No, this isn’t a post about regrets but WOAH. Where has the time gone? I meant to write everyday for 30 days in November but it is Guy Fawkes day already and nothing. This is what extended weekends do to you.
31st October – Halloween
I went all out this time and created a scavenger hunt that last three hours and led to a treat give away at midnight and then a movie till 3am. 1st November – 4th November – A blur
The first was the celebration of the formation of the borders of our state. The 2nd-4th was the Festival of Lights – so fire crackers and this “gem” of a bomb shell found on the streets.
Have you experienced such black-holes of time where you’re staring at a workday dazed and unsure of what happened to your holiday? Now that it is nearing the end of the year, have you also been looking at your New Year’s resolution list and freaking out? No? Just me?
On that note, I’m looking for a few Guest Bloggers for this month. Want to write for me? Just leave a comment and I will get in touch with you. Also, keep your eyes peeled for an exciting Christmas give-away (so far this is just a grand plan but I feel more strongly about it this year).
About the blog everyday bucket list item? November 10th – December 10th. Public Promise! You can’t break these right? (I may really need your help with ideas too! HELP?!)
I’ve always loved Halloween. I play carols while making spooky decorations – It’s a tradition with me. Unfortunately I come from a country that probably fears festivals like these. I mean, imagine walking around like Mohini or Noorie, people would be dropping dead by the dozens. Apart from a few metros, I think hardly any people have even heard of it. I’d like to think I was a pioneer of sorts, you know, celebrating it when no one else knew of its existence. It’s history making stuff really.
But here’s the thing about being in India, you have Dasara (the triumph of good over evil) in the beginning of October, then you have Kannada Rajyotsava (forming of Karnataka as a state) which is on the 1st of November, then Diwali (the festival of lights). After that we have Ramzan. Then Christmas and New Years. We know how to celebrate and as students, October-December are the best months in the year.
I learnt about Halloween when I was 11. My English teacher was telling us ghost stories and about how in Scotland, the evening before all saints/souls day (1st/2nd November) people used to greet each other “All Hallows Even” – hence the festival’s name. Apparently they used to carve turnips into lanterns as a way of remembering the souls held in purgatory. The immigrants to North America used native pumpkins instead because they were more easily grown, and larger and easier to carve. I don’t know if it was the stories, the customs or the concept that first captured my imagination. I came home and whispered these stories to my siblings. They were just as enthralled as I was.
When I went to my room that night, I made cards for my siblings – ‘Meet me at my room at midnight on the 31st of October. Don’t tell anyone. Disguise yourselves’. I think the thrill during that time was not just in making costumes with whatever we could find around the house but in staying past our bedtimes, making sure our parents were asleep and then sneaking out. We’d then sit around a single candle light and whisper and laugh all night. We’d pass around one drink like a peace cigar and talk nonsensical things till it was time to sneak back into our rooms.
I carved out a watermelon and wore it as a hat once. I was, of course, Mojo Jojo. I was also Wednesday Adams, A Viking, Pocahontas, Tomb Raider and a host of other ridiculous characters. We’d fall asleep when our parents said it was bed time but we’d put alarm clocks to wake us up for our midnight adventure. My sister had a little more trouble waking up once she fell asleep. While my brother and I were busy putting on our costumes, she’d be mumbling in her sleep.
We’d try various ways of waking Pea up and once she did, she’d look exasperated at our cribbing that she never made an effort and she would reply:
(While wearing my mum’s nightdress) “Whaaaaat? I’m pretending to be Mamma this Halloween!”
“Whaaaaat? I’m sleeping beauty this Halloween!”
(Pulling the blanket over her head) “Whaaaaat? I’m the ghost from Scooby Doo!”
The last Halloween, she put on a green jumper and darkened one of her eyes.
My Godfather is a French-Canadian Roman Catholic priest. That’s quite a mouthful but he left his rich, First World past behind to work in India at a grassroots level. When I say rich, I mean his parents were some sorta hotshots in Montreal and he left knowing that he was the eldest son and was in for some big inheritance. I admire him cause he’s quirky. He does things with a twist that would make the church declare that he would go to hell. I guess that’s why we have him around so often. We usually call him in when there’s a big event or special occasion.
He’s the kind of person who would pick the passage in the Bible about Jesus saying marriage is too damn difficult and only a person with real guts or brain fever will get into it knowing its terror. Obviously not an exact quote but you get what I’m trying to say right? He would pick controversial readings (well to the event being celebrated anyway) and then read it out loud to everyone – make everyone squirm in their chairs. I think my dad secretly invites him around to piss off my overly religious aunts & uncles.
When we were younger we used to laugh at his accent – how he would say “Farter” instead of “Father” but as we grew up we’d place bets on who would cry or squirm first. Fr. John, that’s his name, had a knack for reducing even the most manly men into tears. He would first read something that would completely shake us from the mood we’d come to party in and then get us to share how we felt about such and such – topics we’d shut up about before and feelings we’d caged inside. Last evening we wanted to come together as a huge family to say goodbye to my sister. She leaves to England for a year for her masters. And till then the reality of her leaving was something we masked.
So as his usual quirky self he picked up and read about Jesus ignoring his mum who was waiting outside and saying ‘who is my family?’. I started giggling cause here we were thinking emotional things about ‘family’ in a way that would make Don Corleone proud and here he was trying to shake the table a bit.
Obviously there were tearworks and the whole shebang but something hit me real hard. So often when we know it’s time for goodbyes, we think about how this is the “last” time we walk this street, eat this food, sit around with family (etc etc) for a long, long time. And of course such thoughts lead you to be depressed and chokes you till you have to take deep gasps to get enough air to cover the hole the person will leave in your heart when they go. You can’t deny that when they’re gone, you don’t just feel their absence – the whole place changes. Even though it’s the same place, it’s just not the same without them.
No matter how much time you have, you can never say the perfect goodbye. Goodbyes are futures. Right here and right now, I still have you. Too often we get into missing someone even before they have left. We forget that today, I still have reason to celebrate – you are still here and for that much longer, I can hold on to the magic of breathing the same air as you. You know what I mean?
I love Halloween and being in India we don’t get to celebrate it but when I was younger, I wanted to do something so I made invites and slipped it into my siblings doors. When my parents were asleep, they would sneak into my room in horrendous, home-made costumes and we’d sit around a single candle light and laugh till our bad make up would run. I once carved out a watermelon and put it on my head and pretended to be Mojo Jojo! We would share a drink (or a soda) and pass “junk food” around. We’d get such a thrill from doing something under our parents nose.
It became a ritual.
I know it’s September but tonight, I’m going to celebrate having “now” by wearing a geeky costume and making a fool of myself. It’s the little things right?