I strongly believe that the concept of festival was conceived by our ancestors as a mean for friends and families to come together and celebrate the gift of life. Leaving out the myriad mundane lives and hit a snooze button on them. That time in year when the entire atmosphere becomes merry. And the cherry on the cake is having the entire family to celebrate the occasion. This Christmas is one such occasion.
I am glad our children could sense the need of being together in Noida this Christmas, well in advance, given the health Suvin and I were subjected to. Ketki and Nisarg travelled with their spouses and kids from different countries.
We got the entire apartment cleaned, changed the curtains, made the necessary sleeping arrangements so that they could feel the comfort once they are here. I prepared many dishes in advance, at least one of everybody’s favourite. Festivals pack such miraculous euphoria that Suvin and I almost forgot that we were well past our late fifties.
Suvin was time and again teasing me that once the kids were here, I would be so busy with them that I wouldn’t think about him. The old man has been such sweet idiot since teenage. Playing ‘love me too’ cards, despite knowing that he hogs lion’s share of my mind, heart and attention! Our grandchildren had already e-mailed us their long list of gifts they wanted from Santa. Beside Skype and Facetime, it will be only the second time that we will be seeing them. They were both born of course with me being around. I was clear in my head that this Christmas, we will relive and recreate our best memories.
Suvin has always been Ketki and Nisarg’s Santa Cool, only this time he’ll be doing this gig for their kids. While we are non-Christians have limited knowledge about Santa and his relationship with the festival, Suvin always used to prepare for his Santa get-up and camaraderie at least a month in advance.
Ketki and I decorated the Christmas tree its Christmas morning finally! Everyone was sitting around excitedly opening their gift, kids and elders alike. The excitement was same for all.
While we were shopping, I had secretly bought gift for Suvin. His favourite brand of perfume and rainbow cheese cake from Theos, a popular bakery in Noida. Had he got something for me too? My thoughts were highjacked by shrieking kids and their excitement of getting PS4 and other gifts. We had a sumptuous brunch. Suvin’s electric barbeque was on since early morning. Suvin had quit meat long back himself but God knows what made him so excited about preparing chicken delicacies for Nisarg! We had planned to take kids to DLF Mall of India where they had opened an artificial Ice Park. But then, everyone was so engulfed in talking and laughing that we didn’t realize when the sun had set.
And after everybody had hit the couch, Suvin and I sat on favourite swing in our balcony. Looking at the streetlights flicker during night, the December Delhi cold was getting bitter. Suvin smoked his favorite vape and I snuggled in his arms. The memories flashing in front of our eyes, his proposal, our early days, birth of Ketki. I wanted to freeze the time, not sure of what it holds for us until next Christmas. Absorbing as much as I could, I also thought whether these memories would give us strength until next year.
“Thanks for the wonderful day.”, said Suvin. He slipped a velvet case softly in my hands. I opened it to find a solitaire bracelet. “What would an old woman do with this?”, I asked. “Wear it and make it more beautiful.” Replied Suvin.
He squeezed my shoulder and turned my face towards his. I closed my eyes. It’s kinds funny that having kissed the same man for about last forty years, why can’t I keep my eyes open. Even today. I felt Suvin’s lips touch my cold forehead. Merry Christmas it was! Indeed.
And that was my Santa’s last kiss to me
This blog of part of #A2Z Challenge, there will be 26 blogs in this series all the blogs are in continuation. I am writing them from Z to A, as the story also flows from Death towards life. Hope you enjoy knowing Antara’s journey.
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