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Friday, November 30, 2018

Chp 735. The Unsung Heroes

Many of us Mizos live hundreds and thousands of miles away from home, and yet, we always manage to make a home out of where we live. Whether we live in Delhi or B'lore or Mumbai or any other place, that place becomes our home away from home.

And that is why wherever we go, our Mizo "tlawmngaihna" follows us. Because that is what makes us Mizos.

I have lived all across India, at different cities and towns from North to South and West to East, and at each location, our Mizo community had always been there for the people in times of happiness and sadness. Chhiatni į¹¬hatni we call it. If there is any suffering like the sad demise of a member or a member's relatives, our Mizo community will be there to ease away the pain, even if people may not know who that person is.

I've had my fair share of "Mitthi tlaivarpui" wherever I have settled across India, and it is our Mizo tradition of gathering at the Hospital or the Morgue or at the dearly departed's house and staying there through the entire night till the next morning when the body is to be sent back home to Mizoram.

Even though we may not know who the person is, it comforts the near and dear ones of the victim with our presence, and this is not something you'll commonly see among other Indian communities.

This week too, Pune Mizos experienced another sad incident, with the unfortunate demise of one of our young members. At just 25 years old, he was gone too soon.

I was already tucked in bed and about to sleep when my phone vibrated. It was Christina. She told me about the sad news and that she and Sanga were heading out to the hospital. I called up Zama and Krossi, and the three of us too went to the hospital in a short while.

By the time we reached KEM Hospital around 1 in the morning, the place was already filled with Mizos from all over Pune.

To cut a long story short, we stayed at the hospital through the entire night while our community leaders were busy arranging the death certificate and air tickets to send the body home along with his family members.

Technically, many of us didn't do anything really helpful that night, but what we contributed was our presence.

At around 7:30 in the morning, once all the papers and red tape were cleared along with the embalming and NOC certificate from the police, we had a short prayer service at the hospital grounds and then the body was sent in an ambulance to Mumbai, since only Indian Airlines is allowed to transport a coffin.

As everybody dispersed, I saw how tired and sleepy most of them were, but it really made me feel proud to experience that at least around 50 of us managed to turn up. And that is what I want to talk about in this post.

First and foremost, a big shout-out to the student community who, in all earnest, would be missing the following day's classes because of the impromptu vigil. You guys rock and did exactly what every Mizo is expected to do. You are the heroes of our community.

And then there's the working class like me and others who turn up on such occasions, including all our community leaders. We too gave it our all, but after all these years of experiencing this, I think there is one sector that had never been given any credit. The unsung heroes of our Mizo community. And those people are ironically not Mizos.

I'm talking about our bosses. Our reporting managers. The Spa manager you had to call late in the night to inform him you won't be able to turn up the next day because of the incident. Or your Voice Trainer at the BPO where you work. Or your agent at the 5 star hotel where you sing. In my case, I had to inform my Producer and Production Head that I won't turn up the following day. And they all understood.

Working in the Private and Corporate sector is not easy, we cannot just not turn up for work the next day without a valid reason, especially if we have important meetings and appointments scheduled. And it is these amazing bosses who understand our community that I really want to appreciate tonight.

Even when I was working in an advertising agency back in Mumbai, be it when my boss was our Copy Head or when it was our Creative Director, initially it took them some time to understand this Mizo tradition of ours, but they had never stood in my way. And in a way, they also got to learn about our Mizo practices and how close-knitted our community is.

So cheers to all the wonderful bosses out there. To you, the unsung heroes, it may just be about approving a last-minute leave request, but know that you have played a really vital role in the greater scheme of how our Mizo community functions.

Rock on. I raise my glass to you all. Cheers.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Chp 734. SCOOP lunch

After SCOOP Launch, there was SCOOP Lunch! :D

So SCOOP has recently started a "North East Cuisine lunch" at Ales, Brews & Cider. This was the first time it was held in Pune, and I made sure I did not miss it.

