Nov 29, 2011

Christmas away from home... Again!

We're entering December this week! And I'll welcome December with a very bad cold, sneezing and a low humming in my ears. I'm all excited and not so excited.. all at the same time! I've decided this year that I will be spending another Christmas away from home! This will be the fifth Christmas I spend away from home and I have quite a mixed feeling about this one!

The other four times I was away for Christmas was, once when I was in my secondary school in Chennai when I didn't have a winter holiday and, thrice after research when I felt going home for Christmas would distract me from my work. But this time, the case is different. I could somehow blame it on my (hopeful) impending synopsis interview in the first few months of the new year but mostly it's because I'm too broke to pay for my tickets back home. My student budget allowed me a trip home only once in a year, and I've already gone home during the summer. My family would want me home, but then again, I'm but too proud to ask my dad to pay for my tickets. Pride - it has always been my biggest vice, especially when it comes to asking for money. 

After the 15th of December, only two of the Mizo students will be left in campus - The 'often misquoted' Zara and I.  We've already decided that we'd team up during the holidays but we haven't decided on what we'd do yet. We said that we'd start by picking each other up for church. But with the Delhi temperature furiously dipping, I highly doubt if I'd want to sit behind him on his 'vintage' bike on  freezing Sunday evenings.

So what do I do during the lonely month? In reality, I have a lot to do. I have to make sure that my synopsis is perfected for my interview; I have to kick start my exercise routine again (My latest visit to the doctor  confirms my ribs are healed completely) and go for a lot of Christmas Carols. Christmas in Delhi is not too bad, I have close friends here where I know I can just bunk in if Christmas or New Year's Eve ever got too lonely. In fact, when it comes to social life, I have a thriving one here in Delhi rather than back home. I guess I've been away from home long enough to kill my social life. The friends I had back in Aizawl are mostly friends from church. And after 10 years of being away, you either lost touch or you grow out of that comfort zone into the awkward zone. My friends back home, if not married, already have their own circle which I can't quite fit into after this many years of being away. So when I go home, I take part in church activities like an outsider and the very church I grew up in already treats me a like a mikhual. But inspite of all that I can't deny the fact that Christmas is best when it's spent back home.

Ah!! The struggles of a student life!! When am I ever going to stop being a student? And I realized with the line I choose, it's for a lifetime!

My roommate, an UPSC aspirant, once told me about two filthy rich sisters from her hometown who are here in the city for their UPSC coaching. The sisters, used to their luxurious life, continued living so even after moving here. They lived in a flat so grand that it is decorated with chandeliers where they have their own group of staffs to take care of them and the house. I remembered my roommate's lips pulled up to a raw smile as she said "The whole point of clearing UPSC exams, apart from the respected job, is the struggle and the success story behind it". I agreed with her. Those sisters, given they cleared the exam, I reckoned, will hardly have any success story to top the cherry.

So stealing a line or two from my roommate, the whole point of fighting for a PhD is not just the degree in itself. It's the struggle behind it; the stress and sleepless nights and the sinusitis caused by it; the innumerable hours spent at the library; the painfully small hostel room you have to live in; the missed holidays and the Christmases you have to sacrifice; the stringent budget you have to live with and most of all, the success story you get to tell your future children. I know, a few years down the line, it'll be all worth it.

So in the meantime, let me go air out that super-mini Christmas tree that a friend gifted me a few years ago. The tree, too small, that when I try decorating with even the smallest ornament I could find, it topples over. So each year, I decorate it mostly with earrings! The person who gifted me got his Doctorate, I reckoned, after a struggle too. The 'Dzuvichu tree' which reminds me that each Christmas spend away from home will be all worth it in the end! After all, Christmas is still Christmas. Be it Aizawl, Delhi or even Bethlehem!

I'm sure Lipok would've given me a much bigger tree had he known I'd draw so much inspiration and strength from it! :)


Ronald Thangeo said...

since my looong comment got deleted wid my long click..heres a short one:
Enjoyed readg as usual especialy wid d cold winter winds in the air and d Christmas feel creeping in..

and i am scratchg my head coz i dunno how much a delhi-aizwl flight costs..for a frikking SRF holder..guess some ppl dont fly economy..;)

and hey,i need to b frens wid d strugglers wid chandeliers:) get me der contacts,,lol

and aaawww,the Christmas tree,i was there wen it was purchased!!!:)
poof,,,still long(d comment)!!!gotta go n watch bigg

Senmami said...

SRF in theory doesn't work when you are on SUSPENDED ANIMATION. I'm sure you know what the word means!

TS Khupchong said...

Ka lung i tihlèn det chu. Kumin krismas chu kan hmang ho dial dial dawn maw tia!

Senmami said...

Haha @TS Khupchong.. Nakum lam chu kan hmang ho dial dial dawn nia!

Mizohican said...

heeh... here you are wishing when you will stop being a student... trust me, work for a couple of years and you'll wish sometimes you were just a student again. True story :)

Spending Christmas away from Home? That's kinda like my breakfast now. In fact when I went home last year for Christmas, it was the first time I was spending Christmas in Mizoram again after a continuous 10 year stretch!

Glad to know your ribs are now completely fine. And great inspiration from such a beautiful tree. Kudos on the boyfriend. :)

benjamin rualthanzauva said...

away from home since 1998

Alejendro said...

It's not fun to be a working bachelor + student + home maker.

Hna i thawk ve mahna a nga, i hre mai ang.. lu hi a hai map map zel mai nia.. :-D and this one is gonna be the 7th Christmas away from home.. like Mr. Mizohican says up there.. it's like my breakfast now.. :-D

Alejendro said...

and.. btw... I'm coming to Delhi for Christmas.. :-) will see ya..I guess??

Senmami said...

@Alejandro ... Delhi christmas...Bring it on!! :D