Photobucket had recently changed their policy and now all the images from my 650+ blog posts are disabled. I am slowly editing them by moving my images to my own server at AWS, but it will take time. In case there is a particular old post you want to see the images of, kindly drop me a mail at mizohican@gmail.com and I'll keep that at a high priority. Thank you.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chp 239. OPERATION AIZAWL – Phase 1(A)


Are you tired of seeing Aizawl wrongly written as AIZWAL, AIZAWAL, AIZOL, AIJUAL etc everywhere on the internet?


I can understand some old-timers referring to Aizawl as Aijal, because that was how non-Mizos used to pronounce it back then. Many historical documentaries written by British officers and missionaries even mentioned Aizawl as Aijal. Even the 1940 Lushai Dictionary [now online] compiled by J. Herbert Lorrain (Pu Buanga) shows no result for “Aizawl”, but search for “Aijal” and you will get Aizawl!

But that was many years ago. Now with the internet revolution, more and more people are coming to know who the Mizos are and where Mizoram is. In spite of the fact that there’s almost nothing mentioned about us in our school “educational” books, we are no longer the “mystical strange Chinese-looking Indians” that we once were.

With the internet making our world one complete global village, I believe it is high time we correct some of the spelling mistakes about us. We definitely do not want our Indian brothers to learn the wrong names of our cities, do we?

Just like how any Indian will correct us immediately if we misspell the names of their cities, towns, states, cuisines etc, we Mizos too need to strike back and educate the mass about us.

Hence I present you: OPERATION AIZAWL

This movement is endorsed by mutiny.in



This movement is also in partner with zawlbuk.net, lawrkhawm.com, buannel.com and misual.com.



Last but not the least, this movement is a tribute and dedication to all the Mizos out there who actually write to the admins and site owners asking them to correct the name of Aizawl. I have seen such people many times before, fervently writing out passionate comments at any place where Aizawl is spelled wrongly, and I sincerely salute you guys. RESPECT!


Taking all your admirable efforts one step further, let us all make this a group effort. Let us combine our resources and our man-power together and we can even be more effective this way.


OPERATION AIZAWL.

Step 1: As an individual, we will all take genuine attempt to search online for any website, especially ticket-booking portals [phase 1(A)] and tourism websites [phase 1(B)], where Aizawl is wrongly written as… anything, as long as it is not A-I-Z-A-W-L.

Step 2: You can either write to the Admin of that website directly, requesting him to please change the name to Aizawl, or you can inform us about the website and we will do the needful from here.

Step 3: We will publicly list out all such sites here on this page, and we will mention if they have changed the name to Aizawl or not after our request. Feel free to copy this list of such websites to your blog/homepage too, because the more we take part in this, the more chances we have of getting noticed.

Step 4: If this operation is successful, we will take our operation into Phase two – Correcting offline agencies like printers and publishers of diaries, maps, and official/private documents. This is a much bigger task, but first let’s see how we fare in Phase 1(A) – Ticket booking sites.

Step 5: What if they still refuse to change it after we inform them about it? Boycott these airlines/agencies. Spread the word to your Mizo friends about it, and more importantly ask your non-Mizo friends to help you with this mission, for they have the power to make this change for us.


--------------------------------

Sure, one may argue that the spelling mistake is how it is pronounced in a “foreign” language – the Anglicized Latin version and that the “English version” of a local language can have many different spelling versions and forms.

But the one very big, if not THE ONLY main difference in our case is that we Mizos have adopted this very same script, and so a mistake in “English” means a mistake in Mizo directly. We would very much like to see the correct name in the language that WE use (adopted).

It’s not like the case of most other Indian languages, where the respective names of the cities/places come from the English pronunciation. Such regions have their own languages and scripts, so many people may argue that you cannot have the exact English version which is correct. But as mentioned above, we cannot apply that same case for the Mizos.

It is also not like the cases of Bombay-Mumbai, Madras-Chennai, Calcutta-Kolkata etc because the “old name” had never been AIZWAL, AIZAWAL in the first place. We Mizos are an extremely young tribe, especially when it comes to language and technology but that doesn’t mean we can let the more developed people take advantage of us. We can’t let someone give us a name that is to their own liking or at their whim and fancy.

Secondly, AIZWAL/AIZAWAL etc. makes no sense in our language. The name Aizawl comes from “Aidu” and “Zawl”. Aidu (wild cardamom) covers a large part of the now Assam Rifles ground (near Governor’s Raj Bhavan), which is the heart of present day Aizawl. “Zawl” means plain, a large place. Hence Aizawl means a large area that is covered with Aidu.

