Every year, I update my blog about how I spent Christmas, ever since I started blogging back in 2004. And almost every year, the location is different, from Bangalore to Aizawl to Mumbai to Delhi to Hyderabad to Pune and so on.
Though the locations were different, it was always filled with the usual fun and gaiety, the merry making of Christmas fever. A time to rejoice and celebrate. A joyeux noel amidst a silent night.
This year though, it was the most silent night of all Christmases, due to the ongoing CoVid-19 pandemic. No Church activities, no large gatherings, no fellowship conventions, not even group carolling, it was indeed a very different Christmas.
As for me, our family decided to spend Christmas at our farm in Neihbawih.
As most of you may know by now, I've been living at our farm for almost 3 months now. We've been repairing and renovating our old and derelict farmhouse, as well as trying out new plantations (I'll update my blog on those soon).
Since our farm is secluded and remote, quite distant from even the main parts of Neihbawih, it is the perfect place to hide from the ongoing pandemic. A safe haven to escape the invisible covid virus, or a zombie apocalypse :P
Every morning, I'm welcomed by this breathtaking view of the surrounding hills of Neihbawih. The 24th of December 2020 was no different.
Small clusters of clouds filled the sky, as if to entertain us mortals because Mother Nature knew we had been held in captivity since March this year. It was as if She was beckoning us, "Your Churches may be silent this year, but hope I can help by at least giving you a view to appreciate".
And I really did appreciate the view from our farm.
My sister and niece, along with our spoilt doggo Snowy too came over to our farm to spend Christmas with us.
Snowy reallyyyyy loved the farm. He had never seen so much greenery in his entire life. He was more captivated with the scenic beauty than us! :D
He ran all over the place, peeing here and there to mark his territory. He even picked a fight with our two farm dogs who were 10 times his size. Fortunately for him, they weren't threatened by his puny presence. While Snowy takes more than 30 minutes to chew a chicken leg piece, these two dogs can bite it in half and swallow it in less than 3 seconds, so yeah, lucky for him they didn't retaliate! :D
It sure was good to eat with my family again.
Our neighbouring farm kids were planning to construct a thlâm or bûk for 24th night, also known as Urlawk zân in Mizo. It is a special night to be spent with friends and family to welcome Christmas.
They constructed it very well, considering they were all younger than 10, but after living here for 3 months, nothing surprised me anymore. These farm kids could dig holes or chop wood much faster than any of us city folks.
The view from their makeshift hut was beautiful as well.
See how engrossed they were in their various assigned tasks. :D
I headed back to our farm as it was getting dark. My sister had made this delicious Chicken roast for our Christmas Eve dinner.
Yummm, my plate. :)
Once we were all done with our wonderful dinner, I made a bonfire outside. I had collected the firewood earlier, which consisted mostly of wooden planks that were no longer usable as "cement holder" for our ongoing construction work. They burnt really well.
A bonfire not only serves as a great source of heat (Neihbawih is freakinggg cold, especially at the peak of the hill where our farm is situated), but it is also a convenient method to dispose our garbage.
Being so far away from civilization, we don't have a proper garbage disposal system here, nor are there any garbage trucks servicing in the region, and we can't just pollute the pristine nature around our farm by dumping our garbage over the hills. And so, burning them up was the most efficient solution.
Everybody was mesmerised by the raging fire.
Soon, it was time to head back inside our farmhouse. I played a few more Christmas carols from my music library. Everybody cosily got ready to sleep on their respective beds, including Snowy. :D
And that was how we spent Christmas Eve at the farm.
The next day, Christmas Day, I woke up early to greet the sun. The moon was still around, as if she was refusing to budge.
It was a clear blue sky on Christmas, unlike the previous day where small patches of clouds, also known as Cirrocumulus clouds filled the sky.
I got ready and changed into my Christmas suit. :D Posed for a few pics with my sis.
The Neih-boy. :D
We had a family prayer service just before breakfast, where mom delivered a long (but good) Christmas sermon. We ended our Chhûng Inkhawm with The Lord's Prayer.
My cab arrived at our farm soon after that.
Oh yes, I booked a cab, because our driver was on holiday due to the festive occasion. And since it was Christmas, I had to book it wayyy in advance to make sure I got that cab. And it was super important that I get my cab because on such a special day, one must be with the one they love too, apart from one's own family, to cherish the day together. Lovers' rule 101.
