The Christmas Countdown

 

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Ours is a big, fat, full-on family. With marriages and births occuring every year, I’ve lost count of the total number of family members we have right now. Interestingly however, with the increasing number of members, the head count for Christmas has dwindled over the years. This is mostly because the youngies have made other states their home due to professional commitments.

But when we were young, very young rather, Christmas was a different story. The countdown, the kaboom and the aftermath were something we used to wait for – year long. And it used to start somewhere in the first week of December.

Date with fruits and nuts: Annual exams over, we knew it was time to go for purchase of dry fruits and nuts for the Christmas Cake. But before that there was this ‘list-making’ by my grandpa. Meticulous that he was, he made and re-made the list till evryone finalized the list. So, armed with the list, off we would go to the dry fruit shops. I loved the way we were made to feel all important by the shop-keepers. “ A seat for the baby”, one of them would shout. Goggle eyed we would stare at the wide variety of mixes, peels and nuts on offer. Every once in a while they would let us ‘taste and buy’ the items. A scoop of crunchy nuts would be temptingly placed in our vicinity. One or hardly two of them would find their way to the elders’ mouth, while our aim would be to grab in as much as possible within our little palms. Grab and gobble was the general motto. Never mind if the tangy riasins refused to merge with the blob of cashew and mixed peel mish-mash already fighting their destiny with the tongue! And this would continue till a more-than-hard nudge by mother would put an end to this shameless grab and gobble policy.

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The tradition of buying dry fruits for Christmas Cake continues till date

The act of Cutting, Drying and Disappearing : The next process was labourious- cutting the fruits into minute bits and sun-drying them. The cutting part was always Grandma’s department. Our work was to put them out in the sun, placing on plates, under a mosquito net.

The fruit peels, raisins, nuts came with a warning. “Remember, these are for the cakes– THE cakes – THE Christmas Cakes and it is a sin to eat even one bit”. But as they say, every ban, every warning comes with the unwritten rule that it would be ignored. So, in the guise of a replacement for the scare-crow, we wouldn’t hesitate transfering a raisin here, a cut fruit there into the dark hole of our lust…Not that our conscience showed the green signal but then, who has ever ignored the call of greed !

Birthday Big Bang: The official ribbon-cutting would however be on the 19th of December – my father’s birthday. A grand feast would mark the get-set-go to the Christmas festivities. My aunts would arrive and so would my cousins. And being the only brother of his sisters, my father would be spoilt rich with the wide variety of food on offer.

My father was born with just 6 days to go for Christmas. Normally, it is a custom for the new mothers not to appear in public functions before the 21st day from delivery. But my grandma being grandma – the quirky and unconventional, managed to anger and surprise her whole clan by landing at the Christmas Service with her six day old son! From then on, my Dad became the unofficial Christmas Mascot for the entire family!

The Bake Cake Day: 20th of December was our official Baking Day! My aunts would arrive early in the morning with their share of dried fruits, nuts, flour, eggs, butter. Considering the large number of cakes to be baked, the actual baking would take place in one of the bakeries in a place called – Bake Bagan!

While the cakes browned themselves in the large ovens at the bakery, my aunts sat in the courtayard with their back to the sun – drying their hair and giggling in mirth, recalling their own childhood christmas tales. My mother in the meanwhile would prepare mounds of Rice and Dal and a simple fish-curry for all.But all the while we would wait for the cakes to arrive from the bakery.

The cakes would arrive in the evening – brown, hot and wet with molten butter. Their aroma would drive us crazy but they were not to be touched.

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The ‘Cake Bake Day’ was a festival in itself, with my aunts arriving very early in the morning

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Catering to the demands of the new generation, now there are some home baked fancy items too!

Ramp Ready: My youngest aunt was the quirkiest of the lot. She was mad, enterprising, moody and our official fashion designer cum make-up artist. It was strange but true, that all of us – irrespective of our gender – had to wear the same fabric! Somewhere in the beginning of December my aunt would arrive with a roll of fabric – having strange names – ‘chinese silk’, ‘disco chiffon’, ‘hawaian velvet’. And then she would ensure that each of us got to have a piece each for stitching our christmas dresses. So, somewhere around 22nd or 23rd would be our dress trial day. The tailor would be nervous about the outcome of having to stitch dresses ranging from shirts to frocks to maxi dresses. And invariably, the conclusion would be a stiff warning to the tailor to improve his craft within another year!

