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Friday, November 20, 2009

October 2009- Vizag 4

To Aizawl- The boating trip had been made under the warmth of the midday sun after which I barely had time to bathe and ride to the airport for my return flight. The 90-minute plane ride was spent in sweet slumber, taking care of the slight nauseating sensation of the boat ride. It was after 8pm when i reached Mizoram House, taking off again immediately for dinner at ‘Dash’, at the City Centre Mall, in a floor I didn’t even know existed. I was assured that my flight the following day was to be at 11am even though the ticket said 8:15 am. So imagine my shock to be told that I had missed my flight- were it not for my connections with men in uniform, I might have been stranded mercilessly. But like an incognito VIP, there were Sky Marshalls who made sure I boarded, was comfortable and arrived safely at Lengpui. Another man in uniform ushered me into the VIP lounge and dealt with my luggage- gave me one intereseting story to tell my folks!!! But another thought- I don’t think I can stand being a VIP, on protection 24/7- the knowledge that you’re being watched all the time kills the joy of just being

October 2009 Vizag 3

The YMCA Orientation- The purpose of my Vizag trip was the Orientation Programme for Chairpersons and Conveners of the YMCA Women’s For a with the theme ‘Visionary Leadership with a Mission’. Unlike the previous meetings I had attended, there was no chance whatsoever, to absent myself from the meetings, either to sleep or catch the sights. Right from the Inaugural function where we heard women of substance deliver the keynote address and the Devotional message, right down to the Planning and Brainstorming sessions, every meeting was worth the while. It was an inspiration to hear women from different parts of India tell of what they were doing in their own spheres to spread Christ’s message of love and brotherhood. Some were running projects for Street children, others were working in the field of health- all social actions highlighted were deeply rooted at the very base of the social strata, addressing basic needs to those who are so often denied access.




Thoughts of social activism in Mizoram made me realise how fortunate my society is in having a strong Christian base that has been addressing such issues for as long as it has existed. It also made me think of the very culture of the Mizo people that does not permit anyone to lock themselves up in their iron castles, isolated from society. True, our curiosity can get annoying at times but I would not trade this for the indifference of other societies.

The YMCA, as also other Christian NGO’s and the Church, is striving to adopt and tackle the very things that come so naturally to a Mizo. The question now, though, is are these still natural tendencies? Or have we become so civilised that we are going to need NGO’s to tell us that you and I are to look out for our neighbours? Out of all that was said and heard, the one thing I have brought home with me is the need to participate – to hold as my own the things that affect me and my fellow human folk. To be a part of the change that I desire, to see the marginalised make way into the mainstream, to have the burden of translating Vision into reality and making it my life’s mission. The morning Devotions were a time to reflect on that very matter- on the Purpose driven life of a Christian, one whose Faith will not allow the sight of a fellow man denied his right to a global citizenship.

Our hosts, the Vishakapatnam YMCA excelled themselves- their hospitality, their extra efforts to make sure we were all comfortable, the care they put into the smallest details- their love turned Vizag into the loveliest of places.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

October 2009- Vizag 2

Vishakhapatnam: the place

It was a quiet, clean airport we landed in at Vizag- the charm was all there, just like it had been in Cochin and at Trichy- blame it on small town Southern India magic! And while I hesitated at the exit door, I saw YMCA in capitals being carried by two men near the gate and we smilingly left together. It was hot, but the man with me insisted winter had started and that this was one of the best times there, weather wise- at least, there’s money saved on winter wear. Vizag isn’t a big place, not big enough for rough traffic or the so often annoying beggars that swarm you at traffic lights in bigger cities. I did see the odd silver-paint coated Gandhis though - the first, a boy of about 7 at the beach; and the other, a young man on my way to the airport.

The people looked busy and despite the long stretch of beaches, the air wasn’t that of a lazy or lethargic town. The YMCA, where we stayed and had our meetings, was right next to the long stretch of what is popularly called RK Beach. And I have to say the Government has definitely done its part in making the most of what Nature has given. A beautifully maintained road runs along on an elevation to the beach and the powerful waters- tempting enough for every room in the YMCA to carry a warning against swimming in the sea. And the beach wasn’t the only beautiful thing. Kailashgiri Hills was a pleasure and it was one of my greatest regrets not to have spent more time there. Going up on the ropeway, we could see the entire city-with its hills and the sea, and at the distance was the sight of boats with their white sails up, straight out of a postcard! On the hill is a small train track where a toy train with glass windows makes its way round the picturesque sight.

