Photobucket had recently changed their policy and now all the images from my 650+ blog posts are disabled. I am slowly editing them by moving my images to my own server at AWS, but it will take time. In case there is a particular old post you want to see the images of, kindly drop me a mail at and I'll keep that at a high priority. Thank you.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Chp 840. 16 years a Blogger

As we come to the last day of November, I realized I've been blogging since November 2004, so this means I've just completed 16 years of being a consistent blogger.

I've seen a LOT of changes on this platform during these 16 years, ranging from the way we used to publish our blog posts initially, to the dynamic template options introduced, as well as other enriching features added, like CSS support system, advertisement revenue integration, comment moderation etc etc., but I'll write about those experiences if I am still alive and well by the year 2024 to mark my 20 years of blogging milestone. :D

As of now, there are just a few things I want to mention in this update.

First of all, no, blogging is not dead. :)

Sure, a lot of old time bloggers (especially among our Mizo community) have stopped blogging, some of them due to new found responsibilities like marriage, kids, jobs etc., but most people stopped blogging because of the rise of social media.

In a virtual world where people can now easily pen down their thoughts and opinions on a Facebook status update or even in a WhatsApp group discussion, people no longer have the time and energy to write lengthy content for their blogs. Not to mention people prefer viewing memes or quirky video updates rather than reading long texts, which makes blogging even more unpopular today.

Though the demise of blogging is true, there are still more than 600 million blogs as of this year 2020, out of which around 152 million blogs are said to be active with daily to weekly updates, which is still a very large number (though a vast majority of that number are from micro-blogging platforms).

So, yes, blogging is not dead. Yet.

Having said that though, for the past 16 years, I have hated this blogging platform because of the name. Why is this platform called "Blogger", of all the names? Blogger is a person who blogs, and it is a common noun. Blogger is also the name of this blogging platform, and hence a proper noun, like WordPress, Tublr, Medium etc., which are also other blogging platforms.

Very confusing, naw?

You might think the difference may not matter much, but it is a big deal, especially when you're searching online for new blog templates, tips and tricks, technical queries, statistics etc., which are specific to just this platform alone. You will keep getting other blogging platforms in the search result because of the generic name "blogger". Bad SEO indeed.

And it is even more ironic that this is one of the top products of Google, the company that redefined online search as well as SEO and SEM. :D

To make matters worse, Google's "blogger" platform uses Google's "blogpost" domain as default, hence confusing people even more on what to call this blogging platform. Should it be referred to as "blogger" or "blogspot"?

Then there was also a time when blogspot changed the domain name from to for those of us in India, hence making all our old links invalid, and then somewhere along the way, they happily changed it back to without telling anybody, again making all the links of the posts we had published with invalid once more. Aaarrghh.

Of course all that could have been avoided had we hosted our own domain name even while using this platform.

For instance, I own the domain name (as well as too, lolz) for many many years now, but haven't really migrated my blogspot domain name to that yet, as I don't want to lose 16 years of blog links leading back to my old posts that had been hardcoded on so many different referral sources.

Bottom-line is, I'm coping and managing with all the setbacks. Overall, this is still a pretty decent blogging platform, and I like how Google generously spares maybe one or two of their precious engineers to improve the platform. :D :P

Jokes aside though, yes, we're still seeing an improvement made to this platform like once in 2-3 years, so at least it is not a shelved product. The last update was made just a few months ago.

The new changes were announced on May earlier this year and were supposed to be implemented by June, but the deadline kept getting postponed, probably due to the CoVid-19 outbreak, and finally this new change was implemented on October, which was last month. 

And I had been suffering since then. :D

Now I really appreciate the dedicated Blogger team for this much due update. As you can read from their blog, the new changes have really enhanced our blogging experience, from refreshingly new UI layout in the editor section to new stats, comments, lists, search operators improvement and so on.

But the ONE big difference is that the new post editor is no longer a WYSIWYG editor. At least not like the previous version. For my non-techie friends, a WYSIWYG editor means a "What You See Is What You Get" editor. Basically, the rich-text formatting that you type in the editor is exactly how it will appear on your website/blog.