It was not even a “village” back then, and there were different hamlets surrounding this area, Chaltlang being one of them (my locality). Hence when the Britishers came, they thought the entire area was Aizawl. That’s where the name came from. Lt Colonel G. H. Loch “officially founded” Aizawl in the early 1890s, and “Fort Aijal” was established.

And thirdly, regarding the very common misnomer “AIZWAL”, if you think two simple misplaced letters is making a mountain out of a mole hill, try calling cities as Mumbia, Hydarebad, Chinnai etc and see the reaction you’ll get from the locals. I dare you. We are all proud of our respective background and history, hence we should also respect the pride others have for their history.


OPERATION AIZAWL:

PHASE 1(A): Airlines Ticket Booking Sites.


The National Airlines code for Aizawl is AJL, which I presume was derived from Aijal (duh!). I have no personal qualms regarding this (and since it is the official IATA code, it will be next to impossible to get this changed – Mumbai is still BOM, Kolkata is still CCU and Chennai is still MAA). Let us concentrate on just “Aizawl”.

Among the popular ticket booking sites, both makemytrip.com and cleartrip.com correctly labeled Aizawl as Aizawl. Yay!!! I’m booking my tickets only through you guys.

And special mention must be made about my twit-friend @Usha of cleartrip.com who changed the name of AJL Airport from “Turial Air Force Base” to “Lengpui Airport” immediately when @rualthan pointed it out, in less than 5 minutes! Cheers Usha!

From the lesser known ticket booking sites, travel.indiatimes.com, ezeego1.co.in and indiaairtkt.com have written Aizawl correctly too. Love you guys!

kingfisher.com also labeled Aizawl correctly, but when they made a full-page announcement/advertisement in the local papers a month ago (was it MM or TOI, I forgot), I was extremely disappointed on seeing AIZWAL boldly printed on the destination list. I guess somebody must have corrected them after that mistake.

Indian Airlines too is now proudly displaying “Aizawl”. Thank you, you guys, although I think this was the airlines that first started using AIZWAL, which led to all the other new airlines copying them. Still, it’s good to know that has changed now.

yatra.com, one of India’s biggest online travel portals on the other hand still shows AIZWAL in its database, at both yatra.com and yatra.in

Air Deccan (now known as Kingfisher Red after the merger)’s site deccanairlines.in also shows AIZWAL… They should be lynched, considering the number of Mizos who used to fly Air Deccan every day as they were the first airline to fly to Mizoram after Indian Airlines.

Another ticket booking site I came across recently – ticketwindow.in also shows Aizawl as AIZWAL.

zoomtra.com also shows AIZWAL

Meanwhile rediff.com is confused! I think they don’t know which is the correct spelling, so what do they do? Very clever. They use both AIZAWL and AIZWAL! Below is a screen shot from lowest-fares.rediff.com:



Naughty me of course searched for flights between Aizawl and Aizwal, and I got the result: “Currently this feature can only be used for sectors on which direct flights operate.” lolz! So there are no direct flights from Aizawl to Aizwal. How sad!

indiatravelite.com on the other hand, goes even one step further. It is not just AIZWAL in this site. It is AIZAWAL!!! Goodness gracious me!

And then I went to primetavels.com and saw Aihole! Fortunately, that’s not a misspelling of Aizawl, lolz, and it’s actually a place in Karnataka. Phew!

But this next one is no joke. Aizawl is Aijwal at dewpointtravel.com

Another lesser known travel agency infotainmentcenter.com labels Aizawl as Aizwal. I guess that is neither informative nor entertaining. Funny thing about this particular site – Its AIZWAL in the “Leaving from” section but correctly written as “Aizawl” in the “Going to” section. lolz. I guess it’s time they too leave from the misspelling habit and go to the correctly spelt one.

naxtravels.com is another site with AIZAWAL in its database. indiatravelite.com must be so happy to find a likeminded travel agency!

dreamtickets.in using AIZWAL in its database is not exactly a dream for me.

travel.expressindia.com labels Aizawl as AIJWAL. Whoah!

cheapindianairlines.com also uses AIZWAL, but then, what else do you expect from something cheap? (ok I’m just trying to sound trollish here…)

The rest of the lesser known travel agencies, I will skip for now. Kindly do submit the web address if you come across any other agencies/airlines misspelling Aizawl. We shall print it here for everyone to see.

Meanwhile a mail will be sent to all the listed sites above, kindly requesting them to change the name to the correct one, and this post shall be updated regarding whether the mistake is corrected or not.

