Its Christmas time dearies. The hills and rubber estates are alive with the sound of chopping, cutting, whisking, tasting, cursing and vice versa, plus the aromas of much cooking happening. Achayanland is a very happening place now! You have to just walk by homes to predict exactly what they are going to have for Christmas lunch.
Susan: Gasp, the Pallikunnels are having Pepper Liver Fry for Christmas lunch!
Mother in law: #$#%@% didn’t I tell you to buy liver you %$#@ woman!!!
Susan: *Sob* I am going to the market right now ammachi!
Markets are groaning under the invasion of ladies who have just discovered what their neighbors are making for Christmas.
Mary: Hello Jincy, What brings you to the market today?
Jincy: Chumma, I just came for a breath of fresh air.
Mary (covering her nose to avoid the horrible stench of the fish market): Me too!
Jincy: I see that you have bought Quails!
Mary: Damn!!! Err… yes and those Prawns in your bag look very fresh!
Jincy: Damn! I should have covered them, I mean yes, and they are very fresh, but you never know. It may be rotten also!
Mary: Sure, sure and that is why you bought them I suppose. To help the poor fish fellow get rid of the rotten Prawns.
Jincy (sarcastically): Yes, it is Christmas no! Time to help our fellow human beings!
Mary: Hmmph! I gotta go now. Got loads of work at home!
Jincy: Same here. Bye
Mary: Ahem… the way to your home is this way no? Then why are you going towards the Quail shop?
Jincy: I feel like a nice long walk that’s why!
Mary: And I so believe it!
Jincy: What did you say!
Mary (hastily): I said bye.
Mary and Jincy will then be seen frantically shopping for Prawns and Quails after this exchange.
Achayan families are of the belief that Christmas is a time of cooking and cooking and cooking till there is nothing left to cook.
Aunt: And what is left to cook now?
Another Aunt: I think we have covered every animal and edible living things.
Aunt: There must be something we have left out!
Another Aunt: You are right. I am getting that feeling to. Tomorrow at lunch time I will remember and that would be so embarrassing no?
Aunt: I hope such fate never befalls even our enemies!
Another Aunt: *shudder* Amen!
And that’s when we the kids run way from home. Kidding folks. We are too scared to run away. You don’t mess with dem achayathis. They are formidable ladies. Last time a guest ran out of the house in panic he had the hostess in hot pursuit balancing a plate of achappam and cake on one hand and some chicken stew and some idiappams on another.
What really happens at the lunch table after the above mentioned exchange is this:
Uncle: This beef fry is quite nice!
Aunt (evenly): That’s Brinjal dry fry!
Uncle: This fish curry is pretty good!
Aunt: That is not Fish. It is mutton…sniff!
Then there is total silence at the table.
The true spirit of Christmas is buried beneath mounds of food in Achayanland and we are yet to discover it. Perhaps, we will one day, when we have stopped eating our way to heaven/hell. And it is the reason I feel that the Church invented Advent (a sort of pre Christmas upwaas).
First Pope: We need to invent an event that will put dem Achayan out of the business of feeding.
Saint Austerity: How about a period of fasting and abstinence before Christmas your eminence?
Pope: What a wonderful idea!! Let them fast for six months before Christmas!!!
Saint Austerity: Err your holiness; we are talking of achayans here. You know the incorrigible race even God regrets creating!
Pope: Sigh, okay make it two months then.
Saint Austerity: Won’t work dude!
Pope (irritably): Okay okay, make it a couple of weeks then.
Saint Austerity (bowing deeply): Will do your eminence!
Pope: And most importantly…
Saint Austerity: Yes?
Pope: You call me ‘dude’ one more time and I will whip your holy a**e to hell!!!
Saint Austerity: Gulp, yes your eminence!
If Christmas lunch is not enough, we have post Christmas family visits to further endanger the bursting walls of our intestines. But by now, we have become experts in managing this. The moment we see the lady of the house walking in with a groaning tray, we whip out our Microtome knives, slice a piece of cake the thicknesses of 10 to 100 µm and exclaim “Delicious Aunty! This is so tasty that I will let the taste linger by not taking another bite of anything else you offer me.”
And then we haul our sorry selves back to Bangalore vowing never to eat another morsel of food till next Christmas. And that is the true Advent folks. The Church got it all wrong, or didn’t they? :-S You never know with them devious Priests!
p.s. if you need to verify if someone is a true blue achayan, ask him for the definition of Christmas. A true blue achayan will never get it right!
MERRY CHRISTMAS DEAR FRIENDS! May we discover the true spirit of Christmas. By we, I mean my people! :p