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My Year in People-College Edition


Here I am, nearly at the fag end of the year, looking at the same old things happening in the same old way. Same old mess in my room, and same old dog taking up three quarters of my bed, leaving no space for me to even stretch a little (that is saying a lot, considering I’m incredibly tiny). Some things simply become a part of your life without you even letting you know. Every year, something or the other keeps getting added and subtracted to this very list.

Like every other year, at this time, I have plans to sit back and scrounge around for a celebration, snigger at anyone who plans to drastically ‘turn over a new leaf’ (secretly wishing to do so myself- a massive hypocrisy, yes), and have my moments of deep contemplation and thoughts in the shower, about how my life turned out in this past year. A part of the very same is this post.

I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs this year- a pleasant mix of both really. And a large fragment of the ups are the contribution of some of the most amazing people I have known (or known better, somehow) in college, this year. This is to them, ’cause if it weren’t for them I’d be at psychotherapy right now instead of typing my thoughts away.

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What does a manic, sleep-deprived (borderline insomniac) almost workaholic woman with an inappropriate (sometimes downright offensive) sense of humour need to maintain sanity in life? My best bet? A manic, sleep-deprived (borderline insomniac) almost workaholic man with an inappropriate (sometimes downright offensive) sense of humour, and that’s AS for you.

He may as well be the devil’s advocate, the child who is usually the bearer of the ‘bad influence’ every traditional Indian parent warns their soon-to-be-rebellious teenage kid against. But somewhere deep down, we are so freakishly similar, that it is like meeting the same person in another gender. Of course, a lot bigger and with a less shrill voice.

He’s been my punching bag, my 4am friend (well, literally so), my shopping buddy, and so much more. If its a food craving I have to satiate (and absolutely need to for survival) or submit a set of collated paraphrased internet articles in the name of research under a stipulated time, he has it all covered.

So, AS, if you’re reading this, I’m just so thankful for having you in my life. And though I wouldn’t possibly ever say it in a non-platonic way but, I absolutely love you. Thanks for being there, beside me like a rock, whenever I needed you. Yes, the huge frame has been enough to withstand a lot of troubles from coming my way.
And well you made me sing again, you get so many brownie points for just that. 🙂
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A thing about me now, I have never ever, and I’m not sure if I ever will ever cry in a movie (that’s so many evers and nevers). It’s true. I’m stone-hearted. Almost to the point of depressing myself. But again, not enough to make me cry. Which brings me to SB- my depressing movie straight face motivator- the reason why I can sit through sad movies without making a single inappropriate comment because observing her little ‘vulnerable’ moments and thereafter making jokes about it is just so much more fun. 🙂

So, jokes apart now. I absolutely adore her, and I wish there was a better way to express how much AS and SB mean to me.
There is a fire within her and I see it time and again. When we needed a voice of reason when we work or even when she did a silly TV sketch for me, I saw it at work. I know I have full faith in her, and no matter how nonchalant she tries to be, I know that she cares.

She is steady as a rock, and even if she may be going through an internal turmoil, I know that she is the go-to person for a good-old-funny-as-hell gossip session or a random funny comment on the most unprepared of people (trust me, they all really do need it).

I deeply admire you, SB, and I want you to know that, even though you may get teary at the slightest of things (really soppy Bollywood melodrama included), but there is a strength in you, that I would someday hope to have. And if you get even the slightest bit teary eyed (or even lumpy) reading this, I’m going to punch you in the face. 🙂
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There is always this one thing in life that is a constant reminder of how far you’ve come and how you’ve grown through the biggest years of your life. This for me has been M. My sole remnant of how I lived through a difficult and yet, life changing time in my life. In this year, I have known her even more closely than I did before. And now, I firmly believe that there is always a purpose for someone to become a part of your life.

M has been a mirror on my life. I know that no matter how much we laugh about or make fun of each other, some of my most memorable unplanned enjoyable times have been with her. Be it a random lingerie shopping date, a survival escape from a fatally boring class or even a random 2-person sleepover, she makes it all even better.