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Dress-Code: Same-to-Same (Irrespective of the gender!)

This would be followed by a hair cut session. And for a change I would be spared of a hair cut by the local barber. My aunt would take us to a parlour for our hair-cut. Step-cut, Blunt-cut, U, Deep-U…the parlour girl would blurt out her list. Having been baptised in hair oil throughout the year, my hair would be a limp mass of hair which the parlour girl would refuse to cut untill a proper shampoo was done. A wash and a cut later I would come back home in a glorious form…only to be reprimanded by grandma, “ What have you done to your hair? You look strange!”.

Christmas Eve: One church and fourteen children….I don’t know how Jesus Christ managed the cacophony – but he did – with a smile on his lips for all the years till we grew up! Off and on, about fourteen of us huddled together to decorate our little church on Christmas Eve. The older ones did the basic planning but we were allowed to put in our inputs as well. We were not supposed to sing film songs but our sisters managed to do some whispers about semi-shaved and hairy-chest heroes in between selecting the roses. Not that we never fought. But the in-between peep-ins by our elders, restrained the level of fights.

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A big part of Christmas Eve has been decoration – not just the church but the entire locality

Once the decoration was over, it was time for us to rush back home to have our first taste of Christmas Cake.

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Christmas Cakes: Given a choice we would have these for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the entire Christmas Season

‘Not more than one or two pieces!Dinner is ready and if you stuff yourselves with cakes, you’ll waste dinner”, our grandma would warn. But what was dinner in front of piles of yellow-brown, rich, buttery Christmas Cake?

Dinner would add to the winter shiver and chattering our teeth we would rush to the bedrooms to cozy ourselves under the quilts. Six of us under one quilt would invariably mean little spurts of giggle and gossip every now and then. The eldest among us, our sister, would keep on warning us, “Guys, better go to sleep early. Otherwise we won’t be able to attend tomorrow’s church service”. Silence would prevail. For five to six seconds. This would be followed by another spell of loud laughter. Ripples of laughter would echo through the room till the sleep fairies would kiss our eye lids.

The Day: Unlike other days, we would never require pushing and prodding on Christmas Day. One small tap on our forehead and we would sit up on our bed. And our hands would automatically slide under our pillows. Fat belly dolls, Doctor Set, 7-in-1 Indoor Games, Cookery set, Bat-ball set…year after year, Santa satisfied our wants that we scribbled on little notes and left with our parents ‘to post’.

FUJIFILM IMPORT 31.12.2015

‘Santa’ was our Hashtag the entire season!

But before we could savour the fun of the gifts a voice would howl, “Just how long would you all take?”. Grandma’s voice was our signal to rush downstaris. Mother would provide a never ending supply of warm water from her boiling pot. A hurried breakfast would follow. And this ‘hurried breakfast’ would actually mean umpteen slices of Christmas Cake. While the others would sign off with two or three slices, my cousin brother and I would compete with each other in stuffing ourselves like a Christmas Turkey.

The Chruch Bell would be a cue for us to wind up our dressing sessions in front of a single mirror.

The way to Church was always a special one – those little moments of rediscovering each other.

“Gosh! You look so gorgeous!”

“Wow! This dress looks lovely on you!”

“Just turn around…let me see your hairstyle”

The chill and the morning shiver, the little wisps of vapour coming out of our mouth, as we spoke….all added to that special ‘Christmasy feeling’.

Inside the church, we children, occupied two side rows. While the priest delivered his sermon we made clutch purses, lotus and japanese fan with our hankies. But we never failed to lend our loudest voice to the hymns:

“Hark the herald angels sing; Glory to the new born king!”

Once the service was over, our ‘work’ was to touch the feet of the elders and seek their blessings.

The blessings came in variety – from placing hand on our heads to kissing our forehead to kissing our cheeks. And by the time the ‘ bless me’ was over, our cheeks and forehead would be dotted with lipstick marks in various shades!

The rest of the day would pass in a daze…….handing out packets of goodies to the poor people who came to our door-step, sessions and sessions of coffee and cakes and laughter, not to forget the change of dresses in between!

But two of the major highlights would be the Gala Family Lunch and the Great Christmas Sports.

The lunch was a ‘gala’ one indeed with near about hundred family members sharing lunch together. Food and gossips went hand in hand, as we, children, continued to bathe in dust and sunshine in equal measures.

