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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Chp 559. Rest In Peace Zuala

I’ve been playing this song by Ozzy Osbourne for the umpteenth time since yesterday - "See You On The Other Side". A continuous loop on my playlist. Because yesterday, I got the sad news that my dear friend Zuala is no more.

He breathed his last yesterday after being admitted at New Life Hospital in Aizawl for organ failure three weeks ago. How I prayed he would get better, and sometimes the news I got were reassuring… but yesterday his condition became worse and there was nothing the doctors could do anymore…

Dammit… Bro… :(

Only the good die young they say… No bro… you just can’t leave us like that. :(

The ironic thing about my relationship with Zuala is that, we met online back in the mid 2000. Back then we had this popular Mizo community website called, and he was one of the most prominent members there, contributing insightful articles, comments and opinion on various issues. We agreed on almost everything and bonded right then. He was known as "zualbonez" in the online world, and that was how everybody knew him as, including me. It was only when we finally got to know each other personally that we realized he was none other than my senior in School at St. Thomas Khidderpore back in the early 90’s. We actually knew each other back when we were kids! His dad Pu Ropianga was even my LG (local guardian) when he was the LO (liaison officer) of Mizoram House, Ballygunj Road during those days.

Small world, we used to say, laughing about how our paths had crossed such a long time ago. The Zuala I knew back in STBS might have been all blurry because that was such a long time ago, and I joined another school in '92. But the Zuala I knew later had been one of permanent friendship. Whenever I visit Delhi due to work, I would always stay over at his place.

[online friends meet-up, 2010. video version - youtube]

In Zuala, I found a lot of similarities. What we liked, what we despised, we shared the same wavelength because we had a similar upbringing. He had this immense passion for cooking, was a great cook, and boy he loved to experiment. We had the same taste of music and spent hours discussing about speed metal and oldschool glam rock. Our late night chats ranged from his experiences in IIMK to management and business related topics to foreign policies and sports to social and political conditions of Mizoram. We always had a lot to talk about... how unfortunate I now have to write all that in past tense.

He even took to blogging for a couple of years. When I read his most recent blog post today, I felt stifled, trying my best to hold back a tear, only to realize that was impossible. His latest post on his blog will certainly move you too; it is perfectly apt for this moment…

"whisper nearby the leaves of the trees
i lean near to overhear what they say.
An angel from the sky is what i hear,
and of me a being from below.
They sing of our union of sky and 'neath."

True indeed bro.. Let the angel from the sky sing of your union today...

I wish I could have spoken to him on the phone one last time, but unfortunately even our friends who went to visit him were not allowed to see him because he was admitted inside the ICU. But I had enough sources who continuously updated me about his condition every day. And yes, it brought a smile upon my face when I read that he still had his sense of humour...

Suddenly, what he joked about is now no longer funny. And all this had been so sudden, I'm still finding it hard to come to my senses. It felt like just yesterday when I would message or call him to let him know I was landing in Delhi, and he would immediately be like "Brooo come stay overrrr" even though I had my own company guesthouse accommodation. The past three years, I was in Delhi a lot of times, making at least 2-3 business trips every month. So, yeah, I was always showing up at his house.

And when both of us were back at his pad, we would be like, "Let's call up Fonzieee" (another dear friend I met through and then we would call him up and even if Fonz was too tired or didn't feel like going out, we would keep pestering him until we changed his mind. And then the three of us would go out and paint the town red. How I miss those days.

Zualbonez showed me around Delhi and we met up with other misual.commers like lushaier (Pu Hluna), chemtatrawta (Hriata), violette (Manuni) etc. Oh those memorable dinners and talks we had. Unfortunately, I don't have any good quality pics of those moments to post here. But there were those memorable times when we took out my cousin to Route 04 at CP. Or the time we paid a surprise visit to our friends Toya and band performing at Striker Pub in Gurgaon. He always had the energy to treat a guest well.

What is left now, are not just memories, but his online imprints. Reading his comments on my old blog posts now leaves behind a sad feeling of depression. Reading our old Facebook messages or going through some of his last comments at definitely is heartwrenching.

But as my cousin said... let's remember the happy times, the times when he was happy. I am really going to miss Zuala, my friend, my brother. This is one blog post where I cannot find enough words to express how I feel. Today they are burying my friend in Mizoram. And being thousands of miles away makes it even more harder for me to find closure.

Rest In Peace my brother. I'll see you on the other side.


Didini Tochhawng said...

Back in 2010 ,when I first went to Ahmedabad for my pg entrance interview at NID, I didn't know anyone except Adam Halliday. He and u Zuala were roommates. I stayed with them for 2 weeks and that's how I came to know him. After I joined NID, their place was the only place where I'd spend my weekend night outs. Whenever his name is mentioned, the first thing which comes to my mind is his cooking. I guess whoever had spent some time with him will always have something to talk about his cooking.
Once him and Adam had gone out for a movie on a sunday night, they came back home without eating dinner as all the shops were closed. The only thing they had was popcorn and cold drinks. U Zuala was so disappointed, he kept on saying "Weekend-a sa ei miah loh chu ka ngaihdan a ni lo rent reng". The following week I stayed with them, and for the whole week he used to cook non-veg for dinner. He always buys and cook extra, and like it or not we had to eat extra. I've never been so sick of meat like that.
I didn't get the chance to meet him again after he shifted to Delhi

H.Vangchhia said...

A ngaihawm dawn khawp mai. Rest in peace.

Mizohican said...

@ Didini: You must really miss him too. Adam was the first to tell me the news of him getting admitted in the ICU. He posted it in our Chaltlang group of friends WhatsApp group, but he only wrote "Lalmuanzuala had been admitted to the ICU". I had no idea he was talking about our Zuala and I just assumed he was telling this to the other members of our group. It was only when my cousins told me later that I realized it was the same person he was talking about.

@ Pu HV: a in inhnial lai te a va han ngaihawm dawn ta ve awwww...

Ranjith kumar said...
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