Then there was the Bay of Bengal where we went boating. The clear waters appeared black and full of mystery as we cruised around trying to find our bearings in the midst of God’s beautiful handiwork. A curious thing of interest was the sight of fish drying on the very roads we were travelling in- so naturally, with such familiarity. No one thought otherwise and I guess no one but the owners ever ventured to pick them once they had dried to satisfaction. It was in the intriguing mixture of sun, sand, hills, the green trees and the dark blue sea that Vizag fixed itself upon my heart.

A privilege accorded only by Vizag was the journey inside INS KURSURA, the submarine that served her country well in the 1971 War with Pakistan and decommissioned after 31 glorious years of service to her country. I have always saluted naval forces, but going inside the 91.3m long submarine made me realise just how special these men really are. Forget the movies, this is real life, and if you can survive that, life would surely offer a lot less challenges. The torpedoes and missiles, the bunkers and kitchen, the cabins and washrooms, the engines- if only I were I better writer!!

October 2009 Vizag 1


To Vizag:
The trip got off to a rather shaky start as I had to be practically pulled into Security to make it on the 3pm Kingfisher flight to Kolkatta on October 29.It wasn’t that we had made it late to the airport- it was because Enga and I had decided we should eat before I checked it. We talked over our plates of Chow and did not realise there was barely 15 minutes before departure!! But it wasn’t too bad either because it saved me from the long wait at the rather uninteresting Security Hall at the airport. What the flight did, though, was kill my plans of shopping in Kolkatta that evening because it was close to 6 when I finally made it to Mizoram House. Unwilling to resign myself to a night without an outing, I decided to take off the moment I got to my room. My roommate, a Lecturer at RIPANS was only too willing to go along, so we rode over to Mani Square and ended up with quite a haul anyway- but missed the initial aim of great bargains at New Market. Got burgers for dinner though they ended up as my breakfast after all.

Made my way then to the nearby Stadium to meet a friend. A good reunion it was tho’ it gave me a slight headache the following morning. The flight to Vizag on October 30 was at 6:30 am, and I was left with no choice but to get up and leave a little after 4am- so much for going on a holiday!! (and there was no choice in the flight timings, cos that’s the only direct flight between Vizag and Kol).

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

leaving for Vizag 2moro!!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Vantawng-Hmuifang




The Beihrual service seemed to drag on and on. It wasn’t so much the fact that everyone had a thing to say about our topic but that none of them seemed to be able to get on without several repetitions, uncaring of how much time they were stealing from me. I say stealing because on the night of September 24, I had things to do. It was the last night of the ‘Beihrual at homes’ phase and we finally called it a night around 9:15, had tea, got home close to 10pm. The reason I was in such a hurry was because there was a trip that was supposed to leave by around 6 the following morning, destination Vantawng Khawhthla and Hmuifang Tlang.


Still drowsy after about 3 hours of sleep, made my way to college after 6am on the morning of September 25. My haste must have been obvious by the steps I was taking- for the very first time in my six years of walking to college, I was offered a lift!!!! A welcome move such as this is extremely rare and accepted eagerly. Bless the kind man who was on his way back from dropping his daughter off for her tuition.

Signed myself in and met some students before leaving in an hour. It was already after 7 when the gypsy finally picked me up at ‘Pi Pangi Kawn’ and we still had to do a detour through Khatla to get some stuff for our excursion. It was getting difficult to sit still by then because the kids going with us were already waiting for me at home, getting restless. Got dropped at home where I changed very quickly and was ready to leave in ten minutes. But things rarely ever go according to plan- it was good half hour before everyone was ready- there were exactly 29 of us.

This was a trip planned and sponsored by 3Dimension, a company that was getting ready to launch Package Tours in Adventure Tourism. The plan was to head out to Thenzawl and make our way to Vantawng Khawhthla- the tallest waterfall in Mizoram, and move on up to the Hmuifang Tourist resort for the night. There were two main players from 3 Dimension and their driver; two singer-guests, the cameraman, 9 guys from two adventure clubs and 11 of my young friends and the drivers of the two pick-up trucks. By the time we stopped to get fuel at Kulikawn, it was already 8 and I knew we were running late, so much so that we had to make an unplanned stop to have tea on the way cos we, mostly I, got so hungry it was getting close to a heartburn.

