“Dim dawn behind the tamarisks—the sky is saffron-yellow—
As the women in the village grind the corn,
And the parrots seek the river-side, each calling to his fellow
That the Day, the staring Eastern Day is born.
Oh the white dust on the highway!
Oh the stenches in the byway!
Oh the clammy fog that hovers over earth!
And at Home they ’re making merry ’neath the white and scarlet berry—
What part have India’s exiles in their mirth?” –Kipling, Christmas in India (excerpt)
We’re about to make some mirth over here! Poor Rudyard was rather depressed about Christmas in India, but we’re excited for it!!! Indeed, he nailed the dust, (sometimes) stench and parrots. But with brooms, fresh fragrant jasmine & tuberose and parrots safe & secure in my neighbour’s aviary perhaps our holiday is not quite what Kipling had in mind. Bangalore is fog-free (alas, Delhi remains blanketed in fog) and perfectly pleasant weather — Kipling should have spent Xmas here!
We’re off to Christmas brunch at Bangalore’s oldest hotel, the Taj West End — N loves the British Raj history there and it was his first pick for an (ahem) “proper” holiday meal.
PS — The photo is indeed our Christmas tree, a Norfolk Island Pine that doubles as a regular house plant when it’s not decorated with garlands of hand-made glass beads and a sorry string of fairy lights that I’m pretty sure UL didn’t approve… It looks very Dr. Suess-esque and I love it. No Charlie Brown Xmas tree comments, please.