M, I’m glad I got to know you so much more this year. You’ve taught me, that sometimes in life, it’s better to strengthen the old bonds, than trade them for new ones. And even if someday, for some reason, one has to start paying for air in their car tyre, you will still be as special to me as you have always been. 🙂
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Now there is someone, who was one of the primary reasons for this post. My year in discovering people, would have DN at the top of the list. Of course everyone knows her as someone without whom our class’s metaphorical building blocks would metaphorically collapse. But then there is so much more than this responsible, caring, mother-figure-like adult (probably the closest to the definition of adult), than what everyone knows.

She knows how to get the party started when at a wedding or anywhere when inebriated. And when inebriated at a wedding, there’s no stopping her. She is two extremes put together, and is probably the closest combination to human perfection that I know of in my generation.

There is so much more I still have to learn from her. Like no matter how much one may be burdened or internally stressed, one has the option to either throw it around and wear it with resentment or, embrace the weight and make a stepping stone out of it. DN is the second kind.

DN, you’ve been a revelation to me this year. And well, you’re simply such a beautiful soul. And no matter where you are and what you do, I want to be a part of the day you finally take a plunge and break your hostel rules and rub it in your warden’s face. 🙂
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My year was eventful and full of so many people that came and stayed to make it worthwhile. AB, for instance, is now my best dance partner and we have so much chemistry, that with enough practice we can totally be small-time reality TV stars. AB, you’re just so much packed in one, I can gladly place my money on you when I say that you will be one of the most successful ones to come out of this whirlwind of a college life that we have. You’re also the prettiest cross-dresser, and as much as you enjoyed doing my show, I still cannot re-iterate enough how grateful I am for you doing it for me. 🙂

One of the nicest and most helpful people I know, DDR. I have come to discover him as someone who would gladly do all in his might if you need him. You’re simply amazing and well, I cannot stress enough on how much I admire the shady badass you can be when you twist your fingers to get stuff done. 🙂

PS and MC, you guys have a very special little place in my heart. This year, you guys have showed me, that it isn’t the physical closeness that makes friendship special and it is the little things that count (well almost literally, because we are after all little people 😛 ).

AP and RS, my troll buddies and my closest bros. My year would be so very uneventful and dull without you.
AAD, NA, and KM, you guys made our first few work project so much more fun. Thanks for keeping me sane and well, stripping me off of all sanity at other times. 😛
ARS and MT, straight off, you guys made me model. The one thing I could possibly never imagine myself doing. Ever. 😛
NS, you’re like my ally, and one of the most fun people I have ever had a work-night–cum–bitching session with. 😛
US, that insanity ridden Jaipur trip would’ve definitely been incomplete without you (that stuffed dog toy too? 😛 ). 🙂
RA, AV and SK… I can probably not complete a sentence without mentioning the three of you together in one breath and I loved that I discovered more about you guys this year.

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So this is to all of you and everyone who made my year in college worthwhile. I probably won’t be welcoming the new year with either of you, but you are special enough for me to be a part of my year-end introspection. My year was a metaphoric roller-coaster ride and I know that if it weren’t for all of you, I would’ve metaphorically thrown up and would’ve been left dizzy at the end.

Thank you all for being a part of my year and my life, and I wish you the best for years to come. 🙂

Love,
AK 🙂

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Thank you, T.J.


Dear TJ,

Nature works in mysterious ways, and I have reason to believe it does. I write to you every year, hoping I get a response from you. It’s been three years since you’ve been gone, but I know you’ve always been right here beside me. It may sound a wee bit insane, but deep down, I just know it’s you, standing by me through all my laughter, tears, sickness and health. I always crave for a response, and somehow, in one magical way or another I seem to get it from you.

Words seem to fail me when it comes to describing how much I miss you. I hope you know how hard it’s been for me without you. Without that first morning hug and bright smile and sometimes the tough love and lectures about how I need to get my act together. I hope you know that the void you left behind was not an easy one to fill.

A part of my life went with you the day you left us. And for sometime, I was left stunned and in disbelief, bitter and craving for that part of my life to come back to me. But life has a pace and life is the name of that unforgiving thing that gives you the time to heal, but doesn’t give you the space to show it. It is unexpected and sometimes takes turns when you’re least prepared. But it does lend you a hand when others aren’t looking, trying to make up for the pain it caused.

