Wednesday, August 13, 2014

One More Tale

Romeo in relentless pursuit
Will not consider denial.

The tides beat mercilessly
Upon the shore;
The rocks become weary.

I contemplate upon the power of water
But sirens intrude.

This thing that silences me
What is it?
Words were once my escape
Now they mock, tantalize, elude.

The blue of my summer sky
Must be indigo where you are.

The other day you asked
Why I do not write anymore.
Maybe I am happy -
Misery was always my muse.
But I sink into misery
When I cannot have my verses.
Perhaps the desire to stop desiring
Is not as strong as the desire to desire
An unnamable happiness.
And so there it is –
My objet petit a.
Much like you also are.

But Romeo, coming back to Romeo,
Who has chosen a flawed Juliet.
And Juliet who tries, and fails
To save them both.
She cannot rewrite the end
Of stories long prophesied.
Romeo rejects salvation
And pursues the elusive impossible.

I tire of these time-worn tales.

And so the tides beat on
Persuasive and unyielding.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

MA (English) "zir ve hrim hrim" hi

Mizo tawngin tun tum chu ti ve ngei ange aw... Kima Mizohican paw'n a ti ngam a lawm le! Hehe. Ziah dik loh leh tawngkam thiam loh kha chu min lo hmuhloh der sak hram mai dawn nia. Mizoram University hnuaia admission tih a hun leh tan chho tawh a, thawhpui te chuan an phone engtik lai mai pawhin a rik leh tan chuah chuah tawh thu an sawi sap sap leh ta. Kei ve mai, ramdanga awm daih pawh hian admission lama sawi pui tur a min rawn ngen call ka dawng nawlh nawlh mai! Hemi chungchanga kan hriat tha ka tih tlemte ka sawi chakna hi a rei tawh a, mahse kumin chu ka awm lo bawk a kan sawi ve ang e.Department dang ka sawi kep lem lova, mahse kan ngaihdan hi a inan tlan viau chu ka ring. Hei hi chu MA (English) "nih ve hrim hrim" tum ngawr ngawr te chhiar atan bik deuh a ka sawi ah min lo ngaih sak ula, chutih rual chuan English Department aiawh pawh ka ni chuang hranpa lo. Ka mimal hmuhdan ve mai mai a ni.

# Mizo te'n admission hmuh kan tum dan hi a fuh lo. Kan kalphung hrim hrim hian a zir loh vang te pawh a ni anga, hna dil leh engemaw hamthatna tur awmah "induhsak" "insawipui" tih vel hi a lar bawk lah taka. Zir na sang umin kan kal a, bul kan tan tum dan a dik lo nghal viau zel. Merit (a ti tha tha) a thlan mai tur ni si hian in sawipui leh in duhsak vanga luh kan beisei tlat. Kan department ah chuan hei hi theihtawpin tih loh kan duh dan a ni ve tlat thung. BA zirlai zawng zawnga zir tha peih si lo vawi leh khata inel rala duhsak vanga luh thut tum a, mahni aia zir tha peih leh thawkrim zawk rawn leh pelh vek tum hi a dik lo hrim hrim.
Minister lehkha leh Zirlai Pawl hruaitu lehkha, thiantha sawipui leh chhung leh khat, kohhran leh khawtlang a min hmelhriat tu rawn sawi zawng zawng hi admit vek theih an ni si lova, lungawi lo fe fe pawh an tam ang. Chutih rualin heng lehkha nei ve lo tan chuan thei ang tawk a dik (fair) a entrance test leh interview kan lo neih khan an tan chuan a 'fair fight' a nia, a lawmawm viau thung.

# Entrance/ selection kal phung: BA marks hian 50% a pu a, a dang 50% hi written test leh interview a ni. English department ah hian written test hi zirtirtu zawng zawngin dawhkhan thut bialin hmun leh hmunah paper tin an check a mark an pe hran vek. A tawpah an marks pek theuh average an la. Chutiang bawkin interview ah hian zirtirtu awm zawng zawng an thu a, marks a hranin an pe vek a,a tawpah average lak leh a ni. Mi pakhat khan a lo duhsak ruk viau pawhin a average lak a nih avangin awmzia a awm thui vak lo; chutih rualin kan en dan a inang tlang duh viau a, kan marks pek pawh hi a inang tlang viau thin. I ziah zawh hman loh emaw i nervous deuh etc vang khan i rilru ti hah lutuk duh suh, a endiktu lam hi experience nei tha tak tak an ni a, phek 2 -3 an chhiar emaw rei vak lo an kawm che chuan ngaihdan an siam thei ruak. I thiam vek loh pawn i thiamloh kha chu an lo zirtir mai dawn che a, an vei lutuk lo, zirtir theih turin potential i nei em tih kha an ngai pawimawh viau.

