Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Year End - Zualteii Poonte

and they come in droves -
some for Christmas shopping
with money they've saved all year,
some to see the big city
they've heard of all their lives,
some persuaded finally to see the doctors
for that nagging stomach discomfort
they've been putting on hold
through the long, hard months
of slash and burn, sowing and weeding
and finally the harvest,
all under the burning sun
and pouring rains.

Some are easy to tell -
lean, skeletal almost,
sunbrowned, clothed in sombre colours,
together in groups of threes or fours,
clearly not at ease
in the jostling throng on the streets.
Others, while also from the provinces,
but spared perhaps the more brutal agrarian labour,
blend in more easily with the city crowd
of smooth faced young girls strolling in pairs,
identical in fur lined boots and slim fit clothing,
sweet-smelling young boys,
jackets zipped up to the chin,
swinging bike helmets in leather gloved hands,
children clutching plastic toys from China,
licking ice cream, as weary parents in tow
pause at mounds of secondhand winterwear
piled high on each corner of every street,
patient women fruit sellers
with neat stacks of sweet, juicy oranges,
Red Kettle volunteers grouped
at strategic intersections,
breaking into loud, brassy snatches
of well-loved carols.

It's Christmas time in the city,
fast paced and frenetic.
Soon they'll rattle back to the villages
on roads baked passable in the dry season,
and exhaustedly, they will exclaim,
"How crowded Aizawl is,
how can anyone even stand to live there!"


  1. Ka chi leh kuangte chanchin a ni ngei mai... dinhmun a va inthlau em....

  2. The pathos of the contrasting pictures of Mizoram brought out through vivid scenes.

  3. I see the Sally Army's Red Kettle has found its way here. Quite part of the Aizawl Christmas now. Beatiful.

  4. Thank you all for the feedback. Greatly appreciated!

  5. Thought I had commented on this, but I guess I was mistaken. This so vividly captures the essence of Aizawl at Christmastime. Great writing!