Thursday, March 27, 2008

Raldawna and Tumchhingi

Translated by A. Hmangaihzuali Poonte
Long ago in a little village, there once lived a handsome young man named Raldawna. One day as he was clearing a plot of land with his mother, he saw the ruddy red fruit of a nightshade plant. Thinking it was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, he said, “Mother, could there possibly be a girl as beautiful as this fruit?” His mother replied, “Yes, certainly, Tumchhingi lives just down that way.” Raldawna said, “Then let me go look for her,” and getting his mother’s permission, set out to look for Tumchhingi.

He came across a sturdy house and shot at its walls with his sling. The owner called out, “Who shot at our house?” “I, Raldawna,” he replied. But since Tumchhingi did not live there, he went on his way. Whenever he came across a house, he enquired if Tumchhingi lived there but she was in none of them.

Finally, at the end of the village, he came upon Tumchhingi’s home. She was sitting on a gong, weaving a puan, with a gun placed at her feet. “What are you looking for?” she asked. Raldawna explained how he had wanted to meet a girl as ruddy and beautiful as the nightshade fruit he had seen with his mother, and that he was looking for her, Tumchhingi. She replied, “If you want to marry me, you must talk to my parents.” So Raldawna met her parents and telling them the reason for his visit, asked for their permission to marry their daughter. They happily gave him their consent.

And so Raldawna and Tumchhingi were married. Taking all her possessions, Tumchhingi left her parents to follow her husband to his home. After they had traveled a long way, Tumchhingi said, “Raldawn, I thought I had taken all my belongings but I just remembered that I have forgotten my bronze comb.” He replied, “Alright, I’ll leave you on that bunyan tree and go back for your comb.” Lifting Tumchhingi to safety up on the branches of the tree, he then went back the way they had come.

Soon afterwards, a Phungpuinu¹ came trampling on cucumber peel right under the tree where Tumchhingi was hiding. Seeing Tumchhingi’s shadow on the ground, the Phungpuinu thought it was her’s and greatly admired herself. Muttering,
“Though my self carries nothing
My shadow wears bangles jingle jangle,
Necklaces jingle jangle,”

she stood under the tree, rocking herself back and forth. Tumchhingi watched from her perch high up in the tree. After a while she called out, “Phungpuinu, that is my shadow.” The Phungpuinu then looked up and saw Tumchhingi. “How did you climb up, Tumchhing?” she asked. Tumchhingi replied, “I climbed up on my back.” The Phungpuinu tried to climb the tree backwards but kept falling down with a heavy thump. “Tell me seriously, how did you climb up?” she asked again. “I climbed up sideways,” Tumchhingi replied. The Phungpuinu tried to climb up sideways but could not. Once again she asked Tumchhingi and this time, Tumchhingi told her the truth. The Phungpuinu then climbed right up to where Tumchhingi was sitting. “Let me wear your puan for a while,” she said to the girl and Tumchhingi gave it to her. Next she asked for Tumchhingi’s blouse, her necklaces and her bangles, and soon she was dressed in everything Tumchhingi had been wearing. Then she swallowed the terrified girl and turned herself into Tumchhingi.

After a long while, Raldawna returned. He thought Tumchhingi looked very different and said, “Tumchhing, how elongated your eyes have become.” She replied, “I kept telling myself there in the distance will Raldawna come, and straining my eyes watching for your return has made them elongated.” And so Raldawna took the Phungpuinu home. People had been waiting for his return, telling each other, “Raldawna is bringing home the beautiful Tumchhingi” and they swept the pathways and spread out their puan on the ground. But as soon as they saw the Phungpuinu, they exclaimed, ”Oh no, I will not let the Phungpuinu walk on my puan.” And they all hurriedly took away their puan, and so Raldawna took his new bride into his home.

Later the Phungpuinu went out to the outskirts of the village and vomited violently. Tumchhingi popped out and turned into a mango tree. She grew tall and strong and bore so much fruit that many people would come picking them. Eventually Raldawna too came to get some but only managed to get a small, misshapen mango. Saying, “This is not even good enough to eat,” he tucked it away on the bamboo-woven wall of his house.

