Hi! Heres wishing you all a VERY MERRY XMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR AHEAD!
Christmas is here. I don't know what it is about this time of the year that cheers me up without fail, baar baar lagataar. The truth of the matter is that the manifestation of this cheer is in the form of decorated streets, resplendent Xmas trees, huge shopping discounts and loads of drinking by all and sundry. SO what is it about this time of the year?
The universality of the message is so hard to miss. Its hard to explain...I always find myself cheerful and in high spirits (no pun intended) during this time of the year. 'Jaane de yaar, Its Christmas!' is what I find myself telling most people with any sort of cross to bear towards me or any one else. Most things are forgiven, faces are more cheerful and plans involving togetherness are charted out. Anyways, heres to another Merry Christmas and a New Year!
My fondest memories of Christmas are:
1. Mass at St.Xaviers' College. We were in the School then, but still made it a point to go to the College Church and attend mass. The tree was modest but truly beautiful! The serenity of the place is something I have not experienced anywhere else. There would be one mass before the school closed for the holidays and I made it a point to attend that one as well. The walk back home with a couple of friends, entailed giving dirty looks to our contemporaries in La Martiniere and getting the same treatment in return of course. (I remember asking one of them, 'Oh so you're from La Marts?' and he totally freaked out...most of them did. 'Its La Martiniere', they would correct you. It was good fun. Just some healthy school rivalry, nothing dangerous, I might add. I made some great friends from LMB later.)
2. Christmas lunch at Calcutta Club. I quite hate place for its snobbish attitude and its inability to be flexible. A relic of the Raj, the place is ,I tell you. I have heard old men shout out to bearers there, 'Boy! Ek whisky pawni lao!' Where are you, dadu? Sussex, 1943? Quite disgusting. But quintessential Calcutta. But the Christmas Lunch is something I was forced to go for year after year by my folks and after a while the event started to grow on me. The best turkey I've tasted, a menu that hasn't changed since 1923 and the company of good friends. A cold traditional institution turns into a cosy and fun place, albeit for an afternoon.
3. Santa Claus. I believed. For too long. Far too long. My parents used to humour me. I once wrote a letter to Santa and even left him a piece of chocolate! Poor chap, all that traveling and climbing in and out of people's chimneys... a snack would do him good I felt. I was 10 then (go ahead, chuckle). The excitement of waking up on Xmas morning and checking the Christmas stocking is something that my childhood will always cherish. When I would say the blasphemous words, 'I dont think Santa exists', my parents would take me to task and vehemently oppose my views and reinforce the faith. Thanks Maa and Dad, for letting a little kid continue to believe in all the good and virtue that Christmas stands for a little longer than most.