Thursday, December 26, 2013

THE CHRISTMAS TREE















Pic.: Amrita Jeurkar


Some things about Christmas shall, eternally, remain childlike: The Christmas carols, the Santa, the Christmas Tree, the snow, the bells, the gifts, the mid-night mass, the Christmas-best attire, the party, the dance, the Christmas sweets and never to miss the lovely plum-cake…

And those star-eyed kids… which means: ALL OF US!

The Santa hasn’t grown any older ever since I met him when I was a little baby… Nor has the Christmas Tree… The carols make me dreamy even now as they did when I first heard them some fifty-six years ago… The sweets and plum-cake have not changed their taste… The mid-night mass was, is and will, always, be special…

The baby Jesus shall, always, be born only there – in the humble crib…

And, Christmas shall, for ever, be celebrated by all of us – irrespective of our faiths, age, class, color and status…

So timeless this special season is…

And, so, today, I wish to re-present the Post I had published the day after last Christmas… Hope, time hasn’t made it any older, just like the Santa and the Tree…
 
Anything that can bring some simple joy into our hearts… has been our religion. We worship what makes us happy!



Whether I am a Christian or a Hindu, and whether I am a Muslim or a Sikh… that’s not the religion I am talking about… I am talking about a religion which brings simple joy into our hearts… very simple joy…


A young couple from the interior North has come, lately, to live next door. Last night, our door-bell rang. The young-man said shyly, “Sir, my wife wants to see the Christmas-tree… She loves the way it is decorated.”



My heart sank! There wasn’t a Christmas-tree at our place. “Come, please sit,” I made them comfortable, hiding my own discomfort. We spoke about the lovely things about the Christmas-tree, the Crib, the Star and the mid-night Mass (which, these days gets over before it is mid-night due to security regulations!)…



The young-lady’s face lit up! She was new to our big city… The young-man asked me, if they could attend the mid-night Mass.



We had planned to attend the morning Mass… So, once again, I felt in my heart the helplessness. But, I encouraged him to take her to the open-air Mass at one of the popular churches around, where he could also show her the beautiful Crib, the magnificent Star of Bethlehem… and, of course, the dazzling Christmas-tree!



“Thank you sir,” the young-man said excitedly, “she will be very, very happy!”



Not even ten minutes had passed… I saw a message on my cell-phone. “Hi sir, I am coming for the mid-night Mass,” a dear student of mine wanted to share with me her joy, “hope to see you there. Excited!!”



My heart sank, once again!!



I had to tear my heart and tell this young girl – a non-Christian, who wanted to come for Christmas Mass with her close Christian friend - that we wouldn’t be attending the mid-night Mass!



You know how it is on a Christmas day! You feel so nice when hundreds of your dear ones call you, message you… both on phone and the Net… but, it leaves you tired, at the end of the day!





But, that’s Christmas… 



Even the tiredness is simple joy!





We had decided to spend our day with my wife’s parents… We had a lovely family-special Christmas-lunch, all of us together… It made us really happy!



When we reached our complex, it was already dark. The little kids – some twenty of them - all non-Christians, had come together and decorated a nice Christmas-tree… A cute 12-year old must’ve seen us coming home. I had no idea about the Tree, until this little fellow said this: “Gerry uncle, we wanted to give you a surprise,” he beamed with happiness, “we have decorated a beautiful Christmas-tree… Can you come for a while and see!”



My heart, this time, smiled… “Wow, great… darling!” I immediately handed him a big plum-cake and said, “Enjoy it with all your friends!”


That’s my Christmas special, this time…



Simple joy…



From simple people…



In very, very simple ways!



“Merry Christmas to all of you, my wonderful dear ones!”




GERALD D’CUNHA


2 comments:

Gautham Varma said...

So touching, really loved it... Gautham Varma

Harish Rane said...

Merry Christmas to all and a very happy new year too.
-- Harish Rane