“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas” and to make sure of the lines I decided to give my time to my family this Christmas. As a matter of fact, It’s been 10 year I have not celebrated Christmas with my family members although I visit them after every 2 years. To be home early, I scheduled an early morning flight and by 10’ish I was already at the airport, with Imphal welcoming me with 150 C. Delhi sure enough gave me a colder weather when compared.
It was very sweet of dad and little brother to pick me up at the airport. I always had this insecurity feeling that Mom & Dad is ageing and as such I never had their picture in my Phone gallery or hardly video call home although we have advance technology within our finger tips. I wasn’t sure of how I would be reacting when I meet them. I promise I will stay put with my emotion this time and I walk out the exit gate gracefully and all I was looking for was a middle aged man with grey hair, whom I call Daddy because Mom said that’s what I should be looking for if the phone does not go through. I am not sure whether it’s the effect of watching Japanese animated series that I find those in the premises faceless except for my dad and brother. (I know everyone else feel the same)
“Why so skinny, aren’t you eating well?” dad quoted as he hugged me. You guys know how much I love food, don’t you? With the kind of body weight I have its meaningless to ever utter a word about food. So let’s just chucked it.
Since we had a tight schedule ahead with so much less time we head straight toward Ukhrul, hometown; Three hours drive from capital Imphal , a short lunch break at our usual halting point LITAN to fill our hungry belly with warm tasty home food and“Home Sweet Home”.
As I assess around the house it makes me think of the rhyme Old Mac Donald had a farm, eh ai eh ai ooh, I felt like I am somewhere in a farm with the backyard inhabited by numbers of domestic animal; duck (20), Chicken (10), Guinea Pig (3) Rabbit (2), 3 puppies and a small little kitty to be precise. It was indeed a sight to see and I quite enjoyed the moment as mom tends to them.
The quaking, clucking, barking, meowing and squeaking sounds was no doubt a joyous pleasure. I felt like I had always been home with them. I unpacked my stuff, distributed stuff I got for them. You should see the expression lil Khok showed….not much did I got, only a few yet the happiness he expressed pleased me well.
Dad, Mom and me headed towards our Village(Sihai Khunou), to attend the youth conference. It’s the time of the year where all the youths of 10 neighbouring villages get together to interact, compete, learn, share, entertain and pull in their ideas towards a better tomorrow for themselves and for the whole community as one. It’s the second time I am attending. As a youth I decided I should take up a challenge to grow as a person and help those who are striving even though it’s not much of a value. (Excuse me for not disclosing the details of what my challenge is). Maybe it can be done when we sit down for a heart to heart conversation. Public speaking is not my thing but I am happy I stood up and deliver what I have to.
Despite the fact that I had a crazy day travelling from one destination to another for the entire day, it was all worth the trouble for I am home snuggling in between sheets with Dad & Mom warmly and happily. Well yes I still share bed with my parents even at this age. It’s the best time for me to share ideals, correct and make fun of each other.
Waking up to a mountainous view everyday was the best part of my stay. To add more engaging in taking care of the few livestock was quite an amusement with the deafening quacking, squeaking and clucking sound as their daily nutrition is being offered. Initially acclimatizing the rural way was tiresome but it paved way towards a new insight on how to be more responsible as a member of a family and a community. Not just this moment but hoping the coming days too will add greater values essential for personal growth.
I was not less than a Rudolph, the red-nosed Reindeer this winter. My bad for taking the winter chill lightly. It was beyond my acceptance level. Never had I worried so much about my looks, this vacation had put me through. Never have I felt myself so ugly 😋 and deformed. Ukhrul weather is not to be taken for granted.
Every religion has its own expectations from its believers especially on a festive occasion. Ideally, if we go by the world’s norms and regulation, or world’s expectations we should be attending church services as a sign of reverence and thanksgiving as its Christmas but we cousins ended trekking up Sihai Phangrei, a long flat hill range adjoining the Shirui Peak also a bone of contention between we Sihai’s and Lunghar. One favourite picnic spot for young and old alike. Also with tourism being promoted, camping is in its prominence.
I am quite strong headed when it comes to church. Going to church alone doesn’t make me a Christians but it’s the compassion and my true deeds that define my inner self. I am not trying to defend myself but life experiences has shown and taught me few lessons. It’s important that we nourished our souls for refinement at times, better if we can go everyday with good intentions of reforming oneself.
A week stay at the capital was another precious moment again. Blessed to have a sister who matched up with my weirdness and craziness…We sure have our moment of tipsiness and making unconscious calls. It’s not every day we do this, don’t get us wrong. Thanks to her for helping me add a new place in my exploratory list. I am pretty sure 90% of you reader might not have seen or heard of the railway bridge that is under construction at Noney district which in fact is going to be the world tallest railway pillar with a height of upto 141 metres surpassing the existing tallest Mala – Rijeka in Europe which measures 139 metres .Indeed a proud moment for the state and as a citizen of the state.
Besides getting to meet family and friends, I became a Godmother to our lovely daughter Divine, precious D/O of Mr & Mrs Gogo Gurumayum. FYI the child mother happens to be my best friend. Disagreement is still going on with the kind of name she should be named. Divine is the name the father has proposed, Kaithlyn is by her mom and I have proposed to be given a name that will identify her ground and faith. Let’s wait and see for the naming day rituals.
The final day arrived to board my flight back home here. I am not sure if it’s right of me to quote as my worst experience so far. I am little skeptic with the kind of judgment it may direct to. Well cutting the insecurities crap, I over packed my stuff and I had to undo it at the airport premises. It is my first and last thing to be unpacking my luggage especially in airport premises. Not that I am unaware about the baggage allowance but since I did not want to remain conscience-stricken, I knowingly carried every damn thing. With much love my aunt’s have packed stuff for their children residing here and I wanted it to be delivered to them. But a total of 30 kg was too much for me. I was told to remove stuff unless I am paying. Ain’t no Richie kids to be swiping my card for 15kg extra baggage. Nah nah not one bit. With much guilt I removed 10 kg and paid a few thousands as a penalty. Thus far, I feel sheepish wondering what judgement must be filling in their grey matter. If you happen to come across this (cousins of mine), I hope you would understand the situation. It’s a lesson learnt to avoid carrying extra baggage beyond limitation and to be mindful in all my venture.
With a bagful of memories and experiences I am so damn ready to face whatever 2020 has for me.