Monday, November 05, 2007


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas here in India. Diwali is Friday and the whole country is whipping itself into a frenzy of festivals, pujas and gifting. Lights are stung across anything that is not moving and also a lot of things that are. I have to say, when it comes to holiday lights, nobody does it quite like the Indians. What I do find extremely odd, is this whole Christmas half-look. The colored and blinking lights are all ever the place, garlands of gold, red, orange and green stretching out for as far as the eye can see and billboards in the festive look of gift wrap. Very Christmas-like, indeed except there are no Santas standing on street corners with their alcohol tinted breath, ringing their bells in drunken like stupor, no reindeer wired into some sort of pseudo-flight pattern, no manger scenes made entirely of sparklers or any other materials for that matter and worst of all, no tackily decorated Christmas trees with an overdose of tinsel. For a Westerner it all seems a bit confusing, a bit half-baked. I know it is a holiday to celebrate the victory of good over evil and has nothing to do with Christmas at all, it is just the fact that it is so similar and yet so different.

But you know me, I am all about the holidays. Any holiday for that matter as long as the food is scrumptious and the cocktails well shaken. This Diwali at least I will have to forego the shaken concoctions I so adore. I am having a bit of a stomach issue which has so far ended up with me having a tube down my throat so the doctor could take a look at my insides. I do have some nice pics now of my stomach, throat and duodenum. How many of you can make that claim? I know I am a trend setter, but just take my advice when I say that is one experience better left to other people. Sometimes it's nice to be excluded from all the fun. I sure wish I had been. I spent an entire day without a voice. Me, the master talker, pontificator and gossip whore was without a voice. I spent Saturday pointing and grunting. It was all very "Clan of the Cave Bears" in a subcontinental setting.

But back to Diwali. Even though it is not Christmas as I know it, and I will be celebrating Christmas in Spain, I have decided to throw myself into this whole Diwali thing. I'm practically Indian anyway, might as well get some of the advantages of being pan-cultural. I have decided to gift myself a little something. And while I am at it, I will gift one to Manuel as well. After all, I can't have him drooling all over my iPod Touch and getting it all slobbery and wet. I don't think Madonna would be amused with a glob of drool getting on her disco ensemble.

I also truly believe that Diwali and Christmas should be merged. In fact, I have taken the liberty to rework a little song that was a favorite of mine when I was a wee lad.

Rudolph the red nosed camel,
Had a very dusty nose,
And if you ever saw it,
You might think that once it glowed, (like a flashlight)
All of the other camels,
Used to laugh and call him names, (like humpback)
They never let poor Rudolph,
Play in any camel games. (like pull the cart)
Then one dusty Diwali eve,
Laxmi came to say,
"Rudolph dust off your nose this very minute,
I need someone to light my way and cart me around the country,"
Then how the camels loved him,
And they shouted out in Hindi,
"Rudolph the red nosed camel,
You are quite a righteous dude!"

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