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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chp 243. Sex, lies and relationships…

Yesterday I met an old “friend” of mine from Hyderabad on my way to dinner at a relative’s place in Khatla here in Aizawl. A definite blast from the past. She’s working in Aizawl now, doing pretty well. She’s not as attractive as I used to remember, and she also told me I’ve lost a lot of hair since the last time she saw me. We talked about the present, and not the past.

You see, she wasn’t exactly a friend. She was one of the many girls I’ve seen living-in with my Arab friends back in Hyderabad, during my CAT coaching class days. I didn’t even remember her name yesterday, and I certainly felt odd asking for her name after the way she seemed to know me so well. I did recognize her face after she called me by my name, and memories of Hyderabad came rushing back immediately. But her name, nah… couldn’t recollect.

We quickly talked about what’s going on with our lives. Again I felt odd because… we were never that close back in Hyderabad. I had my own circle of friends (Pawan, Kini, Adonica, Shruti, Antara, etc. miss you guys!) and my roomies were Alaa & Hyder, two Arabs. Two amazing and wonderful friends. Through them, I got to meet more and more Arabs and Africans (North Africans). And it was with those people that I would frequently cross paths with the women who stayed with them.

It was clear that my roomies didn’t like the promiscuous ways of their Arab friends, but being from the same place, it was inevitable not to hang out occasionally. Yesterday I wanted to ask her how her “boyfriend” was, but I couldn’t remember who she was with back in Hyderabad… So I avoided the question until she asked me if I was seeing anyone (in our society, it is a very common practice for people to ask really personal questions directly to somebody they hardly know, something that I am still not accustomed to due to my upbringing). I said no and I asked her the same thing back politely and she said she was seeing somebody here in Aizawl. Then I asked her if he “knows” and her eyes widened with a coy smile and said no. She grinned.

We soon parted ways as I was getting late for the dinner. Thoughts filled my head - I hoped I didn’t know who the boyfriend was because if he turned out to be a friend or a distant cousin, I wouldn’t be able to sleep well at night if I didn’t tell him about her past. And then I felt extremely ashamed of myself immediately.

Ashamed for trying to poke my freaking nose into other’s affairs. Ashamed for trying to moral police. Ashamed for being a hypocrite. And last but not the least, amazed at myself for ever having such a thought… must be the Mizoram air.

See, I am not judging her. I have no rights to do that and neither does anybody. In fact I too have a lot of dark pasts that I am not exactly proud of. But in a relationship, I’ve always believed that we have to come clean to the person we give our heart to, otherwise the relationship is just built on lies alone.

Call me a sentimental old fool but if you really really really love somebody with all your heart and soul and mind and spirit, can you live with a secret? Can you? Won’t the weight of that secret pull you further and further down until you sink into an abysmal madness where guilt clouds up your ability to genuinely love somebody back?

Of course there is the clich├ęd old saying, that the past is the past and what matters is the present. But that doesn’t mean the present and the past are completely unrelated. Western culture and ethos are different. Over here, both the past and the present usually intertwine, especially in a close knitted society like our Mizo society. The past will keep coming back to haunt you as long as you lie about it. And believe me, not saying anything about it is in itself a lie too when it comes to relationships.

My advice to all you young lovers out there – if you have a past, don’t worry about it. Most of us do. Just tell the person about it, and if he or she really loves you back, it won’t matter. That is the power of true love. But if you keep it a secret and the two of you become serious later on, believe me, it’s the hangman’s noose for you if he or she gets to know about your past from somebody else.

Because a relationship is all about trust. How can he or she trust you again when there had been one big lie all through your relationship? He or she will definitely assume that all the other truths you’ve told him/her are all lies too. One rotten lie can spoil everything. So it is best to come clean right at the start of a relationship. And believe me, the lightness you will feel after your “confession” is amazing! You no longer need to carry that heavy burden on your back every day, every night. In a way, it does sound quite gospelic!

And hey, if he or she doesn’t want to continue with your relationship because of your confession, move on. Know that you’re good enough for her/him and that it’s her/his loss, not yours. Don’t let low self esteem bite you in the butt. At least you have been honest. You will definitely find somebody later on who will accept you for who you are, and not for what you’ve done in the past.

I mean, that’s just me. What say you? Do you think it’s necessary to come clean before the start of a relationship? Or do you believe that some things are best left unsaid? Do you think it’s wiser to take a gamble and hope that the other person you’re going to share the rest of your life with will never find out about that something you’ve been hiding from her/him?

Dying to know what you think. Do write in. And if the person mentioned here by some weird coincidental chance happens to read this post, do know that I do not mean to offend you in any way. You’ve just triggered a thought, that’s all. Love and hugs.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chp 242. Mizoram 2009 A.D.

