Sunday, March 5, 2023

A Love Letter to Gaia - VL Muanpuia Pachuau


My unbeloved Gaia,
May the stars above light up your crimson heart;
You breathe your life through me,
And hard times I may meet, yet you provide,
Despite your unrequited love for me,
You waited, and waited for the pain to subside,
Please hear me before you fade into the night.

All my life, you have given me strength,
You filled my lungs with loving fairness,
Fed me your fruits of life and health,
Grew me up into what I am;
Through all those centuries you sheltered me,
Helped me survive through the end of days and time,
Oh, how can I ever forget your everlasting benign!

Broken is your body, enduring endless agonies,
Scars and aches I had inflicted on you,
My ears set on your screeches of cacophony,
Roaring tides of your tears, your rage imbues,
Your knees, bruised, your beauty, ruined,
Stranded and abandoned with your bloodstained wings,
Death comes knocking, total darkness it brings.

I had turned your singing daisies into ashes,
Fields of green engulfed by giant fire lilies,
Lilac skies turned black as your life flashes,
Your oceans suddenly brimmed with death;
But I am our future, I am our dying hope,
A responsibility that will save us our breath,
A light that flickers in the darkest of nights.

 Alas, I have opened my stitched eyes,
I am the past, I am here, I am alive,
As old ways should be buried and gone,
Restrained and bounded by the grim hands of the past,
Your dying arms will always be my home,
I am the future, I am there, I am your half,
For our spirits are one in the same.

Beneath the gleaming blue moon,
My figure shall sit beside your gentle glow;
Caress my broken soul of all troubles,
And I shall sing you melodies near the river's flow.
Forever may your heart be true,
And forever I shall love you.

VL Muanpuia Pachuau, 4th semester, turned to Greek mythology to come up with this beautiful love song to Gaia, the Greek goddess of the earth, which won him First Prize and a cash prize of Rs. 2000/-      Congratulations, Muanpuia! 

A printout of his poem hangs proudly on a wall at college.

Hear Mother Earth's Cry - Chawngthanmawia

Hey, can you hear the world cry?
Oh, it doesn't literally cry -
I doubt she would only cry
if she could.

Hey, can you hear the world weep ?
When animals are treated as second-class;
livestock is a slave term -
enslaving generations of a species.
Separating mother from child.
We should be kinder to those
less equipped to wield power.

That was what I interpreted in her long
ongoing non-existent wail.
If you have heard the world weep,
you must've looked around.
Kept quiet, undisturbed or secluded;
It really is hard to hear a cry so ethereal,
that it has to be conjured up.

For Mother Earth has no vocal chords
to wail, to cry, to throw tantrums.
We, humans, we anthropomorphized nature.
When nature gets erratic and lives get lost
we make it seem like it is crying;
and that we are the culprits.

It is true, we are the culprits.
We live in a world that feeds our manic consumerism -
exploiting nature without a second thought.
Every piece of cheap technology
is made with labor exploitation done far away.
Bauxite, Cobalt; the minerals that technology needs
are sold cheap, in places where interests collide
and no semblance of peace can ever be found.
Such are the fates of resource rich countries like the Congo.
Plastic and fossil fuel, staples of modern life
pollute the world with every purchase.

We may think we don't contribute to pollution,
but we do. Every single one of us!

Here lies the end.
We are at a time where climate catastrophe
is as plausible as nuclear annihilation.
Developing countries will bear the impact,
but so will the “First World”.
When we see the world suffering from freak weather
more and more so;
growing steadily everyday.

I have found that it wasn't Mother Nature that was crying.
We were the ones crying.
We have made our only home uninhabitable.
Mother Earth will survive, humans, humans may become extinct.
But such is life.
We will be the species written on the list of extinct ones,
only for there to be no one writing that list.

Spencer argued that the world is a world of
“survival of the fittest (strongest)”
which became the common slogan for our "victory"
in evolution.
But vain and shallow as humans are -
a species who had the gall to name themselves “wise ape”.
If you read the literature
there are people like Kropotkin
who argued that it was mutual aid
and cooperation in species;
that made life work.
Evolution was not “survival of the fittest”
but “survival based on cooperation”.
Hearing Mother Earth cry
should be a rallying call.

For everyone supports environmental movements;
But we are all far too busy
surviving in a late stage capitalist consumer world.

And the change we need is radical -
our everyday life right now contributes to the problem.
As Kropotkin pioneered socio-biology and evolutionary psychology,
his arguments were not for naught.
And we know now, to be humble.
Among all of nature.

Even humans are ecosystems of their own.
Gut bacteria would wreak havoc
if it was elsewhere in the body.
We are microcosms of life, and we rely on them to live.
It was never Mother Earth that was crying.
It was us, humans, we were making ourselves cry.
For we are a part of nature, that will never change.

