December 27, 2008

Dreaming of a Christmas Zone in Chennai . . .

San Thome did come alive this season. Though in parts.
I took a walk in the Leith Castle area on Christmas evening to share time with a few friends and was greeted by scores of lit stars and twinkling decorative bulbs hung on the branches of trees.
Leith Castle is a quiet area of independent houses, gardens and free streets.
I was tempted to call Francis Lazarus, ask him to collect a bunch of singers and request a concert at the end of Leith Castle Centre Street!
If Mumbai's East Indian community could do it why couldn't we?
On the Saturday before Christmas day, the community in Bandra closes St. Anthony's Lane, puts up a stage, fills the lane with chairs and invites local musicians to perform here.
Professionals, amateurs, kids, bands . . . all of them take turns to turn on the festival spirit.
And this year, they even composed a special carol for Mumbai. And when a well wisher got to hear of the new song which did the rounds on MP3, he volunteered to produce a music video in all of 24 hours.
I am convinced now that San Thome will get a life next Christmas.
Dr. Boaz at the St. Thomas by the Sea Church (yes, the St. Thomas English Church) has promised to link up with the youth groups to plan for December 2009.
And octogenarian Vincent who is always in the thick of events and festivities and will fly out to Australia this weekend would do his best to get us some free tickets to Hong Kong for a lucky draw.
I am most encouraged with what our auto rickshaw drivers of San Thome created - a simple crib at the end of the lane where they have an auto stand.
If we can network the schools and convents, parishes and stores, colonies and auto stands, San Thome will be different.
If you have ideas, drop them off at my blog please.

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