To the fellow who was to buy me the scooter, I instructed, “Just leave it by the Zarkawt Zangena Petrol Pump in the evening and I’ll collect it after work.” I gave him the money for the scooter and then proceeded to spend the rest of the day feverishly anticipating it. As I got on the bus after work, I’d never been so impatient to get to Zarkawt.
Something went “Viiiing!” and I shot up in the air high enough to almost catch a whiff of heaven and dropped back to earth with a spine-arching crash in a muddy ditch blackened by CRP waste water.
Translator’s note: My first attempt at translation, I picked this piece partly because it’s such a hilariously good read. One of the marks of good literature is that it deals with something universal which readers can relate to irrespective of culture or language. Humour knows no boundaries and Vanneihtluanga’s trademark gentle, self-deprecating humour, and in this case, delightfully entertaining account of his struggles at learning how to drive, just begged to be translated. I have tried to keep the language as colloquial as possible in keeping with the tone of the original. Pu Tluanga being one of our relatively few Mizo literateurs who write without overtly moralizing or admonitory intent, it was an enjoyable experience working on this. I only hope that I have done justice to the often quirkily witty idiomatic expressions and turns of phrases which characterize his highly individualistic style of writing.