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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Chp 703. Jacqueline's Pizza

There are only a handful of people I know who have this awesome multi-talented gift - they can sing beautifully, dance like they own the dancefloor, play various musical instruments like a pro, give great motivational speeches and excel in many sporting activities. My friend Jacqueline, is not one of those people.

But one need not have skills to be an awesome person. There are those who care deeply for their friends, becoming their pillar of support especially in times of need, somebody who will move mountains just to make sure you are ok. She will feel every pain you feel and absorb as much pain as possible so that it hurts less for you... Such friends are precious and hard to find. My dear friend Jacqueline, is again not one of those people.


What she is though, is an outstanding writer, who even got one of her fictions published recently!

You can order the above book from Amazon here. Her work of fiction along with Mona Zote's poem and a few other prominent writers and artists from the North East are in this book and it is definitely worth purchasing. I am so honored to have her as a close friend, and the times we spent on Facebook or at our Mizo Bloggers WhatsApp group are always filled with laughter and glee.

Apart from being an accomplished writer, she is also my favorite punching bag. Get it? Pun-ching bag. We attack each other with puns so much to an extent that her friend Zothankimi once got pissed with me because of my "Huda" comment. Huda hell pisses off other people rite? And so we decided to sign a peace treaty over some peace-za. Jaqueline's pizza to be precise.

And so off I drove from my Heavenly Chaltlang abode down to the bottom of Ramhlun Venglai. Down and down and down I kept driving, until my speedometer started cracking due to the low atmospheric pressure. She lives so way down at the bottom of the valley that Sanga Says once said in order to get a cellphone reception from her house, she had to fling her phone high up in the air and then catch it again to see which messages her phone managed to capture.

By the time I reached her house, all the guests were already there. There wasn't any parking space left near her house because of the other guests, so I had to park in front of her neighbour's gate. But since it's Mizoram, I had to inform them about it. I rang the bell and a nice old lady opened the door. "Ka pi, in kawmchhak ah khian ka leng lawk dawn a, in gate hma ah hian ka lo park thei em?" And she replied, "Sap thianpa nei te in ah khian maw? Aw park rawh park rawh, a pawilo reng reng." Awww so sweet :D

The first pizza was already in the oven as I stepped inside Jacqueline's kitchen.

First pizza of the night – Shredded Chicken with capsicum and onion. Yummmm.

Zothankimi was busy taking pics of the pizzas.

Now she was something else. While I talked about the beauty of a perfectly baked pizza, she talked about the beauty of a perfectly trimmed eyebrow. I said, "microwave that pizza sauce", and she replied, "microblade that Josie's brows".

Just kidding. Zothankimi is known as browsbykimkimi on Instagram and she specializes in eyebrows and occasionally freelances too. So next time you need to hire somebody for a birthday or wedding photoshoot or even an Aadhaar card renewal photo touch-up, just hit her up. Her brows are to die for. And when she colors them, they're to dye for.

With The gracious hostess Jacqueline and her good friend Ivan.

Ivan is from France and since he's her close friend, I guess it is safe to say he is her boyfrench. *badum tsss* :P

Ivan bought the good stuff like Chorizo and Mozzarella cheese all the way from France, so the pizzas made that night were truly special.

I was also glad to meet another very close friend of mine, Lalsangliani Chased, writer of "This Mizo Girl Says".

Sporty as always.

All three of us are in the same quirky Mizo Bloggers group where we endlessly pull each other's legs. Like for example, she's a hardcore Manchester United fan, and since her team is always trailing behind Arsenal, chasing us forever, she gave herself the moniker "Chased". :D

Peace out :D

Second pizza of the night – Chicken ham with mozzarella cheese, chillies and tomatoes.

Pizza model Sangliani :)

We ate, we drank, we laughed, we made merry that night. L-R: Sangliani Chased, Browsbykimkimi, Rinie Zodin, the elusive Josie Zote, My big head, Ivan and Jacqueline.

Two other guests, Jonathan Zama and his wife Nupui too stayed for a short while but they had to leave early, so I didn't get a chance to take any of their pics.

My FB friend RK Dinpuia too turned up later in the night with his friend Ramengmawia, and they dove right into the awesome pizzas. It was truly great to meet a local celebrity like RK Dinpuia.

Finally, my favorite part of the night, the moment I was fervently waiting for arrived - It was time for the grand finale, the Chorizo pizza!

Yum yum yum. So much drool. Like I mentioned earlier, this was no ordinary Chorizo. It was an imported one straight from the bellies of France.

It was sooo awesomeeeee! :)

We had a great time cracking jokes and sharing stories after that. Zothankimi was especially brilliant in imitating a "high class socialite" and the kinda stuff such people say over the phone. I had never laughed out that much in a long time.

Meanwhile, Sangliani was busy charging her phone, and the only available plug point was above a dustbin…

Her phone fell inside the dustbin a couple of times, lolz.

Soon it was time to go home. Ivan presented each of us with sweets and chocolates from France. Some people were such drama-queens, hahaa.

Really awesome sweets indeed!

Rinie Zodin also bought a copy of "Centrepiece" from Jacqueline before leaving…

Lucky girl, she got a personal autograph from Jacqueline.

As we all left her house, I made sure the ladies got back on the road safely.

I drove behind them until we had to go to our respective directions. Sangliani Chased though, zoomed way ahead of me as it was quite late and she was past her deadline.

All in all, I had a great time and my stomach truly enjoyed the awesome pizzas. Jacqueline now works as an editor for Attrock, Sacramento, but I really hope she continues cooking in her free time. Good pizzas are rare to find in Mizoram, and I see a potential in her's.

