Friday, December 12, 2008

Feliz Navidad

It's that time of year again. 'Tis the season to be jolly, tra-la-la-la-la and all that. This year, I'm not as apathetic as I was last year. With a miraculous lightening of my workload comes a corresponding lightening of the heart. Sure, there are things to worry about, mistakes I have made, wounds I have inflicted, loved ones I have lost. And this year has certainly been chaotic, with me trying to make sense of what seemed to be losing sense each passing day. And for some reason, I always seemed to be two paces behind whatever was happening; I felt I was constantly running a race where the moment I finally reached a pit stop, the next hurdle loomed large, a hurdle I should have jumped over days ago. There were days when I literally sat down and asked myself, "is it worth it?" and moments of despair, when I was so dog-tired and frustrated that I threw my hands up in the air and cried, "I can't do this anymore!" Yet, somehow, with the approach of year's end, things have fallen into place. There is a sense of harmony, a unity, an imperceptible click that miraculously restores everything to order. In other words, Peace.

Maybe that's what the season is all about. I've always marveled that Christmas should coincide with year's end.How very fitting. We rush through our jobs and our lives and all the inconsequential but necessary activities that make up our existence. And then, it's the end of the year, there is sense of closure, a promise of new beginnings. Christ's birth is a symbol of that promise. After all the chaos, the madness, the rushing around... Peace on Earth.

On to lighter things, Peace is not the word that comes to mind when one looks at the markets in the city of Aizawl at Christmastime. It's positively bustling with activity, and one begins to wonder where all these people came from! And where were they throughout the rest of the year?! You don't even have to make an effort to walk, you get pushed from behind anyway. You literally 'go with the flow'. And the wares are interesting. While more upmarket stores display overcoats 'imported' from 'foreign' at three thousand and four thousand rupees, the second-hand shops, not to be deterred, also display overcoats, also imported and equally fashionable, at less than half that price. And while some shoes set you back by four thousand and five hundred rupees, mom went to a sale today and came home extremely satisfied, having bought a decent pair of pumps for three hundred rupees. See? Nobody gets left out.

What is forever associated with Christmas in the Mizo sensibility is the good ol' Boney M Christmas Album. Scores of new artists, Mizo and otherwise, record Christmas songs every year; yet, the ultimate Christmas songs will always be those sung by Boney M. I ventured up to bara bazar today, and true to the spirit of the season, Boney M was blaring from shops everywhere I went. Personally I've overdosed on it because when we were growing up in Dawrpui, Aizawl, there was this store downstairs that sold music systems, and the day the sun rose on December 1, they would start playing that blessed record. Over and over and over again, the whole day, everyday, until Christmas Eve. Nothing else. I kid you not. So, I guess you understand the mixed feelings I have about that particular album. I wonder if Boney M will ever realize the impact they've made on Mizo culture. Probably not. Oh, well.


  1. Im so glad that you finally find peace in your heart. About Aizawl, finding a parking spot is so difficult!. I hope this christmas brings joy and hope, as the baby child do. Have a wonderful christmas

  2. good thought..i've never thought of it that way. yes, there were times when i used to tell myself "this job is not for me", "I can't do it anymore", "I give up" etc etc..and i actually want to give all up sometimes. But, yes, may be I can do them after all and the end of the year with Christmas approaching sure gave me new energy..

    and what is Christmas without Boney M..

  3. @Almost Unreal: Yeah, I guess everyone of us goes through that phase sooner or later, and when things get too chaotic, it's difficult to put things into proper perspective. That's why the end of the year is such a good time to look back...with the benefit of hindsight, I guess we're able to see things in a better light, to take stock of whatever situations have been pressing us down. As for Boney M... what can I say? If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

  4. It's been a year of achievement for you and I'm sure you now feel all that frustration and hard labour was well worth it. Nothing comes without some effort after all.

    I haven't done any Christmas shopping this year. Blew a small fortune on home repairs so I don't have the moolah for anything else :(

    You're so right about the Boney Christmas connection in Aizawl LOL. For us though, it's usually Jim Reeves' Christmas songs which set the seasonal tone in our house.