Every day Raldawna and the Phungpuinu would go out to work in the fields. And whenever they were away, the little mango would jump down from the wall, turn into Tumchhingi and prepare the evening meal for them. After she had finished cooking, she would then turn back into a mango and tuck herself into the bamboo wall. Raldawna asked all his neighbours if they had seen anyone who had come into his house but nobody knew anything. So he finally decided to hide and see what happened while the Phungpuinu was out working in the fields.

When evening came, Tumchhingi jumped off the wall as usual. And as soon as he saw her, Raldawna caught her in his arms with great joy. Tumchhingi said, “No, let me go. I must turn back into a mango,” but he would not let her go. As they were struggling, the Phungpuinu came home from the fields. “Raldawn, let me in,” she called but Raldawna would not open the door.

The Phungpuinu then angrily broke down the door and came in. When she saw Tumchhingi, she became even angrier. So Raldawna prepared the two of them for a fight. He gave Tumchhingi a very sharp knife and the Phungpuinu a very blunt one. Tumchhingi easily killed the Phungpuinu, and she and Raldawna lived happily ever after.

¹a spirit, ghost, bogey, spook, ogress, goblin, hobgoblin (generally regarded as female)

Translated from the Serkawn Graded Reader - Mizo Thawnthu, Serkawn Centenary Edition, 2003, compiled and written by R. Nuchhungi (Pi Nuchhungi) and E.M. Chapman (Pi Zirtiri) in 1938.

Picture:Autumn in Jhum, oil on canvas by Tlangrokhuma

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Politik Gypsy - Thanseia

Translated by Dr Margaret L. Pachuau

Several men set out from Lawipu (a locality situated within Aizawl city) to go hunting amidst the forest at about ten in the morning.The group headed towards Reiek village and went across the Tlawng river. They proceeded enthusiastically towards the mouth of the river. Barely had they taken a few paces, when they noticed smoke arising steadily from behind a huge rock. The leader of the group said, “Hey, who could it be that goes ahead of us? Can it be that they have set up camp overnight? Could they have destroyed our hamlet?” A young man from the group commented vociferously, “If they have destroyed it then we shall fight them all.”

They all gazed down and atop a rock they could perceive a man as he sat sunning himself. He was busy creating ripples in the water that raced past his fingers. He was almost naked, and it was difficult to decipher whether he was male or female, especially because he wore his hair in long tresses. The distance between them was quite far off and besides they had to pave their way behind huge rocks. Eventually by the time they reached the spot where they had first detected him, he had vanished. It was not possible to decipher where he had taken off. Upon close scrutiny of the fire that he had stoked as well as the place occupied by him, it was clear that he had spent the night there. Yet it was almost as if he had no bedding or utensils. It was indeed very difficult to trace his steps. Yet it was clear from his footprints that he was a full grown man. What remained unclear was as to whether he had traversed further downstream or whether he had disappeared in the thick forests. Thus the men who had gathered there began to ponder reflectively and some of them declared that was they had seen could have been a spirit, and yet others felt that it could have been someone who was mentally unstable.

Someone from the group commented, “I seem to recall that last year, at about this time, some young men had gone travelling, and they spoke about a man they spotted in the river between Tuipang and Serkawr. They said that they had seen someone very much like the man we spotted just now. In fact they had even spoken to him, but he had not replied. They saw him moving steadily away upstream. That itself convinces me that the man we saw was human.”
Even as the group proceeded further, all of them queried themselves, “I wonder who it was that we spotted”.

A month later a hunter from Chhingchip village, was lying in wait for a wild boar. It was the season when the wheat crop was nearly ripening. He saw a person sitting inside his jhum hut. “Who could it be sitting inside the jhum hut? I wonder if he is also lying in wait for an animal. And is he wearing clothes at all? His hair seems to be really long…”
And wondering thus, he continued to gaze at him even as darkness arose. The wild boar was nowhere in sight and so he eventually headed for his jhum hut. It was desolate and yet the fire was brightly lit. On the walls of the jhum hut he could perceive these lines written beautifully in charcoal:

Difficulties and misfortunes are truly precious!
Akin to an ugly frog bearing gold.

The man declared, “I wonder who this could be? Has he gone back to town, or is he lying in wait for his hunt? It appeared as though he was almost naked, I wonder if he was human…’’ those thoughts amidst his mind, he set off for home.