Given below is the letter I am planning to send to them all, and please do copy this letter or write your own letter and send it to them too. Remember, the more we take part in this, the higher chance we have of the Agency complying with our humble request.


Subject: Erratum in your website – AIZWAL should be AIZAWL.

Respected Sir,

We have noticed that the spelling of Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram, is incorrect in your website. AIZWAL is wrong. We request you to kindly change it to “Aizawl” because the error hurts our sentiments and it can even be misinterpreted as a form of neglect people usually have for the North Eastern people, which I hope is not the case here.

A correction will be truly appreciated!

Thanking you in advance,

Yours sincerely,

Kima.


PHASE 1 (B) will cover the Tours and Travel websites (tourism, hotels etc), so sharpen your nails for that too. For now, let us concentrate on the ticket booking sites. Your cooperation will be highly appreciated.


# Special thanks to Pu Chawnghilh @ misual.com and Pu Hruaia @ Hyderabad University for their in-depth assistance and research regarding the history of Aizawl. You guys rock!





Monday, April 27, 2009

Chp 238. Monday morning, where’s the Blues?


Morning, folks. Lovely morning here in Mumbai, the city that never sleeps. And ever since my birthday, I haven’t slept at all till today!

My initial plan was to spend my b’day in Mizoram. But I had to cancel my trip in the last minute due to lots and lots of work and new products/campaigns/virals launched, so my sisters went home without me.

I thought my b’day would be a drag this time, with me being all alone and stuff. Hehe... I haven’t spent a single night alone since my b’day Yeah friends are wonderful, especially when you need them the most. My housemaid is going crazy on the other hand. lolz.

Of course, once my sisters are back, things will get back to the usual schedule – 9AM to 1AM office, go home, sleep, back to 9AM-1AM, with no time for any social activities. But it’s great to live like this for now. The change in schedule, though not so refreshing, is actually rejuvenating. I now realize I am not the old fart I used to think I was, and that I could still do a lot of stuff I used to do a couple of years ago. Wooohooo.

Thank you all for your lovely wishes everywhere from orkut to facebook to twitter to blog to personal mails. Hugz, you all!

A lot of action took place in the football scene too. Manure is still leading the EPL, and they are most likely to win it now. They are out of the FA Cup, but I can’t laugh at them because we are unfortunately out too, thanks to Fabianski’s screw ups (but the dude made up against Liverpool and that was an absofreakinglutely amazing game). But yeah, Manure going for a quintuplet? My Arse!

The Champions League clash between Arse and Manure is going to be one hell of a game. I can already picture my Arses celebrating a 5-0 win over Manure. w00t w00t!

Meanwhile IPL action is underway and I still can’t stop laughing at the “Super Over” between Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders! LMFAO! How fictitious is that? Reminds me of school days’ games time, when we would just make up some new rules here and there whenever something unordinary or strange happened. You couldn’t make it any more fabricated than that! Hehehe.

Speaking of IPL, do check out the new website we made – IHL – Indian Hatke League. It’s a spoof of the IPL and a bloody good one too. You can even take part in the “stick cricket” matches after registering and try to break each other’s records. It’s fun and entertaining, though very addictive.




In other news, I think I already know who’s going to win the South Mumbai constituency, come this election Yeah it’s tough not to stay hooked on news channels and talk shows 24/7 during this election time. Some of my friends hate me for that, but... my house, my remote control

If only I knew I was going to cancel my Mizoram trip in the last minute, I would have definitely registered here in Mumbai instead of Mizoram because another main reason I wanted to go home was to vote. (I still don’t see the reason why we can’t register at two places at the same time, when we can vote just once anyway... Seriously, I think the Gov should allow this for those who are on the move constantly and hence do not know where they may be on election dates... unless it’s a big headache for the Gov regarding Form 6 paperwork etc. of course).

Mumbai is fun. High cost of living, but fun nevertheless.

The other night, my friends and I went to Juhu beach at 5 in the morning. And it was freaking awesome. I mean most of you Mumbaikars may know what goes on in Juhu once the clock strikes 10’ish in the night Yeah, them hookers.

Prostitutes in pairs or by themselves, sitting in autos, looking for customers. Miniskirts covering barely nothing, with lipsticks and make-ups grossly overdone, trying to make a living, looking out from their autos at other autos or cars that slowed down in front of them, either for a “quickie” charge of just 300 to 500 bucks or a “whole night” charge of 1G. I’ve seen them many times, especially near JW Mariotte Hotel. My auto drivers used to tell me all about them, from how much they charged to their nexus with popular hotels in Juhu locality to how they would rip off a customer by thrashing him (with the help of accomplices slash pimps) and taking his wallet. lolz.