Chawngthanmawia, our erudite 6th semester student who's into socialism and European philosophy, reached deep into his readings to come up with this piece which won him Second Place in the "Hear Mother Earth's Cry" writing competition.

Wishful Thinking - Lalnunfeli


Character defines the world
A person lives in 
If it is lost, all is lost,
And say about hope?
Wasn’t hope all that was left
In Pandora’s box when all evil flew out?
Wasn’t hope all that Prometheus has
When the avenger feasted on him?
Weren’t you all that I had?
Weren’t you all my hope
In which I put all my faith
To which I’d cling on till eternity?
Weren’t you my hope, for which
I sacrificed not material, but my thought, my mind?
How can I hope for better
When nothing of it remains?
How can I expect good, when I see
darkness engulfing everything around?
How should I forgive you?
There is nothing to forgive.
I led myself to this profane abyss
But you invited the evil serpent and now
I stand cursed for millenniums to come.
I’ll wait for my curse to be lifted
I’ll wait till my brow’s sweat satisfies your malicious hunger
I’ll wait for you to be Eve again
I long to be Adam again
I’ll wait for it to be Eden once again.

Lalnunfeli, 6th semester, placed joint Third Place with her poem here in the Writing Competition on "Hear Mother Earth's Cry."

Hear Mother Earth's Cry - Rosalynd Lallawmsangi

From time immemorial, even before the existence of life itself, existed the Earth. Perhaps it could be said that the Earth is life itself– the root of each tree and plant being the branches of her lungs; each river, lake and ocean her blood; and vast lands of every kind of terrain her expansive skin. Mother Earth is the source of life from which every other existence draws life from.

She has persevered through eons, and has provided every living creature an abode wherein we may live and prosper. She has provided humankind with food and shelter, with warmth and cool, even during the hours when we were no better than wild beasts. She has blessed us with the richness of her lands and waters; with the very air we breathe and the crops and plants that fill our stomachs; with everything she could possibly provide, and we have certainly prospered from her gifts bestowed upon us.

So why is it that we, humankind, harm her the most? Why have we taken more from her than we could possibly need? Mother Earth is being run to ruin by us– the very mouths she has fed. We have cut and burned her trees– her very lungs; and have poisoned her waters– her blood. We are killing her slowly, and we are the ones suffering from it.

She weeps and weeps and yet we persist, consumed by our own greed. Earthquakes, forest fires, landslides, cyclones, floods, droughts and more; when will we open our eyes and see that she is in pain?

How much more pain must we put her through until we finally listen and hear Mother Earth's cry?

The Department had its third successive Poetry & Prose Writing Competition on the 24th February 2023. The theme this year was on the Environment and specifically the topic, "Hear Mother Earth's Cry."  Of the 10 participants, Rosalynd from the 2nd semester bagged the joint third prize with this poetic prose piece.

She also took First Prize in the Poetry Writing Competition in English at the College Week 2022.

Friday, September 9, 2022

One Team, One Dream - Chawngthanmawia

There will have to be a new normal
One where we look after each other
One where we, as humans
do not contribute
to our very own extinction.

With caring, soft touch, it was not to be
But human hands often are cruel.
Capable of being cruel to other people
we have been the cruelest to
the things we consider lesser
We would even poison the rivers
that we drink from.

In the past we did not care
Now when human life gets threatened
we care,
Hands that have done this much harm
cannot be simply washed.

While humans don’t even stand as one
we slowly found out
that the environment we contaminated
was a part of us
We were one
We could never be separated.

We are on a ship
we have caused damage to.
If humans, we do not act as one.
One team, with the same goal -
to survive,
We will not survive nature,
we will not survive ourselves.

Note: This is Chawngthanmawia's second prize winning poem at the MIELS (Mizoram English Literary Society) Poetry Writing competition on the 6th September 2022. Now in his 5th semester English Core, he has been writing and winning poetry competitions since his 1st semester with us. We are understandably proud of him.  At this particular event, he also won the second prize in the Short Story Writing competition.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Rights Over What Is Right - Moses Rampuia

In the late 18th century, a small portion of the human race witnessed, and even a smaller one took part in, the French Revolution. The movement which seemed to be only an outlash against the evil and corrupt monarchy of the time, paved the way for a much broader change in the timeline of humanity. The French Revolution and an array of prior and subsequent movements brought the rights of the common citizen to the forefront, accompanied by vast complications and challenges. According to the United Nations, "Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status. Human rights include the right to life and liberty, freedom of opinion and expression, the right to work and education, and many more...."

