Sunday, February 17, 2008

Family diplomacy

I like Christmas because it does not have an anti climax like Easter. After the grand Easter lunch and the burp, the festivity abruptly comes to an end and you go back to gorging on all those things you gave up for Lent (a 40 day upwaas).

Christmas on the other hand is followed by visits to all the families in the family and this is the only period of time that no one forces you to eat their Christmas delicacy, which tastes exactly the same as the one served in the 77 families you visited before. Everyone knows that you are visiting relations and hence stuffed, though they don’t know that you gave the same excuse to everyone…that the last house stuffed you to the gills. A very happy situation for all leading to a lot of unnecessary laughter, lies and confessions in church.

Me: Forgive me father for I have sinned.
Priest: And what did you do.
Me: I told my aunt that her Cake tasted great. It sucked big time.
Priest: hmmmm
Me: I told Jose that his Christmas Crib was an engineering miracle. It was a miracle it stood up for three whole seconds.
Priest: hmmmmmm
Me: I told Kurian uncle that his wine was awesome. It was so sour that milk curdled a mile way from it.
Priest: *snort* For Gods sake tell me something new!!!

Apart from visiting relations and telling a whole lot of lies like how you ate so much and cannot therefore even drink tea but if it is Scotch it is okay, you have to go through an ancient achayan ritual called “Christmas Crib seeing.” It is quite like Bride Seeing but quite unlike it too. I know it sounds confusing but then that’s how it is.

Normally the boy kids in the family make the Christmas Crib that his family is so proud of. The famous mallu sarcasm vanishes when it comes to your kids and hence most of our Christmas cribs are errr well….horrible!

“Look at the crib Jojo has made!!” exclaimed Jojo’s mother proudly. I looked around the room. There were several sacks of pepper or nutmeg I am not so sure. And several stacks of rubber sheets, a tractor blade and some other stuff. But no crib.

“err Jojo why don’t you tell me something about your Christmas crib” I said hoping Jojo will then point me in the direction of the crib.

Jojo the practical boy he is and having learnt from the visits of other visiting relations, who were not close enough to hold their sarcastic tongue, pointed in the direction of what looked like an Alien nest in the corner of the room. I recoiled in horror. Jojo flinched. I felt bad.

“This is sooooo amazing Jojo” I said truthfully. It was indeed amazing. It was just like those Alien eggs/nest in the movie Alien. I looked fearfully for signs of movement in the egg/nest in case I have to make a dash for it. But all was calm in the nest/egg. Jojo parted the egg/nest to show me the Christmas figurines inside. I was so relieved that I smiled. Jojo mistook it for amazement. I didn’t contradict him.Considering the fact that my mother had bought another horrible gift for him that he will promptly give away to the Parish Charity sale, this was the least I could do for him.

The next house was no better.
“Look!!” exclaimed Jojan’s mother.
“Look at the crib Jojan has made” She said beaming.
I stood in the garden and looked at every tree, bush and creeper. But no crib.
“err Jojan why don’t you tell me something about your Christmas crib” I said hoping Jojan will then point me in the direction of the crib. Now Jojan is 6 years old and three feet high and hence sarcasm goes over his head. But he has his own bit of 6 year old sarcasm.
Chechi. You show me the crib!” he says cockily.
Chechide bestest muththalle nee! Show me the Crib da.” I plead.
“No” he says adamantly.
“Ok! I will give you a Chocolate.” I wager in hope.
“Make it a Toblerone 'and' you take back that Cadbury Chocolate your amma gave me and we have a deal”.
“Sigh… deal”

Then Jojan proceeded to show me some shreds of pink wrapping paper the kind jewelers wrap gold jewelery in, wrapped around three pots of Crotons. Sitting precariously over the pots edges were the Holy Family and the entire denizens of Bethlehem. I heaved a sigh of relief. I have never been so happy to see a Christmas Crib!!! Imagine if Jojan had quizzed me in front of the entire family!! I could have gone around his house and the 100 acres of rubber estate with a fine tooth comb and still not found the Christmas Crib! Jojan’s mom would have hated me and his Dad would have hated me and then doubted his son’s paternity!!! (He comes from a family of champion Crib makers you see) A tragedy averted by some quick thinking by yours truly!!

The next house was next ….obviously.

“Look” exclaimed Blessy’s mother. I groaned. “Look at the crib Blessy has made” She said. I looked around the hall and then looked at Blessy standing prim and proper like a good little 6 year old girl.

