Sunday, February 22, 2009

A memorable trip

These days i’m sooo longing to see Mizoram again. It’s been a long while since i last went there, back in May, 2004. I was on a visit after having lived outside for many years. That day we were travelling in a Sumo from Lunglei to Aizawl. The jeep which usually takes eight passengers had only five. It wasn’t a lucky day for the young man who owned the vehicle he drove.

Zartea, the owner driver, greeted us all cheerfully. One unusual thing about him was that he neither smoked nor chewed beetle nut-and-leaves, both common habits among drivers.

And when we stopped for tea and snacks around noon at Serchhip, he insisted on paying for all. “All the bills are on me,” he announced. We protested and tried to pay, but the stall owner wouldn’t take our money as Zartea had told her he was going to pay for all his passengers. When we asked him why, he laughingly replied that since we were so few he wanted to treat us well.

In the evening, when we reached Zemabawk, some policemen stopped our vehicle and asked the non-Mizo passengers where they were going. One of them said he was getting down at Bawngkawn. The other one kept silent. The police must have assumed both were getting down together. We moved on.

A little later, a shop keeper told us that there was a riot in the town and we had better hide the non-Mizo guy who was in the front seat. A local girl had been murdered and the suspect was a man from Bihar. Angry miscreants had beaten up some outsiders. All of us became greatly concerned for our co-passenger’s safety. We were nervous and everyone became quiet, including the driver who had been chatting and joking most of the way.

Inside Aizawl, shops were closed and traffic was thin. Police vehicles were patrolling the streets. We asked a policeman whether they could conduct the non-Mizo passenger to Kulikawn, his destination. They agreed and took him in their jeep. Then the joking and laughing re-started.

15 comments:

illusionaire said...

I hate such riots. I still remember when I was a kid my dad would hide all the mistiries he knew well in our basement (I saw them many times those days because of my dad's position back then when new department offices needed to be built here and there).

Really nice bunch of people. I used to spend a lot of time with them too and they were extremely nice and friendly to me. I remember they were mainly muslims (which I now deduct must have been illegal migrants from Bangladesh) but such names and religious differences never stuck me back then. I just used to wonder why people would do such a thing to another human-being.

At least now things aren't so bad, and we have enough voices now condemning mob-rule.

Calliopia said...

May 2004. That would've been the second-hand clothing dealer Muanpuii's shopgirl's killing. How time flies. Seems like that incident was just a couple of years ago but it's close on 5 years already. A lot has changed but a lot remains the same so why don't you come for a follow-up soon?

Sekibuhchhuak said...

Wow..Mizoram i hawn lohna avan rei tawh ve, Hotunu. I hawn leh hun chuan re-entry na lai tam tak i nei ve tawh ngei ang le!

Zarte-a ang, driver hawihhawm hi lo pung deuh deuh se avan duhawm em !

mesjay said...

Illusionaire, riots and violence of all kinds is illogical and inhuman. In cases like these, it's always the innocent that suffer while the real culprits escape.

No matter what race, colour or features, we all have red blood and beating hearts. Always being out to persecute 'the other' should be condemned by one and all.

Calliopia, time does fly before we know it. And it's high time to come back, am trying to make plans. It'd be lovely to meet some of you bloggers. Looking forward to that.

Seki, ni e, ka bo rei tawh lutuk ka aa zo vek tawh ang! Mahse ka trawng pai teuh lo ania aw, lol!

Zartea hi a hawihhawm danglam ve tlat alawm. Fiamthu thawhin a passenger te a ti nui reng thei bawk si. 'Kardom' tih motor a khalh. May his tribe increase!

hruaia said...

Vai sual leh Vai sual hran lo thliar hranna chang kan hriat a hun khawp mai.

mesjay said...

Hruaia, a dik chiah. Pawi sawi lo chunga kutthlak hi chu a dik lo tawp.

luliana said...

Driver kuhva leh meizu lo hi kei ka la tawng hauh lo mai, a bikin sumo driver ho ah hian...

1970's chho a silchar buai lai khan ka pa pawh nilengin marwari pa in a thukru alom...a kawhmawh bawl ho hi chu mi tlemte chauh an ni thin tlangpui..

mesjay said...

Lulian, kei poh ani chiah hi ka la hmu.
I pa thukru tu chuan a ti thra hle mai. Misual tlemte hian an chawk buai thui thei si a, buai duhlo hote hi bengchhen deuh a ngai ani.

blackestred said...

I remembered the time some years ago when a taxi-driver was murdered in Bagha, I watched the procession as they brought the body. I remembered the chaos that followed, Non-mizos driven out, beaten-up, shops and houses burnt, it was sad for a State that claims 99% Christianity.
I still remembered how the "B.C.Dey and Sons" store near Canteen Kual looked a few days later, as if it had been abandoned for years. It used to be such a friendly shop where we would play around while Mum & Dad would do their household shopping.
At the same time I wondered, would the plight of Mizos in Bagha be worse??

Philo said...

Did you try the Thenzawl route? It has it's bad stretches but the good ones are really good. Also, the drive through Thenzawl has some amazing landscape.

mesjay said...

Blackestred, Violence, especially on the innocent, is really hideous. What Mahatma Gandhi said: "'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth' would leave us all blind and toothless" is so relevant.

Philo, hope to try it next time i go there. It's high time, actually.

feddabonn said...

the sumo we took to lunglei had a tv/dvd player thingy. the news was on, and some chap had been run over, and the driver had run off. his name, address and father's name were being broadcast-wonder if he'll manage to get away!

we had a REALLY nice driver too, very concerned that we weren't eating, and then dropped us out of his way, even though we reached later than we planned. we reached late because he'd stopped to help another driver who was stranded. was rather proud t be mizo, lol.

mesjay said...

Feddabon, both types of drivers - both types of humans - exist. It's always a treat to come across the better variety.

Gauri Gharpure said...

your blog (and the circle) is my window to the north-east.. as a child, i was always fascinated by the region, and still have a lot of vivid imageries associated with the names.. good people, like the taxi driver, make everything and every place worthwhile in spite of all the scars..

mesjay said...

Gauri, do make a visit to the ne. It's quite different from the rest of the country. And each state is really different from another. People, of course, are as good or as bad as anywhere else.