Sunday, December 24, 2006


Ho Ho Ho and a Fat Guy in Red

Today is Christmas Eve and my amazing powers of deduction tell me that it’s bound to be Christmas tomorrow. Christmas, or even Christmas Eve for that matter, is synonymous with two similar yet disparate incidents for me. I’ve taken part in burlesques where I’ve been a jolly St. Nick (no mean feat considering my far from ample frame) and have made stockings of paper with wishlists caligraphed in a plethora of colours, but two incidents stand out. Boman Irani in Bluffmaster made an aphorism – “Pachees saal ki tumhari zindagi mein tumhare pachees yaadgaar din honge”, and if life was counted in terms of 25th December, then these two would be the yaadgaar moments of my life.

The first occurred when I was a mere lad of 8 (or possibly 7). It was the first time I had heard of the Santa-down-the-Chimney story, and was determined to see if Santa would come down my chimney as well. My sister and I duly laid out stockings, hoping against hope that they would be more than just socks the next morn. Our parents, finding us more in their thrall than usual, coerced us to sleep as quickly as possible, making us comply with the threat – “Santa doesn’t come if you stay up too late”. The next morning saw the stockings contain more than our little feet for the first time in their undistinguished lives. It was probably their greatest ever moment – God rest their soles in peace! But their moment was nothing compared to ours. As my mother later told me, it was the first time she had seen “pure unadulterated joy” on our faces. The drawing books and the chocolates that met our eyes might have been treasures bestowed by the magi. The end to this episode of bliss came after the holidays had ended when a dear sagacious cousin of mine told me that Santa was a myth; they were our parents who put in the gifts after ensuring we were far away in Santa-land.

The next yaadgaar incident came a couple of years later, when I was older and wiser, though probably still as tall. Some cousins of mine were visiting, and the older one – senior even to me by two years, would be titillated at the very mention of the mythical Jolly Fat Man. Now I was in the position of my wise cousin who had made me see light long ago, and he was the ignorant fool. However, no amount of argument would make him come around to accept the rationale. Anything we said was met with the riposte – “My friend has seen Santa in his bathroom”. What were we hapless mortals to do in the face of such irrefutable logic? To continue to try and persuade him would make him petulant and exacerbate the situation for you as the gentleman in question was a hefty lefty. It was he who made us make paper stockings to appease Santa and his unwavering belief shook our own foundations of rational thought. Sure enough, that time we received more than our usual share of an éclair and a pen. There were imported chocolates, Christmas cards and games which none of us had ever seen before. More to get rid of his smug expression than anything, we asked our parents to step in. They did so with great pomp, having evidently decided that the hefty lefty was too old to believe in Santa. He was told that the great gifts were courtesy Grandma, who had visited Singapore a few months ago, and had naturally come back laden with goodies for her beloved grandchildren. Hefty Lefty tried – “My friend has…” but was cut off in mid sentence. At last everyone in the family was an enlightened soul.

Now Christmas is around the corner again and I’ve realized that the time has come for me to stop being greedy and not put stockings beside my bed. I might have found out ages ago that Santa didn’t come visiting, but hey, everyone likes gifts.

So here’s wishing you all a very Merry Christmas… and a Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Materialistic V

Big B take a back seat. There’s a new deity in town. If you can call R. a town that is. The new deity, V, has already inspired faith in around 20 bhakts. The Vendetta in V for Vendetta now seems to be directed primarily at Lefty and friends. We’ve managed to get on V’s wrong side by refusing to become staunch devotees irrespective of the plethora of aashirwaad for takes. The chief priests in the V-cult, at the moment, are a femme flat and Mr. Chit No Washhand. The rewards of V worship have been reaped by them already in the form of an incremented first letter of the English alphabet. Utterly Butterly delicious bonds who refrained from idol-worship have been forced to make do without the increment.

The religious texts for V-worship are inscribed in a light blue thin document. The shlokas are only made up of 2 letters- P and A. This religious manuscript becomes a Weapon of Mass Destruction when used against Lefty and is made to become lethal when used on Lefty’s more sincere friends. V-worship generally takes place in a room equipped with clocks in hypertime. The chief priests utilize these worshipping sessions in trying to cement their status as the numero uno. Other less interested devotees generally wait for the worshipping to end and be rewarded with a P in the religious text. When the time for a Yagya comes, V’s special chambers are utilized. Only 4 devotees are allowed to pay their respects to V at the time of these Yagyas. Depending on the respects paid and the steadfast devotion shown throughout earlier Poojas, devotees are given their rewards. Unwilling non-devotees (read Lefty and the Bad Boys) get punished. Blessings bestowed on the femme flat and Mr. No Washhand increase exponentially with the need of the chief priests.

The mantle of Chief Priest, though doubtless desirous, is difficult to attain. It involves religious discussion, albeit useless, during the poojas and even cost Mr. No Washhand 1500 bucks. Once attained, however, a coveted Scandinavian Visa is an almost certainty, not to mention respect in V’s temple.

Searching for another deity…

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