14 September 2018

Hello I am alive! Mizo thlai leh pangpar ilo I ti leh ang aw

In my current life and time, very often, I forget that I even used to blog. And there was a time I used to run 5 blogs simultaneously! I've been busy, and when I'm not, I've been busy being lazy. I have been traveling a lot, all work related, but still fun trips. And thankfully, my work also offers me the chance to work with plants. A lot. And I work with people who are passionate about the subject, so I get the chance to learn every day. We also have an upcoming project where our little team will work to survey and document wildflowers in one district in Mizoram. Living in Mizoram means longing for the wild no longer has to mean taking several days off off work to take a flight out to a place where you can be with nature. I can always drive for an hour or two and be in the lap of nature.

Anyway, logging in to my blogger account today, I saw all of the new comments were mostly on my flowers & plants posts. Well lucky for you people, I'm here to make another post on the same topic. It's much easier these days finding the Mizo names of plants and flowers, some very good publications have come out. I refer to those almost every day. However, I still see incorrectly named plants all the time. My interest is now more on the uses of these plants but that's not something I want to post about here. I, thusly, shall share my list with thou'll - fruits, flowers, vegetables and others. And if you can help me out with the identifications of some of them, it shall be greatly appreciated. (Pictures stolen off off the internet, if any of it happens to be yours, forgive me!)

1. Khanghu: Climbing watttle (Senegalia pennata) (And any true Mizo loves this simple vegetable more than the most expensive of food, more than life itself!)

2. Kawhtebel: Snowflake tree (Trevesia palmata) (Mostly eaten boiled in our house, I've seen it being currified, fried - all of it good)

3. Chingit: Michinga patta (Zanthoxylum rhetsa) (I've seen Chingit being called Schezwan pepper online, incorrectly, I believe, though it is of the same family - Zanthoxylum simulans. Glosbe says Schezwan pepper is called Chingit te in Mizo. Z. rhetsa also seems dubious but a research paper I saw listed as this, so I'm going with it. Also sadly, I've never really seen a Chingit tree so makes it difficult to identify from tree pics. I have pictures of the two here for comparison, let me know what you think)

4. Samtawkte: Forest bitterberry (Solanum anguivi) or Poison berry (Solanum violaceum), leaning more towards violaceum. (Confusion again with this really difficult to identify plant. Many books have listed it as Solanum nigrum, which seems to be incorrect as it looks more like what we call in Mizo Anhling. Again, pictures of S. anguivi and S. violaceum so you can help out.)

5. Ankasa: Paracress,Toothache plant (Spilanthes acmella) (A truly terrible vegetable, I have maybe tried eating it once and never tried again. But I find it interesting that we have been using it to treat toothaches, long before we knew that it was called the toothache plant :D This is also probably a bit off as we have the edible Ankasa and the wild Ankasa)

6. Saisiak: Common Bushweed (Fluegga virosa) (Not eaten but all of its parts are used for different medicinal purposes. I remember being 7 and bathed with a decoction of Saisiak leaves when I was down with chicken pox. Did it help? I have no idea. But it probably did, there are many research papers on its medicinal properties.)

(Picture taken at Kawlkulh village)

(Adding the few below to address some comments left on the original Thlai Pangpar etc posts)

7. Theichhungsen: Blood fruit (Haematocarpus validus) (Tasty even though there's really nothing to be enjoyed in terms of flesh or juice. And there once was a childhood friend who almost choked to death trying to swallow its big seed so I'm forever scared of this fruit)

8. Waiting Waivet (LOL): Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)  (I can never make sense of what we call it in Mizo, and why. It sounds like some English name that we completely bungled up.)

(Picture taken at Tualpui vllage)

9. Chawnpui Par: Queen's Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) (We have a popular saying in Mizo "Thlado kung ah Chawnpui a par" - meaning the tree and its flowers are known by different names. The tree is called Thlado tree but you wouldn't call the flowers Thlado flowers).
(Picture is blurry but I drove all the way out to Lungdai to take this picture so still using it)

10. Phuihnam: East Indian Glory Bower (Clerodendrum colebrookianum) (Another popular leafy vegetable, especially among dog-meat lovers.)