Brunch was done at Chamring where a man I used to know had built a nice restaurant, pretty impressive for the very basic, clean amenities. Everyone was hungry by then- it was close to 11 and it’s amazing to see how much some of us can eat at times!!!:))

From there, Thenzawl was a short drive and then on to the waterfalls. The small road leading to the viewing gallery was about 2.5 kms from the main road and rather tough. The gypsy made it fine with no major hick—ups but it was a little tougher for the trucks, and one of the guys made sure he was safe by jumping off at least thrice on the way in. A viewing gallery had been built at a strategic hillside by the Tourism department from where the falls could be seen in all its majesty. The building itself had seen better days though, the white walls both inside and out were lined with graffiti- not the arty kind, just names scrawled with charcoal obviously left by visitors over the years.
Inside we geared up to take the trek down to the falls- odomos and salt were liberally applied to ward off insects that do not care if they suck your blood and leave nasty scars on their wake. Some of the guys from the Adventure club went down as an advance party to make sure there was a road leading down to the crevice in the falls and the rest of us followed. The terrain downhill was steep, small, slippery and overgrown with wild bushes- not something any of us had experienced very often. And as we continued to move, sometimes slipping and screaming with surprise and anguish, we couldn’t help but feel at times that we were not exactly on the right route because we seemed to walk away from the falls, not going to it. And we were right- although we didn’t know it at the time. It seems the route normally taken by trekkers leading to the crevice that could be seen from the gallery was dangerous at the time because the monsoon had been a little heavy. And the advance party had taken the trouble to make way down a lesser travelled route going down to a lower end of the falls. It took us about an hour’s walk through a steep hillside of heavy vegetation but it was worth it

The Vantawng falls is best seen in the monsoon because the water cascading down was heavy, forceful and dangerously powerful. At the crevice where we landed up, the water flowed fast and furious and those of us who couldn’t swim made a beeline for the small inflatable boat two guys had managed to bring down. The water wasn’t particularly deep at the ends and there were rocks that we could step on to make our way around the sides of the water. The only problem was that they were mighty slippery- I was advised to wear socks for a better grip. Some of the guys began angling and fishing, but there wasn’t too much live taking bait- the only fish caught were those that were grabbed by hand!! A small tent was put up and a fire started- we warmed ourselves up but couldn’t really do too much as time was running with us behind.

The thought of making it up back to the gallery was scary. Going downhill was one thing- one could even slip down some stretches, but going back up was going to take every ounce of strength, and with slippery shoes like mine, just the thought itself was scary enough. I didn’t think I could do it- but there were absolutely no options- walk up or be stranded.

The trek itself turned out to be easier and shorter than I had anticipated but far more tiring. I was in a party of five, the guy in front had a stick I pulled myself up with many times, and the one behind had the unenviable task of pushing me forward at some points. We had to stop some six time because I was quickly running out of breath. One time, I thought I’d died, falling flat on my bosom at an uphill stretch of a very small clearing. If it wasn’t for the two guys who pulled me back to my feet, I might have slept there for some traveller to find my bones many years later)

Hmuifang Tourist resort and a good night’s sleep was definitely more appealing than any of the more expensive energy-requiring acts I could think of then. Dinner happened at the same place and it was dark by the time we left for Hmuifang. That was definitely not the way I had planned. We wanted to be at the resort by sundown, set up tents and a campfire with music and some entertainment. Sadly, that was not to be. The electricity was at minimum power and the lawns were pitch dark, no campfire because no wood was available (how could they not have thought of this before??) and no tents, therefore no sleeping under the stars because it was just too dark outside to see anything!!! What a major disappointment.


But the VIP room, which I was sharing with three of my young girlfrens was abuzz with activity. The boys had nowhere else to go, nothing else to do- we were drawing them like bees were drawn to nectar…hahahaha!!! Our bed was turned into a massage parlour of sorts, the sofas were full, some decided sitting on the floor was fun too Light down was after midnight. Not to miss- 3 of us girls bathed together in the huge bathtub in our room!!

The morning of September 26 turned out to be beautiful and sunny, and not a cloud covered the horizon. The tents came up at campsite, umbrellas and chairs set up atop a small mount making a picturesque sight. The gypsy then made it up to Hmuifang tlang, one of the most beautiful hill sites in Mizoram.

The hilltop was worth the tricky but beautiful approach route that scared me at times. On the way up, there were spots that would have inspired beautiful lines from people more creative than the seven who made it up. Hmuifang tlang is special for the sight it offers- you can see the hills of Bangladesh and Burma and it is located right about the middle of Mizoram making it possible to sight Aizawl on the north and Lunglei on the south as well. The hill looks as though it has been covered with a stretch of artificial grass- beautiful beyond my vocabulary. The surprise for me was the growth of pine trees- something I haven’t seen anywhere else in the state, though I certainly am no authority on the matter. I wanted to sit there forever…

The trip back home is another story all by itself again. We were going to take the rough track over what is called ‘Midum Kham’, a very steep terrain, tall, rocky and entirely risky. The road was rough and the rains had made it more uneven and dangerously slippery. And I had decided to travel on the back of the pick-up truck- call me crazy! There were at least a dozen times when I thought our truck was gonna slip, slide and fall on its sides- I so wanted to jump down. But the guys around me made sure I sat still though they had to bear my ear-piercing screams. Through that rough path we made our way through the villages of Sumsuih, Thiak and Lungsai finally reaching the highway at Aibawk where we stopped to eat.

