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Friday, January 04, 2019

Chp 745. PMCF New Year

Happy New Year to all of you!

So here is my first blog post of the year, and what could be more apt than writing about how we spent New Year's Eve and Day with the Pune Mizo Christian Fellowship (PMCF). It was a day of Mizo function and Church service followed by a very merry Mizo feasting here in Pune.

The New Year celebration started on 31st December night, 8:30 PM, at Bible Centre, Salisbury Park. Various items were performed on stage and everybody had a ball. We were treated to lovely songs performed by Teresa, John, Lalrindika, Benjamin, Joel, Florence, Lalruatfela and Lychhi.

The dance item by the Nuvalai group was super cute and funny. Everybody laughed so much.

Other items included Duet dance, Puppet show, Birdie dance, One direction skit, One man band etc.

And then there was the main event of the night, which was hilarious - the Mister PMCF contest! :D

The lovely Fatu volunteers of the night - BSa, Duati, Ruati, Mazuii, Zualteii and Bridgette.

For midnight snacks, they made and served us these delicious Chicken lollipops, yummmm!

I was feeling a bit under the weather because I had spent the past two days helping Sanga pack and send his entire belongings back to Mizoram as he was leaving Pune for good. Carrying heavy objects from the 7th floor to the ground floor a hundred times (because using the elevator to transport household stuff wasn't allowed at his housing society) was by no means an easy task.

Hence, even though the PMCF program was such a fun event, I was feeling fatigued and occasionally shivering on my seat. And so I left the event with Nitin and Teresa at around 11 PM as they were also leaving early to avoid the mad midnight traffic rush.

I really wanted to stay till 12 to wish everybody there a happy new year, but alas... age got in the way :(

I asked Nitin and Teresa to drop me at my home where I was planning to make some eggnog and wish myself a happy new year in front of my bathroom mirror at 12 midnight and then go to sleep alone, but they were having none of that!

Aaaah... friends. :)

They forcibly took me to their house and the three of us sang a couple of karaoke and at midnight we all wished each other a happy new year. Togo, their adorable dachshund, also joined us in our celebration. After that it was all about replying to all the messages on WhatsApp and looking at the story updates of my friends who were out partying at various clubs.

The three of us then sang some more classic rock hits, and finally I crashed at their place. What a wonderful time indeed. Ahhh, this was how I preferred spending the New Year now, in complete contrast to how I used to spend it years ago. NKOTB lied when they sang "Age is just a number" :P

The next morning, I left their place and went home to get ready for Church. My friend from Mumbai Chhantea who had just moved to Pune came to my house along with Nitin and Teresa, and the four of us headed to our PMCF New Year service.

Since Teresa was going to sing, she didn't want to be late, and so we ended up reaching the Church half an hour early. Thanks to her, we ended up sitting right in the front.

Church-fie with Chhantea and Nitin.

The New Year Church service was really good. We were introduced to our visiting ordained minister Rev. V Biaknunsanga who had just arrived in Pune, and he delivered a really good sermon about the way we should live our life this year. He reminded us all that just because most of us were away from the prying eyes of our parents, it did not mean we should do whatever we wanted, and that we always have the option to live this year righteously or do something we'll regret for eternity here in Pune.

He was indeed a fine orator. What I liked the most about his sermon was how he was keeping his messages very neutral and not denomination specific, since he was a Baptist pastor and he knew our Fellowship consisted of Mizos from every denominations ranging from Baptists to Catholics to Salvation Army to IKK to Pu Ziona pawl (*looks at Vanzama*), along with the fact that there were still many of us Presbyterians in the PMCF who hadn't moved to the newly formed PMPC (Pune Mizo Presbyterian Church). He wished all of us, those in the PMCF and the PMPC as well, a very happy New Year.

The attendance that day was 11 children, 123 women and 110 men, coming to a total of 244 (Our PMCF treasurer Pari is currently in the hospital but she still managed to send me this detail, praying for her quick recovery). The collections came up to ₹ 44,000/- A very good turnout. We were fewer than our Christmas function, but less people always come on 1st January service because many people have already started their jobs and classes again.

After the wonderful Church service, we all headed out for refreshments, and it was photo time after that. I met these two lovely ladies outside and they told me their names were Genevieve and Jacqueline. I asked them what they were doing in Pune and they told me they were working in Pune as Instagram models, and so I decided to take a photo with them :)

Jokes aside, they are my very dear friends and since they were not helpful at all in telling me the names of the people I don't know featured in this post, I am going to roast them in this post :D Debbie and Remruati on the other hand were very helpful in telling me the names of the people I don't know, so I won't be roasting them :)

My cousin Pi Madiki, Pi Baby-i, Pi Mateteii, Pi Zosangi with her two sisters, and Hruaitea.

