Friday, December 25, 2009

A different Christmas

On account of it being Christmas and the church programme starting at three in the afternoon I woke up early this morning. I sent out a “Merry Christmas” SMS to friends and family, and my eldest brother who works and lives in Lengpui with his family sent me a reply saying they were in the middle of a “Chhangban ruai” and wished me “Happy Id.” He has a weird sense of humour which he displays only to family.  Off I headed to the kitchen and started preparing lunch. I was almost done when my niece got up and announced her tummy hurt badly and she didn’t sleep much because of the pain and didn’t think she would be able to go to church. She had complained of that since the last two days and it looked like something serious. I asked her to wash up and get dressed and then we dashed out to see a doctor.
The Telangana activists had graciously called off today’s bandh because it is Christmas, but the streets were pretty empty and some stores had downed their shutters. I hailed a passing auto, and on hearing our destination the driver immediately asked for almost twice the regular fare. I wasn’t in the mood for any argument or bargaining and so we set off.

Falling sick is such a sad event. And as if to aggravate us more we tend to fall sick at the most inappropriate of times, although it could be rightly said there is never an appropriate time to be sick. I fall sick every time I go home to Mizoram, sometimes bedridden for days and sometimes a cold and the occasional fever

We went to one of the best hospitals in Hyderabad, and I was very impressed with the way things went. Smiling, helpful, friendly staff, clean surroundings and maybe because it was a holiday no long queues, the sterile hospital smell not too strong though I am sad to say it was not completely absent, all in all not a bad experience. The doctor asked us to go for this test and that test and we were in the hospital for quite a while. In between waiting for tests we watched Telugu serials on the mounted TV’s - not something I’d care to do again, sent a hundred text messages with my clumsy thumbs, and passed comments on the people around us which was fun because they didn’t have a clue what we said. It was past three when we finished all the tests and were able to go home. We bought a Christmas cake from a nearby bakery where the owner wished me a cheerful “Merry Christmas” – that was one of the best and most genuine Merry Christmases I’ve ever received. The auto driver kept talking on his mobile phone all the way home, and when he didn’t have change ( auto drivers never do) I didn’t make him check all his pockets or get change from a nearby shop, I simply walked away without demanding for my change.  It must have been the Christmas effect, or the hospital effect, or the joy of being alive without any aches or pains.

Some of the test results will be out tomorrow, and that means another trip and another examination. The bandh has been moved to tomorrow which is something quite ridiculous and could happen only in India. I just hope we would be able to go out safely amidst the encircling gloom… well not quite, amidst the rioting stone throwing buses burning suicide threatening separate state demanding “fasting” unto death “patriots”.


  1. Merry Christmas Aduh, and hope your niece will be fine soon. It must be not so wonderful spending Christmas in the midst of Telangana :(

  2. The Telengana bandhs and riots are quite worrying, hope you are safe. Hope your neice gets well soon. Happy New Year!

  3. diary & mesjay - Thank you for your concerns. We went for a review today and everything is fine, she is all right. The bandh was again called off today, maybe it's not going to take place at all. Happy New Year to you both.

  4. Hey, I wrote a comment here the other evening but it's disappeared. Oh well. Btw, I came to the realisation this Christmas that sending wishes via sms can be a bit irritating. I'm thinking the old tradition of sending paper cards is a lot less intrusive and is a so much more thoughtful gesture. And people you really care about and are super close to you should take the time to call anyway.

  5. J - Yeah, and the most irritating part is when you receive messages which you can tell has been forwarded a zillion times, flowery words which you know very well the other party couldn't compose in a hundred years... but well it's the thought that counts.