Two clubbed together here to address two very common flowers but which I still get asked about often - Derhken (Marigold) and Saron par (Bougainvillea)

(Image swiped from Zara's blog)

And lastly, to address my last blog post, made in 2014 haha. During the 4 years that has passed, I found that these are called rain lilies - Zephyranthes lilies (easy to remember because of the most famous drama club in Mizoram - the Zephyr Drama Club. Still no name for them in Mizo.)

09 May 2014

Anyone know what these flowers are called? Mizo tawng pawhin ka hre duh hria in awm chuan.

30 November 2013

My sky shoes are spiked with lead heels

...and I'm lost in this star car I'm drivin', but my air sole keeps pushin' big wheels...etc etc

Yeah that song. That's the song that pretty much sums up all that I feel about life right now. And as depressing as it sounds, it's really not even that bad. I mean feeling this way. I think my incessant need to be happy or having fun or feeling some form of thrill or excitement at all times will actually do me more harm than the rare times that I sit and brood and worry or just be miserable.

Anyway, this post is to a blog as CPR is to a human being with heart failure or something. I will do a real post soon. I guess.

Round and around this world you go, spinning through the lives of the people you know
I feel like a spinning top or a dreidel...

07 May 2012

To all the dogs I've loved before

One thing I really really really want is for dogs to have souls. You know back when I was a kid and I would ask Sunday school teachers and general adults who were always assumed to be wiser, if animals, particularly dogs, have souls, the answer would always be 'Nay, human beings are the only creatures to be blessed thus with souls. Aye, t'is so.'

But this has never stopped me from wishing that dogs would have souls. For as long as I can remember. And who knows? Who can really tell right? Heaven might very well be teeming with beautiful dog souls. Damn, I even loved Lord Byron more just because he wrote that dog poem.

If I were to die and go to heaven, there's no one I'd look forward to meeting more than all the dogs I've had and loved in my life. Rover, Gus, Bozo... my eternally beloved friends. I feel guilty saying this when I think of the many also beloved relatives that have died. And I would love to meet them all. But oh, to scratch Gus' ears and smell him in all his divine doggy smell, to see his white and brown body running up to meet me...to romp around in the fields with Rover, and to fall asleep with Bozo's wet muzzle on my shoulders...

I saw this cartoon once somewhere, and it brought tears to my eyes. I found it easily enough ("dog in heaven cartoon" search term on Google). Now this one would be me and Rover, the dog I named after a dog in my lesson book when I was in Kindergarten. The dog that always followed me and my friends around whenever we went exploring the hills and streams nearby. My memories of him are so hazy now but I remember him rustling around in the bushes always :)

Gus who was the little runt of the litter that nobody thought would make it but who instead turned into a big, beautiful, healthy dog, always kind and gentle. They gave him to me for free because they thought he was too weak. All his siblings made the owner a lot of money I'm sure because they were German shorthaired pointers, a rarity in Mizoram at the time. My only pedigreed dog. Gus because of whom my green school uniform always looked a bit like they were interwoven with tiny white threads. Gus who was always scared of firecrackers.

And then the crazy, neurotic, yet the most loving and loyal dog I've ever known, Bozo. Bozo who couldn't care less about firecrackers.

I have no doubt that if allowed in, all of them would do heaven proud. All dogs would do heaven proud, most humans would not, I'm sure. And yet we dare to keep heaven only for ourselves! Just like Byron wrote

...The poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his master's own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth--
Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth:
While Man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive Heaven.
(This one stolen from 9gag)

I really miss my dogs tonight.

19 March 2012

And a few more

Me and my mom just had our bi-yearly checkup and hooray! everything's great! I can't explain enough the exhilaration you feel when your doctor after a thorough checkup writes on your file "No evidence of disease..." The only thing better is when he writes the same thing on your mom's file.

Me and my mom sees the same oncologist. He is a pretty fancy doctor, he is (or was) an advisor on the advisory board of physicians to the President of the United States of America (or something along those lines). He was on the Who's Who in America book some years back, and yet he doesn't have any airs, and I have no doubt he treats us any differently from his more affluent, wealthier patients, of which I know he's got plenty of. Which is more than you can say for some doctors back in Mizoram.

