I took a break from the online world due to the unfortunate passing of Lalani's mother last month. I even wrote two blog posts dedicated to Nu Mahlimi's sad demise, but I didn't post those links on my FB timeline or WA status.
Now that I'm finally back online again, here is my blog update dedicated to Valentine's Day.
Valentine's Day is a day of celebration for most lovers across the world. Of course there are the cynics who don't believe in a man-made occasion to celebrate their romance, as well as the sceptics who claim "eVeRy DaY iS VaLeNtiNE's dAy fOR uS!" whenever they see couples taking an extra effort to make each other happy on the 14th of February.
Well, for us, Valentine's Day was a significant day because it was the one month anniversary of Nu Mahlimi's demise. And in our Mizo custom, close friends and family members usually get together on such a day to commemorate the solemn occasion.
But we did manage to find some time for love. Lalani and her cousins made this cute decoration set-up to celebrate Valentine's Day, and also to take their minds off sorrowful thoughts. This was really sweet of them to do this.
Since we couldn't spend Valentine's Day together alone because of the family dinner and function, we decided to dine out the previous day instead. We went to "MoMo Cafe", situated at Canteen kual. Their momos were obviously delicious.
However, they're known for their other cuisines as well, like for instance, their Alu parathas were to die for.
I ordered the "Pork Nepali thaali", but when I saw the amount that was served, I immediately regretted eating that plate of momo earlier because the thaali quantity was huge!
Special mention must be made about their Chilly Pork which came with the Thaali. It was definitely the best Chilly Pork I had in Mizoram so far!
Lalani ordered the Veg garlic noodles and it was scrumptious as well.
Overall, it was indeed a great and satisfying Pre-Valentine's Day lunch. The Nepali dishes are all authentic because the establishment is run by Gorkhalis who have been living in Mizoram for a couple of generations now. They all speak fluent Mizo.
I highly recommend the "MoMo Cafe". The only negative part is that it is situated right at the center of one of the busiest traffic intersections of Aizawl, so you'll have to park at the other side of the roundabout (if you happen to find a parking space).
We utilized our long walk to and from the restaurant by walking on the footbridge, and it was my first time on that skywalk.
Yeah we definitely behaved like a bunch of tourists visiting Aizawl city for the first time. :D
It was so much fun walking hand-in-hand above the bustling traffic, watching the crowd below engrossed in their own hectic schedules while we held hands above together as if we had all the time in the world. We took selfies every few steps to commemorate the occasion. :D
The footbridge was quite empty because most people were still crossing the roads below, probably because they were too busy to waste a few minutes to climb up and down the footbridge. One person did climb up the footbridge and looked at us happy couple quizzically, and so I explained to him that I was from Neihbawih visiting Aizawl for the first time. He grinned back and wished me a memorable visit.
We soon headed back to Lalani's house. Lalani wanted to visit her mother's grave as it was the eve of her one month death anniversary, and so Natalia, Lianzuali and I accompanied her. We went in two scooties.
It was around 20 minutes drive from her house to the cemetery.
Here's a short video clip of our drive to the cemetery.
Once we reached the cemetery, we sat next to Nu Mahlimi's grave.
Natalia brought a few snacks like sunflower seeds and other eatables, and we spent our time slowly munching on them and talking about Nu Mahlimi. It was a very teary-eyed moment for Lalani.
We sat by Nu Mahlimi's grave till the sun had completely set (don't be fooled by the brightness in the above photos, they were actually taken in "night-mode" when it was already quite dark).
Soon it was time to head back to Lalani's house. Once the rest of her family had eaten, Lalani and I had a candlelit dinner together, without the candles.
A short comic break. :)
I went home soon after, closing a memorable day spent together.
The next day, Valentine's Day, I woke up early and completed writing my previous blog update. I published it once I had copy-checked it and then joined my family for breakfast. Even my breakfast was in a lovey-dovey mood that morning. :D
After that, I headed for Lalani's house. Even though it was a Sunday, our State Govt had lifted the Sunday curfew restriction earlier this month and so I was able to find a cab easily.
At Lalani's house, I was busy helping her family members prepare dinner. I realized I didn't take any pictures at all of our preparations, as I was busy doing different chores, and I was also still shy about taking photos of her relatives (most of her relatives only got to know me during her mom's demise).
This was the Valentine's Day decoration that Lalani and her cousins had made the previous night. So adorable, right? :)
And so it was time to celebrate the moment. :D
Gift exchange time. :)
We exchanged our gifts the proper Mizo way, you know, with all the handshake formalities and stuff, while Baby-i and Lianzuali clapped their hands in the background. :D
Lalani with the two Valentine-less Valentinas.
Much thanks to them again for helping with the cute decorations.
Soon our short family function in memory of Nu Mahlimi started, which was followed by dinner immediately because of the 8:30 PM curfew time. We had a great dinner that night.
After dinner, Mami (Lawmzuali) came to the house and delivered the Lamington cakes that Lalani had ordered for dessert, and she even presented Lalani with a complimentary donut bouquet! Lianzuali and Baby-i immediately posed with that bouquet. :D
Mami's homemade Lamingtons were absolutely tasty, and in case you want to place an order, you can do so from her IG page - Crave Corner.
While Baby-i and LZ-i were fixated with the donut bouquet, we on the other hand opened our respective presents. Those were special presents we will cherish forever.
But the greatest Valentine's Day present Lalani will ever receive is the one from her mother 6 years ago. Nothing can and will ever beat this one in her entire lifetime.
"For my beloved and only daughter, Lallianpuii Kawlni. Mom." The sweetest words ever inscribed in time. The perfect gift to last an eternity.
To quote my favourite passage from the Bible about love:
"Love is always patient and kind. It is never jealous. Love is never boastful or conceited. It is never rude or selfish. It does not take offense and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people's sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes."
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Amen to that. Being the one month anniversary of Nu Mahlimi's passing, it was even more poignant to look at that gift again. A part of me was smiling deep inside because I knew Nu Mahlimi was up there looking down at us and happy at the way things were running at her house.
It was a beautiful end to the most perfect Valentine's Day, and here's looking forward to many more such moments spent in the future.
Hope you all had a beautiful V-Day too. Sorry for posting this a bit late as we had travelled to Dampa Tiger Reserve at Mamit district the very next day, and I'll be updating my blog about that in my next post, so do stay tuned for that. Take care everyone. Bye.