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Christmas was and still is incomplete without Gala Lunch for family and friends

Around 3 ‘O Clock would start the Christmas Sports. Children would come teeming from far and wide – mostly from the nearby slum areas. The events included many fun events – biting off a Jalebi tied to a rope and running to the finishing line, three-legged race, go-as-you-like, bursting a pot with closed eyes…..The gifts were equally amusing – from coins to whistles to ill-shaped plastic balls!

By the end of the day, our legs would ache and we would barely be able to keep our eyes open! But we would rather not sleep…..we would never, ever want Christmas to get over!

And the merriment continued….And no, our Christmas won’t be over! 26Th– Boxing Day’ – would be our ‘Official Zoo visit Day’! Not that we were too eager to wish the animals for Christmas, but it had come to become a part of our family tradition – a sort of family picnic! So much so, that we had one new dress earmarked as ‘zoo dress’! Sessions of badminton, popping in juicy oranges, sticking out our tongues to the Orangutang, disturbing the lazy winter afternoon sleep of the Tigers, struggling with the sliding chocolate sheets of the Chocobar ice-creams…these were all part of our ‘Zoo Fiesta’!

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The ‘Zoo Day’ would never be complete without a cup (and more) of ice-cream amidst the brrr…winter chill

And hold on, this was not the end of Christmas celebrations…..we found out and invented several events that would let our celebrations linger on till the New Year! A day of marathon movies, a special get-together at an aunt’s place and then at another’s…..our celebrations would never seem to come to an end!!!

The grand finale to the celebrations would however not be that happy – a red-nose there, a sore throat here, a bout of diarreah somewhere….But the spirit of the Christmas-Happy gang was never-ending!

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Magic and more….

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Bala Who ??

I’ve known Bala since she was an all-grin teenager – thirteen or fourteen may be. No, no, to be honest, I’ve been acquainted with Bala for some one and half years or more but I’ve known Bala longer. That is because Bala is me. Exactly the way I’ve been when I was a teenager. So, those who know me, will obviously know Bala. But for those who don’t:

* Bala loves everything that begins with the letter M : Mom, Madurai, Magic, Muggles…and perhaps anything that begins with M.

* Bala hates everything that is practical and do-able. If it can be done easily, it ain’t Balaish. Normal, ordinary, practical spells B-O-R-I-N-G to her!

* So it is but natural that her story includes the word ‘magic’; but is aptly called ‘Broken Magic.

Broken Magic = Sheer Magic

‘Broken Magic’ is one of the many short stories of Bala that I’ve read. But among all the stories that she has written, this one definitely stands apart. There are two reasons to it – one among which is personal. But what makes this story shine bright is that, inspite of being a love story, this one is a practical love story. It talks of roses; but does not camouflage the thorns that come along. Love is a ‘snowfall feeling’ – you get excited, mesmerised and awestruck when you first discover the snowflakes floating around you. And then, when the snow falls incessantly over days – forcing you to visualize miles of white nothingness, when you actually cannot move around much – you somehow don’t feel excited anymore. ‘Broken Magic’ deftly handles this delicate side of love.

It is the story of Adhi and Nayani – but you, I, Anuj, Anju, Priya, Prem….anyone can be Adhi and Nayani. It is their love story – it is our love story as well. It is actually love, punctuated with the uncertainities that come along. That feeling, that nagging question that we all go through but rarely speak about – will the magic of love survive the test of time ?

The best part of the story is the very practical tone, a sort of earthy style – the characters think as we would normally do; they speak the way we are used to. And yet manages to deliver some of the brightest lines I’ve read in a short story in a long, long time.

‘She was a strange girl who said strange things. He was strange guy who did strange things. Only, their individual definition of strangeness varied greatly.’

The entire story is built on the premises of two differently thinking people falling in love with each other. They say ‘opposities attract’ but not everyone talks about the challenges that come along. ‘Broken Magic’ does exactly that – talks about those little moments of fear that creep into our minds, those strange feelings of lonliness in a relationship.
‘My biggest fear isn’t that you’ll lie to me or cheat on me. No. It’s not the usual threats to a relationship that come to mind when I think of us. It’s the fact that someday, all the magic will be gone and what’ll be left of us is the painfully boring ordinariness I was filled with before I met you. I’m afraid – no –scared to death that your currently deceiving eyes will lose the filters and look at my bare mediocre self, and I’m afraid you won’t be enchanted by me anymore.’