All this while, the Fatu volunteers were busy cooking the food for our feast at Isaac's house.

Under the leadership of Fatu leader Zorema, they put up a good show.

For the New Year feast, we had beef as well which wasn't there at our Christmas feast. They cooked 30 kg of Beef, along with 45 kg of Pork. The menu also included Brinjal and Beans Bai, Salad, Dal, Paneer, 1 kg of Fish and 50 Eggs. Unlike the Christmas feast when they cooked food meant for 250 people and more than 400 people turned up, this time, they were all ready to cook extra food in case that happened again, hence a lot of Fatu members were appointed. Fortunately, it wasn't needed and everything went as planned.

The awesome Fatu volunteers who sacrificed their early morning sleep and Mizo Church service just so that they could cook for the rest of us.

Standing left to right: Awpa, Zorema, Khihai, Solo, James, Isaac's batman, Joshua, Cross-a, Kislon, Ahneh, Tema, MC-a, Remruati, Debbie and Liantea.

Sitting left to right: Thara, MK-i, Fakawma, Lalmama, Zonuni, Sarah, Malsawmi and Machhani.

Thara was just there because he was feeling lonely and heartbroken. While cooking the dishes, he volunteered to cut all the onions by himself, so that he could blame his overflowing tears on the sliced onions. :D

I asked Genevieve why she didn't volunteer to be a part of the Fatu team as well since she and Debbie and Remruati were all in one circle, and she told me she didn't volunteer because she was not an unknown child. I asked her what she meant by that and she said Fatu in English means "Fa" = Child, "Tu" = Who, "Fatu" = Unknown Child. I was like, mmmkhaayy...


Soon the food was ready to be packed and delivered to the Church.

The food finally arrived at our Church around 6 PM.

Mahlua, who refused to be in any photograph, highlighted in these two pics below :)

As the saying goes, eligible bachelors do not simply want to be in any random photographs just like that, because they are tlangval luck. Mahlua is the epitome of tlangval luck. :)

Fatu leader Zorema with Remruati, Debbie and Ahneh getting ready to arrange the food.

Nuteii, Lawmi, Miriami, Nunui and Nancy were already standing in queue even before the food was even set up. Note the empty table in front. Tsk tsk, so shameless :)

Fatu members keeping themselves warm over the stove.

Some of the food needed to be heated again first before they were served, and so we had to tell Lawmi and her friends to please go away and sit down for some more time :)

Yum yumm the food being displayed. Drooool!

Finally the announcement was made that the children could start lining up for food.

Genevieve and Jacqueline right in the front of the queue, shameless indeed. :D Genevieve knocked down two kids and made them cry so that she could stand in their place...

Here are some more pictures of the queues.

Puiteii and friends, without Maveni, lolz.

As I have mentioned in my earlier blog post too, you can click on any of these photos to enlarge at a new tab and download it, so Thara, please DO NOT screenshot the photos for your WhatsApp story update again, please click them to get a much better high resolution image that you can easily download. All the photos on my blog are hosted on my own personal server at AWS Amazon, and I am paying a high maintenance fee on bandwidth usage just so that you all can download a good quality picture, so please, no screenshot. That is like an insult to me :)

Rev. PC Lalropuia at the queue. My dear friend Nuteii stood with him in the hope that he might make her look devotional too :D

Gosie was also one of the early birds to line up and right behind her were Zoremi and Benjamin.

I love the smile on the girl in red jacket above, but unfortunately my friends didn't know her name.

Food serving in action...

I'm not an abstract art fan, but there is something really beautiful about this pic I took... Can you see it too, the blending of light and colour with the tree's bark is kinda mesmerizing…

On the serving side…

Our PMCF treasurer Lalropari. The moment she saw that I was going to take her photo, she kept some of the rice on her plate back in the bowl :D

Pi Zosangi, who smells of cakes and cookies all the time :D

Ruby, Lawmi, Nancy and Nuteii happy that they got to take their food while I was still stuck with the task of taking photos of everyone :)

Puiteii with her large plateful of food.

Genevieve and Jacqueline, the first adults to get their food, getting ready to eat while the rest of the adults were still lining up.

