If you’ve read my previous post, i wrote about making a house, a home. Feeling at home despite being away from home. Being thankful for all things you got, being happy and peaceful, yada yada.
Like i said, i was preparing for a trip that weekend, exactly a month ago, I boarded a flight to one of the most beautiful countries in the world – Italy. Where coffee taste like what it should and not like dirty water! *No offense intended* The trip was awesome and i’ll save some details for another post. The theme of this one is quite different. In fact, it is the stark opposite of the previous one.
I thought i’d be excited to be home for Christmas but i was very, very, very sad to be leaving my cousins a week before Christmas. I mean, who in their right mind would not stay with family for Christmas and yet my duty, my job was calling me back. So i left. Coming home wasn’t bad. I had the place to myself – all roommates gone and they left me a Christmas tree with gifts. I was the QUEEN of my house but i was the MAID too. The place needed winter cleaning on my terms and i gave it just that and a bit more. It was Christmas after all. I baked and tried my hand a making Sankarpali (an Indian sweet – that’s like a biscuit) and biryani on the big day. Since i didn’t have too many other people to celebrate it, i managed to find another lonely kid from my part of the world to go to midnight mass with. It was nice and the priest’s homily was sans drama. Christmas sermons in India are usually quite dramatic and leave people ooh, aahing after Mass.
Anyway, back to work. I show up on the day i said i would but i was in for a rude shock. The company decided they no longer needed my services but allowed me to pick my end date and so i did. There went my Christmas spirit, topsy, turvy and out the window. Just like that i went from a person with a purpose – no matter how tiny, to a person with just six days remaining. “Now i have 20 days of nothingness”, I thought to myself. Christmas was horrible and i was the Grinch. I’ve known myself to be quite a Christmassy person – at least in spirit, so for me to even think anything Grinch is a bold step in itself. Here i was, on Christmas day doing nothing, just sitting by myself, hoping to have some friends over for company but – NOTHING.
To me, this was the worst Christmas ever. I swore to make sure, i will be home with my friends and family from next year on. The streets were dead on Christmas day here and it was awful because – I was so used to the bustling madness of Mumbai. While they say – Christmas is beautiful and superb and amazing in Western countries. I was yearning to be as East as possible. To me, like a lot of others, Christmas is the time we spend with friends and family and after 26 years of my life – not going through that routine of waking up to Christmas carols, watching my mom make Christmas sweets, gorge on that carrot cake only she can make best, go for mass with them, made the whole experience incomplete.
I sat in my living room on a yoga mat, with the blanket, all curled up and watched Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel, no points for guessing what the stories were like. Everything was about hope and love, peace and happiness and i wish some of it would explode out of the TV screen and rub off on me. Like the quote in one of the movies that said “When in doubt, add glitter”. After all the happy memories, here i was feeling like a puddle of crap!
For sometime, i managed to convince myself that no one cared. Then i decided to quit feeling bad, i decided to be my own joy and stepped out of the house to get laundry done and buy some milk. So i walked out wearing my brand new winter coat to the only corner store/ gas station near my house. As i approached it, a man in a red truck pulled up. I walked in and he followed. I stopped in front of the refrigerator wondering if 1/2 a gallon would do or if i should buy a whole gallon and save myself a trip. While i was still contemplating, Mr. Red truck, flung open the refrigerator and pulled out a gallon of the same milk brand and variant. I looked at him and he nodded. I believe in signs and coincidences that make you smile. We both came there from wherever, just to buy a gallon of milk?? Yes, that’s all he bought too. One gallon of milk at $3.99. I couldn’t help but let that moment lift my spirit just a bit. I mean, what were the chances of something like that happening that very moment. Probability, sure. I procrastinated for an hour before i finally stepped out and did my laundry jig before i could get to the store. I think i am a bit more optimistic than i give myself credit for and just like that the horrible Grinch in me died a slow death.
I texted my friend and asked him to meet me for dinner. We went out, had a fun time and here i am back at work, doing my time before it’s really time to be out again.
While i am contemplating what i will be doing in the next 20 days, i know i will find ways to keep myself quite busy. I will head to the museums and library nearby and find low cost ways to keep myself entertained because if i’m going to be out… I’d rather be Out there 😉