here are some of the choir members with U Maruata at one of their practice sessions. We really do adore him, don’t we?
Here they are at one of their Choir performances at All Saint’s Church - December 20, 2008.
Here’s the choir after the service. Click on the image for a clearer resolution.
At the far right is my friend ST-a, who is not only a great singer but conducts the entire choir too. Somewhere in the choir is also a Mrs. ST-a but I am not saying who…
Here is them performing on 24th Christmas Eve, courtesy U James. Watch and be amazed at what these youngsters can do!
[ Van hnuai Khawvel ]
Click here to go to youtube and watch the other songs they performed that night:
Upon a clear midnight
Kumsul liam hnu
We also had an Advance Christmas function in Church on 14th December, where we had a gift exchange session. And like Bangalore and Delhi, the gift exchange was strictly a boy-girl thingie, but the difference in Mumbai is that girls clearly outnumber the boys here… (I can already hear my ex-roomie Amos hurriedly packing his bags and booking a direct flight from B’lore to Mumbai the moment he read this).
My gift exchange partner was Christina Chhakchhuak, and she gave me this lovely adorable Planner which had everything I wanted. It was the perfect gift! Thank you so much dear Christina Chhakchhuak.
Here are my good friends Matluangtea, Mapuia and Teseni singing "Oh Holy Night" – first half was sang conventionally and in the second half, Matt sang it in the styles of Dream Theater, and it was freaking awesome!
Now back to U Maruata
I just loveeeee this other choir picture in his orkut album. I took a print-screen immediately the moment I saw it. Tediki Chhakchhuak apparently tagged him in the pic, but she included the person sitting next to him too, so we are all left wondering if… ahemz ahemz???
Krismas ruaitheh (Christmas Feast):
On 25th afternoon I arrived with my sis at the location, almost an hour early. Here’s a picture of some of the "fatu" members (volunteers who went early to prepare the food, arrange the hall etc, a selfless act which is an intrinsic part of our Mizo culture)
By 3:45pm the place was jam packed. The function was held at Mizoram House, where Mizo patients visiting Mumbai could stay at a cheap cost (plus Mizo meals and Mizo roomies). Since the place was quite small, the latecomers (all my usual friends) sat in the bedrooms, while the "church" service was held in the Hall.
After the procedural prayers, bible reading & responses, choir performances, a couple of special items and a GREAT sermon by U Maruata’s mom, we ended the service with the Lord’s Prayer.
I left my sis by herself for some time as I went to meet and socialize with my friends.
With Pu Ṭhuama, SBI Chief Manager. He’s a regular misual.com visitor! Next to him, Mapuia’s sleeping – Tarzan’s tired. Up above, somebody’s watching… urrrmmm… cartoons? On the lower bunk, we have a baby breast feeding in action. Trust me, one can’t feel more at home than this!
Here’s another snap that U Maruata & U James insisted I publish online.
The girl in yellow is Christina, an airhostess cum model, and even appeared as the Chinese girl in the American Express Ad featuring Abhishek Bachchan! Really cute… I mean, the Ad of course.
Here’s the Ad:
Mapuia purposely introduced me to everybody as just "Sandman", so as revenge here is a small public service advertisement.
Later I took a snap with U Maruata and my sis. I felt like the cutlet in a Mc Chicken Maharaja burger…
As night started setting in, our beloved Pilot Captain Michael too couldn’t keep his hands off his (much much) better-half.
Force of habit, I guess Anyway, he controlled himself so that we wouldn’t lose our appetite for the grand feast. Michael’s always high… errrr… I mean, he’s a Pilot, so that’s what he does… fly high
And of course, finally, the FEAST! Juicy yummy scrumptious oily pork boiled in perfect Mizo styled stew. Slurrrrrpppppppppp!!!
Apart from pork, we had chicken also. Fish was also there for those who couldn’t eat either pork or chicken. The Bai was amazing – kudos to Pu Ṭhuama and deputy Chief chef-in-charge U James! He’s such an amazing cook. Here he is, sacrificing his precious time and busy cooking in the kitchen just for us:
The food was so great we didn’t really care how much we ate…
And here is the last snap of that day – Some of those people who made this function a grand success. Click on the picture for higher resolution.
Now its time for some PS fun
Here is a collage of some of the people who came that day. Do excuse the amateurish work, as some hands and heads are not where they actually were…
The above picture gave me an idea!
Who do you think looks best with dear U Maruata? Ok, match making in progress!!! Here are your options:
Contestant number 1.
Contestant number 2.
Contestant number 3.
Contestant number 4.
Pick your winner! And once we have a winner, cupid’s arrows will pierce into both hearts, bringing eternal joy and unconditional love to them both. Halleluia!