# MA hi zir mai mai chi a ni lo. Tunlai chhanah mi in hausak (k)an duh theuh a, Masters' Degree English a i neih khan i hausa thur thur dawn lo. Chutah a ti tha pawl i nih lova, pass ve tawk tawk i nih phei chuan zirtirtu hna tha emaw research tihna chance pawh i la nei vak dawn lo zui. Practical skills zir chhuah a tam lo hle a, doctor te, engineer te, leh Sciences zir ho angin nitin nunah i thiam thil han hman tangkai na tur em em a tam lo maithei. Sapram university tam tak ah phei chuan Humanities hi chu mi hausa zir atan an dah tan. Eizawn nan a tha ber ah ngaih a ni lem lo. I lungleng thei viau anga, thil i chhut neuh neuh peih viau anga, i philosophical viau anga, tlem tlem in history, psychology, political science, leh sociology te i hre nel nual ang a, critical thinking i hneh viau maithei. Chu pawh i subject ah i tui chuan. I tui loh phei chuan i hne hlui a ni mai.

# I hne hlui nachhan tur chu a workload a la rit phian zui. Lehkhabu pakhat chhiar zawh nan a thla thum vel mamawh zel chi i nih phei chuan a ngaihna a awm dawnlo. Semester khat (Thla 5 vel) chhungin a lo berah lehkhabu 30 vel i chhiar theih angai a, chu chu text chauh. A bak i inchhiar zau tur phei chu i peih zat zat a ni tawp mai. Zirtirtu te lah hian kan dim vak lo leh nghal a.

# "No" a theih loh. MZU hi a hla. A tehna a zir te pawh anianga. Mi tlangpui tan a hla. A lum bawk. Duhthusamin tui, ei leh in, bus service, etc etc a tha lo fo. I vun te kha a thu vek dawn. Hmeichhe tan - first semester chhung bak chu i inchei parh rei lo ang. Mut kham tawh ngai lo turah in dah tawp a fuh ang. Chung chu i pawm mai khan i hahdam. I no viau chuan i tlin dawn chuang lo.

# Master's Degree hi kal paha tih vel mai mai chi a ni lo. Assignments, presentations, tests, leh exams a indawt zut. I fail kher lo anga, mahse i social life - thian kawm, khawtlang leh kohhran, innei leh chaw eikhawm zawng zawng thulh lo a tih pah i tum chuan i rin aiin i ti tha lo anga, a tawpah certificate leh marksheet i tangkai pui vak loh nen i hawi ha ha mai ang.

# Saptawng zirna a ni lo. English department tih a ni naa, literature zirna a ni a, language hi a hranpa in kan in zirtir lo. Kha lam chu i chan.

# I tui chilh bur a ngai. Art a ni a, tui vak lo, tha si a ngaih avanga zir tum i nih chuan zir lo law law la i hahdam zawk maithei. Graduate i ni tawh tho tho a, hna tlangpui dil turin qualification i nei tawh tho; Master's chin hi a subject specialize duh tan liau liau a ni tawh tih hi kan hriat nawn a tha hle. Thu leh hla lam zirna a nih miau avangin luangliam deuh zawih zawih, sawi hluam hluam chi tan a nuam, titi mai mai naah te thlenga tui tak maia sawi peih loh tan chuan hun khawhral na ninawm ang reng tak bak a ni thin lo.

Heng zawng zawng hi i inhuam a i ti thei a nih chuan semester li (4) i zawh meuh chuan a hma ai chuan tih danglamin i awm ngei ang. English a Master's Degree nei chin hi mi rilru zim tak, tawng pung pung leh mawlmang deuh deuh a ngaihdan siam pup pup an vang viau. Keini lam, thiam vang ai maha hrat vanga thildang tih thlang lova lo luhchilh ho hian kan lo lawm viau ang che. Welcome aboard, and best wishes!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Travel Notes - I

I had wanted to visit the New England area for a very long time. Many years ago,when I studied American literature at University, I realized that most of America's best known, highly influential, and most beloved writers had hailed from the region, and I knew I had to see for myself the region that had produced such great minds. Besides, Harvard University is there. So, finally, one of my long-cherished dreams was going to come true for me. I was hyped up, super- excited, and ready to be overawed by pretty much everything I encountered.