And of course the horny victim couldn’t complain to the cops, unless he’s not afraid to admit to the cops and the newspapers that he got robbed after he tried to sleep with a prostitute. Yeh India hain!

But that night, at 5 in the morning, life was so different.

So there we were having tea from the famous chai-wallah on Juhu beach. Lots of people were there even at that time, and what I loved the most about that night – the totally classless society that seemed to exist, even if it was just for a few hours. We were sitting and chatting and laughing with Investment bankers in business suits who came in their Mercs to male-models to cheerful auto wallas who joked about some of the customers they experienced. Prostitutes came and sat with us with their tea cups, and nobody looked at them differently. Nobody tried to “hire” them nor did the prostitutes tried to “sell” themselves to us. It was complete bliss.

I love Mumbai. Mumbai meri jaan.

And finally, today being a cheerful Monday, I guess I will take part in Lady Java’s Music Monday for a change. Yeahhh. Just wanna show Marzie and the others that I have time to do stuff like this with my blog friends too.

My selection for Music Monday?

“Song for you” by one of my favourite symphonic gothic bands – Lunatica. You HAVE to listen to this. No it’s not a symphonic gothic song Just consider it a love song. And if you don’t love it, I am ready to eat my words anytime. But do listen to it first.

Lunatica - Song For You



And of course I would like to dedicate this amazing song to Marzie and B, LJ who lost her precious Mufasa (hugz), Janice and her two lovely Amos and Zac, Jean, Bobby, Jesse who seemed to disappear from the face of this earth, all my blog friends around the globe, and of course somebody else I hope is special to me, or will be special to be, or at least hopefully notice that I exist...

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.





Cheers!


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chp 236. Gifts from a loving sister


So my
sister who’s a lecturer in UK came and went, like a gust of kamikaze (yes, I just found out Kamikaze originally meant “wind” [or “divine wind” to be more precise] and not suicide squad or Japanese pilot trained in suicide missions).

She arrived at Mumbai 1:00 in the morning, and then left with my Mumbai sister for Mizoram a couple of hours later. So I am currently all alone here while my three sisters are happily reunited after a long time with my folks and nieces at home-sweet-home. Me, I can’t go home because of work

Anyhoo, she brought me a few authentic Arsenal goodies as usual, yay!

Warning: This post is about me becoming a child again

Here’s what she got me this time:


[click on pic for higher resolution]

[Those who are interested, can check out more Arsenal goodies here and here from her previous visits]

So with the new Arsenal key chain, I guess I won’t be needing my current key chain anymore – an authentic Barcelona key chain that she got for me from Camp Nou itself. Hence, I’m giving it away for free. The first Barca fan to comment here* can have it!

Yeah, some of you may be thinking it’s a cheap gimmick. But real Barca fans, just like real Arsenal fans, won’t mind. It’s not one of those cheap knock-offs you find on the roadside. Authentic Barca key chain straight from Camp Nou, FREE!

The cuddly Arsenal bear on the other hand, I’ll keep that away safely until I get a car of my own, and then it will be the first item adorning the dashboard of that car. And no, it doesn’t look gay.

For the Arsenal pen, I don’t need two of them, so I have decided to give one of them to Amos, one of my closest friends, my ex-roomie from Bangalore and another HARDCORE gunners fan. I thought of all the chicas who might want this pen and the chances of (possibly & hopefully) “scoring” had I given it to them… but then again, as a true football fan, women suddenly occupied the lower rung of a ladder (this is one of those “once in a blue moon” moments) Hence the person who deserves it the most would be Amos. Cheers bro!

As I type this, Arsenal is leading Chelsea 1-0 into the 30th minute of the FA Cup Semi Finals. Spoke to Amos just now too, and I will head home from office as soon as I post this to watch the rest of the match. Hope Arse wins! Hehehe.



And here is the gift I treasured the most, something that I’ve been asking my sister to get me for the past 2-3 years.



The complete collection of “Yes Minister” and “Yes Prime Minister” series! Wooohooo. One of my favorite all time British comedies, along with “Mind your language”, “Carry on…” series and “Allo Allo”, YM and YPM score extremely high on my list of satirical comedies that I can watch over and over again

The chemistry between James Hacker, Sir Humphrey Appleby and Bernard Woolley is purely magical and brilliant. The series is something that sooo applies here in our Indian system where we see frequent clashes between civil servants (bureaucracy) and the politicians. Having a few IAS and IRS friends who tell me over and over again about their frustrations with the politicos makes this series even more hilarious! War of the Babus. Lolz!


