Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Fa la la la la, la la la la

Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la, la la la la. Christmas is one of my favorite days of the year. It brings back memories of family, singing and lots and lots of food. Though part of a Hindu family, I was lucky enough to have aunts and uncles ,who had married into other religions . This gave me the chance not only to experience the joys of their festivals , but also understand and expand my views on god and beliefs. Christmas for me is always in rooted in Bangalore. We used to camp out there with my uncle and grandma for the holidays. The cold winter nights punctuated with laughter, singing and a whole lot of fruit cake, made the environment cozier than Yule log fireplace.

The festivities started with the humongous Christmas tree, my uncle put up. I always used to wish I could grow up and look like the angel on top of the tree. Not to mention the blond hair, I still envy the expression of happiness on her face. All of us had a task assigned, either be it decorating the tree, helping out with the huge Christmas lunch the next day or as simple a joining the group who were singing carol. Though I am musically challenged like my mom, just singing as a group was enough to get the spirits up. The best part of it was my grandmom, who till she passed away when she was 94 was the strongest voice of us all. She could sing in different languages and knew the origin of each song. As she knitted, and my cousins strummed the guitar, the family from every corner of the room would lend their voices to silent night, Rudolf , white Christmas and the finale with Jingle bells. Christmas morning was the best time with gifts being unwrapped and tried out. Each of us got a present, with a wink from my uncle, who was sure Santa was happy with us that year, but next year we better watch out. Of course as my cousins dressed in their Christmas best, went to church, we were left to munch on the cakes and kalkals.We were pretty much stuffed when they returned. But we had to make room for the Christmas lunch. By the end of that day it was a miracle if anyone could walk or even stand without tipping over. But on the other hand, we also learnt the gift of sharing . I call it a gift because from a young age, to understand the power of giving and sharing, made me learn a core lesson, that helped me across other situations.

As the years drew on, and we couldn’t spend every Christmas with my relatives, my mom and I used to wait till 11PM on Christmas eve, to listen to the Carols on radio FM. The announcer used to prattle off the songs for the next hour, with as much enthusiasm as a person who is waiting for the end of a long work day. But as we sang our hearts out to the carols, messed up the words and finally the tune , nothing mattered more than the joy those words gave us. The almost hushed tone of silent nights to the bright gaiety of Felice Navidad seemed to make it seem almost like we were with family. Christmas day was always filled with sunshine in Chennai and I truly wished for a White Christmas.

But after coming to the states and seeing the Christmas celebration in full flow, I must say that it made me terribly homesick. I used to sob every time “I’ll be home for Christmas came on the radio” ,considering the number of times it gets played here, it used to be once every 5 minutes. But again as the years pass, for me so far away from home, it those memories of the Christmas past, that makes it all warm inside for me. So as I take in this year with the terrible Mumbai attacks and the global recession , I take this occasion to thank every person in my life. Their unconscious sharing of their happiness and life, makes each day much better to live in. I also would like to thank each one of you who read this blog too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas with me. I hope that next year is bigger and brighter for all of us in every aspect of our life .

So before I get too sentimental and start humming “I’ll be home” again, I just wanted to say

“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”

I would also specifically like to thank Barath for the The Freedom and independent award.. you made my day and my week :D!.

As usual, this goes out to all my blogger pals out there.

For the smile

According to the Alaskan Department of Fish and game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid December. Female reindeer retain their antlers 'till after they give birth in the spring.
Therefore, according to every historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, every single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen had to be a girl.
We should've known! Only women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night, and NOT GET LOST.


The recent announcement that Donner and Blitzen have elected to take the early reindeer retirement package has triggered a good deal of concern about whether they will be replaced, and about other restructuring
decisions at the North Pole.

Streamlining is due to the North Pole's loss of dominance of this season's gift distribution business. Home shopping channels, the Internet, and mail order catalogs have diminished Santa's market share. He could not sit idly by and permit further erosion of the profit picture.

The reindeer downsizing was made possible through the purchase of a late model Japanese sled for the CEO's annual trip. Improved productivity from Dasher and Dancer--who will retrain at the Harvard Business
School--is anticipated. Reduction in reindeer will also lessen airborne environmental emissions for which the North Pole has received unfavorable press.

I am pleased to inform you that Rudolph's role will not be disturbed. Tradition still counts for something at the North Pole.

Keep Smiling ppl and Remember to light a lamp or candle for Peace

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snatches of Twilight

The last couple of weeks have been hectic with work and a yucky cold .So though I have been reading my fav blogs , the commenting has been on the downslide. The main damper for me was some people taking undue advantage of a offer of help . I mean if someone offers to help, there has to be boundaries with what you ask them. Asking for the moon, for a person offering a stone, is kinda hard for me to relate to, but I guess that’s the subject of a separate blog. There have however , been lovely moments during these weeks, with a couple of friends and relatives announcing impending additions to their family. Last weekend was some quality time with my cousins which always lightens my mood .