On Sunday morning, the hills are a quiet

only to hear the lull broken by the chimes of bells a ringing.
Hither exists virginal peace & a serenity
transfused from the angelic voices of the church choir a singing.

In a distance, melody yields a rhythm
The beating of mighty drums, conveying to the masses a calling.
A time for penance, erstwhile a routine,
now replaced by iPhones & iPods, their prayers went a stalling.

The gathering soon concocts a mixture,
from toddlers in new dresses to geriatric faithfuls a ranging;
Yet everybody’s so technologically a driven!
A subtle reminder of Bob D crooning - times they are a changing…

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Chp 241. Mizoram updates.

Reached Mizoram on Wednesday. My parents found a wife for me so I got married yesterday and decided not to go back to Mumbai. My wife and I will stay here for the rest of our lives, planting vegetables and gathering fodder for the cattle. Her name is Betty.

Nah, just kidding. Twitter automatically updates my blog feeds, so people who are following me on twitter can read just the above paragraph. Here’s me giving you my large silly grin, in case you got a shock and clicked on the twitter link immediately. Love y’all. Hugz!

Flew from Mumbai to Kolkata on Wednesday and we got bumped up to Executive class from Economy because my friend and I were late! (actually, she was late and I was waiting for her at the airport. Sheesh, women! ). We were reprimanded severely for being late of course, but to be given Executive class because we’re “last minute passengers”, believe me, it was totally worth it! Ah, Executive class – large leg and body space, first class treatment, three-course meal, refreshments after refreshments, movies of our choice, free spa and massage service… errr…

Flight from Kolkata to Aizawl went well too. Hitched a ride home from the airport and boy it was amazing inhaling the pure pristine Mizoram mountain air. The idyllic scenery brought tears to my eyes once again, as I chewed on our local paan for the hundredth time since we landed!

Reached home and my two darling nieces jumped on me immediately. They didn’t have a “Welcome Home dear Uncle” banner prepared for me like they did when my two sisters went home last month, but then again, my two nieces are scared of me as I’ve always been the “strict disciplinarian” while my two sisters are the “two loving and dotting aunties who spoil them to the core”. They hate me because I teach them maths, a subject they hate, and I punish them when they don’t get it right, all because I love them.

Dad is doing great too, thank you all for your prayers. He is bedridden now and has moved into my old room upstairs (the one with the large balcony that my friends claim is the best viewpoint in our locality). He can just about walk to the bathroom 5 feet away, and then it’s the bed for him again. He has this tiny TV set up right next to him, and he still watches the ongoing Election and political debates with the same zeal and passion burning in his eyes many years ago.

Mom still refuses to retire in spite of my sisters asking her to quit as our family is now very well established, because she loves her job too much to give up on it. She continuously grumbles about how much of a pain it is looking after my two nieces, when in fact my sisters and I know deep inside that she actually enjoys being busy. Had the nieces not been there, she would have been bored to death.

As for me, I have moved in to the master bedroom downstairs, in charge of the whole house. Many times I used to wish I had this freedom, where I could invite my friends over for the entire night, partying and doing anything we wanted. It’s a very large house. But now that I am suddenly handed this complete responsibility, all such thoughts strangely disappeared.

Mom surprised me with this large new bed (5 x 6 1/2 feet) in my new bedroom, magnificently carved and looking quite grandeur, that I later found out I’ll have to pay for Seriously, if I was going to pay anyway, I would prefer it to be a little bit bigger, like six and a half by six and a half feet, because I visited my married friends and realized a 5 feet wide bed isn’t that wide when the baby comeths.

Anyway, my friends never stopped making fun of me, joking that the new bed was mom’s subtle way of telling me to please please please get married soon!

The night I reached Mizoram, I went around in my locality meeting friends and relatives. Many of my friends were either married or had a baby, or both. Spent a couple of minutes at every house, and wherever I went, people I met on the road asked me when I came home (Mizoram). See, that’s what I love about our close knitted society – everybody knows everybody, although of course it has its minus points as well – no privacy, gossips that spread like wildfire etc etc.

I also paid my respect to my friends who lost their loved ones during my absence. In Mizo, we call it “in ral” and it is the first thing I always do the moment I reach home. I go over to the unfortunate family’s house, and even if the tragedy had occurred months ago, by going there on the very same day that I arrive, I am showing them how genuinely I feel their pain. It is in our Mizo custom, and I give them Rs. 100/- as my way of helping them continue with their lives. The measly amount is just for formality’s sake and a part of our custom. Our Mizo custom also says the bereaved family cannot refuse that.

I slept well that Wednesday night.