But Bummer.

I just found out I couldn’t watch any of them here in India. Two hours of “Google researching” later, I realized it’s because of this stupid Regional setting that prevented me from watching this £75 collector’s item on my DVD player and PC.

What a waste of good money. Eff you, Corporates. No wonder piracy is so prevalent.

I couldn’t watch it because we’re in India – DVD regional setting 5, whereas the DVD my sister got for me is viewable only at Region 2 [Europe, Japan, Middle East and South Africa]. My DVD player is not “region free”, and neither is my DVD drive.


[source: remoteselector.com ]

Find out if your DVD drive is region protected or not: remoteselector.com and install/run this software: Drive Region Info V2.2

Here is what I got:



But thanx to Google, I found this link: Mark Salloway’s Windows XP which told me to install DVD Genie 4.10 and PowerDVD [17MB]

I ran DVD Genie first, setting my region to 2, and when I ran PowerDVD after that, it got “confused” and assumed I’m in Region 2 so it played the DVD!

I guess this method is much better than changing your DVD regional settings physically, something that you can do only 4-5 times after which your drive will be permanently LOCKED to the last settings you’ve set.

Here is the warning I saw at every site I visited regarding this issue:

Patching your firmware with an unofficial or hacked version can potentially destroy your drive and render it useless. It will also invalidate your manufacturer’s warranty.


Seriously, corporates sux!

Anyway, our Tech head – the one and only Vulturo said he will rip all the DVDs for me so that I can burn them on a DVD and watch them from the cool comfort of home – Great surround sound system + bean bag + wearing just my boxers + port wine from my previous Goa trip + undisturbed tranquility.


Apart from this, my sis got me this exotic Scorpion Vodka! There’s a real scorpion (dead of course) inside!!!



This is weird! And of course I’m sure many of you are thinking, “There are worms in a tequila so this is possible.” Well, let me ask you this: Have YOU seen the infamous tequila worm with your OWN eyes? Isn’t it amazing that you always know someone who has seen the worm, but it has never been you? Well here is the low down on this – your friend is probably (99.9%) lying if he or she says she’s seen the worm, especially in the tequilas that we get here in India. Too tired to explain about this here, please google.

Anyhoo, the bottle of Scorpion Vodka led me to their homepage: www.edible.com and I discovered a lot of interesting products ranging from green crocodile curry to monkey-picked tea leaves! There’s also an oven-baked tarantula, chocolate covered giant ants, thai curry crickets, giant hornet dipped in honey and many more, each costing around £3

The scorpion vodka comes under the category “APHRODISIAC”! lolz. Now where shall I go after I drink this bottle *EVIL GRIN*

Jokes apart, I don’t think I’ll have the guts to drink this. Better left as a showcase on my table, what say?

Cheers!

* Barca key chain - Terms and Conditions apply Do know that I am giving it away for free, meaning I will be paying for postage/courier. Hence, Mumbai people are preferred over other locations… (ie, if anybody’s interested at all. lolz.)


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chp 235. My tryst with Tehelka

Some love her. Some loathe her. Some admire her guts, while others cry out for her blood because of those very same guts.

Meet Nisha Susan, reputed journalist and reporter for Tehelka - my favorite Indian magazine for the past 3-4 years that addresses social issues directly at the core with no bullshit nonsensical crap.

But Nisha is more widely known in the recent months as founder of the popular “Pink Chaddi” campaign, which resulted in both a National and International wide response - over 5000 pink panties sent to Sri Ram Sene chief Muthalik on Valentine’s Day as a mark of protest against his goons mercilessly beating up women in WWE style so as to promote “Indian culture”.



A controversial campaign no doubt, which deeply divided the netizens into three main camps – those who endorse Nisha, those who endorse the SRS, and those who endorse neither. Hence with three different ideologies, the flame wars were quite interesting albeit detestable on many occasions.

So you can say it was one of those “I will definitely blog about this” moments when Nisha Susan herself suddenly calls you up in person and says she wants to meet you!

Red Box at Turner road, Bandra. That was the destination I recommended as it wasn’t too expensive and yet seemed a little bit more professional and appropriate than a typical CCD/Barista coffee house appointment.

