Ah Kolkata! And its festive spirit and its traditions! If it is 24th of December, it has to be cake for the Bengali. Fruit cake, plum cake, almond cake etc --- better known as Christmas Cake. First ofcourse sampled from gifts from Christian colleagues at work and ensured by frequent reminders from about couple of months back, say right after the Durga Pujas!!!! Next, also bought from shops which suddenly stock enormous quantities of this "christmas cake".
24th sort of brought in a holiday mood although till the new year, there is only one official holiday - 25th! Never mind. Our ladies club met out of schedule to watch first day, night show of Three Idiots (one of our triad thought my SMS was referring to us), while the suddenly excluded hubby of S went to the Sri Lanka - India one dayer. We met up at 12:15am when our movie got over and he had made his way back from Eden Gardens, for ofcourse the other great Kolkata tradition - head for Park Street. While rest of Kolkata is slumbering (and rightly so), snug in bed, Park Street is ALIVE. Every one is there. Wearing santa caps (this years model had a blinking bulb on top - the "tuni" variety). And rest of Kolkata might verily be quiet, dark, cold and empty as a December night would be.
Tired of the enormous tub of popcorn and jaws and forehead aching with chewing the aforementioned corn, we need food. So we head for what seems to be the only place open - Flurys (we ignore OlyPub). Houseful and an ever growing waiting list, all seriously tucking in the not so inexpensive fare! Ah!
Bone tired (I was just back from MP on 23rd night and a full work day on 24th + late night movie) I crashed out at 3am at S's house and slept right through the freezing - OK not freezing but the serious chill - that crept in through windows! And on to 25th. And lucky lucky me - I get to celebrate the third tradition - the traditional Christmas Lunch. Good pal Anne had just come in from Delhi and invited me over to her large and warm family - aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews - all welcomed me in and stuffed me with a great lunch which lasted over a few hours. Sated with all the good food, sleepy from all the ginger wine, laden with gift, another christmas cake, rose cookies, I crawl home.
Merry, Merry Christmas!