Our first stop was Boston, Massachusetts. As we disembarked from the bus and went into the bus depot, the first conversation I overheard went thus:

Police officer/ Security Guy: [Looking at a Buddhist monk who hurried past] Is that the Delei Lama? (Dalai Lama)
Woman standing nearby: I think so...Yeah, I think so. But I don't think he'd be taking a bus here....

They were both completely serious. So much for first impressions. My friend and I exchanged looks of horror - and burst out laughing.

Anyhow, after a series of subway transfers, we reached the Bed and Breakfast that we were to stay in, run by a gay couple well past their prime but still full of life and drive. I won't digress into the very interesting art work placed strategically all over their beautiful home. Suffice it to say that they had quite a collection of gay art. Bruce, one of the hosts, was a great cook and we had a merry Fourth of July dinner with all of their other guests and some neighbors. This was one of the more harmless pieces in my room (not the most incongruous, though)

Boston decided to put on the Fourth of July celebrations including a concert with The Beach Boys followed by fireworks on the 3rd July because of the impending Hurricane Arthur predicted to hit the next day. So we went and enjoyed the show (sidenote: they must have a huge budget for fireworks) and then got caught in a downpour that took everyone by surprise on that balmy summer evening. I had worn a thin cotton shirt which turned out to be quite see-through when soaking wet. I felt like a Hindi movie heroine of yesteryears when they would stand and sing songs under waterfalls to avoid charges of blatant nudity on screen. But I digress.

Harvard University, which is a short train ride from the heart of Boston, was everything and more that I had imagined it to be. The "more" because it was VERY touristy, complete with tour guides shepherding various groups all across the campus, a Scottish wedding party marching to the tunes of bagpipes, Harvard souvenirs in all imaginable shapes and sizes and forms - you get the picture. Here are some, anyway:

World Cup football (soccer here, arrgh!) fever riding high, we even took a moment to catch a game at a sports bar in Hahvahd. Which was pretty cool.

Of all the information crammed into our heads by the tour guide, the one (probably useless) tidbit that stands out is the fact that the face of Mr. Harvard in the statue above is not actually his, because there are no records to show what he actually looked like. It is said that the statue's face is modelled after a certain Leonard Hoar, who was an ex-President of the University. Most ex-Presidents and other important people are remembered at Harvard by having the residential houses named after them - for example, Lowell House, Adams House, Mather House, and so on. But to have a house named after Hoar was a bit of a problem. So they commemorated him in the face of the great late and faceless Mr. Harvard, who, by the way, was not the founder of the University. Hah.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Birthday Ramblings

Birthdays have always been important to me - especially mine :) For as long as I can remember, I have celebrated the 27th day of April in some form or another with those closest to me. For the past five years in particular, I have spent it with a person who has meant a great deal to me. This year, I was all set to spend a quiet, low-key birthday because of several reasons - age-wise, it seemed to be getting a little ridiculous for me to get all worked up anymore; further, I am away from home, in a VERY FAR OFF LAND, with none of my long-time friends nearby, and some significant chapters of my life closing with an inevitable finality. So, there I was, feeling alone, bereft, and not a little sorry for myself (which is an archaic English way of saying "very sorry for myself", for the uninitiated. I swear the influence of all those Victorian novels make their presence felt at the most inconvenient times!)

Anyhow, this was not to be. Probably because those who know me well knew how much fuss I usually make on my birthday, they made an extra effort to wish me and make me feel loved. This has been the most unusual birthday for me. The one time that I wished to forget that it was my birthday turned out to be the longest one ever thanks to the different timezones that I and my near and dear ones live in. Starting with cousins in Australian time who started wishing me more than a full day in advance, and then moving on to those in IST who began calling me from the morning of OUR 26th (the first call came at 6 Am on the 26th to be precise - I love you all but you gotta learn to calculate the time differences!!) , and then friends in the East Coast who are ahead of us by three hours. When people in PST finally began wishing me, it was beginning to feel anticlimactic! Apart from the many, many wishes on my facebook wall, I had friends and family remembering me and sending their blessings via whatsapp, and texts, not to mention the calls I received from assorted locations. Including the one person I thought I would not be hearing from.