These three years, I have been healing, but I still have been seeking, what you seemed to have taken with you. There is a part of me that wants to let go, a part of me that wants to believe that everything happens for a reason, but no reason seems good enough when it comes to you.

But then again, there come these times in life when you believe life is working some bits of magic to give you a sliver of hope. I know you have your mysterious ways TJ, and I somehow manage to find you in even the littlest of things. You have changed my life in so many ways, and it’s amazing how you still seem to do so.

From our college pet, a little puppy whom we figuratively raised and named; a cat I brought home, hoping to raise alongside my dog; the different and sometimes crazy combinations of colours I wear; the pages in my notebook filled with random doodles; the insanity and ecstasy I feel whenever it rains; all the times I’ve been fearless to speak my mind; spicy chaat and chai-samosa sessions, and so many more of those little things in life are places I find you in. Things you imbibed in me. In every good thing I do, or positive thing I say, I feel like you are present. A part of you that lives in me and is guiding me to do those things. Do good, do the best, do right.

I know you’re out there somewhere, and I need you to know that you mean the world to me. Even if you aren’t reading this, I know that somehow, my thoughts are reaching you. TJ, you are the most special person in my life and I hope you know what you mean to me. I am the person that I am today all because of you. You have given me the strength, courage and passion to go through life with the simplicity, ease and innocence which were synonymous to you.

I would’ve loved for us to grow old together and do all those things we planned to, from being together in school and college all the way to being business partners and flatmates. I know life would have been different had you still been here, but I know deep down that you’re always right here by my side, making me go through life effortlessly and with the same passion, insanity and innocence that you did.

Tejaswee Rao, thank you for being in my life and making me what I am today. All the hurdles I crossed, the tears I fought, the fights I avoided and the hope I refused to give up, I couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you for being there for me and for still continuing to do so. You’ve been my mentor, sister and pillar of strength. One may think it’s cosmic coincidence, but I know it’s all you.

I hope someday I get to see you again. I wouldn’t want to wait another lifetime just to be with you, but I know you would make it worth the wait.

Love you now, forever and for always,

yours,

‘Roo

Blog Resurrection…


Long time no write. I guess I’m not too surprised about the ill-presence on a blog considering the amount of things that went on in this span of time. Life for one has changed in many ways. In a span of a year, I’ve gone from becoming a graduate, mindless, jobless wreck to a spiritual yoga-loving freak, to a supposed intellectual media student, to an alcohol loving reckless, free-spirited woman and so on and more, later a (sort of) mature, ‘been-there-done-that’ overgrown (hardly) child…ahem..woman(?). 🙂

I missed blogging. I missed that longing urge to sit back and recount the happenings of the day/week/month and pen it (key it) down and watch it virtually immortalise on the web. And after being pestered and poked by my loved ones and more so that little voice in my head (that hates me more with every passing minute considering the royal ignorance it receives), here I am back to my long lost friend and mirror of my life- My blog.

Before I go on about the thoughts that I promise to share earlier on when I started the blog, I might as well keep this post about my life and the updates about it. As mentioned earlier, in a year I went from being this to that and that to anything and everything I could in an age where I’m not supposed to be doing anything significant so to say (no this isn’t the renaissance come on, that generation was different).

I was sort of enjoying anonymity for a while and well, didn’t really have the time for popularity really. Grad school isn’t really a cakewalk, and there are more compromises than surprises. Among the good stuff, I’m almost a pro at driving, (and yeah, wriggling my way out of chalans with a puppy face as well); mastered the art of pulling all-nighters, without a wink of sleep (yes, coffee is still my best friend); put on 8 kilos in a month (trust me that’s a huge achievement); discovered an inherent work OCD or workaholism, more so; and so on. More about which would follow on the blog. 🙂

So here I am, now a masters student (yes, I got there 😀 ), with metaphoric bruised knees from all the ‘growing up’ that has been shoved down my throat, trying to revive, rather resurrect my blog in coma for nearly a year. I am going to try my best at keeping up with the times and not let my blog die out now on, and well I can only hope it goes back to what it was when I first started and it gets all the love that it got all over again.

