Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas in the mountains

Convent school educated, brought up in an area with large Catholic population- Christmas means a lot to me. It means meeting friends and family for curiously coloured fried snacks and plum cake. It means carols sung off-key. It means over the top decorations. It means a lot of joy.
 I was missing the Christmas of my childhood when our neighbour asked me if I'd like to go to the Christmas eve service with him. 'Yes!' I said, and at 5:30p was ready in all the white, red and glitter I could wear.
It turned out to be a full car..several others were going to the same service. When we arrived, our little group effectively doubled the number of people in the pews. Used to Roman Catholic pomp and grandeur, this church seemed bare at first..When we started,  I realised I was not going to hear any of my favourite hymns- the service was in hindi. And then the nativity began..a magnificently ambitious but woefully unrehearsed musical.
And slowly, I got what I had come looking for. The church might have been small and bare, but it soon filled up with happy families. It was obvious that everyone in there knew each other and had played a part in making this night happen. The nativity was simple, but its managed to tell its story in a simple and honest manner that would have been lost with more props. I couldn't sing along, but the church was filled with voices singing- just a little reassuringly off-key. And on our way back, our gang was invited home by a colleague. 'The whole paltan?' I asked incredulously. 'Yes', she said, 'Its Christmas!'
And we went. She sat us down in her wonderfully decorated hall..full of trees and tinsel and a nativity and cottonwool snow. And then she fed us plate after plate of crunchy fried snacks and plum cake.It was Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Puppy snacks

All summer, and well into autumn, I would keep ice cubes in the freezer for the little Bhotiya pup. It got so that everytime she heard the fridge door open, she would come running and go through her entire cycle of 'lessons' (sit-down-good girrrl!). But then I unpacked the sweaters and stopped freezing ice.  And today I realised that she still misses her snacks.
It snowed today! It makes the last two sunless days worthwhile. Not that they haven't been cozy. The first day, the Bhaloo and I spend on the couch with a hot water bottle (she still prefers to hang out with her human family- the Ugly Squeaklings* are left to their own devices). The second day I baked this, which by its aroma alone made the house warm and of Christmas.
And today, we woke up to this

And if this isn't a X'mas card, I don't know what is

And finally, a photo of the tiniest Bhaloo in her element

*: The Ugly Squeaklings? coined by my niece- and a more fitting handle for the grand-pups I can't think of

Thursday, December 13, 2012


The thing is, I am rotten at photographing black-grey-brown fuzzy objects that continuously tumble over each other. And there are only so many snaps I can take of them nursing and sleeping.

But today, one of them posed for me. A little wobbly, its true, but her* eyes are open!

The sun has been in hiding..Once its out, I'll take the pups into the yard and then maybe we'll have snaps.

* Turns out her grandparents made a mistake. The roll is a girl, a boy, another girl. Oops.