Days of our Lives!

December 26, 2005

An Ode to Christmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — Santhosh @ 2:52 PM

This christmas marked the first time in about 9 years that did not find me on the way to M.J.Cottage at around 11.a.m. I so wanted to go down to good old madurai for christmas so that i could get to be wit all those jerks with whom i’ve spent the better part of my life. But Alas! Christmas coincided with my dad’s alumni meet and more importantly this year’s took place in bangalore. Since my parents were coming to bangalore for the first time since i had come over, i had to be with them.

Every year’s christmas would invariably find every one of us (by everyone i mean us outcasts in school) assembled at manoj’s place munching on the christmas cake and chips n some other munchies. In our school days it used to be a fun day for one and all and i remember my 12th std christmas when abt 30 ppl from my batch alone checked in. Since Jeyan (Manoj’s bro) was just a year younger, christmas day would find the better part of two batches from mahatma hanging around.

Their family is one of those fairytales. Mom a traditional chettiar, dad a christian, fall in love and marry and the result is M.J.Cottage, a cozy little place in which you instantly feel at home. None of us guys have ever thought twice abt setting ourselves on their sofa or going thro the refrigerator. My first time to the place was in my 9th when i and ram went together to dicky(sarfraz)’s place and the three of us cycled to manoj’s. Manoj’s dad was the one who offered the cakes and other goodies. That also marked the first time i and ram took care of the pepsi, each carrying a bottle to manoj’s. The following years saw the transition of this small party every year into one of the legacies of school life. The sad demise of manoj’s dad proved to be a heart breaking moment not just to his family. But the tradition of the christmas dinner has lived on.

In our school years, the yearly ritual was a chance to have unlimited fun, even though some guys did try to spoil us by talking abt the revision exam the next day during our 12th std yr. After school, it became the central point during which all of us got together. As happens with all school buddies, most of us were not in as much contact as we wud have liked with those studying outside madurai. So this day every year became a sort of get-together when we could talk endlessly abt the good times we had had(and some of us cud swear out loud abt our colleges).

And then there was Levin. Good li’l Levin. Hv to say this or his mother wud come hit me. Manoj’s excuse for a cousin sis n her son Levin. We saw the years roll from when Levin was a just-born to two yrs back when he almost bit off a couple of fingers off Prithvi

It wud all start wit murali n sabeer going over to manoj’s on christmas eve to decorate the christmas tree n do up the balloons n stuff. The day wud start wit manoj n jeyan calling up everyone and inviting us. The idiots. As if we required such a thing as an invitation. But they wud excuse themselves with that most used word ‘formality’. Me n ram wud invariable go together, getting the pepsi’s frm Golcha on the way. Ppl wud check in anytime between 11 n 1. Cake n balloons n music til then. Some booze at any shop for those who felt like it and then lunch in the first floor. The usual menu was chicken briyani n chops n sambar n chips n raita. One other thing was that the period for ramzaan fasting wud invariably fall around christmas. So dicky n sabeer wud pack the lunch n tk it home. Around 5.30 al wud get onto any bike tat happened to be free n go to remuki for the outta-dis-world beeda. While most of us wud be content with the sweet beeda, some more adventurous ones wud go in for the higher grade. Most guys wud tel their good byes at this point. Some of us wud go back to manoj’s once again for some relaxed chatting and ribbing wit manoj’s mom n jeyan’s closer friends. Of course since we were seniors, we wud also be required to give all those better stories.

People used to come to the party come what may. I was there the entire day inspite of having my physics semester exam the next day during my first sem. Even my mom did not ask me to stay back. But this year turned out to be totally out of sync. I called up manoj once again in the evening so that i cud talk to those who were present. And i got to speak to just pradeep n murali. Ya. Just the two. None of the gang was there. Me in banglore, Ram in Madras, Dicky in Dubai, Prithivi n Asiq god knows where, Sriram n Siddharth n Vivek n Sabeer n Andimalai n Imran in their respective companies, Pranaav in college, Shyam tending to in tornado. As for the others, i myself dont knw.

The times we would have spent sitting on the bikes parked outside and swapped stories n mobile nos (both ours n chicks’). The test drives that we took on every other guys vehicle that was not falling apart. The time when the guys went out for some pre christmas-lunch booze only to return and find manoj’s uncle (Levin’s dad) waiting wit hands on his hips n demanding why he wasn’t invited. The photo shoots and fights n skirmishes n bursting balloons n going to the church n trying out others’ shoes n phone calls n ram’s first smoke n sriram’s nonveg travails n the teasing n …….

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