Speaking of rare, her toilet was also very rare. This was probably the only loo I had ever been to that had glass frames on the door, lolz.

You kinda play a game of peekaboo the whole day I guess. At least something to keep Josie occupied :D

So that was one of the many awesome experiences I had during my recent short vacation at home. I'll be updating with a few more posts in the coming days. Until then, cheers everyone. Play safe.


Friday, February 23, 2018

Chp 702. Off-site Trip - day 2

For Day 1 of our Off-site Trip, please click here to read.

After a relaxing sleep inside my cozy tent surrounded by the sounds of crickets chirping away in the dead of the night and what I swore were the splashing sounds of mermaids frolicking in the lake under the bright full moon, I woke up to welcome the beautiful dawn.

Nothing seemed more blissful than waking up next to a large peaceful lake that was slowly starting to reflect the shimmering glow of the first rays of the morning sun.

Beautiful, innit?

There is always something mysterious and fascinating about a large lake, be it stories of quests and romance from days of yore to mythical creatures that dwell undisturbed deep inside, to even poignant reminders of tragedies like Virginia Woolf who filled her pockets with stones and slowly waddled inside the water to sleep for eternity…

Just look at these photos while listening to "What The Water Gave Me" by Florence & The Machine and you will be overwhelmed with an outpouring sensation of peace and tranquility.

Other than the few who woke up early to catch the sunrise, our sleepy little campsite wore a deserted look…

Some of the early risers :)

Breakfast was soon served. Alu paratha and Veg mayonnaise sandwich. I went straight for the strong black coffee.

Once all of us were up, washed up and eaten breakfast, the next workshop started.

Yeah, a lot of hungover faces indeed, lolzzz.

Some of the honorary mentions I want to make here, without whom this trip wouldn't have been a grand success. Anubhav, our gaming division head and President.

Roopak, VP Product and Marketing.

Amitabh, VP Production.

Scott, VP Business Development.

Raj, SVP Operations.

And how can I not mention Sunil, our L&D (Learning and Development) Professional and Behavioral & Team Building Trainer, who organized and managed our entire workshop sessions.

Meanwhile, there's this guy :P

Just kidding, he's a super duper awesome guy, Abhishek, my brother from another mother. If you had seen him the previous night, you wouldn't be surprised why he slept off during this session. :D

Sumeet needs to be mentioned too, but most of these awesome photos were taken by him, and you know what they say about photographers – they're never there in the pictures because they're the ones clicking. I really like some of these photos Sumeet took of me which have a really nice tilt-motion effect on the focus…

Our morning session continued, and as always, it was extremely productive. We shared many laughter too, as everybody got up to speak in front of everyone.

Our session was briefly interrupted when a snake entered our area. The caretakers of the Resort quickly caught the snake.

Since we were discussing about game concepts among other things, I guess the snake was interested in our discussion and wanted to know what the hell ever happened to his very popular game back when we were all using Nokia handsets :D

Anybody remembers this game? God I miss this game so much, haha.

Once we were done with the final workshop session, we headed down to the open ground because it was time for some physical activities, lolz. Let's get physical, physical… I wanna get physical…

The first game we played was circle dodgeball.

We were divided into two teams and we had to take out the other team members standing inside the circle. Good fun indeed. And funny too because it was then that you come to realize how clumsy some of your colleagues you have known for a long time really are. A real eye-opener, lolz.

After that, our two teams again competed with each other in a zig-zag relay, where we all stood in a long line, standing apart from each other at double arm's distance, and each of us had to run through our teammates in a zig-zag fashion and then pass the baton to the next person.

Our team eventually came last SECOND. :D (yeah see, think positive. One of the outcomes of our workshop :P )

We took a couple of team photos after this event…

We headed back to the resort for lunch… A few more pics here and there as we walked back…

Puja posing for her and bharatmatrimonial profile pic. Hopefully, this will do the trick this time :D

As promised, there was this utterly awesome and delicious butter chicken waiting for us at lunch. Yummmmm. I ate so much that day!

Before heading out, some of us took a walk down by the lake so as to digest the awesome food we just had. It was a great place to take photos as well…

Beautiful lake indeed.

Time to head back to camp and pack up…

But of course, a few more poses before that :D

Water from the lake splashed on Zubin's feet, so we had to bandage it up. He's a very delicate fella, you gotta understand that. :D

Me whiling away the time while waiting for our SUV to pick us up…

Finally, on our way… Thank you Lohgad Resort and Boating Club and Adventure Battalion for such a memorable time.

We stopped at Tiger Point on our way back for the usual cutting chai.

On our way to the Rappelling location, organized by Hike 'n' Fly

We had to sign an Indemnity bond first, in case we met an accident on our way down the cliff.

Finally, it is time to rappel!

And thus ended our two days Off-site camping trip. A truly amazing experience indeed. We gained so much not just in terms of having fun and bonding with our colleagues but also had so many work related productive discussions and brainstorming sessions.

Thank you Jetsynthesys, from the HR and admin staff who planned all this, to our Gaming division heads for giving us an opportunity to experience this awesome outing. And last but not the least, thank you Shekhar from "Hike 'n' Fly" for organizing the whole event on-site and catering to our every needs from water bottles to mosquito repellant, especially when we were late for most of the scheduled programme and he still managed to keep his cool.

Do visit his Facebook page Hike 'n' Fly to book such an adventures group outing with your colleagues or friends.

So until my next blog update then, see you all peeps. Cheers.