I always write my blog first on an MS Word document, along with all the required HTML tags like inserting a link and embedding an image. And when I copy-paste the content to the previous editor, that was it. My blog post was ready. That was how I used to update my blog for the past 16 years.

In this current new editor, if I copy paste from MS Word to the "HTML view" section, then all line breaks are gone! Everything becomes one single huge paragraph, lolz. So I have to manually press enter to arrange them in the required paragraphs. And if I copy paste it to the "Compose view" section instead, the line breaks are there, thankfully, but all HTML tags are now converted into text, so I have to manually insert all links and images again! Arrgh.

The quickest solution I can think of is to add two break commands <br /> after every paragraph, as you can see from the screenshot of this blog update below.

Ahhhhh. Quite a pain right?

To be frank, I really don't mind writing all my new blog updates this way, it is not that much of a hassle. The problem arises if I try to edit my old blog posts. Remember I wrote about how Photobucket screwed me up? For 13 years, I had been using their servers to host images for my blog posts, becoming a premium customer and paying $9.99 per month because of my high bandwidth usage. And then suddenly one day, with no warning, they jacked up the monthly charge to $39.99, disabling images for those who were unable to pay that highly exorbitant fee!

Suddenly, all the images across more than 650 of my old blog posts were disabled! That was such a dick move by Photobucket. Corporate greed at its worst.

And so I moved to different hosting services like AWS and imgur, and I planned to edit all my old blog posts slowly, one by one, changing the image host and re-linking them for each of those posts.

Yeah it's gonna be a huge headache to do that while at the same time putting those two line break commands for every paragraph as well. Aaaah, such is life. Nothing comes easy.

I did write to the Blogger team about this issue, but sadly I didn't get any replies.

Ahhh, anyways, that is my rant for this blog update.

Hoping to keep seeing you visit my blog, and if you're thinking of starting your own blog, please do so, nothing is too late.

Also, if you decide to start blogging, please don't copy my style of writing on a Word doc first and copy pasting it in the editor, as that is not only a big pain (as you can see from my description above) but it is also not the proper way in which you're actually supposed to be blogging. You are expected to type directly in the online editor, and if you do that, you won't face any of the issues I am currently facing.

Why do I still do it this way then? Well, what can I say, I'm just an eccentric old fart. :)

Cheers everyone.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Chp 839. Mizo Paratha

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

When William Shakespeare wrote those immortalized words in "Romeo and Juliet" more than 400 years ago, little did he know that it would apply to what we Mizos call a "Paratha" here in Mizoram today. 

In Mizoram, we call what other Indians would typically call a Bhatura or Puri as Paratha, and this practice is followed by everyone, hence confusing many tourists and travellers within the state. If Shakespeare was still alive today, he would probably compose a new soliloquy, "To be paratha, or not to be..."

Welcome to the unique world of Mizoram, where we eat just two meals a day, unlike most places in India where people consume 3 meals a day. We start our day with a heavy rice-based breakfast, and end it with a heavy rice-based dinner.

As The Mandalorian would say, "This is the way". This is how it has always been for our community.

We do not have a concept of "lunch" in Mizoram, in the sense, we don't eat a heavy meal in the afternoon, and instead consume very light snacks, with options ranging from Momos, Sawhchiar (Mizo porridge), Long (lauang latika), Chhangban (sticky rice bread), Chana, Sanpiau, Chow, Roll and "Paratha".

Tourists visiting Mizoram for the first time are often perplexed by this strange phenomenon of restaurants not serving a "proper" lunch meal in the afternoons. And to add to that confusion, imagine their surprise when they finally order a paratha, only to be served something else. :D

So this is what a "paratha" looks like in Mizoram. 

Unlike other places in India where people eat breads like chapatti, naan, kulcha and roomali roti with gravy or side dishes, in Mizoram, we usually eat our "parathas" bare. The most common way to eat it is by rolling it up like an egg-roll and taking a bite, while sipping tea. That is how we like it. :)

However, it can of course be eaten with other dishes as well. As you can see in the images below, we usually eat it with "kel ek chana" which is a mini-dish made from black chickpeas (kala chana).

It is a really tasty combination, though the literal translation of "kel ek chana" is "crap of goat" chana, since the chana looks like goat's shit, lolz. Seriously, who came up with that name? I'm loving the person already. :D

So, why is our Mizo paratha not actually a paratha? How different is a paratha from, say, a puri or a bathura?