In different places, amidst the plains and forests, many reported that such a man had indeed been spotted. In fact there were reports about the same in the daily newspapers. While some wrote about how the man was a very pitiful figure, some others carried stories about how dangerous and gruesome he was. Eventually he became the talk of almost every town and village.

Once a group of young girls on their way to gathering firewood chanced upon him. He was walking about silently. Standing by the side of the road, he presented the group with orchids. Even as they observed his countenance it was clear that he was not dangerous, rather there was a kindly, benevolent aura about him. His shock of long hair, and his heavy beard, and his tattered clothes made him all the more pitiable.

After barely half a month later, some women from Champhai Hmunhmeltha town were proceeding someplace. At Keilungliah, which was a place where the rhododendron were in full bloom at the bed of the river, they spotted him as he was plucking the flowers while tucking the same into his hair. His beard was thick and overgrown and due to this some men actually pitied him, but there were others who found it a bit difficult to fully come to terms with him. Before they could speak to him he had disappeared by the other side of the valley.

A woman remarked, “O that I could follow him, his lifestyle seems to be so enchanting…but if I speak too much he would be the envy of my husband…”So saying they laughed in amusement.

This youth, who later turned out to be a Mizo Politik Gypsy, had arrived in Aizawl after completing his I.Sc. examination from Cotton College, Gauhati. He was a reserved young man, with a good personality. He spoke ill of none and was liked by his friends. While he was in college he loved reading tales about the Gypsies in Europe. At home, both his parents had passed away and he had two sisters who were already married. His elder brother was serving in the Assam Regiment and so he lived with his uncle, who sold charcoal in an obscure corner of Aizawl.

His uncle advised, “Now that things have come to such a pass, we must try and locate some work for you, you must seek work, for I am highly inexperienced and there is little I can do to help you. You must seek out politicians and other influential people of Aizawl to come to your aid. Adhere to the path of righteousness and God will be your guide.”

Accordingly, the young man spoke to the politicians as well and other seemingly influential people. He was greeted with encouragement from all sides. “I must appear for the exams as soon as possible” he decided. Yet such a possibility was hard to come by. At the same time, some of his acquaintances would secure jobs here and there. Upon his query they would reply, “These are only temporary appointments, but the job will be regularized later.”

He even appeared twice for the exams.In fact he performed meritoriously. At times he was even placed in the panel list. His dream was to serve as either teacher or clerk within Aizawl and help his uncle. However he would stop just short of getting a job. He felt that those who had fared worse than him, yet had influential connections were steadily securing employment.

He was steadily disheartened. He was disenchanted as well.Mizos have become pawns in the game of politics, he thought. It has eaten us away like poison, as though we are severely ill, yet we are unaware of the same. When will this lead us to total ruin and damnation? He would steadily ponder upon these aspects in great dilemma. In like manner, he felt that Mizos in general and the residents of Aizawl in particular could be classified under three distinct categories: (a) The rich and influential (b) The middle class (c) The poor and the marginalized

The divide was getting wider steadily. He realized that in a short while the divide would be so wide that it would not suffice even if a ladder were to be placed as a bridge to narrow the same. “Mizos are one and the same, our status can be likened to a hen’s tail that is more or less of the same width, our clothes, food, are the same, and we are blessed”. Those were merely sayings that he could recall of an era that was gone by.

The first group that he had classified was a group that bonded only with one another, and even marriages were conducted amongst themselves only. They looked after one another at times of happiness and sorrow. Even their children cared little for the under privileged classes. He saw them as a group that embezzled money. They were corrupt, yet at the same time they were a very securely established group.

The second group was a predominantly middle class group. They were an average lot, and they could manage to make a semblance of existence in terms of food, clothing and shelter. They sought ways in which to best fend for themselves and in the process they often sought favors from the first group in order to secure work. Very often they would project themselves as more economically viable than they actually were.

The third and the last group however, were actually the largest group in Mizoram.They were the underprivileged lot, who were oppressed and could barely eke out a living. This group was deemed of value only at the time of the elections, and they were often appeased by mere word of mouth. As the young man spent a larger part of his life with this lot, the terms Communist and Socialist were often music to his ears. However, as they did not dare to protest against the corrupt practices of the first group, especially in terms of the manner in which they dealt with their land revenue and taxes, and because they could not really arrive at a semblance of unity he felt that this group could actually be termed as “a group of cowards”.

