Friday, April 28, 2017

Chp 657. Get some sweet stuff at iCandy


So whenever my friends or colleagues come over to my place for the first time here in Pune, the first thing they always exclaim is, "Wowww, that is an awesome table runner and placemat set!"

They're talking about my dining table set.


Really nice huh? Something unique and different, designed using our Mizo traditional cloth.

And then there is this super cute thing as well…


Yeah, many of my friends begged me to sell it to them, even at double the cost. But uh uh, this throw pillow stays right on my bed where it belongs.

So where can one get the above stuff?

Here's where -


iCandy.

iCandy is a store started by my friend's sister Stephanie Halliday, an MA History of Fine Arts with a specialization in Textiles design. The last I remember, she was this small white brat scramming around with a runny nose and dirty feet, and suddenly, she is now an entrepreneur with her own shop! They grow up so fast!

I decided to pay her a visit because my sisters bought a couple of really cute Christmas decors from her store recently (unfortunately I didn't take any pics of those).

Her shop is at Dawrkawn, a very prime commercial area at my locality Chaltlang. There is a taxi stand and bus stop right in front of her shop too.

I browsed around for a long time…



The table runner sets below range from ₹500 to ₹1000. I bought mine for ₹800. The price varies depending on the quality and cloth you require. She can even make a puan ropui table runner for you if you want, but she doesn't recommend it because not only is the material expensive but she feels using a puan ropui as a table cloth is an insult to our cultural heritage.


All the things she sells are personally designed by her and hand-made. And since she also customizes them, there is a backroom where the tailors she employs sit and do their work.

Because of this, depending on the simplicity of work required, sometimes you can get your order in just an hour or two.  That's how efficient her employees are.



And what makes it even more convenient is that, there are two popular tea stalls right next to her shop where you can sit and wait while having delicious alu chop or momos. But a more complex order usually takes around 1-2 days.

Here is the madam herself, queen of her own castle.


And so, that was when I bought the table runner set and throw pillow…


Here are a few more of her latest collection. They all seem pretty girly to me, but then again I'm the guy who wouldn't let go of my throw pillow, so I got nothing to complain about :P

The embroidered wall frames below start from ₹250.




Like I said, she can customize anything for you, put your name on a pillow etc. But orders like that will take a few days. Personalized design such as the ones below start from a minimum cost of ₹600 and increase depending on the size and object.




And of course we have her signature "smiley face" design like the pillow sets below. The set below costs ₹1500 each (comprising of Moon, Cloud and Star)



Remember when Khal Drogo said "Moon of my life" and Daenerys Targaryen replied "My Sun and Stars"? Well I'm sure those are not the same stars and moon we had in mind, but they come pretty close :P

Now the reason why I have mentioned some of the price is not just to make you aware of how much you'll have to spend at her shop, but if you mention that you came to her shop after reading about it on my blog, she will give you a 10% discount on all available display items! Yeah that's right, you get a whopping 10% off if you tell her you read about her shop on my blog.

And she does shipping too!

You don't have to be in Aizawl to buy her creations, all you have to do is contact her at +918974052599 or email her at stefhally@gmail.com. She also has a very inactive facebook page but I recommend you reach her on her number through WhatsApp instead. For outstation deliveries, she charges around ₹100 for speed post, but international orders will have different costs depending on the destination.

So give iCandy a try, you will not regret it.

And do hurry because she's expecting her first child around August, so she's gonna get pretty cranky soon! iCandy could soon become dieCandy around her third trimester, so order right now if you want all the cute and mushy stuff! :)

Cheers.


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Chp 656. Becoming Mizohican one last time!


Went to Church on Good Friday and Easter. We had these two beautiful services conducted by the PMCF (Pune Mizo Christian Fellowship) at St. Andrew's Hindustani Church on Solapur road.

What I discovered was that, after Uber had recently changed their fare system from "distance traveled" to "fixed cost" system (no matter how much further or extra the driver travels, you only pay the pre-calculated fare based on the location you entered), it was really difficult to reach the place because this Church did not appear on the map or list of destinations!

As usual, I wore black on Good Friday and white on Easter. My homies from the E-17 ghetto picked me up. Yoyo!


After the Church service, we headed back to E-17, where I decided to go for a mohawk hairstyle one last time! :)

Actually, it was something I've been planning for a long time because I just need to do something that I want on my own. To do something out of my own free will again. And then there is the upcoming wedding in Goa this weekend where my niece will be tying the knot with her long time boyfriend, so I want to stand out among the crowd as a "cool uncle" :P

It will also be the last time I'll do this because I'm not getting any younger, and it really doesn't fit my age anymore (unless you are Magua, the badass Huron chief from Last of the Mohicans) hence people might think I'm having a mid-life crisis or something :D

Gary volunteered to cut my hair.


Took a few "last" pics together before he started his work…




Gary was totally professional and he took his task very seriously. This is one of the many reasons why I love hanging out with my Mizo crowd. Even if they are professionally working in different industries like the IT sector or call center etc, they'll always know how to cut somebody's hair or cook a kickass meal or play the meanest strums on the guitar or even tattoo somebody.




Urrmmm in Mizo we call this "lu meh huai na no" :P


Once I was done, the others too did a slight mohawk, and they all came out really well.