Some people say it depends on the main base, whether we are using atta (wheat flour) or maida (refined flour). However, that is not a very clear distinction because while bhaturas are usually made from maida, puris are made from atta but there are also many Puri variants made from maida too, like the popular Bengali Luchi, not to forget the ones made from both atta and maida mixture.

Likewise, when it comes to parathas, the North Indian lachcha parathas are made from atta, while the South Indian malabar parottas are made from maida. And there are different variants of parathas as well, with different types of base, stuffing, layering and other ingredients. 

But there is one very stark difference, and that is the way it is prepared. Bhaturas, puris, luchis, kachoris, etc are all deep fried in thick oil, whereas Parathas (as well as naans, kulchas, chapattis, bhakris, etc) are all heated on a pan or tawa or tandoor with little or no oil (or butter / ghee).

Our Mizo parathas, on the other hand, are deep fried in thick oil. :) 

But to quote Shakespeare and put into this context, "A paratha by any other name would taste just as good".

It doesn't matter what we call it, it is extremely tasty and it is also a popular snack ordered by various offices and departments during tea break. It goes really well with other dishes too, like for example, alu gravy...

Super yummm with paneer and peas... 

You can even enjoy it with just a chutney mix of fermented soyabeans and raja mirchi. Sluurrp! 

Or you can have it with scrambled green chilly eggs (egg-cellent!)

My favourite combination is to fry eggs and place it on top of the parathas, known as "artui chhipchhuan" in Mizo which we find in chow and fried rice preparations as well.

And finally, it goes extremely well with kabuli chana, curd and pickle too...

The above image is ironic at best because the kabuli chana is nothing but chole, and the paratha is more or less a bathura, so what you see above is actually a Chole bhatura dish. :D

So, when did we Mizos first start calling this a "paratha"?

I asked many of my friends about this, even the foodies and expert of different Mizo cuisines, as well as academicians with solid background on our Mizo history, and nobody seemed to know how this bread came to be known as "paratha".

My theory is that, after studying the ingredients and preparation method of this dish, which included spending a lot of time with different tea-stall and restaurant owners, I think our Mizo paratha is most similar to a Bengali luchi, considering that they are both made from maida, both are unleavened, both are deep fried in thick oil for a very short duration, and in both cases, the dough is also mixed with salt, baking powder, soda, etc.

The Bengali connection makes the most sense because a lot of our vegetables and dish names are derived from Bengali due to our close proximity with Assam, Bangladesh and WB. One clear example would be a samosa - while most Indians call it a samosa, we Mizos call it a "singara", because that is how Bengalis call it.

So if our paratha is actually a luchi, why did we call it a paratha and not adopt the name luchi? 

Ahhhhh I don't know. I'm as baffled as you are. Maybe we didn't like the name "luchi" because it kinda sounds like a derogatory word in Mizo? You know, "lu chi" roughly translates in Mizo to "fuckable", do pardon my French. :D

Or maybe somebody heard the name paratha on a Doordarshan movie back in the 80's, and the name stuck? Kinda like how Xerox, Band-aid, Polaroid, Walkman, Vaseline, Post-it, etc are all actually specific brand names but later became generic common names, something like that?

I mean, if I was to let my imagination run wild, I would say there once was a man called Pu Vanlalpara in Mizoram, who got drunk one night and made dough by accident, and when he flattened and rolled the dough and fried it in oil, it was extremely tasty! Neighbours loved it. Since he had spent a lot of his energy and strength (also known as "tha" in Mizo) while making it, people started calling his new discovery as "Para tha" to honour him. :D :D :P

Yeah I know, that was lame. :P

Sir Avena Renthlei, IAS from Tamil Nadu and a self-declared expert on parathas, is of the opinion that since we Mizos were never exposed to the different types of bread, we just ended up calling any flat bread as paratha. I think this makes sense too. Remember my post about "Hotel-cum-Restaurant"? In that post, I mentioned that according to many Mizo travellers, a Restaurant is a place that serves tea-snacks (like momo, paratha etc) and a Hotel is a place that serves a full course meal (rice, pork curry, bai etc).