And then the whole of Thursday and Friday I was down with severe fever!!!

Doc said I had an immense stomach infection. He asked me if I overate anything after I reached Mizoram. I told him I overate kuhva hring (our local paan), vawksa rep (smoked pork), hmarcha rawt (grinded Mizo chilly local style) and bekang (fermented beans). The rest of the food, I ate normally. He then concluded it was because of the paan. Damn, that’s two days of vacation down the drain from my already short and depleted vacation. Aaaargh.

And then I finally recovered on Saturday and spent the whole day at one of my closest friends’ house – Opie @ Chanmari. He met with an accident on Friday night. A serious bike accident. He flew off the road @ 120 kmph towards a house off the road on the slope of a steep hill 50 metres below and gate-crashed, literally speaking. His bike was completely totaled, but he survived with deep gashes and bruises all over his body. No fractures either but every joint was swollen up.

His injury was just perfect. Not too serious so that we could laugh at him and make jokes about it later. That’s the thing about our culture. Others may consider this humor to be a bit insensitive or even sadistic, but among Mizo guy friends, we laugh at each other at times like this as long as it is not a grave injury. He and my friends would have done the same to me too had I been in his shoes, and I would have just laughed it off.

The accident took place at 1 in the morning. Fortunately, he looked around hazily amidst blood streaming down his face and realized the house and gate he crashed into happened to be his friend’s place!!! Small world indeed! When his friend’s family woke up worriedly (from the monstrous noise) and ran out dazed and shocked to see his shattered bike burning up in hot blazing flames and furiously spewing out thick dark fumes, OPie apparently sat upright with all his might and coolly said, “ka rawn leng dawn…”

So for now, it’s back to me and dad spending more quality time together. I have a lot of questions I need to ask him too. Internet access isn’t as tough as I thought it would be either, so more updates will follow soon.

My new Aizawl number is +919774396785. Feel free to contact me here. Cheers!


* Ka rawn leng dawn = For my non-Mizo visitors, this phrase means “I am coming over to your house for a chit-chat”. In our Mizo society, it is a very common practice to visit friends at their house. Seldom do people “hang out” at Malls or amusement parks etc. The best place to entertain friends is right at home, and that is why this phrase has a much deeper meaning than somebody merely “coming over”. I guess I can say this is also an intrinsic part of our custom, and the reason why the translated English version is not funny whereas it is extremely hilarious in our language.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Chp 240. May in Mizoram

My updates from tomorrow onwards will be from Mizoram, if I reach home safely, and IF (a very big IF) there is a decent net connection at home (although I hardly doubt if I will have the time to blog from there anyway).

I’m finally going home, because dad isn’t feeling too well and he got another round of gout attack. He’s recovering quite well now and my sisters came back from Mizoram recently. I am now going home to take their place.

We also have a construction thing going on at our house, that I need to oversee. Dad bought the last bit of land near our house so our building is now connecting both roads “above” and “below”.

Ok, in Mizo we have special terms that don’t exist in English, like “kawmchhak” which is a neighbor who resides above you, and “kawmthlang” which is a neighbor living below you (Do not confuse it with somebody living below and above you in an apartment building). In English, any neighbor is a neighbor. We also have “kawng chung” – road above and “kawng hnuai” - road below. All these important terminologies exist in our language because Mizoram is a hilly area. So all the houses are (precariously) built on the slope of a hill, and roads connect such houses, winding along the slope of the hill. So basically, our house is 4 storey high and the fourth floor is the ground floor from “kawng chung” while it is the fourth floor from “kawng hnuai”!

In my absence from the net, I will not be updating the “Zo bloggers’s latest” at (38% of my visits are from there, so it is a pretty good source of traffic for those who are listed there) Hence Admin father_sphinx has volunteered to update that section during my absence. Much thanks to him!

I will also be unable to continue with my OPERATION AIZAWL – Phase 1 (A) mission and hence will not be moving into Phase 1 (B) until my return. I will really really really appreciate it if somebody else can continue this project for me. Meanwhile, people, I urge you to please keep mailing the website admins to correct the name of AIZAWL in their websites.

Mizo Blog Directory is another section I will not be able to update. I’m so sorry, I have received all your registrations but I have no time to update it yet. Office work piles ceiling-high and I now have to leave suddenly, trust me, the moment I am back, I will update it immediately. Pinky swear!

The other night, I went to the airport and bid farewell to my sister who stays in UK. Kinda uncomfortable knowing that she’s going back to a region which has confirmed cases of the dreaded H1N1.

Anyway, I will leave office now. If everything goes well, by this time tomorrow, I will be at home-sweet-home, sitting by the bedside of my father. Do remember him in your prayers.

Take care you all. Keep the faith.