Do you suddenly remember names and 'insignificant' people in the middle of the night? Sometimes I remember names but can't remember the owner, sometimes I remember a face but can't find a name to connect it to. Usually happens when I can't sleep and I lie awake in my bed thinking of different things - family members, work, God, money, men, sex, or sometimes I'd just think about the breakfast I had that day, or the short conversation I had with a girl whose name I don't remember in the ladies room that day and suddenly, a name from nowhere would pop up in my head. I usually spend the next hour trying to figure out the face to whom the name belongs.
So I had one of those moments some nights back. I was lying there, thinking of nothing in particular when out of the blue, out popped the name 'Sarabjit Didi' in my head. She was someone I used to know quite well, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't remember where I knew her from, or where in India it was that I shared breathing space with her, or what she looked like. Maharashtrian? Was it in Pune? Ahmednagar maybe..? Nah..Punjabi. So Chandigarh? Delhi? I'm almost sure she was someone I knew in Chandigarh. Did we share a PG? If anyone knows Sarabjit didi, lemme know. And tell her Jerusha says hi!
Another name, or rather, nick name that came to me out of the blue was 'Uai-rit-a' which literally means 'heavy-leaner' in English. No problem figuring out who Uai-rita was. He's a guy whose real name I don't even remember. The minute I remembered him, I remembered high school and the dance practices where I learned to dance my Mizo traditional dances. Cheraw was good, Sarlamkai was fun, Chai scared me and my friends because of the likely chance that one of us might get partnered with Uai-rita. If that happened, he'd lean on you, it seemed, with all his weight (and he was a very well-built, muscled guy, and by no means light!) so that by the time the dance was over, you'd be totally pooped, which never happened when you're lucky enough to get a normal partner, which means, any of the other guys but not him. And even during the dance, dancing with his heavy arms slung around my shoulders, he dancing with ease because he's dancing on air, literally...supported by my frail self, I'd be panting and wheezing and praying I don't suddenly pass out on the floor and disrupt the whole dance class and be the butt of all my friends jokes for years. Wow! Something totally fantastic happened, as I was sitting here and typing those very lines about how I used to pant and wheeze, Uai-rita's real name suddenly came to me! Saia! His real name was Saia! That's a pretty common Mizo name but if anyone knows Saia who likes to torture his dance partners by leaning on them with all his torturous weight, well, tell him that I remember him. It's highly unlikely that he remembers me but that's not important. I never was a bad dance partner.
Another name that used to mean a lot to me but which I haven't thought of in years - Sangzuala. I was reading stuffs on misual where there was some discussion going on about a news reporter - Sangzuala Tlau. Everytime I read his name, I felt kind of weird...well, that's not the right way to put it but I felt something funny everytime I saw his name. And then I remembered! The Sangzuala of my girlhood dreams. St. Paul's High School and my never-ending crush on my classmate with the same name. Well, not exactly never-ending but it did seem like a lo-o-o-ng time that everytime I saw him, my knees would turn to jelly and butterflies would flap crazily inside my stomach. Fun days! I was so shy and so awkward around him I wonder now - could he tell? I always thought no one knew, I didn't tell anyone for a whole year but on the start of my 9th standard year, when I thought I was over him because I hadn't seen him during the long Christmas vacation and so hadn't thought of him so much but then realised that I was not on the first day of school when he walked into the classroom and my stomach started doing flip flops again. I swore a friend to secrecy and told her. Thought no one else knew for months. But then one day in school, we were eating lunch when he suddenly walked in and I, responding in my usual 'manner,' immediately dropped my spoon. And one girl laughing said to me 'So he walks in and everything goes hayware eh?' I was livid. The friend I trusted had told somebody else my biggest secret. A secret I'd lived with for a year. I refused to speak to her for quite some time :-) It all seems so silly now. I wonder what he's doing now. The last I heard, he was in medical school. So in all likelihood, my old crush is a doctor now! Cool isn't it? The last time I saw him was several years back. I was in college and I'd gone home for my summer vacation. I was out shopping with a friend, we were going home and were riding on a very crowded bus. It was really packed but as is the norm back home, us being ladies, were offered a seat. I sat down and suddenly saw the hand of the guy standing next to me, holding on to the seat in front of me. Nice hands, and his tattoo! Would you believe even after all those years my heart skipped a beat just seeing that hand with that tattoo! I traced the hand back to its owner and there he was, handsome as ever. I immediately pointed out the hand and its owner to my friend and we resolved to follow them - both hand and owner to wherever they went. Just to get extra glimpses. It was too crowded inside the bus and we couldn't see as well as we wanted to. But there was a lot of shuffling and moving so we couldn't follow him as we were not sure which stop exactly he got off. Hmmmm..wonder if he's married now.
Such a silly thing, feeling all that much for someone and the most important thing was to NEVER let that person know. I was ugly and awkward and gawky...maybe still am but now at least I have the confidence to TRY and do something when I like a guy.
If anyone knows Sangzuala of Mission Veng, tell him Jerusha used to have a major, colossal crush on him, and that she still have that old fountain pen of his that he swapped with hers :-)