We like to leave out Ashis because he hates going inside shops- ( he's much better at window shopping or walking past them in his 7 league boots ) .
Saturday, the 24 th as such was remarkable for 2 reasons - 1) because Tani walked it from New Market to Flury's ( an achievement for a lazybones like her )& 2 )Tupu declined my offer of a Breezer on the plea that alcohol did not agree with her ( now I am worried as to how much alcohol she has had to form this assessment of non tolerance)
. Our plan to eat at Flury's was ruled out by the security guard who said there was no space inside . The second door had a short- ish queue before it ..much like the Ananda Publications stall at the book fair and Sree Leathers during the pujas - the queue was mostly made up of worried looking young girls , middle aged men and some harassed looking women muffled up in heavy duty shawls ( probably out during the lunch break ) all presumably looking for "Christmas cake"...
Nahoum's interestingly had a different profile - harried old men (doting grandfathers maybe , or husbands in their dotage or merely old diabetics greedy for illicit sugar ), babus from Writers Building, some didimonis too ( with multi hued umbrella and rexin bag clamped under one lelbow leaving the other free to wave in the air calling for attention ) and one fat determined lady(not me ) all yelling for Christmas Cake .
Anyway we ate a few doors down at One Step Up ..--Lunch was not bad although Tupu and Tani probably got tired waiting for their food to come ( each had an exotic order , both delicious as we found out later - sometimes I am expected to replicate the stuff at home ) and ate up a lot of mine .The upshot was no cake from Flury's ( although we did manage a dark plum cake and a light one from Nahoum's )and more pairs of cheap slippers from NM than the girls will have use for
The girls are grown up ,so synthetic little trees and much ado with gilt balls ,and bells , tinsel paper chains , and little lights and socks being hung up ... is out for us now ...Santa once bought a whole set of Roald Dahls for Tupu ,which Ma and baba had also hankered after!! Beyblades were hot this year , I hear from parents like Shekhar whose Chintu still gets visited by Santa ( Chintu is a heavy smart kid who still believes in Santa ..)
When I was a kid in Jamshedpur , Christmas eves used to be chilly , frosty and windy and Santa a huge shadow , amongst the shadows of the trees on the bedroom wall ( my mother being a fresh air fetishist used to keep one window open in winter also) and you had to screw your eyes shut because if you saw him he'd go away ; it also meant going with Baba to Kwality's in the evening for a treat , I got to choose 4 cakes to bring back home and that was unbearable agony for a four year old ( now I let the girls buy as many of whatever ( within limits )..I know it's bad for their value system and discipline),then on to the soda fountain at Meghanis for a soda pop and once I remember black and white bull's eyes, dark green and white striped mints and red and white candy canes -, a woollen cloche with a pompom at the end on my head and a black woolen coat - oh that was a joyful Christmas . I still have the gilt ballerina brooch Santa gave me .. one Christmas eve - I wonder how Santa knew I 'd pore over the Degas reproductions in my Arthur Mee encyclopaedia ? Well, mothers have eyes at the back of their heads ( I do too )