Mizoram: An State Shaped Like A ‘Karela’, Tasted Like Kindness

September 21, 2021

To imagine Mizoram is to imagine a land floating on clouds. A number of colourful houses sparsely garnished over blue Lushai Hills, balancing elegantly on bamboo stilts.

Life in Mizoram is no different—it is a balancing act between a region grounded in its remoteness and the world furiously knocking to get in. A friend who spent all her life in Aizawl, the capital city of Mizoram, described the state’s topography as resembling a karela.

The more I traversed the “land of rolling mountains”, the more her metaphor came to life. But instead of karela’s sharp bitterness, Mizoram tasted what a cultural mosaic in food form would taste like.

The roads, both physical and metaphorical, to Mizoram are few and risky. One of the major roads from its only airport to the city of Aizawl has a sinking zone. There is a point where the road gets almost viscous and presses like a hot plum cake.

On a long road trip from Aizawl to Champhai, a sophisticated border town to Myanmar, I observed the reticent road revealing a rich tradition of kindness. The woman sitting beside me starts murmuring in Mizo, all the other passengers respond with calls in unison.

My mind remains fuzzy in confusion until everybody unanimously says “Amen!” and wishes each other a safe journey. Risky roads require preparation and prayers. To read more, click on the link below.