Last Christmas

The phone rang and rang, finally he picked it up, "Hello, who is this?"
"Who is this? You are dead, happy b'day R-...how can you not recognize my voice?"
"Oh m-y G-o-d!You?!"
"Yes, me!"
Blah blah blah...and the dim retrospect, Bohr is coming, Biang and also...

R- wanted me to pick up stuff for his aunts and mom and all,ok! I am coming, give me an hour or so, come and pick me up from college, done?

We took the cab to the big market, they call "Iew" and we picked up 3 pine branches to make the X'mas tree and who will decorate? Ah, Jeff and Alan can take care..
We managed to put that in the dikki of the Maruti 800 cab we took, by the time we reached his home and we realised our load was very big, lots of packets of silk dharas, and beautiful cashmere shawls,befitting the occasion and the X'mas tree.

"Who is going to drag this?"
Well, well, No Harry met Sally stuff, the tree was ushered in great fanfare, decoration started right away! Don't you dare make it look like a balloon tree! We are anyway late in putting it up.What about the khlur? Khlur in Khasi means the star.

Now what? cakes and pastries...Mei (mom in Khasi)has baked quite a lot but we still need to collect the rest from Caramel and Reen's. One more trip to the shop and we had a skirmish deciding which cake and pastry, anyway, we got home some decent stuff,nothing beats Mei's home-made baked ones.When the aroma travels from the kitchen all over the house, it is pure heaven and happiness, the mess in the kitchen nobody minds :)

"Are you coming for the 11o'clock English mass tomorrow? Don't give any excuse, Mei has taken out a lovely dhara for you."

"I will see, you know...I have to visit a few places before that. Try and understand, please."
"Ok, come for the family lunch, at least...please, Julie and Papa will be there too."

X'mas day was fun, all the hugs and loves, Koka (grand-pa in Assamese)wanted me to taste red port wine, it's holy he tells me, my share went straight to the holly tree outside.We all danced for a while and by afternoon, R- was out and singing nice Sinatra love songs, a little embarrassingly though, especially in his new Reid n Taylor suit, the shirt was my X'mas gift, the suit from his parents.

I came home early and slept, the pulav prepared in beer did its magic, was I imagining? No idea!

The previous evening I was dancing in the carnival, amidst lots of food and psalms.It was a dry day,there was something in the wintry air that I felt. It was telling me something that it is probably my last Christmas with my friends. Make the most of it, I failed to embrace the message.

This year, Bohr passed away some 3 weeks ago on Children's Day, just like the child he is, sweet and affable, always smiling.

I remember singing carols very early in the year, maybe in June or so and I was chided that it brought ill-luck, only if I had known then...

This Christmas, I am not singing carols for Bohr's sake.
Wish you a peaceful Christmas Bohr!
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