On that note, see you soon..
Cheers.. 🙂

To Tejaswee, with Love…


Hello there beautiful…

No I haven’t forgotten your birthday, never have.

I know you can read this from wherever you are, and I hope you remember me, your best friend whom you left here stranded. Oh, okay stop giving that look already, of course you do.

So things are going fine here. Life is going on. I guess time is a healer, but is also brutal in its ways. It doesn’t really wait for one to think or react, and when it’s had enough with you it changes drastically and coaxes you to blend in with it. I’ve just been learning from it. I guess I am learning to let go, but I can never stop missing your presence in my life. And on your birthday, TJ, I just want to thank you for being a part of my once very ordinary life that you made so extraordinary.

You have changed me in so many ways, for which I’ll be eternally grateful to you. You’ve made me grow.

I can’t really say it’s been easy here without you. That vacuum you’ve left is not easy to fill. But I’ve learnt a lot from you, and even your haunting absence has made me realize that nothing in this world is permanent.

You have been more than a friend to me. Like you said, we were like ‘fraternal twins’. But in its truest sense I wish I could be even half of the person that you were.

You may have left earlier than anyone would’ve liked, but you have been immortalized by the happiness you’ve spread. You’ve left behind a legacy of immortal words and smiling faces that feel blessed that you were once a part of their lives.

Every moment I’ve spent with you is more than a memory for me, because it’s very difficult for a person like you to be reduced to a mere memory. You are someone whose warmth and goodness just resonates beyond the dimensions of life and it is this very warmth that I can still feel crop up from time to time, reminding me how to live every moment to its fullest and cherish life in its every form. TJ, you may have left me, but ‘Tejaswee’, the radiant light, will be with me forever.

Dearest TJ, thank you for making me the person that I am today, I have derived a lot of strength from you and still continue to do so. You have made me a better person.

I would’ve loved for us to have grown older together and fulfilled our dreams by each other’s side (like the media house we were supposed to start together), but I guess life always has sinister plans lined up, and questioning fate just leaves you more bitter and angry.

In the short time you were here you have been the best friend anyone could’ve asked for. I’m just lucky to have had you in my life. Thank you for being there for me whenever I needed you, my sister, mentor and pillar of strength.

I was told that only a miracle could bring you back, and I am still waiting for that miracle to happen. I miss you like crazy, but I’m still hoping I’ll soon see my silver lining.

Thanks for looking out for me, TJ. I guess guardian angels do exist after all.

I will always love you, and I know you will too.

Happy Birthday, sweety.

Loads of love and hugs,

AK

‘Two States’- The Story of my Parents’ Marriage


This post was selected for BlogAdda’s Tangy Tuesday picks on 26th April ’11

This is dedicated to mum and dad, for their 21 beautiful and eventful years of marriage and the many many more to come. Belated happy anniversary to both of you. 🙂

It all happened one fateful day in 1989. My dad (a surprisingly down-to-earth Punjabi) was a lieutenant in the army, in a unit in Bombay, and hence the junior-most in the office. My mum (a surprisingly smart and ‘non-chinky’ Nepali) had just started out as an air hostess enjoying the thrills of new shoes from Paris and watches from Dubai.

My dad’s regular day started and ended in the office and little did he know any colours beyond the ones in his olive green uniform. Well, at least not until my mum decided to learn how to drive in an army driving school one fine day.

My mum wasn’t a bad driver, in fact she wasn’t too bad at all. Not until she discovered one day that she was lousy at reversing. And this she got to know when she rammed the car right into my dad’s (way too little) office, and nearly broke down an entire rear wall, leading to my dad rushing out as if an earthquake had just occurred.

No. It’s not what you think. There were no sparks at all. In fact there were only explosions and fireworks. My dad came out fuming, at his broken wall and my mum counter-argued at the fact that the army didn’t provide him with enough funds and a better office with stronger walls.

The argument went on till about half an hour or so when my dad’s boss summoned both of them to his office, where the argument was abruptly ended as my dad’s boss told them both to apologise to each other. After a few exchanges of the most murderous glances ever, my mum broke the silence and apologised, since the bad reversing style was hers after all.