“Blessy sweety why don’t you tell me something about your Christmas crib” I said hoping Blessy will point me in the direction of the Crib. Tears filled Blessy’s big brown eyes. I panicked. Maybe I am standing on her crib or perhaps sitting on it or perhaps I have accidentally eaten it. A whole lot of horrible possibilities rushed into my mind. As I wondered how I could possibly make up to my niece for destroying her Crib, her mom walks in, removes an A 4 sheet of paper stuck on the wall and shows it to me proudly. On the paper, sketched in childish hands was a horribly deformed buffalo with a tumor, though which one was which I couldn’t quite make out. Besides the tumored buffalo was a blue Amoeba and beside the blue Amoeba was what looked like a peanut. The tumored Buffalo pointed out Blessy’s mom, was Joseph. The blue Amoeba was Mother Mary and the peanut was Baby Jesus.

We told a whole lot of lies that day.

Kindly ignore first paragraph, written due to author’s extreme short memory which was refreshed after writing this post. Give me Easter any day!!


Nave said...

hahaha .. had a good laugh .. u remind me of painted faces, diplomatic talks and artificial lives we live daily on the move.. be it in relations, business circles, in conferences or board rooms ... he he .. Too good Silverine..n if it was just your wild imagination .. Hats off !! You rock ..

Nishant Chandgotia said...

You are ever so humorous..nice nice..

flaashgordon said...

Since starting working , the crib has mostly been used as a verb rather than as a noun :-)).

Neway , Christmas and crib making have been great memories , and usually for us its a upturned wooden stool with a "ola "roof, and those colourful little lights. the same li'l statues stayed on for many years till the very fair baby jesus started to take somethin like obama's hue!

Had a gr8 nostalgic read :-)

Anonymous said...

Did someone tell you, you are going to rot in hell for this! =)

PS: As penance you will have to start a program like MTV cribs (call it Silverine cribs if you wish to) and showcase thee 'cribs' every Christumas.. WAT SAY YOU?


silverine said...

nick digital: Thank you buddy :) That analysis was spot on. These are real incidents, though written the silverine style :)

nishanth: Thank you!

flaashgordon: lol!! The Christmas Crib can be interpreted that way too :) I have seen the upturned stool variety too. Whatever type it is, the sheer creativity of the Xmas cribs is amazing.

balu: Please dont give ideas to our Kerala telly producers or next year you will have to sit through Live Xmas Crib competitions. Program sponsored by some housing mafia :p

Dhanya said...

Oh God all your poor cousins/nieces/nephews. They r going to give u properly once they read this post.. :)

mathew said...

"my mother had bought another horrible gift for him that he will promptly give away to the Parish Charity sale" Lol!!;-P

mademoiselle Anju it is all part of a conspiracy from Jojo,Jojan and Blessy who makes it a regulary yearly affair who are having fun seeing a certain blore girl struggle in diplomacy..

"Make it a Toblerone 'and' you take back that Cadbury Chocolate your Amma gave me and we have a deal”.
such budding entreupeners..;-P

Safari Al said...

So if i make a weird crib and hold you hostage do i also get a toblerone?


Neena Padayatty said...

Was checking three times a day for the new post and when it came...Too Good!Remembered cousin's crib she meticulously made for the crib competition by their Family unit.She wanted to have a patch of real grass and sowed some grains on a stretch of sand..the grass turned out to be very original but accompanied with a stench..coz her cat decided to make it her litter box!

mathew said...

Blessy cryin incident reminded me of this..

i was told about a incident here where three middle aged nun's were crying because they lost Jesus on the night before christmas..i mean the "roopam"..

one of the sister's had accidently misplaced it and somehow ended up in a waste bag..the sister's spend like 2-3 hours going through the filth to find Jesus before christmas night..that was very ironically beautiful in a way..

Amey said...

So, in Christmas, you get the power to make a child's life happy or unhappy, not to mention change the diplomatic relations between two families with just a sentence or two.

And you like Easter, why?

silverine said...

dhanya: Thank god they are small :)

mathew: Thank you :)

safari al: duh!

mathew: That was so sweet!!! :)

neena: ewwwww LOL!!!! That would have stank to high heavens!!!

amey: Because there are no family visits after Easter.

Philip said...

I used to wonder how Christmas and Easter were different (apart from the obvious)...we had holidays for both of these, all our cousins used to be around, we had to fast before both and go on murderous eating streaks after, and both involved going to church at ungodly hours.

Now I understand the difference :)

Deepti said...

