It’s Christmas eve and Mr and Mrs Chubby have decided to have a jolly good chubby time today. With pudding, cake, slow roasted edibles and other such niceties that induce warmth and subtle indigestion in your holiday-sensitive innards. Who are Mr and Mrs Chubby? Well, you’ll figure that out eventually, my curious and festive audience.
Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of people. It’s about giving and sharing, well cherished family bondings dotted with friendly banter with long lost cousins, meaninglessly lavish lunches, pleasantly wrapped gifts from aunts and uncles, inquisitive glances at your overpowering dark circles followed by concerned murmurings about your health and the general reckless abandon of today’s youth. Christmas is about embracing the festive spirit with good cheer, along with embracing all questions pertaining to your career, marriage plans, and growing pot belly/anorexic state of being. Christmas is about wine, or beer or vodka. About cursory glances back to your childhood and the excitement surrounding the favourite day of the year. For me, it would be a month long, well crafted brainwashing of my mother, with subtle and not so subtle hints about what I want from Santa Claus. There would be frequent trips to Wonderland and Landmark with earnest pointing and tugging. (no fancy malls back then, in the before times, in the long long ago) It would be about carol singing in school and lots of fruit cake. (How I hate fruit cake! I detest it. It is positively revolting. Creamy frosting and decadent layers of chocolate for me any day, thank you very much)
Today, 24th December, 2013, happens to be my convocation. A special day. I would have gotten my Master of Arts in English Literature from Jadavpur University degree today. If I were attending it. I am not. I am at work. It’s a Tuesday, a working day. And I suppose it’s alright. I have attended one convocation anyhow. Two years back, again,on a Christmas eve, and I remember it very clearly.
I am looking forward to having a jolly good chubby time today. Much like Mr and Mrs Chubby. I shall wine and dine and laugh and sing out of tune and be generally merry. I shall dance too, make no mistakes. Drunken dancing is the best kind of dancing. Almost like a ritualistic Dionysian ceremony with fellow revelers. My office being in Flury’s I might just drop in for some good old fashioned rum balls. No fruit cake. I also intend to stroll through the Christmas Carnival and see what it’s about. So far, for the last few days, all I have seen are throngs of red Santa hats wriggling all around me, scurrying to and fro, up and down Park street and nameless little faces pleading me to buy rather hideous looking balloons. So, that. What else? A bit of bitterness and disappointment at missing my convocation I guess. 2011-2013 gave me a lot of moments to treasure, thanks to my department. Long, lazy afternoons on the ledge, endless cups of tea from Shyamal da’s, right outside Gate 4, terrible food at Milan da’s. The friendly faces and tail waggings of Bagha, Jocasta, and my monster pup, Bhodu, basking about in the sun or sprawled across the department corridors. Hnorshie (known as Milo) near Worldview. And Handsome Hank, her forever changing boyfriend. Comforting faces. Friends. I really, really miss them so much. Spending time with Aveek, sitting in the grassy shade at Gate 3, long. long walks around the jheelpar. Coffee. Cigarettes. Many, many fights, a lot of making up. Plotting and planning endlessly, and one evening, long back, we kissed under fireworks. It was magic, frozen in time.
I guess Christmas is a lot about recollections and nostalgia. Despite attempts at stoicism. Have yourselves a merry Christmas, everyone! And have that damn fruit cake. It’s the only time of the worth it’s bearable anyhow.