"I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.
Their faithful Friend and Servant,
And truly so, the "Ghost of an Idea" has haunted me ever since then. Though we were a Hindu family and not celebrate X'mas, there always used to hang a colourful little star at the entrance of my house when my Dad was alive. He never failed to buy a new star from one of the street vendors every other year. And I never failed to sit, gazing at the new colourful wonder that he brought home every year at the time of X'mas. It was back in 1992, if I can remember well enough, that I had my only X'mas feast till date. We had an old retired couple as our neighbour and had their three children, all living abroad, come together for that X'mas. So, Lilly aunty decided to host a grand X'mas feast and invited us all for it. I never knew what the occasion was 'coz for me X'mas was all about hanging a colourful star at the door of my home. But that was a new experience for me. They had an X'mas tree, a miniature haystack with the baby Jesus in it and a lot many other things which seems to be vague in my memory. Any how, I joined them in their prayers, songs and happily feasted on the chicken dishes and cakes and ice creams... It was after 4 years that I read about X'mas in A Christmas Carol. I still cherish the only X'mas I had in my life.
After many years, I had a g'friend who was a Christian and I dreamed of that-one-day when I'd be celebrating an X'mas in its true spirit with her family. Her mom makes ginger-vine for every X'mas and she always brought me a portion of it. Oh wow! Such heavenly vine, I've never tasted in my life.
On another occasion, I remember going to a very old Church in a big city in my country and lighting a hundred candles with her. I do not remember whether it had anything to do with X'mas, but it sure happened in the month of December. Even funnier is the fact that my g'friend was an atheist (At least, she claimed to be one!). And a happy and happening X'mas is one more thing I miss after our break up. Now, I do not see how I'd ever celebrate an X'mas in my life! Unfortunately, none of my friends are Christians either!
Last year, I did go to a Church and attend the prayers on the Christmas eve. But it's never fun to be alone, to be an Ekan, in such a gathering. I felt very awkward after a while and returned to my lonely room and spent the night reading A Christmas Carol, maybe for the nth time.
But wait, I don't think I'll be dead so soon. I still have years ahead of me and if things happen as I anticipate, I'd get a chance yet again to attend a Christmas and a Happy New Year in its true spirit and I look forward to that with great joy and expectations.