Adventure trips like this are an eye-opener. Mizoram has so much to offer that I am yet to explore. To be born here, to live most of my life here and to die never having seen at least some of these sights, to never have experienced fear from the hills I love, to never have seen the other lives I share this space with- that would have been a tragedy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Magic Tap:
Magic tap, which appears to float in the sky with an endless supply of water. In actuality, there is a pipe hidden in the stream of water.
Location: Aqualand, Cadiz .


Santa Fe
Location: Santa Fe , New Mexico



Wednesday, June 10, 2009

corrigendum?....naaahhh!!!

yup i was right!!!! I knew i was definitely going to squirm at what i'd blogged from a cafe... the spellings, space bar timings- my thoughts in general...Whew!!! but no corrigendums, i dont do that

Friday, May 29, 2009

out of boredom

At Kolkatta airport, i find i have too much time and absolutely nothing to do so iwalk to the cyber cafe to sit and find ways to while away my time. I reason its a good thing anyway because it gives me a chance toupdate my blog- its been so long since i last did. But what does one write about when the mind is filled with thoughts of the two flights one still has to take, of the long hours of transit one still has to sit through; when the three a-little-ahead-in-years men next to you on the small round table are eating samosas with sauce dripping over and slurping like they never had anything better in their life???

Really, this is only an exercise to make time go faster!!!

I might cringe when i look at this post when i've had time to reflect. When the mind is willing to yhink thoughts worth sharing, these linesmay only make me wanna shout at the girl typing them. But then, technology comes to her aid. the great thing about this blog is that it allows me, the creator, to delete so many lines, written at the cost of my time, money, finger muscles and some grey matter- to wipe them off the face of whatever "world wide" space it ever inhibited.

It was a good flight. I sat beside a mantoo big to be comfortable in the small Kingfisher ATR seats on the Aizawl- Kolkatta route. Why i hate sitting beside such specimens of the population, is that i dont get enough room to rest my arms. They always, almost always, hog the arm rest we're supposed to share. Space constraints must be stopping all makers of planes from providing independent arm rests to passengers. And space constraints make the larger ones hog what they're supposed to share- maybe thats the only way they can show their frustration at being too big to fit into seats they can afford to pay for. But tahts mean, cos in this particular sector, one doesnt really have a choice.

Now if i was anywhere else, this would be the point where i break off from the nonsensical narrationa nd philosophise on the general nature of airplane passengers- the polite and the rude ones; the smelly and the cool ones. But i cant do that-like I said, the men are still smacking on their samosas and the cook here keeps producing appeasing smells behind. And justwhen im determined to stop eating between meals!!!

I have been here for half an hour now. the first few minutes after landing, i was sitting in the VIP lounge, trying to look serious and reading the newspaper. it got to be a little confining- i mean the looking serious part. So i ran out, got my bag and my faithful trrolley and decided to explore Kolkatta airport space like i always do. Im good at this, especially when im alone. Which is why i prefer travelling alone. Why i'd rather be in a cafe than in the VIP lounge trying to make sensible conversation...

Monday, March 9, 2009

ZORAM NI- Dr. J.V. Hluna

Why should there be a 'ZORAM NI' at all?? Are we, the younger generation especially, aware of what we have behind us? Do we understand the history that has moulded us? Read on- extracted and abridged from the original.