All through the ages, our species has been witnessing oppression, subjugation and discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, sex, religion, etc. Countless souls have paid the ultimate price to uphold the rights of their fellow human beings. People are being murdered for their diet in the "largest democracy," a nation which has a history of mercilessly bombing its own cities and terrorizing its own citizens to subdue a movement which erupted due to its own negligence. We live in a world in which a girl child if denied the right to life , the right to education, freedom of expression and countless other virtues which many take for granted elsewhere where an individual of a particular sex can completely ruin the life of an individual of the opposite sex by means of a single false accusation. The same world is witnessing a new form of misogyny in sports, wherein "certain athletes" are towering over "certain athletes" because they have different sets of chromosomes and different average muscle and bone density and primarily because they have the "right" to do so. The present (western) culture claims to accept everyone yet belittles the freedom of opinion of those which deviate from the mainstream and "cancels" them with "pride."

Slowly but steadily, we humans beings are progressing and suffice to say that there hasn't been a better time than today for the common citizen in the history of the planet. The moral human values are still present today and many people are actively indulging in acts of unconditional love and kindness even though they might not be documented or publicized. Nevertheless, the progress made so far is not yet sufficiently widespread and not at all equally-spread and we still have a long way to go.

It is the moral duty of every human being to support and ensure that nobody is denied of the right he/she deserves and to not abuse any of those rights. However, in today's postmodern world, each of us must often ask ourselves whether we value our rights over what is right.

Moses Rampuia, Class Representative of the 6th semester, placed third in the writing competition with this thoughtful essay. 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

We've Lost - Lalramdina Renthlei


Humanity, something we humans have ironically lost.

Harmony, something we only hear of in a song

Justice, a mere word thrown around by the unjust.

Horrors, the sight of which we've grown to adjust.


It hurts to see the fight for equality, justice and the like.

It's sad that we celebrate freedom, and boast our rights,

When these are things we shouldn't need to fight for.

Where in tarnation did we ever follow a path so wrong?

Respect: a status that you acquire only with a title.

Power, greeded upon by those who need no more of it

Religion, a symbolic way of saying 'l am your enemy'.

Racism, you look a certain way and they expect hostility.

Will all this end? Highly unlikely

But will those with a vision stop working? NO

Will their effort ever bear fruit? Also unlikely

Will humans ever regain their humanity? NO!


This is where we are in history,

Neat isn't it?

Stuck in a place

Where students write about

Rights and values.

Lalramdina Renthlei, 4th semester, placed second in the writing competition with this poem that comes off sounding rather resigned and cynical. We hope one more year of intense literature study won't turn him into an out and out nihilist.

Ramdina took home Rs. 1500/- and a certificate.

Rainbow or 50 Shades of Grey - Steven Hauhnar

Rainbow or 50 shades of grey
is how our tinted glasses should glance their way
Put you in my shoes, close your eyes,
See things I've seen through mine,
Children of God using out of context lines
off his book to make others feel confined.
Preach of his words that we are loved,
you and I, except for the part where 
people draw the imaginary line.

"Reborn" believers hating on gays at an all time high
Preachers on a pulpit putting themselves on a pedestal -
Pointing out who's worthy and who's deserving of scorching.
Isn't it the same book you're reading off that says
"Pray for your enemy"?
This holy book is not a comic book
or an anime manga where we decide what's canon.
So Lord, strike me dead -
if he deems my poetry as inhumane
and a case of blasphemy,
But years of passivity only breeds
future hostility or felling for
the future of society.

Not speaking your mind and acting
like everything's fine only adds to the fallacy.
How can we celebrate independence day when
people are oppressed and can't express freely?
Not discrediting what the movement 
has done for you and me;
But this isn't back in the days
and we're far from getting back in our ways.
Days are colder, people get enough weight
on their shoulders.
Rainbow or 50 shades of grey
as a society we must learn to
adapt for the better like Cassius Clay
Take a moment to ponder about
the roads we take.

When more people come out of
their closet and time for discussion
on those topics arise
Only to denounce and treat them
like grade C citizens
You'd be surprised what some people of this group
had done for mankind.
We live at a time where world mental health
is at an all time decline;
The victim doesn't become the victimizer,
the abused doesn't become the abuser,
He just carries out the complex:
Complex of not belonging, feeling
alien and offset.

Humanitarianism treads more than the
line of girl and guy -
So if I was gay and born with a soft voice
Would you discriminate me 
and guise it saying you're carrying out God's voice?
If I was born with different preferences
Would I be subject to your prejudices?
Be another victim of society
who could've led a normal life,
If only my differences were brushed side
and I was treated right.
I don't wanna vine off too many branches,
not asking for gay parades
Nor rainbow-themed stores, of course:
that's just a fraud for million dollar
Companies to sell more.

So human rights, Truman's life
I'm a sucker for love
and would be a pain in the arse
If you're prevented from such.
And while my heart still pumps a pulse
Isn't it my birthright to decide
Who's the love of my life?

Steven Ramthanmawia, 6th semester, who also enjoys rapping, has chosen to focus on gay rights in this rap-inflected poem which won the first prize in the Poetry/Prose Writing Competition 2022. He took home Rs. 2000/- and a certificate. Congratulations, Steven!