Thursday, December 25, 2008

XXXxxxx...... mas is here!

It's Christmas and I am getting just a wee bit nostalgic.

I don't like being away from home, and not being able to hang my smelly socks in my parents' loo. Come to think of it, that's the same reason that I'm not too happy being over the big Three-Oh. I mean, if I was to hark back to a fuzzy yonder and put my smelly socks up in gleeful anticipation, some people might think it to be a sign of either late retardation or early dementia.

Whatever you may think, I miss that happy little custom, though I'm sure Dad (Ooops! I mean, Santa.. nudge nudge, wink wink!) must be heaving a sigh of relief, year upon year, and sending a prayer to the North Pole that his pesky kids don't get extended Christmas breaks from their quest for bread n wine to come knocking on his loo door anymore. In any case, by the time the tradition tapered off, as we flew off to faraway Christmases, in pursuit of our dreams, he had started stuffing crisp notes in our not-so-crisp discards, and everyone woke up happy on Christmas morning.

I just remembered... Why did I never get that xylophone I pestered Santa for ... in fact, it's the one item on my list that failed to find it's way into my stinky stocking, year after disappointing year. Maybe I gave him too many OR... OR... options, in neat alphabetical order, and we never did get to the X? Hold on a sec, did he never bother to read the entire list EVER, always stopping at A??? No wonder I got Appalacian springs water, Aroma candles, Alcoholics Anonymous t-shirts, Apple flavour ganja, Aamir's headband from QSQT, Anil Kapoor's chest hair.... etc etc, but never the damn Xylophone! Too late to start a backwards list, you think? Sigh..

Then in boarding school Christmas came a month early as we kickstarted the cheer before leaving for the winter holidays... Sweet ol' Mrs. John would dress up as Santa and come riding through the dining room at dinnertime, throwing paan flavoured sweets and orange candies all around the benches, while I stoically refrained from lunging at the goodies, given my strict rule: "Thou shalt not get excited by free food", the one thing I never did outgrow, despite having joined a profession that frowns upon such terribly non-aggressive starvation-by-choice type behaviour. Most journos, like lawyers, should suffix three letters to their names, L.L.F.... a.k.a Long Live Freebies! Me? I'm a stubborn fake.

Sometimes I think of the way Christmas is changing and will continue to change over the years, as we Indians clumsily embrace it in a giant bear hug. I just heard of a bakery, with branches in the Punjoo heartlands of Karol Bagh and Rajouri Garden no less, which offers the best Christmas cake in town. Imagine that, amid the chhola bhatooras, tikki bhalla papri chaat Roshan di kulfi and mixed froot joos, and you know that here it's a very Brown Christmas. Oops! Have i crossed the LoPC - the Line of Political Correctness?

Can you think of a PC X-mas? Santa would have to either shape up or ship out. And I mean that both literally and figuratively. See, we can't call him fat, for that would amount to outraging the sensibilities of the weight-challenged, and even if we addressed the reality suitably, these high cholesterol, hypertensive, junk-the-junk times that we are living in demand that he start sending out a more.... errr.... be-FIT-ting message to the mortal millions. Maybe we could help by putting out digestive sugar free cookies with some soy milk for the ol' man.

A more svelte Santa? Nah.... But then do spare a thought to those poor reindeer, lugging him and the presents around. Animal rights, shmaminal rights, you say! I say maybe it's time to start demanding e-vouchers to cut down on shipment costs and give the red-nosed one and his friends a break. Besides, global warming will soon ensure that they have no snow to run in and the given the abomination of, and social censure attached to, parking in the PH spots, Santa'd have absolutely no place to park his sleigh... unless he's willing to pay the congestion charges up there and the MCD's overnight rates down here. Ah, the sleight of fate!

And finally, do you really think it's advisable to go shouting Ho-Ho-Ho in the streets these days? But then the proof of the (Christmas) pudding is in the eating right? Go try it, I say!

Oh Oh Ohhhhh......

Merry Christmas, y'all ;)

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