Merry Christmas Everyone!
Born and raised in a country where more than 22 languages are spoken and at least 9 recognized religions are practiced, I was a privileged citizen of India.
I enjoyed every festival luckily only because I was raised in National Defence Academy Pune, where people from all around India live and share their culture, festivities, food and clothes. This is where I learned about humanity.
“The past makes us who we are, celebrate it”.
Twenty years ago when I decided to take off to an unknown journey to Toronto Canada, I had no idea where I would land up but here too I was lucky. I landed in the month of April and by the time Christmas came I had a family here in Canada. I call it luck because knowing people in a country where you have no idea about the people, culture, weather which you have never felt before and then the loneliness all surrounded with early darkness by shortening the day – this was all new to me specially when I have never stepped out of India to experience this.
“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know” ~ Pema Chodron
Meeting Carol on the phone while selling her a Visa card turned out to be a friendly gesture. I somehow felt the closeness or was I looking one for? No idea, but while talking to her she recognized me that I was not from here yet she loved that I speak British English and not the Canadian or American English. I spoke about India and she spoke about husband’s love for Saree. I decided to get her a saree as a christmas gift and she too took that seriously.
Before it was Christmas she came home with her husband to get Saree as her gift. More than the gift, it was her visit to make sure if there are such people who talk on the phone and make friends for real.
I helped her wearing the saree and gave some of the jewelry that will go with the outfit and makeup. She was so thrilled and to her husband Stuart I gave some roti (Indian bread) and potato sabzi along with Indian mango pickle as for early dinner.
Both of them were mesmerized by the Indian hospitality and the next question comes to me is enjoy your Christmas with family. When I heard family, it gave me the chills as my family is far away and how am I going to enjoy anything with them? Stuart, immediately guessed and invited me to his home in Milton, Ontario.
“Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even its end.” ~ Joanne Harris
I am coming to pick you on Christmas Eve morning and I will drop you back home on boxing day :), you are now part of our family. That day and then until Carol lived I celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas as part of Carol and Stuart’s family. It was good to be part of Canadian family as it taught me about the culture, food and festivities and the way of celebrations which is different. I consider myself to be lucky and today I have my own family in Niles, California and feels blessed.
A tradition, celebration and loads of memories that I am reflecting upon today and want to say live life with happiness and joy as at the end it’s these memories which will give you much happiness and peace in life.
“I have a handful of close friends, and I have my family, and I haven’t known life to be any happier” ~ Brad Pitt
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!