December 07, 2007

Christmastime in Chennai

Be it a Blackberry, a diary or a pocket notebook, you may need to fill in your calendar more often in December.
That is if you are an 'outdoor' person. A person who loves to go to a concert, join a heritage walk or dine out on the East Coast Road.
I maintain two columns in my diary.
One is for the December Season of music and dance. The other is for Christmas celebrations.
And I make time for the latter. For obvious reasons.
The best thing about Christmas is the music.
One single note can signal this season. And if you haven't been to a carol concert, I request you to go for just one.
This weekend, I will have to be at St. Marys at the Fort.
I have to be.
Last year, we zipped across the city, fought the traffic on the Marina and leapt into the nothingness of the fort on a holiday weekend. Only to hear the fading notes of the last carol.
The sound of music at St. Marys is heavenly.
Whenver we take people on our heritage walks around the Fort, the lucky ones get to listen to the music of the organ as the choir prepares for Sunday Service. It is the biggest bonus for the walkers. And I suggest to them that they be on another Sunday.
If the Fort is too distant for you, you should check out the MCC's show at the MCC School in Chetput this week.
5000 people gather in front of the giant, decorated stage to listen to over a dozen groups perform on two evenings.
Someone should ask the Southern Railways to suspend operations on the Egmore-Nungambakkam rail section for those hours! And leave us all to soak in the carols.
The tradition of choir groups visiting homes after dusk and past midnight and singing in the drawing rooms has waned.
It had a Santa Claus magic to it. Today, the kids meet Santa in the malls.
I must make one entry in my diary now. A visit to Deepak's apartment in Mandavelipakkam.
Every year, this young man, working for a BPO, presents a sound and light show on the birth of Jesus in his drawing room.
Deepak recorded a Thamizh sound track a few years ago, in addition to the English, to help his neighbours enjoy the story.
For his effort, this time around, I should sing a Christmas carol for Deepak's family.


Kamini said...

Thanks for all these wonderful suggestions. I remember being enchanted by the divine organ music at St. Mary's during my heritage tour of the Fort.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and happy holiday season,

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. D:

Indeed very kind of you to want to do your 2-penny bit for Deepak and his show. However, in the best interests of the family, may I suggest informing or more likely, 'warning' them about your desire to perform, since its most likely that on hearing you, Deepak will vow never to have anything to do with C'mas, sound, light, and show.

IT's the thought that counts they say, and while one does appreciate this gesture, in the best interests of the family and neighbourhood, we must ask you to refrain kind sir.

"PEACE on earth, GOODWILL to men" should be taken very literally this once.

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