Those lines. I stared at those lines for seconds and then minutes. I couldn’t believe that someone just wrote what I have thought an umpteen number of times! And THIS is the magic of ‘Broken Magic. It leads you through those strange alleys of love that you know exists but are scared to travel through. And like Nayani, you just wish there was someone to understand your insecurities. You actually experience a roller-coaster ride with Adhi and Nayani as they struggle to make a decision about their love and life.

Can love withstand the test of time? Does love succumb to the challenges of differences in individual perspective of life and love ? Do read the story of Adhi and Nayani to find out for yourselves. Who knows, you may actually end up finding answers to some of your own questions as well!

Take a travel with Adhi and Nayani at http://goo.gl/fnqdpW

 

John Solomon’s Christmas

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Hot, oven-fresh bakes would lure us from behind the glass cases. The younger amongst us would press our nose against the glass case and try to venture into the kingdom of forbidden happiness.
“Don’t they look yummy?”
“Yummy and hot…..look at vapour coming out from the patties”.
“ Can we not buy just two or three and share amongst ourselves?”
The mention of sharing would bring us back to reality. Three pieces among sixteen of us would be too tiny a share. Leaving our mortal lures back in the glass case, we would rush to catch up with the rest of the troupe . John Solomon and sixteen of his grandchildren visiting the Hogg Market as a pre-Christmas ritual was a sight to behold. The old man, donning a colorful paper cap would lead the entourage , singing aloud ‘Oh come, all ye faithful’. The younger ones would join him in full fervour , while the just-teenagers would try to walk as slowly as possible, looking elsewhere, trying to avoid being identified as a part of the singing troupe. Hogg Market,being the hot and happening place those days, would be teeming with good looking Anglo-Indian boys and girls. Who would risk being avoided a glance just to be a part of a Christmas-happy and noisy gang!
Moss-green Christmas trees ,curly mistletoes, felt hats, rustle of American Georgette, freshly brewed coffee, vibrant hues of Christmas candies…..we gaped at all of those in star-struck wonder. We were free to look and admire , even steal a glance the handsome men who resembled Elvis Presley, but we knew we wouldn’t buy a thing. The new-to-the-team young ones would obviously tug the old man’s coat and ask the never-to-be-asked question: “Dadamoshai, can we not buy some of the Christmas decors? A Christmas tree perhaps…..”. We all knew the answer to this question but we would still eagerly wait for Dadamoshai to give the answer. In his inimitable style, the old man would stoop a little, look left and right as if to ensure that no one was listening to this gravest secret of all times and then whisper: “All these belong to the Babus. We are supposed to only look but not buy”. With the British having left the country, who the Babus were– the rich or the imaginary British- we had no idea but all we knew was that whoever they were, they had the right to buy while we didn’t! The only thing we were entitled to buy were home-made, hard candies that were sold in dozens and required special skills to bite into bits without risking damage to our teeth!
While we would go by public bus, we would return by tram – sitting in the second class compartment! Our legs would ache, our nose-tips would be ice-cold but oblivious to the discomforts we would pop our heads out of the tram window and savour the cold December evening . The tram would chug along the sleepy Calcutta roads while we would inhale the smell of Christmas!
As soon as we would reach our destination, Dadamoshai would cup his hands like a loudspeaker and announce: “Friends, with this we begin our Christmas festivities this year. From tomorrow would start our…..”, he would pause dramatically. No, we were not supposed to fill in. He would change the tempo of his voice and complete it for us:”……yes, we begin our rehearsals for the Annual Gala Christmas Show”. It was a cue for us. We would break into a mad frenzy of claps and whistles!