I reached an hour early! But then again, I’m not the type who keeps a lady waiting (*wink*) and it gave me ample time to relax and have a clear state of mind. After all, you never know what journalists are capable of throwing at you

So there I was, meeting Nisha Susan face to face for the first time.





Oh she was sweet and charming. And extremely humorous. She laughed to all my (corny) jokes and we even chatted in tamil and malayalam! (Yeah I do speak konjo konjo tam and mallu, definitely not much but enough to widen the eyes of anybody )

She got to the point immediately. She’s working on an upcoming cover story for Tehelka about the lives of North East Indians who have settled in the Metros like Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi, and the difficulties/experiences they have faced.

I warned her that I have more or less assimilated with this so called “Indian culture” due to my upbringing and so I may not be the person she is interested in meeting, but she told me that my blog posts say otherwise.

I spoke my heart out, about everything that I wanted the rest of India to know about us North East Indians. No we are not freaking CHINESE. Yes we are Indians. No we will not bow down to forced imposition of “Indian culture” and “Hindi” on us but yes we will definitely imply with them as long as they are done warmly and friendly. I learnt tamil because of the unconditional love shown to me by my tamil brothers, but I know many people from the South and NE (people outside the cow belt) who stubbornly refuse to learn Hindi because of the way some Hindi speakers have that holier-than-thou attitude over those who don’t speak Hindi.

She was well aware of the fact that Indian school text books had NOTHING to say about North East India and my sentiments echoed the fact that we’re all nothing but some convenient BUFFER that India wanted incase China suddenly decided to invade India.

She asked me a very important question: What do I want the rest of India to know about us that they don’t, apart from the fact that we are also Indians and struggling to prove our identity and patriotism to them.

I thought for a long time.

Finally I told her a few points, mostly misconceptions that the rest of India have about us.

One. Mizoram is not some right-wing fanatical state where Christian missionaries armed with AK-47s are shooting “non-believers” in cold blood, contrary to the many false accusations about us floating around on the net. Yes, many of us have subscribed to Google alerts for “Mizoram” and we have saved all such pages and caches, and we’ll be filing an FIR soon against all those who have grossly defamed us.

Just like how many of you “seculars” are fighting the fanatics within your own society bravely, there are many of us too who will stand up against the all-powerful YMA, the bureaucrats, the politicos and even the Church if we find their actions to be detestable or against humanity. Our biggest success was when the vox populi spoke out and disbanded the SRS (err… No, not that SRS. Its “Supply and Reduction Service” here but they shared the same method & style of “wrestling” tactics just like the Sri Ram Sene). We don’t keep quiet against injustice and you will know what I’m talking about if you listen to the voice of the people at misual.com and lawrkhawm.com.

Two. The insurgency in Mizoram, which many experts claimed to be the biggest revolt in the Northeast, was all started because of a rat. After the bamboo trees in Mizoram flowered, millions of rats reproduced and they ate up all our food stock. Hence there was a HUGE famine in the Lushai Hills (now Mizoram) and India didn’t give a shit about our plight.

The MNFF (Mizo National Famine Front) was formed where every Mizo looked after another with NO help from the Indian Govt. Soon the MNFF became the MNF (Mizo National Front) under Pu Laldenga and the entire Mizo community rebelled against India because of the neglect and it became so intense that it was the bloodiest battle in the North East so far. But do Indians know about this story? No. Do Indians even know that Aizawl is the ONLY city in Indian history where the Indian Air Force bombed the city day in and night out? Yes, we are talking about a possible genocide here, where entire generations of Mizos were completely wiped out because of this.

But no. People are oblivious to this and we are criticized for not being Indian enough and jeered as a “Chinese” or “Nepali” wherever we go in India. Seriously, tell me, can you blame those who were fighting for autonomy back then?

Three. I have come across numerous posts where fanatics say they want to take back Mizoram from the clutches of evil Christianity. They want to revive Hinduism back there, which is really absurd because Mizos were never Hindus before the missionaries came! We were war-mongering animists fighting with each other to the death, and headhunting was an intrinsic part of our culture. Sure, if you want us to disown Christianity and go back to our roots, I really don’t mind - May I please chop off your head?

Four. Spelling mistakes!!! Aaaargh. I can understand some old timers referring to Aizawl as Aijal because that was the way non-Mizos used to pronounce it those days. But that was a loooong time ago. What really peeves me today is when I see “Aizwal” instead of Aizawl on so many official documents and diaries even today. So many times have we protested but the Indian Government just doesn’t care enough to correct this. I mean, why should they care, after all, the Election Commission of India website itself has spelled Mizoram as Misszoram, right? And yet WE are expected to learn all the names of Indian cities and states correctly, and if we make a mistake in this case, we are either punished (in school) or given that dirty “you shameless unpatriotic fellow” looks.