Without naming names, among other things I also received this
and this
. A dear friend sent me a Starbucks gift card, so I went and got myself a birthday treat of coffee and cake, and thoroughly enjoyed it too:

I am also told that I have a gift arriving soon in the mail from a very special person, and I'll upload that when I get it.
I also had one person play "happy birthday" on the violin and send it to me. Someone in a different timezone stayed up all night to usher in the day with me at midnight, my time. Despite my protests. Between all the attention I got from so many nice people, I had a very busy two-day birthday via my electronic devices. Who says social media is ruining our lives?!

The point of this whole blog post is not to brag in any way, but to put on record how immensely blessed I feel and how grateful I am to every one who made an effort to make me, the laziest person when it comes to these social niceties, feel like a million bucks. Contrary to my intentions, nobody was willing to let me forget that it was my birthday, and in hindsight, I am thankful for the way God has gently reminded me - in the nicest way possible - that I have nothing to regret or be sad about. Getting older is one way of looking at it, and that can be depressing when you're single. But it takes a very slight adjustment in perspective and choose to see it as a milestone, a blessing, and to realize that not one day of life can be taken for granted when we cannot prolong our time here on earth for even a single minute. I am in awe of the greatness of He who can.

Cliches are cliches for a reason, and it is true that when one door closes, another opens. Some people and traditions will have to be relegated to memory, but then, new friends, new loves, and new memories are also made in the process. C'est la vie.

As for me, unlike any other year, I had a very low-key, mellow day just as I had expected, but unexpectedly, I loved it. Thank you, all!

Oh, and as we like to say it, do leave your paw prints in the comments section below if you're reading this :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Of Subways and Voices

(Note: One of the reasons I have deferred updating my blog for so long is the huge turn my life has taken as a result of relocating for a while to the United States, initially in New York City, the Big Apple, the City that Never Sleeps, the Capital of the World, etc etc. If I were to update my blog, it had of necessity to be of things in my everyday, personal experience, but there was also the fear of sounding like a travelogue; and I am most certainly not a travel writer. I forget to take note of important places, or things; when my wind wanders, I even occasionally ignore the landscape and wonders of nature that travel writers are so wonderful at describing. Here is my attempt at a more personal account of impressions and scenes imprinted in my mind rather than a detailed description of places and landmarks).

New York City. In the city that never sleeps, I never slept either. Or hardly did. First because of jet lag, and later on because of a combination of bad habits, genuine insomnia, and the sirens that would so often cut across the silence of the night with alarming insistence. I never did get used to the sirens. Police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, and the occasional car alarm. Upper Manhattan.

The boroughs of New York are connected with an impressive network of underground trains - the subway system - that take you almost anywhere you want to go, any time, night or day. Our train, the one that took us downtown, was the A train. Oh, the A train! What sights, and smells, and visions, and experiences I had on the A train. Let me leave it at that.

But what remains for me the essence of the city is the remarkable talent of the subway performers - singers, dancers, and musicians. Imagine walking for miles (because you got lost trying to reach your destination which googlemaps told you was a ten minute walk, but that is a different story), tired feet adding to your frustration. Imagine being all alone with not a single soul to talk to or even smile at (New Yorkers are paranoid that way); imagine waiting in a cold, damp, dirty underground station, hungry and burdened with baggage both emotional and physical; imagine traveling what seems an interminable distance in the train, eyes resolutely downcast or deliberately kept blank so that you are not caught looking at any of your fellow passengers - who by the way, are doing the same thing - eye contact must be avoided at all costs; imagine wondering to yourself if it's all worth it after all; and then imagine the most soulful, earthy, raw voice belting out a bluesy note that you recognize in the midst of all that, or a lone, melancholy violin wafting through the air, or even a group of particularly acrobatic band of young boys playing music and hanging upside down from the poles inside the compartment. It's a little piece of heaven; a reminder that there is beauty in the most squalid of places, a little nudge to let you know that you are not alone. It is art doing what it does best - elevating your soul and transporting you to the realm beyond the mundane. Cheers, you brave, unsung heroes!