The North East lunch event costs ₹ 600 per head, and this consists of an unlimited offer - Rice bowl, Pork Ribs BBQ, Mizo Bai, Pork, Chicken and Buff with Bamboo Shoots and Mustard leaves, Axone, Scoop Buff fry, Eromba, Sinju, and lots of boiled greens.

Along with that, there was the special 2 PM - 5 PM offer from Ales, Brews & Cider on drinks – Unlimited drinks on House Craft beers (Belgian Wheat, German Wheat, IPA and Apple Cider) for ₹ 600.

I sneaked into the kitchen to catch a glimpse of the busy chefs in action.

Everybody was shouting out instructions here and there - put more onions in there, need more chopped tomatoes over here, reduce the flame on that dish, pass the oil to this counter, where can I get a happy ending massage in KP, etc. Yeah, everybody was busy…

By the way, the chefs for this event were not just the regular chefs at Ales but also different Northeastern volunteers from the Seven Sisters.

It was a good thing we were participants of the first SCOOP lunch event because we realized it was quite hot in the day time. All of us sat in the shade.

Just chilling as we all wait for our food.

Alok, owner of Ales. Amazing dude.

Northeastern families too turned up from near and far…

I look so happy :P

Finally, the food started rolling out…

Yummy indeed. Here are a few more pics of the event, provided by the talented "Aman Photography".

We also ordered extra Pork Ribs and Buff Fry, which were so amazing!

A great time indeed! Kudos to the Chefs and all those who helped.

I'll be updating more on the delivery services SCOOP had started, including "Yellow Box" homemade food and an upcoming NE Food Thali. So stay tuned, Pune. You'll love it! :)


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Chp 733. SCOOP launch

So the other day, SCOOP officially launched their brand of Pork and Red Meat pickles with much glitz and razzmatazz. I was one of the lucky ones to be invited for the private launch event held at Ales, Brews & Cider, Kalyani Nagar.

The pickles are homemade dry pickles made in Northeastern style (Ginger, Garlic, Naga King Chilli, Vinegar etc), so it is bloody tasty and quite spicy.

Even though the current product range covers only Pork and Red Meat for now, there are plans to expand their portfolio to Chicken, Bombay Duck, Bamboo Shoot, Dry Fish and Fermented Fish in the near future.

All of us received a free bottle of the pickle at the event, but many of us opened our bottles and munched on the delicious meat right there at the venue itself because it went so well with the alcohol (perfect seh-hmeh).

A few more photos of the glamorous invitees that night…

Yeah it was definitely a memorable night…

What made this event even more special was that it was also a combined birthday party of Kirripirri and Miss Jungio.

Cake cutting time!

By the way, because of the launch event and birthday events, the food and drinks were all free that night :D Yeah, my kinda partayy :P

Currently, SCOOP ships out around 100 bottles a week, based on the number of orders they receive in advance. They prepare the pickles during the weekends and ship them out on Mondays across Pune, with free home delivery charge.

In addition to the Red Meat and Pork pickles mentioned above, Dry Crispy Fish pickle is also available now for delivery from this week onwards.

To place your order, you can DM them on their Instagram account or comment on their Facebook page. The Pork pickle costs ₹ 300, Red Meat pickle costs ₹ 250 and the newly launched Dry Crispy Fish pickle is available at ₹ 200.

Trust me, there's something about these pickles that really attracts the ladies. It's not just the awesome taste, maybe it's also because of the class and packaging involved…

And speaking of packaging, there are plastic bottle options for those of you outside Pune who wish to place an order.

SCOOP has so far delivered many outstation orders to Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Puducherry, Chennai, Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Assam.

You just have to pay for shipping charges if your order is less than 5 bottles. Anything above 5 bottles is free shipping! Even if you order less than 5 bottles, the shipping charges come to less than ₹ 200. 

I have already started taking this bottle to office every day and eat it with my lunch order at our office cafeteria, and it is super yum!

So get in touch with SCOOP if you want to place your order too.

Until then, cheers everyone.