In the earlier post, I mentioned about how Christmas is important to me. There was a twist in the tale though. On 22nd, I was informed that I should accompany my sister to Bangalore for a training. At first, it sounded like a good option. But gradually, I realised that I will have nothing to do in Bangalore, all my Cochin based Bang settled friends will be coming home for vacation and my sister will have classes all day. Even then, it’s just Bangalore! I could do something, right?
We reached on 24th morning. It was Christmas eve. My sister left for her classes. We got accommodation in the college guest house which looked like a deserted, haunted place. The windows faced an empty basketball court and the all the rooms in the floor were locked except ours.
I spent half the day doing this & that abd after lunch, decided to take a look around the area. It looked nothing like the city. Well, the city is 20kms away. This was one of the rural areas of Bangalore. With time I realised that even some of the residents haven’t heard of the place much. Which also meant that I was far far away from them. My hopes were coming down. I couldn’t think of spending 6 days like this.
I had brought two books and a laptop. It wouldn’t be too bad. Besides, my sister had told me that we could get wifi here. It was still okay. With wifi, books & my blog, I wouldn’t have a problem! I slept during the rest of the afternoon until my sister came back.
“They are asking us to shift to the next block in a room with another girl. We are the only occupants in this entire building. If we want to, we could stay here.”
I didn’t want to share a room. But, it wasn’t safe inside a deserted building. Specially when the room didn’t have an attached bathroom. So we decided to shift. We were taken to the said room and suddenly, it felt better. This room seemed more lively and there were people around. We decided to go out for a walk.
The girl whose room we were sharing had asked me, “Do you celebrate Christmas?”
I said we do.
“There are a lot of Christians in Kerala and Goa right?”
“Yes there are. Do you celebrate?”
“No. We don’t”
I knew the answer already. That is why I did not tell her that not only the Christians, but all of us celebrated. I wanted to tell her how beautiful it is. But I knew that she wouldn’t understand. I’d just be giving her some boring lectures. So I didn’t pursue the conversation.
I settled in the cot next to the window and slept early. I will wake up to Christmas the next day. Christmas with no lights and sound. I missed my Christmas tree.
The streets of Cochin dance with rice lights. All the buildings are decorated like brides. You don’t know where to look these days. Year after year, the decorations keep increasing. The streets look all the more beautiful after the rains. The raindrops shimmer around the lights, the cool breeze tickles your ear and you smell Christmas in the air. Every 10 feet presents you with tiny shops that sell stars. Stars in the shape of stars, in the shape of balls and some in the shape of supernova – pretty much an exploded look. There are also a wide variety of christmas trees for sale – green, gold, silver, green with whites for snow that appear and disappear alternatively.
By 20th of December, almost every commercial building and many of the houses have stars hung before them. Santa Clauses hired by huge companies dance to the tune of drums and attract customers. Some have statues of Santa Claus built. You could also see the trees beautifully decorated outside most of the buildings. Some homes simply decorate a huge plant or a random tree. I find that amusing. I like how they find the same happiness without purchasing a Christmas tree. I used to do that. 🙂
I woke up today, 25th December in Bangalore and forgot that it was Christmas. When I remembered, there was no one to wish. I called up my mother and wished her. I have plans for tomorrow. But today, will be just another day. I had breakfast, received so many wishes and replied to them all. I felt like the room was beginning to stink. Since it was cold, we didn’t bother to open the windows. I cleaned up the room and opened the windows.
I opened the next.
There were my Christmas lights.
If I were to forget that I was in Bangalore, I’d definitely have thought that this is Kerala. The windows faced few trees of which one had yellow-pink flowers blossoming all over. The sunlight was filtering through the leaves and I could listen to the birds chirping. I switched off all the lights and watched as the window swallowed the entire sunlight.
I didn’t have any christmas trees. I didn’t have the rice lights or decorations. I couldn’t listen to the carols. But it was still okay.
I had many trees with the sunlight adorning them so beautifully. I heard the birds chirping and suddenly I felt like I was close to home. This isn’t what christmas looks like. But it sure looks like home. 🙂 I just had to open the windows.
Anoop tagged me for the #itsStillOkay challenge and this is my post for the same. I’m defying the rules since I’m posting from my phone. Please feel free to take up the challenge on the topic, It’s still okay.