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The Annual Gala Christmas Show was a special show that would be organized on the lawns of ‘Solomon Villa’. Apart from the numerous children belonging to the Solomon branches, the children from the neighbourhood would also join in. There would be Christmas carols, group songs and finally a spectacular drama – all with costumes and make-up. The stories would be heavily borrowed from popular tales and would have nothing to do with Christmas or nativity as such.
“ For that, we need to attend the Church”, was the old man’s firm dismissal.
So the rehearsals would be carried out under his total supervision. He would strategically place his arm-chair in the lawn so as to get the warmth of the sun on his ageing back while watching us rehearse our lines. He would be watching us hawk-eyed from his seat of importance till the warmth of the sun would prompt him to close his eyes.
Placing her gentle arms around him, grandmother would whisper, “Ahem….they are practicing quite fine…You were almost sleeping.Why don’t you just get inside and rest for a while?”.
“Sleeping? Not at all! I was just concentrating on their dialogue delivery”, he would protest vehemently, till grandmother would coax him to get inside and just stretch his tired feet.
While we would struggle with our dialogues, the squirrels of the garden would pop their head’s from behind the Bougainvilea bushes and watch us in amusement. The older ones among us would generously twist and turn the ears of the younger ones at the miss of a dialogue or two and the mothers would be unfailing in the constant supply of drinking water and tit-bits of munchies.
Long back, in his youth days, Ronu Kaka had by-chance picked up a song in the old family violin. From then on he was a constant fixture in our plays; playing his bit in the interlude of our plays. Be it an adventure story or a hilarious one, his violin would break into the same tone of pathos while we would try hard to suppress our laughter.
But if there was someone who hated these plays, it was Inu Maasi. Every year she had to sacrifice a lock or two of her luscious hair to the whims of an over-enthusiastic make-up man. John Solomon wouldn’t trust anyone else with that department other than himself. And he would insist on curling out mustaches out of snippets of Inu Maasi’s hair.
“But Baba why don’t you try other things – wool, eye-brow pencils, threads….just anything, other than my hair ?”, she would howl.
“ They would not look authentic”.
“Then, for a change, why don’t you take from Bela Didi, Moni Didi, Jumki Didi…..Why me ?”
“Because your coarse hair would look fine as a mustache. Moreover I have observed that your hair grows quite fast”.
Saying this he would take out his sharp scissors and hand it to Inu Maasi who would then snip off little locks from her long hair, grumbling all the while.

3
That year we zeroed in on “Alibaba and forty thieves”.
“But we cannot have forty children on stage”, one among us protested.
Dadamoshai gave a know-it-all smile and added, “ Stupid! I wonder, with such chicken-brain how you landed up being my grandson! We would show only a few thieves, the rest would be done through cut-outs using shadow effect”.
Cries of protest emerged from two persons this time – Dhiru Kaka and Inu Maasi.
“I have too much work at office Baba. I cannot spend so much time making cut-outs”, protested Dhiru Kaka- the unofficial art director.
“No way…..there are too many male characters”, protested Inu Maasi, who had by then calculated that the number of male characters were directly proportional to the number of her hair locks under the chopper!
But John Solomon always had the last word in matters such as these and so “Alibaba and forty thieves’ it was!
We rehearsed for days to perfection until the D-day arrived.
The night of 24th of December had finally arrived! Dhiru Kaka and his friends erected the make-shift stage with two wobbly cots. Dadamoshai supervised the make-up. Grandmother boiled liters of milk in the mammoth caldron for the late-night coffee after the programme. The married girls of the house decorated the adjoining church with flowers for the Christmas service on the morning of 25th December. We glanced through the script one last time in nervous frenzy.

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The play was a grand success! The entire crowd broke into impromptu applause as soon as the curtains were drawn. We hugged each other in genuine happiness. But where was Dadamoshai ? We wanted to rush to him to take his blessings like every year . His arm chair was placed where it always was placed – behind the stage! But the chair was empty and our grandfather was missing from his seat.
We rushed inside our home, only to be told that Dadamoshai was in his room – resting for a while since he was feeling unwell.
We wanted to go by his bedside but grandmother stopped us.
“ Let the poor man rest a bit dearies! His aging bones can hardly bear so much excitement. He will be fine. Unless he sleeps now he will not be able to attend the morning church service”.
Being young that we were, we soon became engrossed in our coffee cups and the freshly baked cookies.

5
Twelve of us slept in the same room for a full month during Christmas; with the very young ones being pushed to their mothers.
And that year, like every Christmas morning the younger ones shoved their hands below their pillows to find their respective gifts from Santa Claus. We, who were beyond the Santa-age sniggered at their enthusiasm. Though this did not refrain us from pulling away their gifts and opening the wrappers out of curiosity!
Christmas mornings always had a signature smell – the aroma of mixed fruit cakes and the strong coffee tickled our nose, even before we were fully up! But somehow the aroma of coffee and fruit cake seemed missing that day. We were about to wonder aloud about this when Inu Maasi came in rushing. Her eyes were moist with tears and she looked visibly distraught.
“ Children,your Dadamoshai is very sick ”.
The simple sentence sounded unbelievably untrue but we all rushed to his room nevertheless.
There in his room, Dadamoshai sat in his chair – his head resting on the head-rest and eyes closed. His lips looked purple and his breathing was heavy.
Our mothers sobbed in silence while our fathers tried to talk with him.
“Baba! We are calling Doctor uncle. He will be here soon.”, they tried to reason.
The old man’s lips quivered a bit, then it broke into an impish grin. “I am not yet dead son! And today is Christmas!”
“So what!”, Dhiru Kaka lost his cool. “ Don’t be childish Baba! We can all see how unwell you are”.
“ I will not die on Christmas Day, I can guarantee that”, Dadamoshai spoke slowly, amidst pants. Then he opened his eyes with great difficulty and turned his head to look at grandma.
“Pramila, what time is it ?”
“Ten minutes to eight”, grandma answered, with strange calmness in her voice.
“ Ten minutes from now the church bell must ring. My death can wait but Christmas service can’t”. Saying this he closed his eyes again.

