After spending the last three Christmas in Mizoram, this year due to work and important business meetings, I ended up spending Christmas in Mumbai with my Mizo community. And yes it was a very memorable one.
25th December - The day started off really well for me. At 12 midnight, we had a small cake cutting ceremony with my flatmate and few friends from office, followed by some Christmas carols, wine and rum (I mean, how can one not drink rum on Christmas especially with Boney M singing “rum… rum… rum… rum…” urging you to drink more rum :P )
I got a few Christmas presents from close friends as well, which were amazing… :)
We wore Santa shorts and Santa caps. Saddam on the other was too young to comprehend what Christmas was all about and he kept on chewing his Santa cap thinking it was his new chewy toy! Bad boy, bad bad boy. He’s definitely on Santa’s naughty list.
We slept around 5 in the morning, woke up by 1 in the afternoon. As I groggily opened the morning’s Times of India newspaper, I was excited to see James and I were actually quoted at a special Christmas article regarding Church services and Christmas delicacies! Thanks Bella :)
Bucket List: Mention bekang and nghapih on India’s largest selling English newspaper. ✔ Check!
And then I was off to Rushville as I was running late for our Mizo function. Every Christmas, our Mizo community conducts a Church service followed by a grand feast. This year, in spite of the fact that some of our BMCF (Bombay Mizo Christian Fellowship) and MMA (Mumbai Mizo Association) leaders had gone home for the vacation, the few remaining leaders really pulled it off and threw a very successful Christmas function at YMCA, Colaba. Kudos to them!
So our Christmas service started at 2:30 PM on Christmas Day. The Church service was led by James Lalremruata, Senior Manager at Export Credit Guarantee Corporation and a very eligible bachelor. The Christmas sermon was delivered by David Sinate, General Manager at EXIM Bank and chairman of our BMCF. He got the whole congregation hooked to the message of Christmas right from the beginning as he began with an anecdote, “God gave us his only Son to die for our sins. I, on the other hand, have four sons. No way would I even part with one to die for your sins!” bringing everyone to laughter. Our BMCF secretary Lalmalsawma Pachuau, IRS and a recent father, too did a great job of planning the whole event together.
Below are the three of them on the dais. Pic source: Kuri Chongthu.
After the Church service, we had a brief break and some of us met outside, catching up on old times.
Great time was spent outside. It was nice to see entrepreneur Mali visiting Mumbai again after a long time. Christmas came early for Johnny I guess ;-) The Powai gang Mapuia and Dee Knyte too turned up in spite of the fact that no beer was served at YMCA. Good to meet Katie, who turned out to be my friend’s cousin. Coming from Nashik, she was suddenly this expert on grape and wine, lecturing us on the differences between Sauvignon blanc and Zawlaidi :D
Meanwhile TBC as usual kept reminding all of us for the millionth time that he’s now a married man with a wife who got married recently to him hence making her his wife and he is now a husband with a wife and his wife is his wife who he married and wife this and wife that and wife wife wife wife wife everything. Sheeesh :)
A candid photo of other people taking a photo in front of YMCA.
Mali and Katie by the Christmas tree at YMCA. Probably the most popular photo spot that night.
Met a lot of other friends too. Mafaka was busy as always, running from person to person with some list. Fela kept taking photos of everything, Maliani came with her ever cheerful hubby, Maria came with her adorable Amos and Allegra. The Navy boys too turned up in good numbers, with all their muscles and biceps bulging. Augusta came with the sole intention of losing her mobile phone :P And after much investigations and IP tracing and GPS rerouting and SQL injection and other random hacking terms that doesn’t make any sense, we found out she had left her phone behind inside the loo :D
The Worli gang of Mimi, Jenny and Zoni were there too, looking pretty in their Christmas attire. Tluangi was the only person I recognized from Kalina. Was really good to see my dear friend Mami’s younger sister DP-i and her cousin Fifi at the event too. Fifi felt out of place and a bit embarrassed because she was wearing a funky leather jacket. “I didn’t know it was going to be a Church thing” she meekly told me. Yes. Who would have ever thought it was going to be a Church thing, on Christmas Day, at YMCA, conducted by the BMCF. I totally get her point :P :P
Once the tea break was over, we all went inside again. This time we spent time singing various hymns. The seating arrangement in the hall was changed into a circular formation so that everybody could face each other while singing. Apart from singing and rejoicing, there were special item numbers from the Navy male voice choir, who delivered an excellent cover of “Christmas Canon Rock” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Below are some of the photos I took, along with few pics TBC took since he was on the other side of the circle, sitting next to his wife, you know, who he married, who is now his wife, hence making him a husband, because he has a wife. The most married man ever in the history of married mankind.
Once the Praise and Worship session was over, we all proceeded to the dining area. Unfortunately, the catered food was stuck in traffic, so some of us took a walk outside YMCA, when suddenly we saw this restaurant up ahead. We stepped in and ordered some mosambi and sugarcane juice… when suddenly, OMG, they miraculously turned into rum and beer!!! A true Christmas miracle indeed!
TBC couldn’t join us because his wife wasn’t letting him. Bwahaha. He kept calling us up asking us to describe the scene there, the ambience, the music, the smell of beer, the waiter’s uniform etc :D Soon, the food arrived at YMCA and we headed back. I was a tad disappointed there were no Mizo dishes, but with the deputy resident commissioner of Mizoram House currently not in Mumbai, it was understandable. Maria did an awesome job of moving around and giving people spoonful of extremely spicy home-made saum bawl which Pi BS-i brought from home. Mizo dishes including awesome smoked pork had been planned for New Year feast instead when the deputy resident commissioner Pu Bika returns to Mumbai. Yummm looking forward to that!
Below are some of the photos I clicked…
People standing in long queues. A lot of stomachs grumbling were heard.
People making good use of the TT tables :) Would have been fun playing TT while this happened :D
Mafaka photo-bombing Lovely trying to give her best “This is how I eat on a TT table” pose.
Famous model Jessica, with retired model Maliani :)
Jenny and Mimi trying to console depressed Augusta who lost her phone in the loo :D :D
Last of all, the famous couple, TBC and his wife, you know, who he married, who is now his wife, who is married to him, hence making her his wife, because she’s his wife, all things wife. Such a lovely bride, so sad she has to spend the rest of her life with him :D :D :D :D
All in all, it was a really awesome night! Wishing everybody had a wonderful Christmas as well. Cheers.