It really doesn't matter if that is correct or not, as long as people enforce the usage through the passage of time, then it soon becomes correct. That is how language evolves in due course and linguistics will show you how within two neighbouring regions, the same object can have different names and the same name can also refer to different objects.

Likewise, in Mizoram, like it or not, that is a paratha. :)

In fact, the word "paratha" has become such a part of our Mizo vocabulary that we call people having a large and flat face as "hmai paratha" (paratha face). :D

So I hope this clears the air about parathas in Mizoram.

My intention is not to advocate for the changing of the name "paratha" but rather to keep using the name and convey to future tourists about this. When you visit Mizoram and order parathas, do know what you'll be getting on your table. :)

I'm back at our farm now writing this blog update, but last night while I was editing the cover image for this blog post on Photoshop, I was doing so while eating parathas. :D

And today, on our way to the farm, I bought parathas again to eat for tea snacks.

As you can see, the view from Neihbawih is so much better with parathas in the foreground. :D

Hope you find this update interesting and informative, and thank you for reading till the end.

I thought I'll add all the different breads I had in the past 2-3 years when I was in Pune just to highlight the different types of Indian breads, but this post was becoming too lengthy, and with bad internet signal at our farm, I decided to keep this section for another update. Anyway, I did collect some of my paratha related pics into one folder and here's a brief sneak peak...

Yeah, that's gonna be one hell of a lip-smacking update. :)

Until my next post then, good night everyone.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Chp 838. Update from Farm

So this is my first blog update from our farm. :)

Far away from the hustle and bustle of city life, perched on a secluded hilltop overlooking the idyllic hamlet of Neihbawih below, surrounded by a sea of calm and solitude, that is where I sat down as I penned down my thoughts for this blog update.

This is a land still undefiled by mankind's relentless pursuit of modernization and industrialization, a land where the nettlesome noises of vehicular horns and mechanic clatters of heavy machineries are replaced by the rhythmic chirpings of midnight crickets and melodic tweets of morning swallows. A land covered by untrodden thick forests or neatly ploughed terrace farms displaying rows of vegetable plantations.

As we had recently started the renovation of our old farmhouse along with other farm related projects, I found myself spending more and more nights at our farm.

Much as I love the natural beauty and charm of living in the farm, I must confess though, it gets super boring at night. :D

So a typical day in the farm goes like this. I wake up at around 5 AM because I love watching the morning sun shimmering over the mist covered mountains, I love observing the way the first sunrays would glitter across the morning dews, and finally, I love taking a deep breath and inhaling that fresh and pure mountain air. Ahhh, bliss!

And then the whole day I would be busy doing various farm chores. Our hired hands do most of the heavy work like digging foundation holes and clearing boulders, while I do the light work like spraying weedicides and watering our mustard leaves (it is of utmost importance not to mix up the two! :D ). There are more than enough tasks to keep me busy the entire day.

Around 5 PM, it starts to get dark and our helpers go home. By 6:30 PM we are done with dinner and everything is safely locked up. After that, there is absolutely nothing else to do, lolz.

I talked earlier about how wonderful it is to live away from civilization. Well, it is TOO far away from civilization, so mobile network is extremely bad. I have to climb the highest part of our farm to get bits and parts of cellular reception, and it is dangerous to go there after dark because of snakes and... ghosts :P And so, I can't even use my phone to check WhatsApp messages or FB timeline after dinner. This will especially be tougher for people suffering from FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out.

We don't have a TV either because there is no cable service in this area. There may be a few things to do and pass the time with had I been staying here with my friends, but with my companions being my mom, nieces and maid, those things are out of the question :D And so my only form of entertainment in the night before I sleep is to read a novel, which I have been doing for some time now.

Recently, I thought, what the heck, I'm not going to be able to blog for a long time if I keep staying in the farm, and so I bought a couple of new computer parts like a spare monitor, keyboard and mouse set, UPS etc and kept half of them at the farm. And so, all I had to do was take only just my CPU to the farm and then back to home again when we return, hence minimizing my burden.

Smart move, huh? Here is my farm setup, what do you think? :)

For internet, I borrowed my sister's JioFy dongle.

