Since the beginning of 2020, the outbreak of COVID-19 has posed great challenges to the worldwide economy and people’s daily lives and will have far-reaching consequences beyond the spread of the disease. However, looking at the bright side of the pandemic, the crisis is also a strong driver of creativity and innovation. This applies true to the Mizo community as well, particularly the writers.
Mizo literature has always been a thriving genre which is fitting for a state which has always managed to secure one among the top three positions in the country’s highest literacy rate. With the introduction of the A, Aw, B script by the English missionaries in 1894, written literature in Mizo has been seeing an increase in publications year after year. The different forms of literature- Novels, poetry, short stories and essays- are well- experimented by the many talented Mizo creative writers several of whom have received national awards and recognition. However, the Lockdown, quarantine and isolation have taken Mizo literature to a whole other level of progress and increase in the number of book publications. The pandemic seemed to have given the Mizo community a chance to engage more deeply and frivolously with creative writing. This is evident from the number of books published from August 2020 till date during which more than 50 books, both in English and Mizo, were published by talented local writers.
- Siamthar Lehna- Pastor Malsawmdawngliana
- Khuarei sulhnu- Bualhranga
- Kristian Apologetics- Lalropuia
- Thulovi Thu- Gladys Lalhruaitluangi
- Thinlung Chawlhhmun- Rochharzela
- Mizo Lalte- Lalhmachhuana Zofa
- Thihna Thahrui- Ramlawt Dinpuia
- Seih- Lalremruati Ngente
- Thingserh- F. Vanlalrochana
- Daphne- Dave Chawhte
- Lockdown Literature from Mizoram- Margaret L. Pachuau
- Ramblings- Solomon L. Ralte
These are just a few of the many books published by the local authors during the said time frame. What is noteworthy is that the literature produced during the lockdown not only comes from established authors but first- time authors who discovered their love for the art if creative writing during the lockdowns. This sudden growth in book publications owes it all to the imposed lockdown and isolation which created opportunities for people to look at life in a different way, explore perspectives and engage themselves in the search for meaning Week after week of staying home and waiting for the pandemic to blow over, imaginations went into an overdrive making a list of things to do when life assumes some semblance of normality. This state of physical isolation, the mind becomes free and independent to wander in different places which ultimately engages one in the creative process of writing and composing. As our working lives were forced to go remote, and the restrictions could have resulted in boredom, the creative faculty flourished and took centre stage. For the Mizo community that has always been defined by the love for literature, the remarkable increase in book publication is indeed a blessing that will suffice their thirst for reading for the next few years.