My dad got the ego boost but his male-pride needed a little nursing too, so he invited my mum for lunch as an apology for him yelling. My mum agreed on the condition that they would go dutch. And then what followed was my mum and dad’s first ever ‘un-official’ date, at a vada-pav stall, on another fateful day in 1989.

My mum continued her driving lessons. Apparently, she needed a lot more practice at reversing. After every lesson, my dad would invite her to tea and samosas to his office and sometimes he would fill-in for the driving instructor, when the instructor would be on leave or sometimes even when he wasn’t.

Sometimes my dad’s boss needed things to be sent here and there, my dad would, more often then not, always volunteer to deliver something whenever it were somewhere near my mum’s house, and would ‘drop a casual visit’, saying he was ‘just passing by’.

The meetings grew. My mum’s driving improved, but she continued to come to correct even the most petty mistakes. And my dad paid his visits even when nothing was to be delivered anywhere and sometimes just something as petty as a glass of water or juice.

Symbolically enough, from the very first time they met, quite a few barriers were gradually broken as time passed. They started going for more lunches together, still sharing the costs and quite often they went for evening walks together in nearby parks and the pavement by the sea at Marine drive.

And on this one fateful day, many walks and lunch-dates later, my dad asked my mum out under the setting sun at Marine drive.

They dated for about almost a year and everything was going smooth until the entry of the villain of this story- my paternal grandmother.

My paternal grandmother was this typical Punjabi mother of a son, who was dying to show off her wealth and riches to her relatives through her son’s big fat pompous Punjabi wedding ceremony. She finally got the opportunity to bombard my dad with numerous matrimonial offers when my grandfather got a posting to Bombay as a doctor in the railway.

There were girls’ families who visited my grandparents’ house almost every fortnight and my grandmother forced my much protesting dad to visit girls’ houses now and then. My dad begged all of them to reject him, and he successfully wormed his way out of the matchmaking conspiracy, humouring my grandmother at the same time.

My grandmother began to smell something fishy and when she finally got strong hints, she debarred my dad from talking or meeting ‘this girl from another community’ a.k.a. my mum.

My grandmother continued the matchmaking in full swing, with twice as much vigour this time, and one of those days a girl and her multi-millionaire family was going to pay a visit.

My grandmother started to prepare for that day right from the morning, and told my dad to come home early from work. She bid the heartiest goodbye to my dad, and he drove off in his (now antique) Bajaj scooter. He drove at the highest possible speed he could manage, sped past his office and reached his destination- ‘The Bombay high court’- where my mum, along with my maternal aunt, paternal uncle and a few friends waited for my dad. My aunt being an IAS officer had pulled some strings and made my mum and dad jump the que. And on that very fateful day, the 13th of April, 1990, my parents were officially married after a 25-minute long procedure and about four signatures.

And that is how my mum and dad got married.

No. The story isn’t over yet. After that rather eventful day, my parents, each with their headiest adrenaline rush, decided to go and pay a visit to my grandmother. Yes, it was a pretty bold move, but she had to know some day, might as well have been the first.

My parents (now married) drove off to my grandparents’ house and decided to enter from the back door. And well, as luck had it, Miss multi-millionaire and family were sitting in the drawing room at that very same time. My grandmother opened the back-door and was overcome by the rude shock, when my dad introduced her to my mum, ‘his wife’.

I wish I was there to have seen the expression on her face. Apparently she froze and didn’t know what to do for about 10 minutes and when she finally gained her senses, she had her very first heart attack!

The chaos ensured the family in the drawing room to never be seen again and the heart attack turned out to be minor acidity.

My parents decided to have a small ceremony a week or so after, but neither of them could decide between a Punjabi and Nepali ceremony.

They finally came to a consensus, and decided that, since everything started and happened in Bombay, they might as well have a Marathi wedding.

That girl in the drawing room got married to one of my older paternal uncles some time later. My grandmother was still in shock for a few months, and to date she still tries to take revenge for the shock by being a soap-opera-ish mother-in-law to my mum. My grandfather was one of the happiest at the ceremony and to date he’s proud of my dad’s choice and his bold move.

Well… and then of course, about a year later, I came into the picture. And to date I laugh about the filmy-ness of my parents’ story and try to picture my grandmother’s expression on that eventful day.  But amidst all the chaos and overwhelming emotions, my parents managed to live happily ever after.

