Monday, July 21, 2008

Brutal Frankspeak

Earlier last week I came across this pertinent statement that read, "It has been said that the need to write about one's life experiences, even in the absence of a reader, is crucial to the development of a sense of consciousness."

While blogging was probably the last thing the writer had in mind, I figure that it would make for a good rule every conscientious blogger worth his/her blog spot should swear by. Nobody reads the crap you type? No problemo. It's still a great way for you to grow into your own person. Develop a better consciousness of who you are, find out what makes you tick, and what ticks you off. A virtual couch session, I guess.

Sometimes I think it's a major hassle that other people cruise by and read your stuff because you can't crib as much as you want to. I don't know why but there seems to be some unwritten rule especially among the Mizo blogging community that expects you to always put your best face forward and never ever let on that you're human. You're supposed to swear undying love for your country (read - this 21,087 sq kms of hinterland), swoon over bygone customs and traditions, express shock, horror and condescension at the corruption, debauchery and decadence that's apparently sweeping everything in its wake, and loudly and vociferously attack politicians, bureaucrats, office workers and everyone else unfortunate enough to be working in Mizoram.

I'm tired of all these Mizo online sites that run amok with lower middle class sensibilities and attitudes. The noseyparker harangues on interracial marriages, the blatant moral policing, the unabashed politicizing of absolutely everything and anything, the herd mentality and 'fraidy-cat resistance towards folks of other cultures and races - the only times when plainspeople and places are damned with faint praise being when they're unfavourably compared to things here.

I'm probably treading on a lot of toes here but hey, I just don't buy that kind of twisted mentality at all.



  1. AMEN .....i couldnt have put it better...mizo's herd mentality is quashing our individuality reason why we have a lot of mediocre "everything"(musicians,singers,poets,writers,artists ..u name it ) among us..with no prodigy or genius to ever show to the world...if we do have a couple who have outshone others in the real world outside mizoram we can count them on the fingers of ONE hand..:) ...and if anyone dare speak like u have in this blog..or dare to speak their minds or act as their heart tells them...they become a social misfit,outcaste,pariah..u name it...

  2. haha, your honesty is much appreciated! I so agree with you about the immense pressure to 'go with the flow' here in Mizoram, and the obsession with politics which is boring, especially when all that most people do is give vapid criticism without any concrete suggestions for improvement! You, though, are one of a kind! :-)

  3. hey, you girls and boys living and breathing in the heart of mizoram have every right to crib and rant about whatever's not according to your liking there. it's all the better if there's some way of changing the bad situation through it. but fact is, other societies too have their ways of choking individuality - some far worse than the mizo community does. so what i'm doing now is live outside the charmed circles, and get senti about 'my homeland and people' whenever it suits me, in all sincerity!

  4. jes, you hit the nail right on the head. Mediocrity, thy name is Mizo. Not very nice but very often the truth. And people who voice the brutal truth have always tended to be ostracised in any race or culture. In my case, I wrote what I did because there's only so much bull a person can take and not explode!

    daydreambeliever, going against the flow is sth many parents actively discourage their kids from. But there are situations in life when you have to take a stand and stick by your principles and I regret that's sth many don't have the courage to do. And I must admit in all honesty that I don't often either.

  5. mesjay, you're absolutely right. There are indeed many societies which have their own ways of stamping out individuality, some even more heavyhandedly than others. But I'm talking here more about the crass, déclassé attitudes that you see on online Mizo websites. You probably don't patronise them much but for those of us who do, phew, it's a rough ride.

    Most of all what I particularly detest are the non-resident, especially foreign-based Mizos. In the past, it used to be that it was only IFS-es and other worthies who lived abroad and waxed lyrical about their nostalgia/concern for the motherland et al. Today you have literally all sorts of people, some even under highly dubious circumstances as in Burmese political refugee status who have consciously chosen to leave Mizoram for a better life abroad, and then reeling under culture shock and/or acute alienation from their new neighbours, suddenly dredge up great concern for Mizoram and either try to patronisingly dictate to us how we should live or endlessly criticize our way of living here. That always gets my goat no end. And you wouldn't believe how some seem to be permanently glued to their laptops, monitoring every bit of news from the old country. I sometimes want to tell them puleeze, go out and live your own lives and quit sitting on our heads playing Big Brother!

  6. While hoping I am not one of those you particularly detest, I admit I am (almost) ‘permanently glued to my computer, monitoring every bit of news from the old country’ :) I am, frankly, addicted to the Mizo websites and blogs. The first thing I do every morning when I reach office is to switch on my computer even before I put down my bag or sit so that by the time I’ve kept my bag aside and glanced at the papers on my table to see there’s nothing earth-shatteringly important, the computer is up and running. I then go through my regular Mizo websites – misual, lawrkhawm, buannel, etc. and blogs such as yours, and then to checking my emails and other international/Indian news. The process gets repeated at least 2/3 times or more during the day, depending on how busy I am and ends with a last check before leaving for home. (I know, I know, I need to get a life :) )

    In other words, I am quite up-to-date on what’s going on back home, at least on events that get reported by the websites. At least I think I am. So I am surprised at your mention of non-resident Mizos trying to ‘patronisingly dictate to us how we should live or endlessly criticize our way of living’ and playing Big Brother. Because I can recall very few critical comments, especially from Mizos living outside. At least not to the extent your comment seems to indicate. Maybe specifics would help?

    But, as mesjay says, allow us to get senti about our homeland and people when it suits us, in all sincerity. After all, we are here, and you are THERE where our hearts are and the only place on earth we really belong.

    Anyways, another excellent piece of your mind. I especially like the statement you quote in the first sentence. So true. For reasons which I cannot say, I am unable to update my blog and its so frustrating! I only hope I don't lose my 'sense of consciousness' :(

  7. Yeah right, I've been wondering why your blog's gone into hibernation. And thanks for thanking me for giving you all a "piece of my mind." I've often been told off for revealing my mind a little too "excellently" online :D

    Mein Gott, yes puleeze, do get a life! What do you need to get so well-informed about the old homeland for anyways? And despite your saying you read these sites avidly, I'm surprised you need me to spell out for you the condescending patronizers and critics. For one, there used to be this woman eventually based somewhere in Europe who used lots of different aliases and nicknames like deedee, lover, Carrie, Vladimir Putin etc, and seemed to have nothing better to do but log on to Mizo websites since days and come up with the nastiest insinuations and vilest criticisms. I think she probably had some serious clinical paranoia.

    Also, since you don't actively interact on these sites, and since you don't actually speak Mizo, it's possible you miss out a lot on the nuances of the dialogues.