March ni 5, 1966, Jet Fighter paliin Aizawl leh Zoram hmun dang a bomb ni chuan Mizo te mipui te hi hlauvin kan khur a, kan khawpui ber hi luahtu awm lovin a ram asin! Meivapah a chang a, rukru leh suamhmangte pukah zuk chang hman a! Zoram pum hi kan thla a bar a, kan tap a ni. Jet Fighter hian Mizo pumpui min bei chu kan ti theilo, mahse Mizoram pumpui min tihthaih a, kan hlau a ni. A beih laiin Civil mi leh MNF mi vansang atangin hre tawh heklo le! Mi tam tak thih phah leh hliam an awm a, ramtuileilo ni hlen an thahnem hle. Hnahlan te, Khawzawl te, Sangau te, Tlabung khua te pawh hemi tum hian an bomb a nih kha. A bomb loh khua te pawh a tihthaih a, Jet Fighter rum velin Zoram khaw tinah hniam te teah thlawkin a enthla kual a, mi tin an tlanchhe chawn chawn a, bihrukna kan zawng ruai vek a nih kha. Dik tak chuan February 28, 1966 a chet tum MNF zinga mi Rokima, anmahni bomb tihpuah palha a thih avangin Assam Rifles beih an tum chu thulh a ni a, Treasury bei tur pawl chu an che na a, an hlawhchham a. March ni 2 zanah Chanmari, tuna Veraz dawr kawtah sipai duty an ambush a, an thi nual a. A tuk ni 3 ah an thinrim chu an ralthuam nen mipui min rikrap nan an inlar ta chiam mai a. Bazar vela mipui hlau an tlanchhia a, mahni dawr leh sa zawrh lai pawh an tlansan pheng phung a ni. Assam Rifles lam an Camp ah an lut leh tawh tih an hriat hnu ah mahni dawr chingfelin an kir leh ngam chauh a. Assam Rifles lam an in ralrin vek tawh, March ni 4 zan khan sipai leh MNF te zankhuain an inkap ta a. Heng lai hian Pu Paul Zakhuma chanchinbu, “Aijal Daily News” chu nitin, ni 5 thleng khan a la chhuak a. Ni 5 chhun a thilthleng rapthlak em em atang chiah khan Aizawl chu kan rauhsan ta a ni.

A hnuah khaw dang dangte bomb lehin khaw hal leh ‘grouping’ te a thleng a, kum 20 rambuaia kan awm chhungin pawngsual leh thil rapthlak pui pui a thleng fo mai. Mahse, a rapthlak ber chu March ni 5, 1966 kha a ni. Japan, Taiwan leh USA te tuarna aiin nep mah se a tuartu Mizote tan ni rapthlak ber a ni miau si. Zoram pawn hmun tin – Shillong, Haflong, Silchar, Manipur, Burma leh East Pakistan (Bangladesh)-ah te kan teh darh ta chiam mai a nih kha.

India sawrkar hriat danin MNF Volunteers chu 2000 an ni a. East Pakistan-a training nei mi 200 an ni. March ni 1 buaia MNF ralthuam neih zat , Lunglei leh Champhaia sipai ta an mankhawmte nen vek, India sawrkarin a hriat dan chu –
1. 303 Rifle = 600
2. Light Machine Gun = 20
3. Sten Guns = 75
4. Carbines = 25
5. Revolvers/Pistols = 30 leh local arm chi hrang hrang 1500 vel a ni.
Hei hi V.F. Jafa, IAS, Aizawl Addl. DC ni thin in ‘Faulties’ Vol.3 Nov. 1999 pp.5-16-a a ziak dan a ni.

A tam ber hi Lunglei leh Champhai Sipai Camp an hneh hnua an lak a ni a, hemi hmaa an neih chu E. Pakistan (Bangladesh) atanga mi 200 training te hawn theih tawk zat a ni mai a, a tam lo. MNF 2000 zingah silai nei mi tlem te chauh an awm tihna a nih chu.

MNF zat an hria a, an ralthuam neih zat an hria. Training nei zat an hria. Sipai Camp hualtu MNF te pawh an hual ber sipai te min hrilh dan chuan, “Training nei lo, ralthuam nei lo, hlauhawm lo” an ti. An tui chawina MNF in an danchah lah chu Dacota thlawhnain an Camp chhungah tui a thlak a, chutih laiin anmahni chhan turin 61 Mountain Brigade chu Lt. Gen. Saghat Singh-a hovin thim nguk khawpa tamin Mizoram an pan a. Armour Car leh ralthuam tha ber ber nen March ni 7-ah Aizawl an lut mai dawn tih an chiang reng tawh. Chutiang a nih laiin engati nge vansang indo nana an ralthuam neih that ber Jet Fighter hmanga March ni 5 khan min rawn bomb tak ul ul mai le!! Ramchhung hmun dang khawiah mah chutiang an hmang ve si lo. Naga, rei tak lo hel tawh, ralthuam tha tak tak hmang pawh Jet Fighter kher chuan an la bei lo. Hetia Mizo te min rawn bei ta mai hi India sawrkar hian tisual a inti ang em le? Keini chuan tisual kan ti a ni. “Kan lo tisual palh a ni e,” ti ve mai se chuan kan dam tlang mai tur. Lungawi takin State kan nei a, Indian Constitution-in mi a hum a, thlamuang tak leh chhuang takin India mi kan ni tawh. Tu man hel lehna rilru kan pu lo. Khang hun laia Chinese Kuomintang sipaiten Taiwanese an awp ang maia India mi ve tho si mi an tiduhdah kha tun hnuah hian pawi ti se kan duh mai a ni.