  5. E khai hotunu in 'tapchhak' pawh a nalh hle mai:)

    Masi dawn bawr a bazar tawt thin lutuk khi chu thawipik thlak thin ngawt mai. Mahse, khingte khian kawng lehlamah chuan a ti Masi ve riau hian ka hre thin, keini Mizote tan chuan :)

    Feliz Navidad ! :)

  6. @calliopia: I don't know about this being a year of achievement for me, but if surviving it is an achievement, then you're right! It's been a bit difficult, to say the least, but I'm here, so I guess that's something.

    It's great to know you've renovated your house; I envy you coz I don't have the moolah for THAT :(

    My dad loves Jim Reeves too, so yeah, it's a Christmas staple for us too.

    @seki: Kan tapchhak a ni hoo. Google image a ka zawn hmuh mai mai nih khi. NIa, bazar toits lutuk hi chu btlak rualin a ti Masi tu ni ve bok sia. Lo va haw then ru tih mai hi chakawm rum2 thin, hehe. Nangni in khaw bazar a tawt ve em?

  7. Boney M mmmm ka ning teh mai kei chu..dah mai a..
    Kri-mat bazar tawt lai hi hmun rem veng vawng tak atanga ni lum ai paha thlir lup lup ka chak thei

  8. Hi!Its a pleasure browsing thru ur blog. May you have a peaceful christmas indeed! and your family too!

  9. @thinchhia: niaa keipoh dik tak chuan ka ning ang reng khups mai, an zai thiam viau naa :P Kritmat bazar tawt chu kan thlir dun dawn mi, kan lo euu vel thin anga :P

    @R & B : hey welcome!! Hope China's treating you well. Wish you a very blessed and meaningful Christmas too!

  10. To survive is the greatest acievement kan ti ve khauh teh ang.
    Nuam deuh khan lo hmang ru, keipawh kan khuaah hian ka hman hnuhnung ber tur a nia nuam deuh in ka hmang dawn. Nakum lamah chuan khaw khatah kan hmang tawh dawn nia auh! Kan vengah te min lo seilen khalh lehnghal! :PP
    Happy krit-mat :D

  11. E..iti tha kanlo ti lutuk a...Krismas nuam deuhin inchhungkuain in hmang dawn nia.

  12. @wonderboy: In khua chu Gauhabay ni hmiang ka tia... nia i ti lunglen thlak khups mai. Thanks for the words of encouragement, sometimes surviving is an achievement indeed :) Nia, dam hi han hauh phot ila, nakum Kritmat chu kha khatah hman ho ngei kan tum ang chu!

    @Sawmpuia: E, kan pu te, in ti lawmawm thin e. Kritmat i lo haw dawn lova, nuam lo eee.Nangpoh nuam deuhin ooo.

  13. Hotunu, Massi chibai Ka line muang over ka browse hleithei lo, ka ron inreport phawt :)

  14. Oho ni maw, Hotupa, btlak thin teh e tiro keini Line ve ho hi chu. I fel reng2 e, i rawn in report a. Nangpoh hlim leh tha taka i hman ka duhsak a che.

  15. Kmin chu ka bazar hran lo nain, Krismass bazar tawt thin lutuk hi chu a hahthlak ngawt mai. Kei Boney M Hla hi a ti krismas tu 1 ah ka lo ngai tawh mai asin. Thil man sang lutuk te hi keini ang duang tan chuan bazar ve ngamna chi pawh a ni lo.

  16. Merry Xmas u Cher.

    Reading your post takes me through the entire Xmas experience in Aizawl. Thanx for giving me that.

    hehe I do know about the hustle and bustle of shoppers and vendors especially at your locality bazaar. lolz. But never mind the noise and chaos, I would give anything to be in that crowd. You may feel like there's no peace there, but trust me, you will miss even that chaos when you are outside :(

  17. A hmasa in merry christmas!! :)

    Hehe..dawrpui cassette zawrhna vel bawr kha chu hman atangin ka lo ning ve tawh thin..a la danglam lo ani maw?? :D