The network is still pretty bad even with that, but that's ok as I'm already prepared for a setback. Worse comes to worst, I'll just write my blog update on a Word document on my newly setup farm computer (for which I don't need internet), copy that document to my phone, climb up the hilltop where there is mobile data network coverage and simply update my blog from there. Yeah it is quite a roundabout, but it works, as you can see from this update. :)

I guess this is how I'll be updating most of my new blog updates from now on...

And the funniest thing is, THIS is exactly how I used to update my blog when I first started blogging! I've been blogging from 2004, and back then, mobile internet was unheard of (the closest we had to mobile internet back then was WAP, Wireless Application Protocol, not to be confused with that "song" by Cardi B) and most of us couldn't afford an internet connection at home as well, and so I spent at least the next 5 years of blogging by writing on my home PC, copying that document to a pendrive, and then rushing to a nearby Cyber Cafe to update my blog with that file, lolz.

It's so ironic because I have come in full circles again. :D

I have a lot of interesting tales to share with you about my farm experience, which I will in the coming days. From chasing rats in the middle of the night because they refused to let me sleep, to dismantling a honeycomb that bees happily constructed between our toilet walls, the exploits are endless. 

So do stay tuned for more as I'll bring to you the adventures of the accidental farmboy. :D

Cheers everyone, until next post.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Chp 837. One Year of Unemployment

Exactly one year ago today, November 15th 2019, I quit my job as a game designer, bidding farewell to the Corporate World for the rest of my life.

Yes, I still can't believe it's already been a year!

Everything felt like it was just a few weeks or months ago when that happened, with memories of me having my last corporate lunch or peeing for the last time in our office toilet still so fresh in my mind.

For those of you interested, you can go through the drama of my last day of employment by clicking this link - Chp 787. Goodbye, Corporate World.

Going through the above post again now makes me feel quite nostalgic. That is a life I will never have again, permanently etched in the galleries of my blog, filed under "work experience". Scratch that. It wasn't just a work experience for me, it was my life experience.

Waking up this morning and opening my Facebook feed to see this "memory" notification really jolted me out of my dreamy state.

But the biggest shock for me is realizing it had been an entire year since all that happened.

How did time fly by so freaking fast?

Well, the answer is simple. CoVid-19 happened.

As most of us spent the better part of this year being kept in lockdowns or under travel restrictions, we ended up having very few memorable moments to remember. Our human brain is wired in such a way that we tend to measure time by the amount of memories we had.

Because of CoVid-19, most of us were at home, doing the same stuff (watching TV, baking bread, reading novels etc) over and over again. Some of us were taking online classes or attending online classes, with no real exposure to the experience of travelling to school or college and meeting friends and laughing etc. Others were WFH - Work From Home, attending zoom calls and completing tasks without actually meeting any colleagues.

In a way, our lives became one monotonous cycle that kept repeating perpetually. There were almost no family outings or dinner parties, no birthday or wedding celebrations, no visits to the pubs or clubs, no church services or prayer fellowships, not even school and college classes, everything felt like we were stuck in oblivion, unable to progress, bound by invisible shackles around our ankles.

But as the late Freddy Mercury once sang, "Time waits for nobody". Time... just kept going. We didn't.

And that's how time flew by so fast, how one year of me being unemployed had gone by just like that. Poof with the wind.

But as all my friends and family members told me, I am the luckiest son of a beep they know of, because all my life I had been living outside Mizoram, and then when I finally packed up my belongings and moved back to Mizoram for good, this pandemic happened. :D

I'm not joking about the pandemic, nor am I taking it lightly, but it sure feels good and extremely reassuring for me to be with my family at times like this. Had it been any other year, I wouldn't even be in Mizoram, and my family would have been worried sick about me. Likewise, I, them.

I hope this whole CoVid-19 situation gets better soon. Too many people are affected by it, not just medically but financially as well. Doesn't matter if you are infected or not, the lockdowns and various restrictions will affect you, especially if you are living paycheck to paycheck.

Praying for Mizoram and the World.

