If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Dec 4, 2007

Oh Carols !

Christmas is coming. The geese are getting fat. There's a carol singing practise at 4 o'clock. We gather around the guitarist who gives us our note while the organ sits feeling left out of things only because it's too big to walk around with. The usual Jingle Bells and Rudolph are sung in three part harmonies thanks to Celeste who can sings harmonies like you and me brush our teeth. Allwyn is appointed as Santa Calus and he gets the costume out of the choir loft to try it on for size. He's told to buy fresh cotton to replace last years yellowed beard. The collection boxes are cleaned and the keys to their locks found behind the incense burners in the sacristy. The triangles and tambourine are fought over. Till it's decided that whoever get here first on the 20th gets it. The routes are planned. On the basis of last years generosity of said routes inhabitants. The poor and the dispossesed are going to be dispossesed out of our carols this year too.

And we're off. A motley bunch of people. Women old enough to be called Aunty but not so old that they can't keep pace. Uncles whose baritone finds an outlet amidst Johnson bath tiles and are denied freedom of expression at all family parties. Santa Claus with a big red bag, gutarists, triangle and castanet players. We gather around our guitarists in the garden of the first building we visit and wait for the stragglers to catch up. Jingle Bells resounds between building walls and water tanks. Inhabitants come to their balconies. The dog on the 2nd floor bursts into frenzied barking that threatens to drown us out until he's muzzled. The collectors have gone up the stars and start working their way down floor by floor. Trying to stay away from idle chit chat like
" How's Mummy ? " Unless the interrogation is sweetened with milkcream and marzipan. Into Pali Village we go. There's an old blind lady who can't move out of the house so we are all requested inside. A squeeze. She actually looks happy to see us [ figuratively speaking ] . She gets our whole repetoire from Jingle Bells to We wish you a... with Rudolph and Frosty the snowman hanging somewhere in the middle. Christmas sweets and Old Monk make our cup runneth over. We leave , a warm thank you from a happy sightless person who makes 80 yrs look young .
We just
can't wait to get back
On the road again.
[ Thank you Willie Nelson ].
The collection boxes are heavier and running up and down flights of stairs is not as much fun as it was two hours ago. Santas looking macho with white chest hair. [His beard slipped.] The songsheets are being used less as Angels we have heard on high imprints itself in our heads. Carollers whose houses are on the route are abandoning ship. The bright lights of early evening are fading. When the collectors are answered at the door by pyjama clad uncles and nightie clad aunties we know it's time to call it a night. The leftover sweets in Santas bag make the urchins at the traffic light happy as he solitarily walks back home to knock of red suit and white beard and settle down to his potato chops and dal currry for dinner.

1 comment:

Anders from Anderi said...

Hey Clem - In Bandra, no. They say dol curry,men...not dal