I *heart* Bombay (and well..Boston)

I'm urban..in the way other people are mountain-people or tunafish junkies. I love city life...something about dreary concrete blocks and grumpy people totally gets my juices flowing. Ergo, this will be a blog about me, my two favourite cities (Bombay and Boston), my addiction to Vietnamese coffee and my views on Gregorian chant and it's efficacy in curing some types of tympannic membrane rupture. Enjoy!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Christmas cheer all!

Ho Ho Ho!

So if I disregard the pot-bellied man commenting on my lifestyle, I can move ahead wishing each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and all that. I've spent too long in the US methinks..I spent all of yesterday wishing my colleagues a Happy Chanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa as well. I think my friends think I'm on drugs...to good ol' Bombay ears sounds like Chanukkah and Kwanzaa sound very much like the sounds a PHP-fuelled go-go boy makes as he's climbing out of his thong into his cage at Avalon in Boston. Then again, why would I think Bombay ears (or other parts) know what go-go boys, Avalon or thongs are?

Bandra is THE place to be at Christmas time...right from the streetkids selling you Santa Claus hats (Made in China) at the traffic lights to bargaining with a Bhaiyya selling you those plasticky "Christmas tress" (Made in China). Hill Road is transformed this time of the year. The bit of the street opposite St. Joseph's and next to St. Stanislaus (The Catholic street as Amma calls it to distinguish it from the Muslim street further down towards the station) looks amazingly festive with red, green and white stuff all around (all Made in China). I even spotted a couple of Italian Red/Green/White flags (WTF?) as Christmas bunting! Buying last minute Christmas cards at Cheap Jack ("How you forget Philo aunty men?") to rushing about to Jude's seeing if they have any turkeys left ("What men? I told no keep 10kg bird for me?"), this area is the scene of frenzied activity as aunties (never uncles I see...they're probably starting early on the "Christmas cheer".. hic!) run about finishing up their last minute shopping.

What I like about a Bandra Christmas is how neighbourly and family-oriented it is as opposed to the commercial monstrosity that the West has made it. Watching your neighbours in their grey suits and tight red sequinned dresses going off to St. Andrew's to watch the choir, joining them as they go carol singing from door to door, putting up your Christmas lights(or in the case of this lazy Hindu, leaving them up WAY after Diwali), going to Midnight Mass with your friends and neighbours and finally coming home to listen to some ol' fashioned "I'm dreaming of a White Christmas". Yeah right! A White Christmas in tropical Bombay..that's a Christmas miracle I want to see!

And how can I forget trudging up Hill Road to go look at the Damian Christmas window display? Another olde Bandra tradition..right down to the giant wreath and weird placing of Santa Claus in the manger adoring the Baby Jesus (They had reindeer in Bethlehem?).

And gasping at just how tackalicious the Pot Pourri decor is this year. The whole restaurant seems to be wrapped up in red ribbon and silver glitter...it's like Santa Claus exploded in there. It would help if the waitstaff got some of their Christmas cheer in place though. I was positively sneered at when I ordered a Chicken Stroganoff the other day!

And the food! I love to wake up early on Christmas morning and wait for my neighbours to start handing out the food plates...kalkals, coconut cake, cookies, chocolate, marzipan! It's enough to put me in a diabetic coma for a week! (Of course, that's all the Catholic revenge for my Hindu passing out of deep-fried delicacies over Diwali...trade cholesterol issues for diabetes..fair no?). And then, even though I'm not Christian, handing out gifts to family and friends..that's the best part of Christmas, isn't it?

On a side note, my favourite Christmas line comes from AbFab (Of course...as do most of my life quotes):
Edina: "Sweetie, what is it you're giving me for Christmas darling? I just want to know if it'[s something I want"
Saffy: "Mum! It's the thought that counts!"
Edina: "It's the thought that I'm afraid of sweetie!"

Anyway, Merry Chismukkwanzaa to you! And Happy Festivus to me. Methinks it's time for the airing of the grievances...(Plus 10 to those who get the reference. Points to be redeemed for kisses on Valentine's Day.)

