It’s a little hard to get into the Christmas spirit when you’re up at 9:30 AM, half asleep and stumbling in cotton pyjamas and your university’s thin cotton CS Frosh tee that has somehow turned into your nightdress top while the sun shines bright outside and streams down the window onto your now seemingly out of place Christmas tree.
It’s a little hard to get into the Christmas spirit when everyone around you is in their most hideous Christmas sweaters (and I mean sweaters that scream Christmas with lights and sound to go with it, probably) and you’re in a cotton shirt and everyone thinks you’re an alien for not feeling cold in the slightest.
It’s at that point that you take things into your own hand to make yourself feel Christmassy.
You do everything from dressing like a candy cane to coming one step short of volunteering to be Santa and climbing up the chimney for a sweep.
But Christmas eating is such a miraculous mess that I have no idea how they feed kids the idea of someone who’s been holidaying for a few weeks and feasting on sugary treats coming down a narrow chimney wearing white and red—white! As the French say, quelle horreur! How will Monsieur Santa ever get his nice new white clothes clean?
(Out of nowhere, you hear a chime and a jingle. From out of the chimney somewhere nearby or out of your hot cocoa, whichever is more convenient, a well dressed woman steps out, curiously enough, she is immaculately dressed for someone stepping out of your chimney that was last swept—two weeks–? Two… years!? Honey, you haven’t cleaned the chimney in two years?
Anyway, the woman steps out and smiles a dazzling, Happy Dent white smile (why a woman you ask? I’m casting!) and asks you, “Are you having trouble with stubborn stains? Is the soot on your duds resistant even to Santa magic?
What you need is the all-new Tide Holiday Home Magic TM. It’s E-Zée Clean formula TM makes sticky stains vanish! And with its Holiday Special Peppermint fragrance, you’ll be smelling like Christmas all season. So go on up ahead, climb that chimney!” And the woman nods to Santa who sticks a shoulder up the chimney and the camera puts him in the background and focuses on you. Weird grunting noises follow. You call out, “Santa?” All you hear in response are muffled sounds. Clearly, Santa’s mouth is stuck up there too. The lady puts a hand to her face but then shrugs and turns to the camera, flashing her pearly whites as she makes a last pass at the camera. Tide TM Holiday Home Magic TM, peppermint. Perfect for your holidays.)
… where was I?
Right, the Christmas spirit. It’s really not that interesting a story. I played Santa for my little cousin without actually going up the chimney. I basically wrapped his presents and ate his cookies.
Doesn’t that count more towards being Santa than dressing up and sitting in a maple while pesky little smart alecs pull on your fake white beard?
But I’ve learnt through an hours-long gift wrapping tenure that present wrapping is a socially constructed nightmare.
What will X think about that awkward fold sticking out the side?
My family shouldn’t care about my crappy wrapping, should they?
*crunching sounds follow as you proceed to cover everything up in a crinkled newspaper*
Darn those pesky kids who simply will RIP the paper open and will never the sheer hours gone behind this five square inches’ beautification…
It can kind of get intense.
But I guess at the end of the day, it still is nice to see people so happy and excited to rip open their presents (yes, even the ones who absolutely destroy some quality art of a wrapping sheet) and enjoy their gift.
Just don’t mention that I said that, because I’m an icicle.
Anyway, I don’t feel cold, but a lot of other people do, so keep warm, and have a merry Christmas! (Or a day off, at the very least.)
It isn’t the holiday season until you’ve created a new weird combination by mixing perfectly normal food prepared by someone else and claiming credit for it, and then enthusiastically shoving it down everyone’s throat.
Heck, with you as excited, chances are, you’ll get a super excited response from them in the form of a throw up. But oh well, guess yoghurt and pasta isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
This time, it was cranberry soda. Just mix cranberry juice lying around in the fridge with Sprite. Somehow, I claimed credit for it!
But with the sparkling bubbles and dark red liquid, I found it quite symbolic of Christmas.
After messing around a bit with juices myself, I took it upon myself to treat everyone who comes home with a cuppa cranberry soda. Of course, the only ones heading my way were mum and dad practicing weightlifting with their grocery shopping.
It actually went better than I’d expected. Their cups were in the sink before I could realise it… I mean, I do realize that could either be because keeping it too long would have it lose all its fizz, or that they gulped it down like a nasty medicine shot…
Got the best reaction from my little sister though. She hates fizzy drinks anyway. I’d have got a money shot had I a camera on me then!
Anyway, ’tis the season where you can momentarily forget that there’s a truckload of integration and semiconductors and benzoic acid that lies waiting (at least for me), so grab the opportunity, eat what you like, sleep, read, blog, and then INTEGRATE!!
Well, till I blow a fuse then.
Happy holidays! (Because we all deserve ONE day off.)
Recognition came soon enough; soon enough being a few hundred metres from where they stood to the parking lot.