He also condemned the political parties. He felt that they were only insane about their own ideologies and were often swayed astray by the corrupt winds of politics. He was often disheartened. He felt that these were factors that were largely responsible for his lack of employment. If one was not a member of a political party, and did not have political leaders as acquaintances then it was evident that life hung at a dead end for him. After spending a considerable manner in Aizawl in that fashion, there was little he could do. So he sought work as a Middle School teacher in the villages. He was recruited as a headmaster on a temporary basis, in a private middle school in a village located in the Western part of Mizoram.He was delighted. With a newly found colleague he worked very hard towards the progress of the school. He stayed with a Church elder who was ill of health and decidedly poverty stricken. After he had worked for a span of one and a half years the school also made remarkable progress. It even began to receive aid from the government. And he was overjoyed. He had also begun to develop a close affinity for a young lady.

At this time, a politician’s son who had recently passed the Pre-University examinations was being nominated as Headmaster of the school. The corrupt winds of politics were about to blow once again, and petty gossip,criticism and malicious slander were on the rise yet again. Some people remarked, “Our Headmaster…is actually a supporter of the opposition party, he does not support the policies of the present ruling party …he doesn’t pay enough attention when our party leaders visit…”

The winds of political change were about to blow once more. He would often chat and spend time in prayer with his host at night. “How politics has corrupted our community as well as our lives. It has turned friends into foes. It has done away with the aspect of love, and shattered mutual compatibility and healthy competition. It has rendered the poor who are unable to pay for medicines to the status of the terminally ill. Yet we are unaware of the fact that we are ill, unable to pay for medicines, because the corrupt winds of politics have rendered our senses blind.” These were aspects they would discuss till very late at night.

“What can be comparable to the corrupt winds of party politics? They could be akin to a stick that is ramrod straight, dipped in crystal clear water that turns crooked at that portion which is touched by the water. We will never see ourselves as ram rod straight. It is much better to resign from the job of headmaster…” he would ponder often.

Before the leaders of the village community could come to a consensus about the decision of Headmaster, the school closed for the annual session. With a heavy heart he set off for Aizawl to spend his Christmas vacation at his uncle’s house.

He carried his bags and all forenoon he sought a motorable road and that made him very tired. He sat atop a hillock near the road, and soon he fell asleep. He dreamt that the school had replaced him with a new headmaster and that he had been dismissed on the grounds of corruption. He was filled with profound sorrow. At that very moment two sojourners from Mamit came his way, and one said, “Hey, young lad, which way are you going? Come, let us go together.”He replied graciously, “Thank you, I am on my way to Aizawl. You go on ahead, and I shall come along later.”

The two men from Mamit then left him. The sun was slowly fading in the horizon and the motor able road was still some distance away. Even then it was all a matter of whether one would encounter a vehicle that could accommodate them. “That young man is really a bit slow,” they remarked and so saying they went their way.

Not much is known about this young man. The last that one saw of him was when he was spotted sitting westwards, by the hill. It had been a man from Mamit who had spotted him and later a group of men from Phuaibuang, had perceived him in that manner even as they went on a hunt towards Hingtlang.It is not known as to how long he strayed in the vicinity of Hingtlang or even amidst the sylvan surroundings of Tuivai. A hunter who saw him from a considerably close range observed that age had crept upon him and his hair had streaks of grey as well. Yet no words were exchanged between the two. His countenance remained relatively unaltered. He seemed to encompass love as well as innocence.

He could be at home amidst a herd of wild boar, and could slumber deeply amidst them. He was comfortable amidst the deer and her young. Monkeys would tend to the lice on his head. He even made friends with different kinds of birds. Yet ironically he could not proffer a hand of friendship towards his fellow men who were prey to the terrible blemish of politics.

Thanseia was the first District Education Officer in Mizoram. He later retired as Joint Director of Education in Mizoram and lives with his family on McDonald Hill, Aizawl.

Politik Gypsy is included in a collection of his works entitled Pangdailo. Written in 1983 at a time when blatant party favours and preferential biases had begun making ominous inroads into Mizo bureaucratic life, this short story is almost Kafkaesque in its depiction of a frighteningly manipulative and impenetrable bureaucratic and social system.