Current Music:
Stille nacht, heilige nacht

You know me. Why listen to the "common" Silent Night when you can listen to the original German hymn? And show off a bit while you're at it?


  • At 12:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What are Kulkuls? Came across the third mention since morning. and a second mention of diabetic coma.
    Theres a much quieter and less- commercial air of festivity closer to where I live here in Orlem.
    Merry Christmas!!!!

  • At 1:00 AM, Blogger roswitha said…

    You're killing me here. My one Christmas joy in this excuse for a city was being able to carol with the lovely people from office. But I miss the lights and cheer and the sound of midnight mass from Sacred Heart Church opposite my home murdering sleep (Somehow my family always goes to bed early on the nights before Christmas and Easter). As for sweets, I love those chewy fudgy chocolate ones that aren't called fudge. What are they called?

    And good festivus to you. You'll just have to believe me when I say that I know where it's from (I referenced it in my last blog, in what I now realise may have been a tiresome cliche). I don't want the points, just give me some plum cake. And that chewy fudgy chocolate sweet.

  • At 9:33 AM, Blogger anydamnguy said…

    The season finale of Desp Hwives aired last night.
    Bree was so wonderful.
    I cried when she cried.
    Guys , I am a freak like Bree, abosulutely same.

  • At 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A merry Christmas to all!! Have been wondering how beautiful this season's turning out to be. Great new friends, greater, newer??(nah) conversations.. New experiences..

    I kinda like Pot Pourri in its Christmas avtaar.. Maybe sitting inside's better than simply looking at it. Next time, try asking the girl who serves the coffee, she has the warmest smile ever!!

    Have NO idea 'bout the reference.. Sorry. But kisses will be greatly appreciated. ;) Come on, go wid the good cheer thing here..

    Dunno what its about Christmas. Can't think of anything but what's good around me.. Sometimes, forget that there ARE bad things too.. Am I rambling? But its ok I guess..

    ME not afraid of the thought.


  • At 8:05 AM, Anonymous closetalk said…

    umm, yes, bandra is nice. i remember damian's display from last year. last year when i still had a boyfriend. sigh.

  • At 8:34 AM, Blogger Dumaketu said…

    Here's my grievence. I'm alone, very drunk and at work on Christmas. What more can you grieve....and I grieve for my dead lover...and grieve for all lonely souls on Christmas..

  • At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Meghana said…

    Happy Festivus! although my favorite Mr. Costanza saying was "HOOCHIE MAMA" (as a replacement for "Serenity Now")...at least there's a Festivus for the rest of us.

    at any rate, hope you're doing well, I'll try to catch you online--lots of love, meghana

  • At 3:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Merry Christmas Vickster!
    Thanks for all the great jokes and your wacky confessions --hope there's more next year!

    if it wasn't for your blog, my transition from he to he/she would not have been so effortless. Every day, at medicine time, i stared down at my fistfull of huge horsepills stuffed with estrogen (Hormone Therapy)and i thought about you and Bandra and found the courage to swallow. I just don't know if my new transgender name, CHUTNEY STORM, is one that I deserve --wish me luck!


  • At 9:43 AM, Blogger a guppie said…

    mass at mount mary's was quite sad - i thought they were really off key and generally quite awful. The atmosphere was so much better with people lighting candles and looking so nice and serene ...

  • At 6:24 PM, Anonymous José said…

    enjoy your festivus pole, has that also been up since Diwali?

  • At 10:17 PM, Blogger anydamnguy said…

    dumaketu --> who is your dead lover?
    why did u kill him?
    please elaborate.

  • At 12:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    plus 10 and kisses for me please if the following ring a bell

    OKeefe / Seinfeld / Costanza


  • At 12:23 AM, Blogger Fanaah said…

    Hey...randomly came across your blog, used to live at Bandra ( now in Dubai-which doesnt celebrate much of a Christmas) and was just complaining how much i missed my christmasy surburb-Hill Road, Mount Mary's, Damian, n lots of sweets! Good to know its all the same, and happening in swing!!
    Enjoy it!


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