So… thadaah... The Mizohican is back :D


Cheers for now, will be back soon with stories of my Goa trip.

Goa here we comeeeee :)


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Chp 655. RIP Michael M Sailo


Nothing could feel more devastating than hearing about the sad demise of Michael M Sailo, Mizoram's legend and one of our biggest celebrities. He had completely revolutionized the music scene in Mizoram, gaining a large fan following not just in Mizoram or the North East but the rest of India as well.

Sadly, on the night of April 7th 2017, he passed away from a fatal bike accident.

I admit, I didn't know Michael M Sailo personally that well. But having a lot of mutual friends, we weren't strangers to each other either. There were the occasional interactions ever since we became friends on FB. Plus I am a huge fan of his. I've lost count of the number of times I used to show his music videos to my non-Mizo friends back in college.

I have met him just four times in person, but all four times were memorable.

The first time I met Michael was back in 2005 when my niece was admitted at Aizawl Civil hospital during Christmas. Michael made a surprise visit to the hospital, distributing gifts to the patients, making sure nobody felt alone or lonely on Christmas. That was the first time we spoke. And that was also when I realized he's not just an awesome artist, he had a big heart as well. You should have seen the look on the faces of those patients, it definitely lit up their day!

And then in 2006 I was his personal chauffeur in Bangalore when he came to perform for the "Chapchar Kut" festival, driving him wherever he needed to go.

I actually wrote about the above incident in detail on my blog! That was way back in 2006, when I first started blogging, so yeah, I just squirmed a lot reading some of my awful grammar and language I used back then! 

I met Michael again in 2012 at a house party in Aizawl, and finally, I met him again when he came to Pune to perform last year at Blue Frog's "Starian Nite".



He gave such an awesome performance that night, and after the show he went around mingling with everybody. You'll never come across a more down-to-earth celeb than him. People loved him, as they took photos with him and he was forever smiling and cheerful. He was indeed a man of the people.

All in all, I may have met him just four times, but that was enough for me to know he was an awesome person, somebody who would be dearly missed by his loved ones and fans.

And what made it more painful for me was, on his last visit to Pune, he was supposed to come to my house and I was planning to interview him for my blog, like how I have done with a few of our Mizo celebrities. You know, one of those cheeky interview styles with a lot of sarcastic and over the top innuendoes type. I knew Michael would handle it so well.

But sadly he was caught up with so many other programs, being such a famous celeb, that we couldn't find the time to do it.

Just reading through some of our last messages hurt… 






Later at Blue Frog, he apologized and promised he would do an interview for my blog the next time he was in town again, but sadly, that day will never come now. But yeah, I'll still catch you when I come up there bro, you owe me one last sit down :)

Rest in Peace Michael M Sailo. May your legend and contribution live forever. You have inspired so many youth of our generation, becoming a part of our lives as we grew up. You were the ideal pop icon, a true Mizo star.

To end this tribute, here is one of my favorite songs - "Hmeltha Sensiar" a duet with his wife SPi. The video uploader is Pi Shahnaz Kimi, who too had passed away recently.


Salut.





Monday, April 10, 2017

Chp 654. Staying offline for a month


Exactly a month after I left the online world, I logged into Facebook and WhatsApp today. Strangely, I wasn't even looking forward to it. 100+ pending notifications, most of them from useless group tag notifications. I just cleared them all at one go.

Nobody even noticed I was gone, and in sad way, I like that actually. To be so insignificant that your presence or absence does not alter the course of your friends' universe in any way. And that gives me some sort of peace of mind.

Maybe it's because I'm getting older and older, I realize I'm becoming more of a recluse. During my one month abstention from social media, I even dreamt of becoming a hermit, living in a cave on top of a secluded hill on my own, just me and my steam games collection.

Even here in Pune, I get asked a lot by friends and colleagues - "Why do you live alone?"

That's just me. I like living alone. To be the King of my own Castle - Do anything I want, cook naked, fart in sync with the music, and have imaginary conversations with my imaginary friends.

Quickly scanning through some of my friends' timeline and whatsapp group messages, I guess the biggest conversation topic I missed out was about "Vishal" the new megamart at Bawngkawn. Since I was so out of touch with the news, I didn't even understand most of the jokes people were sending about Vishal.

Kinda reminded me of my MBA days when Multi-brand outlets had just started entering the Indian market and people were always discussing in classes and group projects about how allowing FDI on multi brand retails could affect the local kirana stores. Anyway, I don't have the energy to join the debate, nor am I in the mood for it. I'm still feeling pretty shitty, and I'm really thankful to my friend Sanga who had been trying to cheer me up the past couple of days.

I'll try to update my blog more regularly from now onwards. After all, life can be about sadness and pain too, but we have no other option but to keep on moving, until the sands of time run out from our soul.

Recently, my colleagues took me on a weekend getaway, where we booked this farmhouse for the weekend. They literally forced me to go, given that I was so depressed at work. I'll post my next update with those pics and vids, and I think what I love the most about that outing was that there was no proper mobile coverage so it was completely peaceful and bliss.

Yup, sometimes just staying away from social media can be so relaxing and refreshing. You too should give it a try sometimes!

Cheers for now.