For the Girl who Brought Colour in my Life


This is for you, Tejaswee. The ever so beautiful, you. For your birthday, it’s a little way to celebrate your life and most of all, to celebrate you.

It’s intriguing, how God functions in the most weird possible ways. One of those weird ways was when I was barely 8 and I found myself lying in a medical room with an oxygen mask on my face during a mild asthma attack in school. This tiny figure with two braids walked up to me and said, “Hi, I’m the new girl, remember? Do you need anything? Should I tell ma’am to call your mum? I’ll carry your bag to the bus, don’t worry. You just relax okay, I’ll take down your notes too.” And that is how I met ‘Tejaswee Rao’- my best friend.

Tejaswee's hand and mine

You may not be with us any more. It’s been almost five months since you’ve gone. But there have been so many times that have proved, that you still live on, and your presence is there somewhere around us. I know you’re hiding in one corner and looking at all of us and whenever I miss you too much, you show up in my dreams, and make me feel better.

There are many things I’ve done and continue to do that have been inspired by you, Tejaswee. You’d always pester me to write more. And you always nagged me to start a blog. I never did when you were there. But I am doing it now.

August was difficult, and September was even worse when it started to sink in. But there were always these little things that reminded me of you from time to time and kept me going.

Caricature

I caught myself doodling in class many a times. They were rather unconscious. And many times they were because classes were just too boring. It was not until two months back, when KD told me that seeing me doodle, felt like she was watching Tejaswee in class somehow, that I realised what an inevitable part of everyone’s lives she had become and always will be.

I always admired the brilliant artist that she was. Especially after she had she had made a caricature of me.

You know, Tejaswee, I started doodling so much in class my notebook has started looking like a scrap book. I’d be happy if I’m even half as amazing an artist as you, but I am getting there and it’s all because of you and your inspiration. I never thought that caricature you made of me would be so precious to me and it very much is my favourite sketch anyone’s ever made of me.

She was usually late to class. Most of the time she would enter panting, because of running from the gate to class. She would usually stand at the door and flash that million dollar smile and no teacher would ever say anything to her. And the best part was she was never scared of what could happen or what our teachers would say.

Tejaswee and the cat

She would go around petting stray animals and she’d always give water and food to a homeless dog outside our college. Most people thought that dog was ferocious, but she was never bothered about what people thought and she never got scared if she wanted to do something good. Tejaswee Rao did not know fear.

I know you’re listening, and your gloating, sitting somewhere around here. But you have really taught me to be brave. I’m not afraid any more, of what could happen, or would happen. I’m not afraid of consequences. I listen to my heart. It seems like you’re telling me to do things. It seems like I have this guiding force above me which is looking out for me, and I know it’s you. I’ve learnt to be more honest and I’ve learnt to be strong, just the way you were.

I walk in late to class and tell the teacher I overslept. I pet stray dogs and I even have started liking cats. I made friends with your cat, Puppy. Your mom told me it was very unlikely of Puppy to get along with anyone, but maybe you did rub off on me, and your aura can be sensed by Puppy.

I’ve seen many people dress up for college. Seen people try too hard or not try at all. But Tejaswee Rao, was just effortlessly a walking fashion statement no matter what she wore. I’d never seen so many colours on someone at once, and never carrying it off as well as her. Sometimes she wore an orange trench coat, a turquoise muffler, purple trousers, and held her pink camera in her hand all at the same time and still looked as beautiful as ever. And the colours? Well Tejaswee just made all of them look good together. I guess she was the only person I knew who could piece together two of her favourite colours like orange and blue and make it look so beautiful.

Don’t know how you did it, Tejaswee. But you just made the colours look good. A few weeks ago I went shopping with my aunt. And there were so many things around me that reminded me of you. I didn’t think twice before buying any of the bright coloured things I did, but I just went ahead and bought them because sometimes, it just seems like you’re telling me to do things.

The colours around you looked best on you but you’ve inspired many to be as bold as you were. And I am one of those people. There is more colour around me now. And I know where it’s coming from. You’ve taught me to be myself and not be afraid to show the world who I really am. You’ve taught me to not fear being judged.

