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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Chp 699. Christmas and NY at home

As January is about to end, I want to quickly update my blog with my Christmas and New Year's Eves experience during my recent vacation in Mizoram, before that topic gets too stale to write about, lolz. (Who writes about Christmas in February ritteee? :P )

Every time I go home for my winter vacations, I always look forward to catching up with friends and partying during Christmas and New Year. It is the perfect time to hang out with your old pals and let your hair down, with the mesmerizing smell of celebration and relaxation lingering in the air, the festive mood everybody is in, friends living in Mizoram having a week-long holiday, friends working outside Mizoram coming back home as well, along with various get-togethers and parties conducted every night.

But this time, things were a bit different for me.

I think for the first time in many years, I spent both Christmas and New Year's Eves with my family :)

I would like to convince myself that it was because I had finally grown up and became an adult who had set his priorities right… but then my sisters assured me that it was only because I was single and had nobody to spend the occasions with. Daymmm, what a let-down.

Anyhoo, it was amazing spending Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve with my loving family at home.

On Christmas Eve, my sister Dinpuii baked this big fat juicy chicken.

We also baked potatoes with sausages as well…

The chicken came out really well…

Some of our guests bought food too - homemade pizzas.

My main job that night was to light up the "sikri", our Mizo traditional charcoal urrmmm… fire tin? Charcoal heater? It's pretty much like a brazier, and although the name is derived from the Hindi word "sigri", we don't use it for cooking, we use it only to keep ourselves warm.

Funny incident though, I screwed up and didn't realize we were out of charcoal until the last minute! And since it was the eve of 24th December, none of the shops near our house were open. So we quickly sent a message out to all our guests that the night's party was "BYOC" - Bring Your Own Charcoal. Lolz.

Eventually, once we had enough charcoal, I think I did a pretty good job lighting up the sikri (it takes a lot of patience and dedication, not to mention swinging it back and forth for the umpteenth time to get a good ember burning on…)

Our guests, the chimawm cousins Jerusha, Biteii and Evangeline. They used to blog too, once upon a blue moon, but I guess not being able to find any suitors discouraged them from further blogging :D :P They had been very close friends of mine for a long time and it was indeed great to meet them again after all these years.

Utsav and Nancy also joined us as we gave him a good taste of Mizoram hospitality. Some of you might remember them from my Wedding in Goa - part 1, Wedding in Goa - part 2 and Mysore Adventures - part 1 + 2 blog posts.

My niece Nancy and cousin BTi as usual were at it with their selfies and Instagram story-worthy pics…

Nancy and Utsav…

Meanwhile, some of cousin BTi's friends arrived, including the famous Manoa Ralte. Very funny chap indeed, he made everybody else laugh too.

My brother-in-law Nick's birthday also falls on 25th December so at midnight, we brought out the cake…

Cute cake indeed. Though Nick is a web designer/developer by profession, he is a photographer by passion, hence the customized cake.

Cake cutting time…

It was super yummm. The cake was personally baked by Margaret Kimteii from Durtlang. She works at Vety college but in her free time, she takes orders for cakes as cooking is her hobby and passion. Her cakes are not only delicious, her rates are cheaper than other bakeries as well.

The girls taking a selfie…

Me taking a selfie of the girls taking a selfie :D

Meanwhile my niece Tomi too invited some of her friends from our neighborhood so she wouldn't feel left out, and they had a great time inside the house watching K-Pop and stuff…

We ended the party around 2 in the morning. Here are two pics I took of the view from our balcony before the night's mist covered the entire valley…

For Christmas, Nick and Mazam got these "Christmas Crackers", also known as "bon-bons", from Australia, and we had great fun pulling them apart as they broke with a loud bang. I always ended up grabbing the shorter side :(

Inside each Christmas cracker, there was one candy, a paper crown, and an extremely corny joke that we all loved (jokes such as, "What do Santa's little helpers learn at school? The elf-abet!")

For New Year’s Eve celebration, we decided to have it at our next-door cousin Mash's place. Our family colony consists of four buildings situated next to each other, and sometimes it feels like we're all living in one big house together.

My sister made two cocktails, one vodka-based and the other rum-based.

Just us, having a good time on Mash's terrace. Parents were strictly forbidden from joining the party :D

We made a bonfire to keep us warm from the bitter cold Mizoram winter winds. 

Soon it was Sky Lantern time. We learnt the next day that the government or YMA had banned this stuff in the last minute, but we didn't know about it that night…

Evidently, many others too didn't know about the ban as the sky was soon filled with Sky Lanterns… (not showing very clearly on my phone though)

And then at 12 O’clock, the fireworks came…

Fireworks like crackers and rockets are banned in Mizoram, since many years ago. But on New Year night, there are always a couple of expensive ones lighting up the sky. And every year, this trend seems to be increasing. Although it is an awesome and magnificent sight to look at, it is noise and environment pollution at the end of the day. But looking from the way the authorities are not taking any action, let's just say this is one of those many occasions in our society when people look the other way.

We on the other hand, broke the law on a smaller degree as we burnt only fountains/flowerpots, sparklers and ground chakras, unlike those criminals bursting rockets and crackers :D (a sarcastic jibe at our community where a person tends to judge another person just because his sin is "lesser" than the other's. Wow what a metaphor indeed sirji :P )

Soon, we walked back to our house as the party ended. One last look at the first moon of 2018 from the road… Beautiful!

And so that was it… a truly memorable Christmas and New Year's Eves spent with my family. Off to Bangalore now, will update again in the next couple of days. Cheers everyone…