Poetry in motion, Isaac acting in a natural pose while Lydia slept in Madiki's arms. Poor little Lydia, she wasn't feeling well that day. Rumour has it that she still hadn't fully recovered from that "Teresa incident".

Those of you who want to know more details about the "Teresa incident", PM me. Teresa, if you don't want me to tell others about that incident, invite me for dinner :D

The kids happily enjoying their meal.

Meanwhile, others were still standing in queue.

Funny incident though. Since I've been a single bachelor for far too long, I was hoping one of these lovely ladies would exchange their phone numbers with me as I went around taking their photos… Finally I was indeed approached by someone and we exchanged phone numbers. Unfortunately, that person was Rev. V Biaknunsanga :D :D

Nitin, Noel and Chinmoy waiting for their turn to line up. At the far top left corner, I spy Pi Baby-i :D She's kinda eating like there's no tomorrow :D

Pastors eating food :)

Annie and her friends too were too busy eating to look up at the camera.

Gosie with her friends Zoremi and Nunui happily enjoying their meal.... and then there's Miriam sitting in the right corner :)

Of course Miriam wanted a special single picture of her eating, and so I took this of her. Notice the amount of paper cups she took with her. She was the reason why the PMCF ran out of dispo cups and we had to send out guys to go and buy extra cups in the last minute.

The Fambawl sisters Maveni and Puiteii with their friends Esther, Mercy, Engi, Lalnotei and Faktea.

Pari with Pi Rami and Professor Ravi Kant.

Those who had eaten.

It was great seeing MSa again after such a long time. He's special. He managed to survive on his own from the moment he came to Pune and was even the first among his batch to land himself a very lucrative job. Women call him "lady killer" and every man in Pune is jealous of him, while secretly wishing they could be him. He also paid me 100 bucks to write all that on my blog.

Sitting left to right - MSa, John Lalramthara, Samuel Dintea, Ruatsanga, Ngodali and our PMCF Chairman Pu Chawnghminga.

Ahneia kept everybody entertained on the mic the whole time.

Actually, I don't think anybody was listening to him, but he really enjoys speaking on the mic, so let us act like he was entertaining us :D

Finally, the end of the queue appeared and it was time for me to eat too.

In the above photo, Terasa held Nitin's hand firmly because she's afraid she might fall down again :D

My plate! :)

The last to eat, Isaac and Madiki. The wonderful couple at whose home this entire food was prepared.

I really enjoyed my meal. Once I was done eating, I went and washed up. Later, as I roamed around to take a few more photos, guess what? My friends Genevieve and Jacqueline were still eating!

Apparently, they went and refilled a lot of times. I really don't blame them because I know Genevieve very well and this was one of the few times she gets to eat pork. The next time she will be eating pork again this year will be at the PMCF Christmas 2019 feast, so I totally understand why she was eating so much that day.

In fact she was eating so much that the PMCF had an emergency committee meeting, and finally Zorema the Fatu leader was appointed to come and serve the extra meat to her instead of her having to walk up and down to the meat counter many times because her feet were getting blisters.

Here is Zorema on his task of serving more meat to Pu Danny...

With Puiteii and Maveni. Even though we are great friends, the only time these two ever messages me is to ask for their photos I took from my phone. :D

Finally, once everybody ate and Genevieve had kept her plate for wash, the entire Fatu volunteers swept in and ate. Once again, I thank them all for their great sacrifice.

Look at them enjoying the awesome food they made.

I... really have no idea why Miriami came and sat down among the Fatu members to pose for a photo like this, like she was some Vogue model or something, but I guess the Fatu members were happy she was in the picture...

Or maybe because she was just happy to sit next to Mahlua? We don't know, only time will tell, wink wink :)

Speaking of "in the picture", here is the lonesome Thara enjoying his dinner too.

I asked him if his day went well and whether it was worth it, and he replied, "Check out who is sitting next to me, totally worth it!"

"Terrific!" I replied, congratulating him.

Thara looked at me and said, "No, it's... Thara-fic!"

After dinner relaxation time. Our PMCF Assistant Secretary Ahnei posing with the Rev. V Biaknunsanga's family.

As people started leaving, our PMCF and PMWA leaders along with some volunteers started cleaning up the place and clearing the space. Duhawma and Tetea in action.

You gotta understand, some of the chairs were very heavy :D

And so, that was it. Great food with awesome people, a wonderful End to a beautiful Start. May you all have a very prosperous year and wishing you all the best in all your endeavours.

God bless you all.

Mizohican out.