My mom initially was seeing some guy back home. I went with her once to see her doc. And this man, even though I was right there with my mom never even once acknowledged my presence in the room. He was curt and cold and terse (in my opinion) with my mom. I left the room seething, feeling small and belittled. So I told my mom "You're not going to see this guy again. You come to Hyderabad and see my doctor who is nice and normal." And we've stuck with this guy ever since.

And I'm sorry to say this but why do I have this feeling that the doctors and nurses out here are so much more nicer than the ones back home! Don't get me wrong. I know there are plenty of nice nurses/doctors back home too but I generally don't run into them. There was this one time I took my sick 1 year old nephew to the city hospital's casualty about a year back and more or less got my heart broken over how harsh the nurses handled him.

Enough about doctors! I've made a sudden decision to go back to Mizoram tomorrow for my grandfather's 'lung phun.' Can't wait to get out of this heat and be back at home where it's always nice and cool.

And people, celebrate your health! Celebrate the health of your loved ones. I myself, even despite the cancers still take it for granted all the time. But it is so wonderful. To be alive, for your mother to be alive, for the people you love to be alive and healthy. Diseased or not. Cheers everyone!

10 March 2012

A few words

Hello much ignored blog and the entire blogosphere! I feel like I've just woken up from a long sleep. I guess I've been too intoxicated with the new year and my new freedom.

Now that I'm not working, I've sort of regressed to being a teenager all over again. Being the bad, irresponsible teenager I never got the luxury to be. Now for a brief period at least, I can be all that and more. I sit on my ass all day playing video games, and go out to dance all night, and take men home to play God of War with me. It's quite exhilarating!

Having said that, I do somehow miss working and being tired and busy, those times when you stress out so much over your quarterly targets that grey hair magically pops up on your head overnight.

And I can honestly say the 6 and a half years I spent with Google were the best years of my life. You know how people always say 'Ooh those college years were the best years' etc. Not me. I don't even miss college. Maybe I miss school a tiny bit...nah, not really. But Google is like my college years for me. I am thankful to God that he put that bit in in my life. And whatever comes in the future, I will think of my time in Google fondly always. I will always miss it.

I know almost everyone thinks leaving Google is a really stupid thing to do. I would probably think that too if I was someone from outside Google looking in. But sometimes you need to take some risks and make some changes, you just can't stay in the same place just because it's warm and safe and secure there.

When I left IBM to join Google, no one ever thought that was a wise decision. Back then, Google was famous for its search engine of course but people here didn't know much about Google as an employer. And to move across the country, alone, to a city where I knew absolutely no one. Even then, I had to listen to a lot of not-so-encouraging comments about how I take too many risks for a single woman, how people in the South were, how 'lowly' the Google job profile was.

But yet, it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I would never have believed the wonder I was going to be exposed to if somebody had told me then.

And sometimes, things happen in your life that makes you look at life a bit differently. Your dreams change, your ambitions shift. What makes you happy changes, and with that, we have to search for new things. New situations that perhaps doesn't look right to others but it's the only thing that feels right for you.

So this is just me taking some risks, and keeping my fingers crossed that this path will lead me down some happy roads.

16 December 2011

Goodbye Corporate Laptop

Why do I get so sentimental about unfeeling, lifeless objects?! I'm finally parting ways with my constant companion of the last few years, my laptop which unfortunately belongs to the company I am leaving. I don't have much to write, I really just wanted to make this one last blog with my old friend.

It's strange how you can harbor such affectionate feelings for inanimate objects such as laptops...and pens...and old Tshirts but... *sigh* 'tis so - my heart wrenches at the thought of us parting ways forever. She will go on to sit on other loving laps, and I, I have already bought a new one, the first laptop I've bought in my life. It's shiny and pretty and new and I will grow to love it eventually but I will still miss my clunky old ThinkPad for a long time to come.

So sleep your sleep, old girl
Our love will keep, old girl
'Til then...
Goodbye, old girl,
My old girl...