"The beatings of two hearts remain close even if one heart is in Neihbawih while the other is in Aizawl." - Nelson Mandela, 2014.
I hired my cab from "TBC Car Rental" as it was a company I could trust. If you're in the city and your cab cancelled in the last minute, you could easily get another cab, but as I was staying in some far-flung deserted place outside the city, there was no way I would get another cab, especially on Christmas Day. "TBC Car Rental" kept their promise.
You can call Chhana on the phone number above if you're ever in Mizoram. Their fleet regularly handles all VIP entourage coming to Mizoram, like the recent CJI visit earlier this week.
Their usual rate is around ₹ 3500 for 80 KM or 8 hours outside the city and around ₹ 2000 for 5 hours within Aizawl. The rates may vary a bit as it also depends on the type of vehicle. Also, my rate that day was a bit different as it was Christmas.
We took just 30 minutes to reach Aizawl from Neihbawih, which was the fastest I had ever travelled between the two places as normally it would take us an hour to reach home. Not that my driver was driving fast but because there wasn't a single vehicle on the road! In fact I was starting to panic a bit and I had to ask my friends and cousins if a curfew was declared in AMC area or not that day, lolz.
Dropped in at home quickly to check up on things. I laughed at our Christmas tree because my sister and nieces spent so much time decorating it, only to spend Christmas at our farmhouse. I took a photo next to it so that their hard work wouldn't be in vain.
I proceeded towards my girlfriend's house, but not before taking a slight detour to collect the Christmas Cheesecake I had ordered.
I placed the order from Aremi, who is Zorema's girlfriend, and together they bake super delicious cakes.
In case you want to order New Year's cake in Aizawl, you can still do so, just call up the two phone numbers below. But do hurry as there is quite a rush.
Finally, I reached my destination, and my Christmas was complete. :)
The journey was long, but it was worth it. Now I know how the 3 wise men felt when they travelled for many miles and finally reached the manger in Bethlehem. Ehh. :D
After staying for so long at our farm hanging out with different farm animals, I kinda forgot how to be in a proper relationship again. Like, what do I do when I meet her, do I hug her or do I feed her? I decided to do the latter, and fortunately for me, she's a vet, so she understood my dilemma and complied. :D
She got me this wonderful Christmas present and I love it sooo much!
I don't want to make a Hugo deal out of it, but it was enough to Boss me around. :)
Once we had our fill, it was our own private time, though initially it wasn't very private. :D
And so this is Christmas. :) :) :)
Time flew by so fast when you're in the arms of your loved one. We talked about a great many things, which of course I won't be mentioning on my blog :P Let's just say, I was lamer than my usual self, because she can bring out the lamest in me. Newton's Third Law. Every lame action has an equal and opposite lame reaction. :D
She had ordered pizza and we enjoyed it thoroughly. I guess we can say, "Cut my life into piz-za, this is my last rapport, dedication, no pleading..." :)
Merry Christmas to you all, from Neihbawih farmer Kima, and neih-boy amour Lalani. :)
Sadly, it was soon time for me to leave, as I had to get back to our farm because we had invited important people for dinner, and it was crucial for me to be present. We bid our sad farewells, and though we both wanted to spend more time together, we were also mature enough to know our responsibilities.
I reached home, where my other sister and nieces were waiting for me.
Together, we all went back to our farm in the cab I had hired.
Yay, family group photo at Neihbawih.
My nieces too were looking for that perfect pic to upload to their instant garam, or insta graph, or insta something app that these youngsters use today. They call it IG or Ai-Ji, or something like that.
Soon our dinner guests arrived. They were the bigshots of Neihbawih, who had known my dad since he bought our farmland decades ago.
We reminisced about the past, back when we used to have many cows, pigs and hens at our farm, and how I used to come to Neihbawih along with our "Milk truck" to collect many cans of milk every morning and transport them back to Aizawl for distribution. Maybe I was around 5 or 6 years old back then. Ahhh memories.
My Christmas dinner. :)
After all the guests had left, it was soon dark, and I made another bonfire again.
And that was how I spent Christmas this year. Hectic but worthwhile. And like I mentioned in the beginning of this post, it was indeed a very different Christmas.
Now I am sitting here at our farm, freezing from the cold as I type this blog update. I'm like...
I'll end my post here. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as well, and do let me know how you celebrated this wonderful day. See you again on my next post, which will most probably be next year as it takes a lot of time to update from the farm (no proper internet or electricity). So until then, take care and God bless.