The month of December brings a whole load of memories...
I grew up in a little township in Tamilnadu and december used to be the closest to winter there! December ushered in the month of 'Margazhi' when it was inauspicious to shift houses, get married or start a business. Instead a whole new host of activities centered around the temple would commence. For starters, all children would be cajoled/coaxed/threatened to participate in an early morning (read a ghastly 4.00 a.m) 'nagar sankeerthanam' (hymns sung on the roads of the township) replete with ash-smeared bare bodied tambrahms. Our jobs would be to wake up at an unearthly hour, bathe (yeah!), wear jasmine flowers in our hair and traditional clothes (read 'paavadai') assemble at the temple at 3.45 a.m, stand in rows of three and follow the leaders (the pious uncles and aunties) trying to follow the nuances of the difficult-to-pronounce Tamil bhajans (called 'Tirupavai' and 'Tiruvampavai')! (Pic: My sis trying to show off MY paavadai!)
Once that phase was over, in teenage, decembers would be spent in feverishly copying notes, 'mugging' lessons and trying to understand the hard-to-comprehend maths chapters for the half-yearly exams.
In college, decembers were the post-exam days-to-enjoy. Our mid-year assessments would typically end by early december and until the christmas break, we used to have 'timepass' classes. Professors would come to class, ask us to maintain silence and start correcting our answer-papers! So obviously, it was a riot :) Added to that, it was the busy cul-fest season. So yours truly would try to balance a debate here with an extempore there to a bid to quiz elsewhere. Fun! (Pic: This one year at an amusement park near Chennai)
In b-school, december again meant trim II papers, assessments and the CHILL of bhubaneswar. Enter the world of actual winters (I thought!) But there were also the late night dance parties and the midnight maggi sessions to counter balance the feverish days and nights spent in trying to understand Adam Smith or Phillip Kotler!
Work always slackens during December, except if you are in sales, and November end has seen you achieve 94% of your annual target. Then decembers meant trying to motivate a team that was ready to take a break anyday! But in corporate office, it also meant annual assessments, fighting with your boss on what you think your performance measures are and finally christmas eve fuelled daaru-sessions!
The one year I was in the US, december was magical. "Real" winter, lots of christmas cheer, the Rockefeller tree, Disneyland, plum puddings and discounts in Macy's! And SNOW! I was the only duffer who 'wanted' to shovel my driveway. I offered to shovel my Israeli's neighbours driveway too.. but I guess they did not want that (could it be because I had told them that I thought Arafat was one of the world's greatest modern leaders?!) (Pic: X mas tree with a Hollywood theme at Universal Studios, LA)
Hopefully this year, I shall create some more memories...Psst! I found out (by snooping of course!) that my husband has planned a trip to Goa with his friends next week. Am excited. My first time there!! Go Go Goaah! Yeah, I shall pretend to be excited and act like I did not know it... OF COURSE!
Enjoy the month! Have a wonderful festive season :) Spread the cheer!