See you again on my next update. Love and Prayers.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Chp 836. Kolasib escapade

These days, among my long list of friends' WhatsApp status updates, there are two kinds of people. Those who do not have any travel pics to update to their status, and those who keep updating their status with lots of travel pics, but with the hashtag #throwback. :D

Yeah that's life for most of us right now. If we are not under lockdown, we are under travel restrictions or living in fear of transmissions, and so we continue to stay at home. 

Last month, 1st October, when everything was finally starting to look good in Mizoram (this was before the recent surge in CoVid-19 positive cases after schools reopened on October 16th), we decided to visit our farm in Kolasib. 

The last time I visited Kolasib was 4 years ago! 

Here's my detailed blog update from 2016 [Fishing, the Mizo way], talking about our Kolasib visit with other family members and how we spent the day catching fishes from our pond, known as "Dil sah" in Mizo, and our Mizo traditional practice of eating a meal at a farm. Do read the link above to know about those interesting details. 

So for the next 4 years, while I was away at a faraway land working on game concepts and designs, my family in Mizoram was busy redeveloping our entire farm (in the blog link above). We had already spent [family secret] of rupees as we're planning to convert the farm into a [family secret] destination. Cousin Mapari and hubby U Zamtea had been doing an excellent work of overseeing the work as they live in Kolasib. 

And so that day, at 6 AM, cousin Dingkima arrived at our house as we needed two drivers. 

Our gang consisted of Dingkima and his two lovely daughters Sarah and Abigail, along with my sister and nieces Naomi and Abigail (also). 

They of course were in the comfortable SUV, while Zorema and I were in the bumpy old pick-up as we were carrying heavy farm equipments. 

A brief road-side stop at Serkhan after passing the town of Lungdai just to take this breathtaking picture of the scenery. Beautiful naw? 

We stopped again just before reaching Zanlawn because little Abigail was road-sick :D. 

And of course the ladies had to take the ceremonial group photo for their respective Instagram and Facebook updates. :D

We finally left the winding old Aizawl - Silchar road and joined NH-306 near Kawnpui, known as Sairang road. 

We faced all sorts of weather in that journey alone, from light drizzle and heavy downpour to misty road and scorching hot sun, lolz. 

As always, Kawnpui road was... difficult. :D

What was really sad on that journey was that, all the roadside restaurants (that shall no longer be referred to as "hotel cum restaurant", as directed by the Department of Tourism, Mizoram), were all closed. Even the ones we used to look forward to at Bualpui had their shutters down. 

This was because of the ongoing pandemic. 

Here's an old image from my last visit to Kolasib [Fishing, the Mizo way] where we had an absolutely scrumptious meal at Bualpui. 

As we drove past the closed restaurants one after the other, I realized how selfish I had been. Initially, I was lamenting the financial loss we incurred because of the continuous lockdown as all the ongoing work at our farm stopped and now we would have to spend a large sum of money again to redo most of the work, not to mention a large portion of our raw materials were now rendered useless. 

But despite our heavy losses, we are still privileged, in the sense that we can still survive. It's not like our lives will come to an abrupt end. These roadside restaurant owners on the other hand, many of them are operating to earn their daily bread, managing whatever they can to keep their business open and saving whatever amount they can for other purposes, like maybe buying new tables and chairs to give customers a better experience, or even saving up for their children's school education. For them it can very well mean the end. Sad indeed. 

Not the most comforting moment to reach an epiphany. 

As we solemnly progressed towards Kolasib, scattered houses started appearing on either sides of the road, and the density increased further and further, until we finally entered a concrete jungle with bustling activities and swarming traffic. Welcome to Kolasib. 

We drove directly to U Zamtea and U Mapari's house, where we refreshed and ate the tiffin we carried from home. 

After a fulfilling meal, we relaxed a bit, ate Kolasib kuhva hring, relieved ourselves, etc., and finally we left for our farm, with U Zamtea leading the convoy in his car. At Rengtekawn, we diverted from Bilkhawthlir route and drove towards Bairabi. Such a picturesque drive! 

We soon reached "Zero Point", and from there we took the left again towards Bairabi, and finally reached our farm after a few minutes. 

Ahhhhh, hello farm! 

Walking across the farm was a problem, as the ground was still wet with pockets of streams everywhere, some of them even ankle-deep. 

