Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year Resolutions?

New Year’s come and go…
Why is this one any different?
Firstly ‘coz I’m moving out of a much loved home and shifting into another.
Secondly ‘coz more people around me are suddenly unavailable or married.
Thirdly ‘coz I’m working in a company that refuses to give me an off.
Fourthly ‘coz I could have been in Madurai, holidaying with an amazing couple.
Fifthly ‘coz this will be the first New Year where somehow already nothing seems ‘new’.

However as depressing as this New Year seems to me…
Some things remain exactly the same…
I am still single.
I am still hoping for lots of things.
I have managed to piss off someone to the extent that he doesn’t want to see me.
Life just seems to like always… drag on!

Happy New Year Indeed!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Kristhu Jayanthi - Lol!

Snow all around…
Santa’s bell’s jingling (lol!)
Christmas Trees…
Stockings, Roast Turkey…

That’s never been Christmas to me…
Kristhu Jayanthi ( I hope that would be the apt Indianism) is far from all that…
It’s desi, It’s Indian, It’s however still Christmas.
We’re Indians too… Bleddy Hell! – which means just because we celebrate a festival like the rest of Christendom (Lol! – I’ve been dying to use that word in a useless context for a long long time!), and play Carols, and Dance (at times)… We’re not firang!
We’re still Indians man!

To me Christmas has always been about Kal-Kal’s, Rose Cookies, Bengalooru versions of the infamous Christmas pudding… [Of course my aunt who lives at Suloco does a very typical Christmas pudding (or as I learnt very recently, alternatively known as English Pudding – to the rest of Europe that be!), with rum-med dough, raisins, and brandy for a pudding flambé. It’s truly an alcoholic affair. The rest of us wannabe Bengalooru Indians make do with Nilgiris Rich Plum Cake] Silk sarees, Chicken curry or roast, loads of Biriyaani (varieties!), and especially to me some really lovely Tamil Carols. [OK, who am I kidding? I didn’t know the Tamil Carols existed till a very Anglicized version of them first met my eardrums earlier this year at Magnificat in Christ College, and I always grew up wanting snow, and expecting Mama to kiss Santa Claus – Guess what? It never ever happened.]

An Indian Christmas however (as much as the people I am taking liberties of referring to as Indians, would rather not have such a tag), was once experienced far up in Manipur. In an obscure little village called Sagang, somewhere on the periphery of Bishenpur District, in Wangoo Taluk, where Meitei’s (an indigenous tribe, primarily Hindus now, due to which they have self-proclaimed themselves to be non-tribal and ostracized every other tribe around them as either lower castes or shun-able “tribals”.) and Kom’s (a peace loving extremely adorable small valley tribe, who take neither sides of the Chins or the Nagas, and have the most exquisite white wool based shawls that are a pleasure to see and wear.) celebrated Christmas together, sang carols in local languages, and cooked a huge buffalo in rice (the Manipuri version of the Biriyaani – but far less spicy), sat around a bonfire and ate and had fun together. They taught me that Christmas is about THAT,

and about FAMILY & COMMUNITY, and mostly about CHRIST.

As I picture those freezing cold evenings, my brothers, my mother, my father, uncles, aunts, cousins and me, wrapped in four or more shawls each, huddled around a raging bonfire with everyone from the village there, I suddenly realize what Christmas is actually all about.

It’s about LOVE.

So Christmas came and went, and it will keep coming and going for every other year of my life. The Americans will think they are the epitomes of secularists and only wish each other – Happy Holiday’s, and the rest of us Indians will keep trying to imitate all our western counterpart Christmasses from all over the world, but as long as LOVE remains what the festival is all about – There’s still hope.

I missed celebrating Christmas with my Church, and choreographed something for the service that night. I never got to see it, but I’m sure the Spirit of Christmas that was in each and every one of those participants ensured they do a good job.
Someone I had such a huge crush on, and have loved so tenderly ever since made this season so special by well… msg’ing me from half way across the globe. She will always be the ONLY girl I’ve ever loved. Another lover boy, mailed me, and brought that smile I’ve been missing so much, back onto my face. And I spoke to a cousin I’ve particularly grown very fond of lately. There’s so much to this season, and words will only explain a quarter of it.

To Carol singing, and lovely friends,
To marriages, and happy people in love,
To mothers who go out of their way to cook so much,
To most benevolent hosts,
To some foreigners who are just too sweet to be real,
To lovers and friends alike lost somewhere down life’s twisted ways,
To friends who remembered, and friends who forgot,
To families,
And most of all.
To Christ.

Merry Christmas everyone!
(Belated I know, but who cares!)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Of returns and nothingness...

It’s been so long…
So much has come by,
So much of it gone…
Yet I remain, as I was…
Unchanged, Imperfect,
and Partly Content.

How much is often all that I can ask.
Changes all around affect me in every plausible way.
A lover, a friend, is now no-one in particular.
A confidante is now totally taken over, betrothed to the one he loves.
A possibility almost became a reality, and then remained as vague as ever.
A life that I awaited with so much hope came and went by…

Only I remain, and so does ‘He’.
The everlasting ‘He’.
I often wonder why ‘He’ never existed in my physical reality.
‘He’ would have been so perfect.
So complete.
So well…

I do not say I am Him. Only that I exist… because of Him.
And that reality has taken a long time to dawn on my perennially overcharged mind.

Christmas is finally here. The bells ring in my head, and I imagine lovely Holiday-like days. They just never seem to be coming by. The songs I have sung. They still resound in my mind.

Night and Day, day and night, all day long (always wanted to use that phrase!).

Our government seems completely oblivious of everything around it, or not within it. Governments fall and rise faster than ‘The Metro’ ever will. I am now an official MG Road boy.

I bank here, work here, hang out here, and meet here (in exactly that order).
The 19 KM’s that define me are all that Bangalore suddenly seems to mean.

I who loved change now partially loathe it. It’s far progressed beyond everything I foresaw. Beautiful and frightening at the very same moment… It strangely gives me hope… Hope of something brighter, something I must make brighter. Something that I can brighten, knowing fully well, I am just one of those few brightenings that brighten it, yet play my role, that is equally important.

Happiness does not exist. It cannot come.
It has to be created or invited.
And that’s a lesson well learnt.

My love goes out to Su, Funny and Vicks
for contributing so much in each of your special ways
for making life what it is…
Making me who I am…