Being a convent school, we used to have a crib making competition every year, one year an innovative bunch didnt want to waste time finiding the roopams n all so they just dressed up and mary, joseph and all , got a baby doll and voila their crib was ready :)...
Nice post , made me walk down memory lane :D

ap said...

Like Dhanya said....U are going to get nicely once ur cousins start reading this blog!!!!

U just started a family fued!! :)

Unknown said...

Liar liar pants on fire!


-Poison- said...


Anonymous said...

Ah. You ASK the kid where the crib is... A stroke of genius... Simple, yet elegant. I should remember that. Would come in handy sometime... Should save me from a lot of embarrassment...

"Oh, wowie. That is some crib; very artistic too... I hope you don't mind if I take a few pictures of it. The way the light shines on the figures... amazing... and the figures themselves... vaguely familiar shapes... a modern day sculpture from household objects... Modern art at its best... Picasso would be proud. And as for the ang..."

"Hammy chetta... that's our footwear rack... and those are my old torn out slippers."
"I know... I was just kidding. I wasn't able to see the actual crib because of all this dust and straw and... junk around... So, honey, where is it?"

Eyes watering....

"That's not junk. That's my crib... Mommmmmmaaaaaaaaa"

and P.S. 'take back the cadbury's chocolate'?? Hey, I love cadbury's... What are the kids turning into these days? tut tut

Karthik said...

cribbing about cribs, eh? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Hilarious!! Accidentally eating the crib reminds me...I once ate a chocolate crib :-)

Jive Talker said...

I love the names. Jojo, Jojan, Blessy..All these achayan names man. I like the way they sometimes roll off in a series in some families. Binoy, Bijoy, Sujoy. Shibu, Shiju, Saju, Shaji, Baiju. Moncy, Vincy, Princey. Reena, Reema, Regina. Jijo,Jojo,Jisha. Jimmy, Johnny, Donny...ok I should stop.

DD said...

Hehe, good stuff...and stop cribbing!

neermathalam said...

ek crib cheez kya hota...hai...

This was a religious post...

silverene neethi palikkuka...:P

silverine said...

Philip: That was very succinctly summarized lol!! :))

deepti: That was a good idea :)

AP: Let those lazy buggers leave their games and read this first, then we will think of a fight :D

iceman: :p

poison: Thanks and nice to see you buddy :)

Rahul: Thank you :)

hammy: LOL!! :))

Karthik: More of a crib about not being able to spot one :p

jive talker: I missed replying to you in the last post.Apologies :) And the possibilities are endless with our names arent they ? :))

DD: Wokay Sir!!! :p

neermathalam: Crib is nothing but the depiction of Christ's birth in a manger. And this is my first protest at my blog. I shall cherish it :D

Adorable Pancreas said...

Somehow, it reminded me of a Christmas pageant we did at school. Joseph forgot to take his shoes off, and the audience was enlightened about the lesser known fact that Joseph was wearing trainers when Jesus was born.

Unknown said...

I have to admit its nice to know that an achayathi is never alone. Salut!

Unknown said...

Salut Achayathi in arms! I loved your post on Easter/XMas - sympathies, empthies and a whole lot of love to the city i grew up in.


Alameen said...

Amazing as usual :)..
Tumored buffalo was the best...


ToOothlEss WOndeR! said...

*I'm doing the I'll be your slave routine here*
Girl, you're awesome!
Joseph the tumored buffalo - ROTFL!!!!

silverine said...

AP: :)) Xmas pageants bring back so many memories of such bloopers. :p

meg: Salut to you too :) And thanks for dropping by. Great to see you here!

Al Ameen: he he kids drawings are so cute!!

toothless wonder: lol!! Thanks a lot buddy. You made my day :)

Merin Jose said...

hi miss silvery blogr.....hats off to ur sparkling strands of imagination...!! gr8 attempt to capture the versatility of life...

Zahid said...

Haha,,,, I think it will also find its place in silverinez blowin own trumpet!!!!

Mind Curry said...

outstanding comedy! :) and the oscar goes to..

Jojo the practical boy he is

looked fearfully for signs of movement in the egg/nest in case I have to make a dash for it

I was so relieved that I smiled. Jojo mistook it for amazement

Anonymous said...

Stumbled on your blog for the first time today and am already a fan.. :)

And while I am under the influence of a liquid, you are pointing me to posts about ganja and telling me about having wine.. So not fair!! :P

and btw thanx for introducing me to this meaning of crib.. never knew about such a meaning of the word.. Me being the archetypical North Indian Hindu!! knowing nought about God's own land and the customs dere!!