6
It was the strangest Christmas service ever. Holding our hymn books we sang “Joy to the world, the Lord is come”, but all of us had tears streaming down our eyes. The pastor choked his voice while giving his Christmas message and the organ player missed a beat or two.
The news spread like wildfire and one by one people came to see our grandfather after the service. While they meekly inquired about his health, he extended his shaky hands towards them .
“Merry Christmas”, he whispered in his barely audible voice.
Taken aback, the visitors had no other option but to return his wish with a smile.
True to his words, he did not die on Christmas Day. The next morning we found him sleeping peacefully, wearing his new Christmas dress. John Solomon had made his final journey to meet his Lord.

7
Normally we never dared to clean Dadamoshai’s room. And we would have not dared do so if grandmother hadn’t reminded us of the ritual to clean the rooms after a person’s death. It was while cleaning his bed that Dhiru Kaka discovered two envelopes under his pillow.
Opening the first one he sat motionless on the chair. No amount of coaxing would prompt him to come out of his trance. Perplexed, Ronu Kaka pulled away the paper from his hand.
“ What is this ? An ECG report ? “, Ronu Kaka seemed equally surprised.
“Myocardial Infarction ? What does it mean Dada?”, he asked Dhiru Kaka.
“Heart Attack. And the report is six months old. All this while the old man knew he was so unwell and did not give an inkling of information to us”, Dhiru Kaka finally spoke up.
“He did not want to ruin Christmas. Moreover, he wanted to spend his final days surrounded by his children and grandchildren. Not in the hospital bed.”. We turned to look. Grandma was in the room.
“ So all this while you too knew it?”, I asked.
“Yes. He had told me not to inform anyone. There is one more envelope. He wanted you all to read it after his death”.
Dhiru Kaka picked up the second envelope . On the big brown envelope, in turquoise blue ink were words that read: John Solomon’s Will.

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All of us assembled at the main drawing room while Dhiru Kaka read out the contents of the will. The 14 page ‘will’ was nothing but a hand-written note. The entire contents were divided into paragraphs with weird sub-headings: “ The lights for church decoration”, “How to ring the church bell”, “Number of packets of Christmas goodies for distribution”, “Recipe for perfect Christmas Pot-Roast”, “Supplier to be contacted for purchase of dry fruits” etc. Each of the children and grand-children were assigned duties to make each Christmas perfect – the John Solomon way!
Silence followed this long reading session.
“Is that all ?”, Inus Maasi asked.
“No, there is a bit called ‘Final Note’ “
“ And ?”
“ It says: ’ As to the rest of my property – do whatever you want, distribute it amongst yourselves the way you think it to be perfect. All my life I’ve believed in one simple fact, that whole-hearted celebration is a form of prayer. And a family that prays together, stays together – forever’.”

    Epilogue:

The squirrels pop out their heads in surprise and the tailor bird makes a quick survey of the noise around. We sit with our back to the sun. The warmth of the sun really does give comfort to our ageing bones.
Kyra forgets her lines once again. Nimmi gives a mild spank on her back.
“Stupid girl! Why don’t you memorize your lines well!”
“This is difficult Didi…..we should have opted for something like Harry Potter”.
“ The entire book ? Crazy girl!”
We lovingly look at our grandchildren and laugh out loudly. We were sixteen and they are forty two. Every Christmas they assemble from all over the world – just to celebrate Christmas – the John Solomon way!
I look around the garden. I discover Dadamoshai standing amidst the Nightqueen shrub – smiling in his own inimitable style. ……His words seem to resonate throughout ‘Solomon Villa’ – a family that prays together, stays together- forever!

__END__

Story originally published at:yourstoryclub.com

Pic Courtesy: Pixabay