She waved both arms wildly, a wide, childish smile spread across her face.
“Hi mum, hi dad!”
Her voice shot two octaves above normal, above her normal, he observed quietly.
It was holiday time, and yet, to him it seemed that for her, it was quite the opposite.
It seemed to him that her time here was really her vacation, a year long escape from the knowledge of who she was.
Not that it bothered her, this knowledge. She was comfortable with both sides of herself.
She had admitted as much to him during one of their conversations. It seemed wherever she went, part of her faded away into non-existence, another facade she had no more use for, except it wasn’t really a facade; more like a new part of her discovered, and welcomed into her self-realisation.
A new part of her to be discarded like the shedding of skin, the changing of the seasons.
The chameleon moved on.
And still, there was part of her that never really fell into disuse, a constant ruse she employed, a constant ruse that employed her, was more apt to say.
There was warmth in slipping back into the old skin, he could see.
She lost years, not that there was much there to lose.
Being a college student in the second year didn’t really get you decreed you much older than a child.
So the institution had changed. How much difference really distinguished a nineteen year old from one seventeen?
As lucidly as that question could be answered, no doubt there were days when she noticeably slipped, tripped, fell back into that sixteen year old skin, and, learning her terminology, he too could identify when he slipped.
So the second skin was never far from reach. And despite all the maturity that living alone, together with a hundred others alone, brought, one break was enough to rob them of all the progress.
It was true of them all, he reflected, as he watched her with her family.
Her year long vacation had ended, skins exchanged, she was now back at work, just as the Christmas break set in. Intriguing and amusing, yet how was it anything but a different interpretation of how he, and perhaps everyone within these campus walls felt? The return to familiarity, to a sort of routine reserved for the holidays ensnared them all, left them all feeling the same way, as he had no doubt he would hear when their vacation began again, complete with majors and projects to take care of.
So he looked at her again and sighed, then smiled.
It was time to invoke the chameleon again. He slipped a hand into his pocket and took out a cellphone.
And slipped into a skin last used six months ago.
It’s the time kick back, have no fear, to give a cheer, and throw those books high in the air…
No, that wouldn’t be necessary. They already pile up that high.
Besides, I’m not one to throw books.
And that was the most pointless introduction I’ve ever written.
Anyway, let’s cut right to it.
Holidays are here, and while no one’s holidaying, it has been a pleasure to wake up at 11 am.
I won’t say anything about sleeping at 2… that’s sort of become the norm, hasn’t it?
I have, to my utmost satisfaction, replaced a computer textbook with a Ludlum book- of the Jason Bourne series- for a while… that’s ephemeral.
But anyway… holiday season.
Allow me to address some myths.
Some folks worry that all the holiday spirit and sweet will, well, do what sweets are apparently supposed to do.
Tell that to someone who’s cupboard cleaning has finally caught up with them.
Or to someone who’s turned the house upside down whilst looking for a lost novel.
Or to someone frozen in a kneel-down position, carefully filling the floor with chalk powder.
Or someone stretching out to six feet in height to reach that nail on top to hang some lights.
Or to someone who’s spent their vacation the way a twelfth grader does. Sigh.
Holiday season… that time of the year when wearing itchy embroidered netted weirdly shaped clothes is no longer an accepted form of torture, but a must.
I’m staring at a possibility of being put into one and told how ‘cute’ it looks this year.
How can a seventeen year-old look cute.
But I’m not here to rant. I’m making an observation.
I imagine male traditional must be a lot more comfortable than female trad.
The worst that can happen in Indian male trad? Embroidery. Heavy embroidery. Terrible fitting.
But female trad?
The way most of the upper clothes are made is quite different from your average tee.
They’re made to narrow down around the rib cage and the waist. The male ones aren’t, they ‘flow’.
You wear a fem trad by pulling it over your head. Think of the discomfort of pulling something that narrow over your chest.
Female chest, might I remind you.
Then there’s the next level, who’s levels of discomfort I cannot even begin to imagine: the sari.
All I can do is wear the most constricting military can get, and salute.
Yet, it might finally catch up to me- the dreaded trad!
(This comes from a T-shirt wearer!)
So wish me luck!
So, holiday season… I lost my rangoli making virginity.
First time, and I went straight in with the powders!
Incidentally, my mum gave up and bought stencils this year.
I gifted her a protractor that made its way back during a cleanup session, which she promptly returned.
“I’ll leave the technical aspects to you”, was her succinct reply.
And so I did.
What else can you expect from me.
I went ahead, went overboard and made a Bakelite rangoli.
You can’t argue with me, because it’s symmetrical.
I got an immediate reaction from mum: a facepalm. But she does admit I did a much better job than her!
Heck, even the structure’s accurate, check with the IUPAC!
So did I study today, or did I not?
(Except that isn’t a valid question… despite all my rants, I don’t study everyday, not until we’re two weeks away from apocalypse!)