You’ve brought much more in my life than beautiful friendship, Tejaswee. You’ve influenced me in so many ways and you’ve taught me so much in this lifetime. You were more than a friend to me. You were like a sister.

Tejaswee, you will always have that special place in my heart. And for me you’ll always be the girl who changed me and that girl who brought colour in my life.

The things that I bought because these were Tejaswee's favourite colours

I will always love you, Tejaswee and we’ll forever celebrate this day as the birth of a beautiful person and the greatest person I’ve known that even lived, and one who will live in our hearts forever more.

The first and the last time that I saw her were both in a medical room. God does work in the most unusual ways. Being with her made me realise that not only does God chose your beloved but he also chooses your friends before hand, and you are destined to meet that special person somehow. And meeting this special girl, my best friend, Tejaswee, was my destiny.

That Undying Christmas Spirit


This post was selected for BlogAdda’s Spicy Saturday picks on 25th December ’10

I belong to a Hindu family, but a very liberal one at that. One of those families who would be ashamed to disclose that they even belong to a religion in a secular country. All my life I have celebrated every possible festival from Eid, to Diwali to Christmas to just anything we would wish to celebrate. We just needed a reason for it. And my dad, being in the army, pretty much made us inculcate traditions from all over.

In school, being in a Convent, I had the fondest of memories when it came to Christmas. I have always loved Christmas. I love the carols, the gifts, the mass, the trees, Santa Claus… Just everything about Christmas gives me a certain kind of joy. But most of all I’ve always loved that ‘spirit of Christmas’.

Christmas was great back then. My ‘Convent’ Christmas parties were somewhat conventional, but none-the-less extremely enjoyable. We used to have little parties in the class where we would exchange humble gifts with each other and pitch in home-cooked food which we ate with just as much relish as we would have enjoyed a fine dining meal. There was dance, there was music, and there always was a Christmas play, and then there was always this one quirky thing that the batch passing out was supposed to do. When we were in the 12th grade, our entire batch was supposed to wear a Santa Claus cap for the entire duration of the Christmas celebration. It was a bit juvenile, I know, but we never complained. In fact we enjoyed doing that. 🙂

We had our bit of enjoyment, but we never let that Christmas spirit die. After our celebration was done we used to share our food with the children on the street and bring old woollens and donate it to an orphanage. This was the part that made me feel the best. It kind of made Christmas complete for me.

When school was over, Christmas was no longer the same. I did celebrate with my family and a few friends but it never was the same as it was in School. I could feel that ‘spirit’ gradually dying out.

I had no hopes for this year too. My year was pretty much one of the worst ones I’ve had, and things like exams and being away from my mum and dad just made it even worse for me. It killed Christmas in entirety.

Yesterday, I was going back home after some petty Christmas shopping with my aunt, when we got stuck in a massive traffic jam on the street. Having nothing to do I leaned on my window, and opened a packet of Samosas we had just bought. I saw this little boy of about six selling ‘Santa Claus’ caps outside my window. He was cold and he looked hungry. He tapped at my window and in a meek and shivering voice he said, “lelo na, sirf bees rupaye” (please buy it, it’s just for twenty rupees).

Maybe it was his innocence or just the caps in his hand, which reminded me of Christmas in school, but in a flash I started to shuffle around for my wallet like a maniac. It was like something had gotten into me. I was frantically searching for twenty rupees before the signal turned green. I found one ultimately, and bought a cap from him, and he walked by happily. But something in me snapped. The kid had just walked a few steps ahead when I called out to him, “ae chhote.. wapas aa idhar” (kiddo, come back here). Without  even thinking twice, I rolled down my window again and handed over my entire packet of samosas to him. I can never forget that smile on his face. It wasn’t a very big thing that I gave him, but the thought that it made someone’s day made me happy.

I know Christmas for me was ruined. I won’t even be having a celebration of any kind. But it didn’t matter any more. That innocent smile on that little boy’s face gave me more joy than ever, and all that mattered was that Christmas spirit which I had inadvertently kept alive.

Merry Christmas!

Wish you all a Merry Christmas. Spread the joy and always remember to keep the ‘Christmas Spirit’ alive. 🙂