Five. Seven of my cousins are serving in the Indian Army and Navy. And yes, a large number of people from the Northeast are in the Armed forces protecting this great country and ready to sacrifice their lives in the line of duty. Why must we always be asked to prove our patriotism in spite of that?

Six. Yes we can make out if a person is from the North East or some South Asian country to some extent. And even you will be able to make this distinction if you spend more time with us. It is not that difficult and many of my non-Mizo friends can do this. Likewise we can’t differentiate people from the NE sometimes just like how you guys won’t be able to differentiate a tamilian from a kannadigan or a UPiite from a Bihari on many occasions. Sometimes there are prominent distinctive features and sometimes there aren’t. Simple as that. Making an “educated guess” makes no sense when you are not educated about us.

Here’s a great blog post by my friend “The Chhamanator” entitled: Frequently Asked Questions about Mizoram which I’m sure you’ll love too. Hilarious!

Q1. Do you know martial arts?
Q2. (Brings some chinese, japanese etc. writing) Can you read this?
Q3. Can you write my name in the Mizo script?
Q4. Are your politicians as bad as ours?
Q5. Are you veg or non-veg?
Q6. What is the main industry of Mizoram?
Q7. Are Mizo girls hotter than other Indian girls?
Q8. What curse words/insults do you use in the Mizo language?


Last but not the least, I have seen many people criticize people from the NE for “sticking together” and hence blame that for the reason why we feel alienated or why we are stereotyped.

Believe me, whether we mix or not, we will always be stereotyped. We Indians love to stereotype one another right from the northest North to the southest South, and it is one social evil that will never be eradicated from our system. But we can correct those at least in the media and other public platforms.

Secondly, we stick together because we are insecure and hence feel more comfortable with our own kind. Indians who migrate to UK or USA too stick together FYI, just like how Chinese emigrants make their own “China Towns” wherever they go. It’s a normal human behavior. Likewise there are many of us who have come out from our comfort zones and stereotype moulds too and yet still feel alienated on many occasions. Hence justifying the reason why we are alienated by mainstream Indians with the fact that “we stick together” is plain wrong and misconstrued.

With that, we ended the day. I know many of those sentiments that I poured out will not appear on Tehelka as I have diverted way off from the main topic. But it is always good to inform and educate reputed journalists with such information because you never know what they will write about next, or who they will tell about us in their large journalist network.

Here’s me raising a toast to those journalists who actually go all out to meet people and interact and learn, rather than sit on their fat asses copy-pasting from Google search results. Cheers y’all!




Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Chp 234. Goa Fest 2009

Just got back from Goa Fest 2009 – We won the SILVER ABBYs for best website category, and BRONZE ABBYs for best VIRAL! Wooohoooo!

Apart from these, two other webchutney creatives were among the highly coveted nomination list for India’s most prestigious and reputed “Abbys” Awards – aptly termed the OSCARS of Indian Advertisement Awards!



Look Ma! I’m on Stage!






THE ADVERTISING CLUB BOMBAY
ABBY 2009 AT GOAFEST


CATEGORY:17(A)
INTERACTIVE DIGITAL ADVERTISING : WEBSITE
NO. AGENCY BRAND AND CAPTIONAWARD
32.JWT IndiaThe Times Of India - Run/Ban JallikatuGOLD
37.WebchutneyAxe Dark Temptation - AxeoggySILVER
15.OgilvyOne WorldWideNokia - Way we WorkBRONZE
5.Interactive Avenues Marketing Solutions Pvt. Ltd.Travelocity.com - Be An ExplorerBRONZE


You can see the list of winners for various categories here: adclubbombay. O&M lead with 50 Abby’s followed by JWT India with 24. For us digital Ad agencies, we had just two categories, and we got an award in both. Next year, we’ll be back for the two Golds.

Click on picture for higher resolution:



Yeah, clich├ęd as this might sound, the award was heavier than I thought!



Goa was funnnnnn. Had an amazing time. Crappy journey though. Our ACD Nishi renamed the Tour company “Jaya Travels” as “Jyada Travels” and Jonathan added the Slogan – “Jyada Travels – Making you travel More!” – Because we spent 18+ freaking hours on the road!

Comfortable deluxe AC Bus and all, but taking 18+ hours when others could make it in 12+ hours was simply… torture.