Zawl khawpui senmei a chan ni atang chuan kan sakhaw kalphung a buai a. Zan Curfew a nih reng avangin eng kohhran mah zanah an inkhawm ngai lova. Zan chu sawi loh 1966–67 buai zual lai chuan Chawlhni pawhin a inkhawm theih meuh loh a ni. Inkhawm lai sipaiin an , tam tak kan rauhsan bawk a. Keima hmuh ve ngeiah pawh Zemabawk te, Seling leh Keifang Presbyterian Kohhran Biakin chu kang lo mah se a building ngai ngaiin Vai sipaiin an luah hlauh a, Hindu biakin atan an hmang a ni.

Mi thahnemngaite thawhrimna Pathianin mal a sawm a, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi-a’n Punjab Governor tang lai Arjun Singh ko kirin Pu Laldenga dawr turin Congress Vice President-ah a siam a. Pu Denga’n inthlang lova lal – CM ni nghal thei a nih dawn phawt chuan underground MNF zawng zawng India Constitution pawm tura rawn luhpui a duh tih a hriat veleh kan politician ropui, Pu Lal Thanhawla’n remna thlen theihna a nih phawt chuan tiin CM lalthutthleng chu Pu Laldenga a kian a. Pu Denga pawhin India Constitution chhunga Mizo te kan himna ngei tur nia a hriat a thun bawk a. Lawm tlang takin kan inrem ta a nih kha. Pu Denga leh Pu Hawla te kha remna siamtu te an nih chu.

Kan hnam history-a ni thlengah March ni 5 aia rapthlak, Mizo hnam pumpui rumna ni leh Pathian auh nasatna ni a awm lo. Chuvangin hei aia ZORAM NI tih phu hi a awm dawn em ni? Kan hnam ni, inngaihdamna ni, tawngtaina ni, sakhaw thilah pawh Pathian hnena inhlan thar lehna nia hman ni se. Buai vanga nunna chante zah entirna ni – Martyrs Day -a hman hi a phu a ni. Inhuatna rilru chawhthawh tumna a ni lo. India mi, Mizo kan nihna ang takin India ram hmun dangte hian min en se kan duh a ni.
Lungrual tak leh puithu taka he ni hi MZP hmalakna a serh a, thi leh hliamte (Martar te) zahna entir nana kan hmang thin hi a lawmawm a. Kuminah MJA President in a ho thei leh thu ropui tak tak a sawi hi a tihlawhtlingtu pakhat a ni. YMA President thusawi pawh hnam hmangaihna nena sawi a ni bawk a, rilru a khawih hle mai. Mizo History-ah a pawimawh reng tawh dawn a ni. Kan ngaih pawimawh loh a, ho mai mai kan tih zel chuan eng ni hi nge ngaih pawimawh zawk kan neih le? Hei aia kan hnam tuarna ni, hriatreng tur kan neiin a lang lo. Chuvangin he ni hi MZP mai ni lo, sawrkar leh kohhran pawhin a pawimawhzia hi kan la lantir tial tial ngeiin a rinawm. Nakum lam atang phei chuan kan Chief Minister hovin Mizoram Sorkar leh MKHC, MPF, YMA, MHIP, MUP te tel vekin urhsun taka hnam tana inhlan thar lehna ni ah hmang ila. March ni 5 zinga tawngtai inkhawm zawng zawngin Pathian min chhanchhuah avanga lawmthu sawina hun hmangin kan tihsual ah te ngaihdam dila sual thupha chawina te nei thei ziah ila kan hnam inpumkhatna atan a tha ngei ang.

ZAWLKHAWPUI SENMEI CHAN NI KHA

In commemoration of the March 5, 1966 bombing of Aizawl and other villages in Mizoram, here is a translated piece that had been on another blog a while back.



ZAWLKHAWPUIIN SENMEI A CHAN NI KHA
(The Day Aizawl City Went Up in Flames)
Dr. Laltanpuii

That little thing they say has bombed Aizawl, and me I’m lost and so helpless’.


The only city the Mizo people called their own, loved by every Mizo child born of Chhinlung ‘Aizawl City’ the name on every Mizo lip- the city burning on March 5, 1966 will forever be a living memory for me.

I believe it was February 26, 1966 while sitting in the Class VII room of Govt. High School when my dearest friend Kimteii said to me, “My Dear, my Dad said that the MNF Volunteers are apparently attempting to seize the Aizawl Assam Rifles and U Tlana has also gone with some others towards the Chite river” that my young heart of fourteen years was filled with joy, excitement and apprehension. All the more so because the autumn of the previous year, I had bunked my classes at Saitual ME School to help out at the feast on the setting up of an MNF Volunteer Battalion.