A Ph.D in English from JNU and on the teaching faculty of the English Dept, Mizoram University, Margaret L. Pachuau juggles a busy schedule of work with an often time-consuming, personal contribution to Mizo literature through translations from Mizo into English.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

These Hills - Malsawmi Jacob

Up here on these hills
time moves
at snail’s pace
on winding roads.
Wind passing through
scented pines conducts
needle orchestra.
Cuckoo’s call beyond
joins the symphony.

Come night,
doors shut to bar
shots that shatter
silence often,
staining green hills

Once, on these lovely hills
your soul roamed free
gathering mushrooms,
picking pine cones,
till misty dusk.
Then by fireside
you read of hope,
and dreamt sweet dreams
of better tomorrow.

But the day
failed to arrive;
twilight lingered,
hearts turned cold,
smiles turned sour.

Time moves on
Freedom is lost
in the searching.
Guns shout aloud
drowning voices.

The mistreated hills
sleep on.

Malsawmi Jacob works with SPARROW and has published a book of her poetry. She grew up in beautiful, pine-forested Shillong, Meghalaya which has since become a trouble spot and this poem reflects that sad passage of history.

Picture: Landscape in watercolour by Tlangrokhuma

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Translated by Rini Tochhong
Once upon a time, there was a young girl named Ngaiteii. Ngaiteii no longer had a father - her father had drowned. One day, Ngaiteii and her grandmother went to the fields to look for yam and at the bottom of their field was a deep gorge. That was the same gorge where Ngaiteii’s father had drowned, and everyone believed his spirit resided there. On the day they went to their field, Ngaiteii was constantly thirsty and her grandmother would go down to the gorge and fetch water for her. When Ngaiteii was thirsty once more, her grandmother said, “Ngaite, I’m so very tired now, you go down and fetch the water yourself. But when you go see the gorge, don’t say ‘Oh!’, just you keep quiet.” Ngaiteii said yes to her grandmother and went down to the gorge. As soon as she saw the deep black gorge, she forgot her grandmother’s warning and exclaimed “Oh!” As soon as she opened her mouth, she fell into the gorge. Ngaiteii’s grandmother, worried that she was so long in coming back, suspected that she must have fallen into the waters and set off to look for her. On her way, she met a deer couple and asked them if they had seen her. They replied :

“ Saw her, yes we did,
Across the waters, across the Tiau,
Ngaiteii’s father has taken her.”

Ngaiteii’s grandmother then believed that she had been taken by the spirit of her father. She then met a Varung couple and asked them whether they had seen her grand daughter. They too replied the way the deer had. She then saw Ngaiteii in the waters. She said, “Ngaite, I’m jumping in” and she did. Ngaiteii was very happy to see her grandmother. She then asked Ngaiteii, “Where then is the spirit of your father?” to which Ngaiteii replied, “Right now, he’s gone to his field. He’ll be back soon in the shape of a serpent.”

Ngaiteii’s father did come back in the form of a serpent late in the evening and later transformed himself to human form. The grandmother said to him, “I am going to take Ngaiteii back with me.” The father agreed but said, “You will have to bring her back to me very soon, though.” Ngaiteii and her grandmother then set off very happily for home. They, however, could not fulfil the father’s wish because Ngaiteii refused to go back to live with her father.

The father, his wish not being fulfilled, retaliated and flooded the nearby lands till Ngaiteii’s village was almost drowned in the impact. The sound of the waves reiterated, “Ngai, Ngai, Ngai”. This made the villagers understand the cause of the flood and they said, “Our village will be drowned because of Ngaiteii, what are we to do?” Some of them suggested “Throw her puan into the waters”. They did, and the flood subsided for a while. But the waters raged again in a little while and others suggested, “Throw her comb into the waters”. They did and the waters again subsided for a while. They continued throwing Ngaiteii’s possessions into the waters- her bracelet, her necklace, and all she possessed- but the flood refused to stop.

In the end, the villagers decided, “If we do not throw Ngaiteii into the waters, the entire village will be drowned”, and they had to throw Ngaiteii into the waters with deep regret. The water then stopped raging and slowly calmed till the flood was no more. But the villagers could not get over the loss of Ngaiteii and their song of mourning was

“ Ngaite hip,
The eastern winds did rage against you,
The heavy rains did pour down on you,
Ngaite hip.”

This song continues to be sung to this day, by children in their play.


Rini Tochhong loves stories and these old Mizo folktales are her favourites.

