X for X’Mas Season 2018

As we race towards the finishing line of the A2Z challenge now, I thought of touching upon a different topic related to the admission frenzy. I have often spoken about my anxiety and stress related to the process in the initial days,  especially when Tuneer faced a problem of the language or before his first interview. While Sr. T seemed unfazed on the surface, I am quite sure that I had successfully managed to pass on a bundle of my worries to him. Tuneer was trying to balance his preschool life while riding on the roller coaster wave of admissions. Just before the winter break arrived, all three of us were physically and mentally exhausted beyond the limit (kind of what most of the A2Z participants feel now).

By the time the holidays started, the kid had already faced two interviews and one rejection. We were sure that the only thing that could lift our spirits up was a family holiday. In the X post of my last year’s A2Z challenge, I had written about the way all of Kolkata comes together to celebrate Christmas in a grand way. X’mas, as the city still prefers to call Christmas is about midnight mass at St. Paul’s Cathedral, eating cake from Nahoum’s, trying out street food delicacies on Park Street and visiting Bow Barracks on December 25th. We have done all of these for the past two years and it wasn’t meant to be any different this time as well. But a desperate need for a mini break landed us at my in-laws’ house in Berhampore this December end.

The much needed break after a strenuous phase of interviews
The much-needed break at Berhampore after a strenuous phase of interviews

For the first couple of days, all we did was sleep. For Tuneer, it was a welcome break from my scoldings and continuous nagging for interview preparation. He ensured to stay away from within the range of my vision at every possible opportunity. Not that I had much of a chance in my three-storeyed traditional marital home. With the size of a house that allowed one to play hide and seek without any fear of discovery for days together and three sets of grandparents willing to be his saviors (the Banerjee family happens to be one of the remaining few joint families in the town), he had found his escape route. 

Sr. T and I had often told the boy stories from our childhood. He had heard about picnics that were mostly planned during the period from Christmas to New Year. Now that we had come back to our native in the same season, he wanted to attend a picnic and insisted that it should be the one that served pooris for breakfast. Instead of brushing away his desire for some other time, we thought of discussing it with our friends residing in the town. Though most of our outstation friends were not in a position to return back to their native for a mere couple of days, we decided to execute the plan with those who were available and sold on this idea.

Going round and round on the picnic spot
KIds walking around the picnic spot

X’mas 2018 was not just about eating cakes or visiting the church adjacent to my Convent school. It was about a group of grown-ups trying to recreate the magic of childhood fun for their own or their friends’ kids. The age of these most important members of the picnic ranged between three to eight years. Their life situations varied from attending interviews to facing term examinations in a couple of weeks’ time. They ate poori-sabji together, played with each other, walked round and round the picnic spot for hours holding each other’s hands and returned home delighted after eating the best ever picnic lunch. My introvert son was probably the happiest to have found a feeling of togetherness with his new Dadas and Didis.

The biggest attraction of the picnic was the delcious food
The biggest attraction of the picnic was the delicious food

We had an equally eventful celebration on the first day of the new year in Berhampore. The boy spent half of the day jumping around with joy in Barrack square, the same field which saw his father’s misadventures in playing football but a decent tenure in the game of cricket. Tuneer and his cousin brother managed to pull out half of the grass on that field in an attempt to fill our clothes and pockets with grass and mud. The mother in me wanted to stop the child from playing with dirt or run in the sun for such a long duration. But the child in me couldn’t resist but giggle at the recollection of my own childhood debacles.

Runnng with the grass to attack me after his cousin brother finished spraying grass on Sr. T
Running with the grass in his hand to attack me after his cousin brother finished spraying grass on Sr. T

We had scheduled our return journey to Kolkata on the very next day. The happiness quotient had surpassed any tension related to admissions. While viral infection turned out to be our constant companion for the first quarter, the spirit of survival came from the positive energy drawn from family and friends in December. If we hadn’t decided to pause life and internalize mindfulness at that point, I doubt if I could have ever mustered the courage to write a series on one of the most strenuous phases of my life with a pinch of humor today.