Then from the night of February 28, 1966, Aizawl began to be filled with the sounds of gunfire and bomb blasts. Everyone stayed put in their houses, looking for a haven of safety and the hazardous and difficult process of relocation had already begun. There was no longer any thought of School so along with my friends Kimi and Vani, we set out to help the volunteers in any way we could. We went over to our assigned task of cooking for them at Govt. Boys M.E. School and found grown men, young men and women there. While we busied ourselves with our task, there were some who were happily singing with their guitars and dancing in joy. Words cannot adequately express the emotions of joy and anxiety mixed in our hearts during those precarious times. The time had apparently come for us, like it had for others in the outside world to find and identify ourselves with a political movement.

While we young people were busy with our assigned task, there was another time evolving, a more hazardous and perilous one. A powerful Fighter (F 104 Phantom Z) had reached the Aizawl skies and was hovering above us. After a few turns above, they began pelting those places they believed housed volunteers with bombs and other ammunition, with absolutely no restraint. Everyone ran amok in fear, looking for a place where they might be safe- I also found myself in a few life-threatening situations! As they were fleeing, my uncle/grandfather called for me to follow but I said, “ You run on to safety, I will follow with my friends at the end, but do find a way of letting me know where you go.”

There were hordes of people fleeing Aizawl from then on. We somehow found ourselves going towards Dawrpui from Tuikual side to find my family had already left. They had left a letter saying, “Tante, We are going down to Chite and will go on to Saitual from Zokhawsang and Seling. Follow us as quickly as you can.” I then knew how I was to follow them. My friend Kimteii’s family had also left but they had gone down south to their families there. All this while Aizawl was already groaning in fear and trepidation, with her people abandoning her for safety. It was then that it happened, this Zawlkhawpui we loved was burning, there was nothing to see but flames all around. My only lot was to cry ‘That little thing they say has bombed Aizawl, and me I’m lost and so helpless’.

Burning Flames! Dead Bodies! Kimteii Passed Away!

With My Dear-i (Kimteii), my dearest friend in this whole world, I got ready to flee Aizawl with the rest to find us a sanctuary from this madness. On the road towards Bazar, we did see a few corpses on the way and all this time, the Fighter was hailing down fire at everyone and everything on land. At Tuithiang, we saw the dead bodies of cows and pigs and decided that we would avoid the Dawrpui road and walk on towards the west of Aizawl because the fighter frequented the eastern parts of town more than the others. When we saw the corpses of two teenaged girls lying together on the steps between two houses, we were filled with pity and touched to our cores. But knowing that this could be our fate too in another minute, I covered the bodies with one of my ‘puan’s (a type of sarong, the traditional wear of a Mizo woman) and we moved on.

As we were passing over the western road, we saw the body of a young man lying atop a small mound. Tired, we hurriedly lay down on a lowland. Then Kimteii, in an attempt to cover the body of that young man with her puan crawled towards the mound. There was a sudden machine gun fire from the A.R. compound and Kimteii cried out just as she covered the dead man’s body. When I turned at the sound of her cry, I saw the gun had caught her right below her breast, the bullet had come out through the back. Blood was coming out in splashes. She was tossing and turning on the ground. With all her strength she was shouting, “Tante, my dear, I’m going to die, I’m going to die. Run quickly, they’ll shoot you too…” I held her in my arms and cried, “O, my dear, Kimte, Kimte, how can I go on without you…? Never fear, I will die here with you…” And with her dying breath, “Tante, Tante, I’m now going to give my life for our land. Mother..Mother…Father…Father…the pain..” I prayed so that she might feel comforted, and that I might die there with her. In between her cries of agony, “Tante, take my notebook too and please continue to study…fulfill the dream we both had of becoming lady doctors” and soon after that “Mother…Mother…My King, take me into your arms… Dear God..I’m coming to you..” My Dear-i’s face began to change. She moved in fits, she stretched in pain, she groaned, and then she was no more. She was no longer there to speak to me. “My Dear, Kimte, open your eyes, speak to me” I repeated myself over and over again but she did not answer again nor did she move.

