Saturday, August 4, 2012

Formal Trouble

What can an elderly woman wear at a wedding?

 When i was teaching in a Bangalore college, the dress code for women lecturers was the saree. It was tough going for the likes of me who weren’t born into it. But i did manage somehow. Once we moved to Mumbai and i took up a non-teaching job, dressing became free and easy. We don’t deal with customers; we don’t have to impress anybody. So we can wear what we please—within a level of decency and common sense, of course! A pair of corduroy pants, bought from the men’s clothing section at a mall, became my favourite wear. [It’s hard to get women’s casual trousers since they come in tights and slim fits, which i don’t want to wear. Same is the case with footwear, men’s section has interesting sandals and things while the women’s side is filled with silly, icky designs. Isn’t this part of gender harassment?]

But then, thinking of clothes for formal functions is such a headache! Some time back, we went for a Northeast hill folks wedding. Wanting to highlight regional solidarity, i went dressed in ‘puan’. But most of the other guests were in Westerns, and i felt so conspicuous in my ethnic. There’s another wedding coming in a few weeks. Someone is telling me to wear a silk saree. But i don’t want to, especially in this wet season. The situation reminds me of the lines from TS Eliot’s ‘The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock’: Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare eat a peach? I have heard the mermaids singing each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me.

Well, what does a female Prufrock do? Any suggestion?

Monday, April 2, 2012


The evening sun so softly shines
No more in glaring noonday heat;
‘Twill soon go down beyond our view
Its journey done, its work complete.

When day is done and dusk descends
Some creatures seek their homes to lay;
When night is here and darkness reigns
Elsewhere begins the reign of day.

It’s now the evening of my life,
Which soon may close in darkest night;
And then will break the sweetest dawn,
That turns to day forever bright.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


There’s this e-literary journal that also has a page called ‘your space’ where anyone can post their works. At one stage, the poets there were doing limericks. On one of those, i commented that limericks are delightful to read but too much of a challenge to write.

The poet responded by not only challenging, but actually coaxing me to try a hand at it. As it is, i’ve always been fascinated by the anapaestic beat (da da DA). So i decided to try it, and with egging and helps from the others, the following verses were churned out. Please do read and laugh :)

There was once an old girl gone frenetic
She was anxious to write her first limerick;
So she tried and she tried
Till she hopelessly cried,
And alas, she became an eccentric!


There was once a young boy with a bag
Which he lugged, caused his shoulders to sag,
So he trudged to his school
As required by rule
All his knowledge thus packed in a bag.


There was once an old dame, oh so poor
She did beg for her food door to door;
Then you know, one bad day—
It’s so sad to relay—
All her gold was exacted by law!


There was once an old maid who would nag
At her neighbours whose morals may sag;
She saw John in a bar
She got out of her car
And he said, “Here you are! Now let’s drag!”

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Winter trips, etc.

Summer’s already on its way and my blog still looks at winter, slow coach that i am! Anyway, it’s been good times though i’m a bit tardy at updating blogs.
My nephew in Aizawl got married on 20th December. So my daughter flew in on 18th, we left together on 19th and landed there in the evening. What with the joy of meeting siblings and others, we got healthily hungry and gorged on the rarely-come-by Mizo food. Yum yum!

Wedding next day. Missed the official family photo with bride and groom as i was busy talking with an old friend. My little camera conked out on me so i couldn’t take any pics. Daughter, sisters, nieces, sister in law and i posed for what would have been beautiful pictures in our dressy tops and puans, shot by brother in law’s brother in law. I was impatiently waiting for the copies when news came that there was no photo to be seen as bro-in-law’s bro-in-law’s camera’s memory card was run over by a vehicle. On getting news of the disaster, though i greatly miss the photos, i couldn’t help laughing my head off as the accident was so unique.

Starting the wedding night, i was down with tummy upset for a few days probably due to over eating. But i had company in my misery. Bro-in-law’s bro-in-law whose memory card later got run over also suffered the same fate, hehe!

Christmas was in Chaltlang, we stayed in my brother’s place. Just before the community feast, my friend’s sister in law died so i couldn’t join it. Big loss(es). And then we went to my parents’ old village. A nostalgic, lovely trip that deserves to be blogged about all by itself.

On every trip to Mizoram, i love to comb bookshops. But time ran out this time and i could only do one, in a hurry. I bought the novel 'Zodinpuii', and was shocked to find that the author was dead and that he was the son of Pi Vanramchhuangi, whom i interviewed for our organization just two years back. I also got 'Mianglo Sulhnu', a recently published collection of Mizo short stories, that i was looking for. So far i’ve read only ‘Kutdawh Puia’ by TS Khupchong. The theme is interesting, dealing with love of a different kind than the usual favourite, the sexual one. The execution too is pretty okay, especially considering the writer’s age; he’s only 22 plus according to the bio-note. It’s hopeful that this guy will make great contributions to Mizo literature.

Early Feb, another few days’ trip to Bangalore. It was really good but a bit too short; lots of things to do and lots of friends to meet. Got to ride the Metro there for the first time, pretty cool. Friends, family, etc were simply great.

My book, 'The Messiah', to be published by GLS, has gone to the press. I’m quite excited about it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My window

faces west,
frames a patch of sky
grotesque buildings
a few trees.

Some years ago
the scene included
hills beyond;
but the monster structures
swallowed them;
gorging, ever growing
they’re devouring the trees
nibbling at the sky.

The sky at times looks
dreary gray
or ominous dark,
at times deep azure
where one’s spirit may soar.
And sometimes set ablaze
at sunset, flares up
into glorious multi-coloured flame.

What your window shows
i know not,
but dearly hope
you see a span of sky
and way beyond.