It’s a few hours till Christmas; arguably the second on my all-time favourite festival list. And yet, this Christmas feels strange. For the first time in years, Mumbai has cooled down to take me back to my growing years in Calcutta. Bru Café has launched the Christmas Plum cake. And a lot of bakeries are trying hard to make me forget the taste and nostalgia of Nahoum. But I still am not jolly. And on Christmas, without fail, you need to be jolly.
I probably will miss going to a midnight mass this year. I probably will miss listening to Christmas carols. There are a list of ads I need to see before the day is out and I shut down my laptop. It’s almost six and I should be shutting it down and watch the sun set over Mumbai. Long long ago, it is believed that a star was seen in the sky. I should be searching for that star tonight.
As I sit, I can hear the singing in the mosque nearby celebrating the birth of another prophet. The world always celebrates life; never death. It celebrates in birth; mourns in death and yet between the cycle of life and death we play our small games; day in and day out. Sometimes the futility of it all is striking. A friend recently said, “gain experiences.” Noble thoughts but what are experiences but a display of showmanship when advertised on social media?
The sun is a brilliant hue of orange, the birds are returning home. Somewhere a bard may still be strumming his guitar for a new song. It’s Christmas and I want to pause. And reflect and yes have my plum cake. But those seem futile when your mind keeps humming discordant notes. Is there light somewhere, anywhere?
The Saviour and King, they tell me, was born in a manger.