O my dear, Kimte, Kimte,
You have now given your life for our land and our people;
My friend, my friend, my love, my greatest love!
Your parting words..my misery..but Kimte,
When will my soul come to be with you..?
O Kimte, goodbye…goodbye…”

were the only words I could cry out. But even then, I was strangely comforted. In the autumn of 1965, Pu Lalchungnunga had held a Salvation Camping at Saitual and we both had offered ourselves up to God in prayer then. That is why Kimteii had cried out to her Saviour with her dying breath.! The God of Grace would surely have embraced her and welcomed her into his loving arms. Also, Kimteii had fought for our land and our people. A person with so much love, she had seen an unattended corpse and had gone ahead to cover it with her soft puan, knowing it was dangerous to move out. She was not afraid to die in fulfilling our traditional show of love and concern! As long as the Mizo people live, we shall remember Kimteii. Kimteii has died, but she continues to live.

Then I covered her body with my best puan, the Ngotekherh and laid her beside the body of the young man she had covered. A young man came by just then and shouted to me, “Why are you still here? Run quickly”. Then over the body of my best friend, the friend I’d been with since I was a kid, the one I always studied with and one I would never forget, over Kimteii’s body I prayed. Having ruled by the Creator of heaven and earth that we must part, I had to bid her farewell even against my will.
O my dearKimte, from whom I never wished to part,
But fate has ruled that I live, aimless in my loss!
I cannot accept, I do not know how to
Till when we find complete and everlasting rest
Goodbye…goodbye

…so crying I picked up her notebook and all her clothes in a bundle and ran off in a hurry with the young man towards the west.

After a while we teamed up with a family that was fleeing and somehow managed to cross Aizawl from the south. I had become so tired and hungry that I often stumbled and fell on the way. The young man would pick me up and hold my hand and he gave me all the remains of his bread. He then went on to Muallungthu while I stayed the night at Zokhawsang where my family had been. Then with some others, I moved up to join them at Saitual. At that time, Aizawl was no longer a city- it was just a big fire. With flames and smoke, with corpses on the streets, it had become a battleground like other places in the world.

From my trials to victory
My father (Thangvula, Arunachal Sub-Inspector for Education) came over from Manipur to Saitual to take me and we left for Manipur after two weeks at Saitual. My trials may have been a pittance compared to what others went through, but for me, it created a sense of victory in my heart. That also became the core of my life’s purpose. I went through life in health by the grace of God, doing well in my studies but my beloved Kimteii was no longer with me. I felt alone and forlorn many times. But she had gone on to the Saviour she had accepted, to a place where she did not have to study nor toil in hard work. I shall also join her and rest with her some day soon. The dream I had shared with Kimteii since we started High School, the dream she left me with in her dying moments became ever more precious! My father’s parting words as I was to leave for Bombay Medical College were so beautiful to me- “Tante, go in good health. You are to study to become a Doctor just as your friend Kimteii wanted you so remember that you are a Mizo wherever you go and remember to trust yourself in the Lord always.”

Looking back on the times that have gone by
How nostalgic I feel as I look back on my life! Where are the friends with whom I had shared such a happy month (February 1966) in the Class VII room at Government High School, without any fear that they would end so soon? O how I wish I could have just one day of the happy times I spent with my Kimteii at Aizawl! I can never forget Kimteii-her body given in sacrifice, the blood she shed, her last words spoken. How my tears fell the day I heard that I had passed my M.B.B.S. from Bombay Medical College, remembering the dream I had shared with Kimteii! I felt she came to me in spirit repeatedly saying, “Tante, how happy I am for you! I have now rested, Tante, it is up to you to use your skills for our land, for our people.”

After covering her body with my Ngotekherh and kissing her cheeks as I left her, Kimteii’s physical body has forever been lost to me! And how can I forget the young man who held me as I stumbled tired and hungry, the one who gave me his bread to eat, what is his name? Where might he be? And what about the family I detoured Aizawl with? And how precious for me the old lady in whose house I stumbled in at Zokhawsang, the one who cleaned me up of the clothes covered in Kimteii’ blood! And I remember the kindness of those I went with till Saitual and how they cared for me. And priceless is my father who came all the way from Manipur to take me to safety. Had he not come, I would have been caught in the terrible madness at Aizawl and where then would I have been? On the day I was filled with such memories

“ When I look back on the times gone by
how I miss the friends who’ve gone
comfort me now
o land where there are no goodbyes”
and
“The years of our youth, the good times all gone
Are you only to be the past?
As I collect the memories of those times
How melancholic and wistful you make me feel.”

(This is a Mizo article published in 1980 in the ‘MZP Chanchinbu’. The then Editor of the magazine, Dr. J.V.Hluna has included the piece in his book which is named after the title of this article. No further information is known of the writer and the author of the book expresses his deep desire to know who the writer, and who her ‘My Dear Kimteii’ are. This is an almost literal translation of a piece that brought tears to my eyes the first time I read it-tochh_shrugged)