But I have to say the one thing which kept me from blogging was unfortunately that a pal of mine sent across a chapter of Twilight . For the unknown, this series of books, which deals with a teen romance between a vampire and a high school girl. The vampire, tall , white and totally dead , is basically every old mills and boons hero rolled into one. But what kept me reading , aside from the die hard romantic in me, is the morbid fascination of a girl who would give up her soul for love.

For those rolling their eyes already I would suggest, that you flip to your favorite website now, because this post is definitely going to get even more soppy. I was seriously wondering if I should write this post, till I read Sundar’s post in the same vein. Though I’m sure his is more grounded in reality than this post is ever going to be. As I quickly got through the 4 books in the series (yes four !!, I didn’t get to do any work during the weekend :D) , I felt quite deflated in the end. Not that the book, didn’t perfectly fit into the ending, that each teenage girl would dream of, but it kept to the norm of total absolute love, with no hiccups other than the usual jealousy and misunderstanding. A couple of years back, I would have been completely satisfied with that. But as I look around me, and see love in all its different forms, the reality of love never comes across in these books. I mean seriously, how long can one person keep telling you how earth shatteringly beautiful you are or can you keep declaring how you will fall off a cliff for them (Though I must say for K and I those words never have come up in our 3 years of marriage and I’m pretty sure some times, he’s willing to push me off the cliff)

As the book progressed , I was actually waiting for the first fight between Bella and Edward, the two main characters. The saccharine sweetness of their love, was making me hope , that the hero will actually suck the heroines blood soon ! I almost wanted to see the part where she loves garlic and he probably choke on it if its in the lasagna. I mean each couple can relate to that, food items which one loves only to be proportionately hated by the other. In the family get together, each of the ladies was discussing how the respective better half (ahem :)! ) made them nuts. But these idiosyncrasies is what makes life interesting. Working through these differences is annoying, but it has a element of fun in it. Even the movies we see nowadays are slowly changing. First love to mature love, is an element which is coming in more pictures than ever before . But I think though, we shouldn’t completely forget the thrill that we have when we first meet the person, we are supposed to spend the rest of our lives with. The first gaze or the first smile will always be ingrained in each person’s memory, and that first thrill diminishes, but the absolute state of being comfortable which comes through time, and whole lot of disagreements, seems to last through life.

The romance books capture the thrill of the first love, but the happiness that is brought about by a prolonged relationship is much more harder to define, and definitely not a page turner. I see a couple of aunts and uncles, who have been married for more than 4 decades, the subtlety of shared thoughts and endearing quirks , seem to enhance their lives. A lot of debates have been fought about the victories of older lasting love over younger fresh love. I question too, if Romeo and Juliet lived, would she been able to put his long windedness and constantly changing mind and would he really have patience with a 13 year old’s shopping habits.. I highly doubt it!

So what is about first love that makes it the subject matter of innumerable books and movies ?What makes me pick up an old mills and boon romance where I know the guy is macho idiot and the girl a simpering nitwit or even watch for the umpteenth time the episode of friends where Ross and Rachel go on their first date. Well its simple , it makes me smile.
Smile when I remember a first glance or even when I remember what it felt like to be in a summer crush. That silent Goosebumps that creep over your skin unknown to all when you first saw each other , has to be felt and remembered. As time goes one, maybe these goosebumps dissolve into rashes , but the beauty of having gone through that first stage is that you land up with someone, who probably be handing you the balm to soothe those rashes and to me that is the best part !

Finally I want to thank Ani D for the Lovely Blogger Award.. .. it made my week :D! and I dedicate this to all who actually read this blog... each one of you are lovely in your own special way :)!

And for the smile today

Haunted from the grave
An old man and woman were married for years even though they hated each other. When they had a confrontation, screams and yelling could be heard deep into the night. A constant statement was heard by the neighbors who feared the man the most.

"When I die I will dig my way up and out of the grave to come back and haunt you for the rest of your life!"

They believed he practiced black magic and was responsible for missing cats and dogs, and strange sounds at all hours. He was feared and enjoyed the respect it garnished.

He died abruptly under strange circumstances and the funeral had a closed casket. After the burial, the wife went straight to the local bar and began to party as if there was no tomorrow.

The gaiety of her actions were becoming extreme while her neighbors approached in a group to ask these questions: Are you not afraid? Concerned? Worried? that this man who practiced black magic and stated when he died he would dig his way up and out of the grave to come back and haunt you for the rest of your life?

The wife put down her drink and said, "Let the jerk dig. I had him buried upside down."

Bedside Wife
A man was sleeping on his deathbed. The man woke up to see his wife silently praying beside him.
He said, " Martha, I have something to confess to you."
She said, "No dear, save your energy."
He said, "I must tell you so I may pass on to heaven, I cheated on you."
She said, " I know, I poisoned you."

Keep Smiling ppl