I hope you enjoyed reading about the positive impact of taking a breather in life even during a critical phase like school admissions. I will be back with my second last post in this series on Monday. You can catch up on all the posts in this series here. Have a great weekend.

Author: Sonia Chatterjee

Who am I? An Ex-Banker turned Blogger/Writer/Solopreneur. Any qualifications? A Postgraduate degree in Chemistry followed by Post Graduate Diploma in Management. I am still trying to figure out how and when I can connect all these dots to what I do presently. Have I done any real work? If two years in Market Research and six years in Banking (three different Banks though) as Branch Head can be considered as real work. Where do I live? After a nomadic sixteen years in Delhi, Bangalore & Mysore, I am back to where it all started from - Kolkata. My favorite things - Food, travel, books and my three and half-year-old toddler son What is this blog about? Sonia's musings is an attempt to channelize emotions through words and pictures hoping they touch a chord with my visitors.

25 thoughts on “X for X’Mas Season 2018”

  1. So nice to hear that you finally found time to de-stress.. ‘Xmas is enjoyable only if it comes once a year’, though!! 🙂 And lovely to read about joint families too – my in-laws families also belong to one…

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  2. I guess you all really needed that holiday, along with a break from each other as well! We never really realise that kids get stressed too, and have no other way to show it other than geting cranky/stubborn/teary . Tuneer got his Poori’s and you got your break. All’s well that ends well!

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  3. I hear you Sonia! Travel is my answer to all of life’s problems, much to the chagrin of my husband! Thankfully, my son also loves travel as much as I do. Loved reading about your family vacation- it’s always the simple things that really stand out.

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  4. Where would we be without travel, its pause from the everyday tension. Glad Tuneer got to gel with people over pooris, takes me back to the picnics we used to have as kids. It always used to be about packed lunch, lots of people and for today, a lot of memories. Looking forward to the next post.

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  5. I intend to take a breather – maybe for one day? – at the end of this A2Zchallenge, before devoting the same amount of time spent writing during April on my neglected Book 5 of my historical series. Oh, but I forgot! Tuesday through Thursdays are grandma days for me, so I might use them as a breather of sorts? Just kidding when it’s a 5 and a 7 year old to mind! Glad your break eventually led to renewed vigour and you got to be virus free. It’s also fabulous to meet up with old friends and family in the company of your son because he will probably remember the bonding even if he doesn’t presently recall names properly.

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  6. Good to see the little one having a break from Mom’s scoldings and nagging 😉
    Seriously, I went back to my son’s admission days after reading your posts:)

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  7. A visit to the native is always special. The pics show just how much fun Tuneer had at the picnic. He, and you, did deserve a good break after going through the admission grind. I do hope he gets to spend more such moments in future too. 🙂

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  8. Wonderful post. I remember when we were in school how desperately we used to wait for the christmas holidays after the summer vacations. It is extremely important to keep taking breaks. Its therapeutic.
    #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia

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  9. It is good that for a change you went to your native – the feel of our ancestral house and the place is something we all miss while living in Metro. Glad that you let Tuneer play in dirt and sun for long and have let the child in him thrive. You are right the positive energy dawn from family and friends is powerful. Lovely post.
    Read my X post here XYST

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  10. What a breath of fresh air for the whole family, and especially for your son! I could feel his sense of freedom there as you described it. These are the memories he will hold dear, and so will you.

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  11. What beautiful memories! I could feel the happiness and the air of celebration that must have accompanied that Christmas. It is indeed imperative to take breathers ever so often. 🙂

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  12. He looks so happy with his tiny fists stuffed with grass! 😀
    The innocent joys of childhood! I am glad you didn’t stop him! 🙂
    You are right, such breathers can be very helpful when we are going through tough times!

    Find my X post @ 5 Must-Watch English Movies Set In Foreign Countries That Xenophiles Will Love

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