Picture: Oil on canvas by Tlangrokhuma

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Hope, Despair and Immortality – Joseph Duhlian


A flickering air
On a candle stand
A burnt out wax
A pilgrimage into the darkness
Searching for hope like treasure lost
Bending on the concrete pavement
Crawling into the mud of silence
I hit upon a wall
I broke my thoughts into pieces
Gathering them like wild berries
Into a basket of empty dreams

Blood stops. Coldness creeps
The heart turns stone
The sense flutters its heavy wings
Like a rusted propeller
Loneliness creeps in like an unwelcome
Guest destroying the passion
Left to die uncared for
How shall it all end?
The beginning of an endless flight
Wounded and weary
Flattened and useless like a
Cyclostyled waste black ink stain

Dawn breaks
Then the rains come
And mosquitoes too
Ants creep into every crack
Biting my nails I sit and stare
Entering my very door
Shutting out the joy within
After the rainbow shows
Noah’s flood flows into my senses
Shooting my soul up unto heaven
Like a ballpoint pen without ink
Just a roll on into the black space

Beneath the smiley dewdrops
Under the fruitless garden leaves
Lying down beside the yellow roots
Of a poison tree
My soul cried in agony
Without knowing why
I ask myself
Is this the place where I will pay the
Devil his due.
Searching for meaning
Frozen beneath the waves
And dug out in an empty pool
To be forever a sitting duck
Under the blistering sun.
But love will find a way
Even when the roses fade away
And the sparrow no longer sings
A thousand miles of a thousand cries
Into the abyss of time
Will lead me into the bosom of my beloved
The day that the river of sorrow dries
And the harvest of hope begins
And love forever blooms


Lately immortality has been on my mind
Triggered off I suspect by our mortality
Preserved in deep freeze
Unlocking the secrets of life and death
Imagining out lust for life

I suppose rightly, articiality of a kind
Our existence, a relative brevity
This sensual powerful breeze
Of unbridled desire in a midday heat I met
Sweetness inexhaustible suddenly sliced by a knife.

Is this life all there is
To be lived this way?
Leaving behind the dark spells of night
Into the eternal light of day
I could feel it any day.

Sorrows unexplainable
To my mind not at all
You are my reason and my existence
Clinging to illusions you may say
Accepting the inevitable
Our vulnerability
Ourselves a door unto eternity
With the One

Our divinity in the power of changing circumstances
Every moment an experience
Of joy in togetherness
Like sitting in a stationary train
Forever moving though everything passes by
Our confidence
Beyond time and distance.

With intensity and purpose
Everything becomes
Our advantage
You and I remain
Till eternity begins
Leaving behind doubt
Embracing trust full of opportunity
From good to better
And better to perfection
Crossing the bridge across forever.

This incomparable promise
A self-image of ourselves
Our human hunger
An honourable human soul
Implanted in us by divinity
Of all ages
And all cultures.
You and I will achieve
This imperishableness
Where hope, peace, faith and love abide.

This our mission
A glorious challenge
A dream come true
Spread all across the universe of my soul
Implanted in the DNA of my heart.

This unmovable forever going force
Rushing me like fresh living waters
Together we dream
Seeing and believing
An adventure in reality
Like a child deep in slumber
In our wholeness of experience
Our inner harmony.

In the gospel of forever
In our immortality
Rumbling through the street
Waving the flag high
Soaring above the clouds
Crossing the bubbling proof barriers
In ultimate security
You sit by me.

Leaving behind the termites and dry rot
Wooden beams of moral decay
We say goodbye to the cruel world

In this powerful and positive force
Crash landing into the
Aerodrome of faith
We travel
Like Tut, paint ourselves
A portrait
A cobra and vulture poised over our heads
We welcome all our visitors
Flooding our minds with
Health and happiness

Carrying in our hand
Memory and desire
Dynamiting ourselves into winners
We slip and stumble
Forever snapping at the handcuffs
Of poisonous negativity and dead ideas
But we survive the unpredictable twist of fate
Welcoming the future
Never letting go
Our immortality.

Joseph Duhlian teaches English in Mamit, Mizoram. He enjoys writing poetry, and is particularly interested in the works of the late Sylvia Plath. This poem was first published in the Mizoram College Teachers' Association magazine, 2003.