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Goa Fest 2009 was held at Cavelossim Beach, but we preferred Palolem Beach as our destination because of the “Shack culture” over there. And boy did we make the right decision! *evil grin*

Staying right by the beach along with hundreds of other tourists was definitely what the doctor ordered to cure office stress. Of course for the other guys (like Ryan), other “stuff” might have “stressed” a bit more due to the “view”, but for me, it sure as hell was relaxing and peaceful.

Some of us stayed at “Big Bamboo” while the rest of us camped at “Big Fish”. Both were equally amazing.



Here’s the Big Bamboo gang mesmerized by the scenery in front of them



Boss is thinking of virals… a very different kinda virals.



“Big Bamboo” even went digital!!!





And here is the other end of the Beach – where the other half of us stayed at “Big Fish”.



Nothing like sitting on those chairs right on the beach with a breezer and a newspaper early in the morning after a heavy night of fenny. I could intrinsically hear symphonic-goth-metal music playing in my head because of the immense beauty & idyllic serenity lying in front of me.



Amazing shacks I’m kidding you not. Even Veera wasn’t feeling husband-sick for a couple of minutes!



Definition of fun? It differed from person to person



After sunset, there were none of those famous Goan bonfire parties at this side of the beach, but there were a lot of Shack parties everywhere. We “shack-hopped” from one place to the other, not even remembering where all we went…



I could have sworn I was speaking fluent German, Spanish, French and Polish at one point of the night. Must be the fenny!



I think there was some mystical cult ritual of sorts going on in the above picture. Anyhoo, I had a blast with fenny, as promised in my previous post. Loved it - both cashew fenny and coconut fenny. The bartender gifted me an empty bottle in the end as a souvenir for (apparently) finishing an entire bottle all by myself! Lolz.

I think he was lying.



Here is me, still feeling the buzz of fenny

Removed my clothes brazenly. Got sun-burnt terribly.



On Saturday morning, we went for a long boat ride visiting all the exotic places around the area like Honeymoon beach, Monkey island, etc and watched dolphins jump out of the water just 5 metres away from us! The scene was truly breathtaking!

Here we are getting ready for the trip. We went in two boats.







Swam on Honeymoon beach too and it was a very romantic swim. Ok I know that sentence didn’t make any sense but I had to talk like that to keep the Goa spirit alive!

Showered and changed the moment we returned and we all went to the Goa Fest for the Grand Abby’s presentation. That was when we won silver and bronze as mentioned at the beginning of this post.

Below are some of my bosses and their happy happy faces.



Hihihi… dude on extreme left is our Tech Head Saket, more famously known as Vulturo in the Indian cyber village. He rocks



Even Madhu, the Capital-18 guy smiled. Which means our recession pay-cut is soon going to be lifted. Wooohooo! Just kidding, but it sure was one heck of a small world when our investor turned out to be my batch-mate from B-School! Lolz. Yeah you should have seen how surprised and shocked we both were that night.

The best part of Goa Fest 2009? The amazing giant outdoor party by the beach filled with funky peeps everywhere conducted on two gargantuan dance floors with two different sets of DJ. House and trance had to be played, after all, it’s an Ad agency party (and if you can’t figure out why I said that, then you are not cut out for advertisement )

I had around 16 liquor coupons left at the end of the party which I didn’t utilize! The food was amazingggg too and the length of the buffet tables stretched for almost a mile! (at least that’s what it felt like at 4 in the freaking morning after dancing your brains out)



Love this next picture! Guess who?



I could have sworn I saw a girl with light bulbs flashing everywhere on her dress on the dance floor, with wings on her side (!) and a face of an angel, but then I thought I must have been hallucinating due to… my age, until I saw this pic again. Phew, what a relief! She really was there!



Here’s a masterpiece snap taken by Mr. Jonathan, our in-house voyeur photographer! (Some say he’s the guy behind desibaba…)



How I wish I had taken my friend Zualbonez’s advice in my previous post who commented, “Go to the beach with a towel and oil bottle and say you’re a masseur. That’s a definite babe-magnet.” Lolz! Top that up with this whole mystical “Kimasutra” theory and I’m King Solomon for a day!

I’ll end this post with a quick limerick

            Standing all alone in the waters of Goa,
            trying to avoid a snake or a barracuda.
            I suddenly turned around
            hearing a hissing sound…
            It was the CEO relieving his Anaconda!




Wooohooo!!! Goa roxxx, webchutney roxxx, our CEO roxxx, and we’ll be back next year for our two Golds. Keep that in mind peeps!