However, this was not a problem for yours truly, who bravely waded through the water, while keeping my arms perpendicular to my body so as to minimize friction and streamline the velocity of the fluid mechanics at optimum saturation. Yeah, science, biyatch. :P

What months of lockdown can do to an ongoing construction. *crie*

We decided to chill and swim at one of the many streams because it was extremely hot and humid. Though it was extremely shallow, we were able to immerse our entire body by lying down. It was such a cool and refreshing relief! 

One Tree Hill. I saw this single lonely tree while I was in the stream above and immediately took a picture because somehow there seems to be this charm and aura resonating around it. 

After an hour or two of frolicking, we got down to business and roamed around the farm noting down all the work that was still required to do, along with the old work that must be redone because of the lockdown. 

Finally we opened our farm storehouse and inspected our raw materials like balu (sand), rawra (stone), thir ban (iron rods), dâp (thatched walls), etc etc., and noted down how many were left, how many were damaged, and how many were salvageable. 

Once our work was done, it was time to head back to Kolasib. U Zamtea took us for a short drive to this river nearby where we could wash away all the sand and pebbles that got inside our underwear. :D

However, upon closer examination, we could see a group of guys, around 10 of them, probably in their 20s, cooking (known as "bailemchhuan" in Mizo) food and having a merry time right on the riverbank. 

We could see them openly drinking, which we highly doubted was "water", talking boisterously and laughing loudly. Since our group consisted of mostly young women, we decided to take a rain check and avoid going down. Yeah I know we shouldn't have profiled them, nothing would have probably happened too, but sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry. 

As we drove back towards Kolasib, Zorema and I took the lead, and the funniest thing happened. 

We missed the turn at Zero Point, and just kept driving straight! :D The other cars were way behind us, so they didn't see us take the wrong route either. 

Eventually we both realized we were seeing new constructions and road patterns that we definitely didn't see on our way earlier, lolz. And then we saw this non-Mizo dude walking on the road, and hoping that he speaks Hindi, I asked him if this was the way to Kolasib in Hindi, and then he replied in fluent Mizo that it's the opposite direction! :D :D :D :D

Had we gone straight, we would have apparently reached Saihapui K, near the Assam-Mizoram border. :D And so we took a U-turn and soon enough reached Zero Point again and took the correct route. 

With the recent news about the border dispute between Mizoram - Assam and the clash in Saihapui V, I was like, dayymm I was near that place recently! But then I looked on the map and realized Saihapui K and Saihapui V are actually very far apart from each other. I think it is quite odd by Mizoram's standard to have two similar locations to be this far apart. 

As we progressed towards Rengtekawn, we saw this roadside eatery that apparently didn't get the memo from the Tourism Department about not using the word "cum" anymore. :D

Yeah, I would like to order some cum, please. :D :P

The others had a great laugh when we reached U Zamtea and U Mapari's house and told them that we took a wrong turn. We relaxed for a bit, while having refreshments and snacks, and eventually it was time to head back to Aizawl. With curfew imposed in Aizawl at 8:30 PM, we had to reach our house much before that because Zorema and Dingkima had to go home from there again. 

The ride back was just as beautiful as before. 

We stopped briefly at "Lung nupa" spot to take a few pictures.

Truly awesome the view was. 

It was dark by the time we reached Zanlawn. I saw a couple of roadside vegetable vendors opening their stalls late and playing cards to while away the time, which I think is very cute. 

We kept driving through the dark and misty road, being cautious while at the same time continuously checking to see the time. 

Eventually, we reached our house at around 8:10 PM, and Zorema and Dingkima immediately got into their two-wheelers and rushed home as well. 

And so, that was a wonderful and memorable trip to Kolasib, not just because it was a necessary trip to make but because it was also a much needed and stress relieving break after all these months of lockdowns and travel restrictions. 

And it was super safe too, the way we all stayed inside our vehicles with windows up the whole time, no interactions with any of the people along the way (except for maybe that non-Mizo guy we asked directions near Saihapui K), no contact with anybody as we didn't stop to eat or even buy cigarettes or kuhva hring at the roadside shops, I think it would be fair to say we had much less social contact than had we stayed in Aizawl and gone outside to buy groceries. 

Do stay tuned for new updates, take care for now everyone, cheers.