By Faiza Khan
What do holidays remind you of? In my opinion, mostly it is a time tinged in hues of bitter sweet nostalgia for some and cherished memories for others. All in all, the advent of the holiday season the world over tends to predict the mood for the next year and how the prevailing year ends, a bit like that book "Sense of an Ending" by Julian Barnes which by the way is an interesting read!
I remember holidays spent travelling to my grandparents house in a tiny city in Punjab. My father's parents passed away when he was just a toddler so we only had one set of grandparents and we used to have a whale of a time exploring the little city and discovering new bits of mischief. One of the tenants of my grandparents was an old bachelor who sold bangles in the local market and would always get a beautiful set for me every now and then. My brothers and my younger cousins would climb to the roof terrace and throw pebbles down on him when he was cooking his dinner in old earthenware on the wooden stove. He would shout expletives in Punjabi at them that they would find hilarious until they repeated them in front of my mother who then taught them a thing or two about linguistics.
The earthenware and the wooden stove reminds of another amusing story that involved me too, but not in the manner of mischief one would assume. I was born in my grandparents' house delivered by a midwife on one very cold December morning after an arduous labour and unfortunately emerged the colour of bright blue skies! Clearly not expecting a cerulean baby, the midwife with her adroitness smacked my cold blueberry bottom and still failed to elicit any sign of life. Not wanting to panic my poor mother who certainly deserved at least a meow if not a howl from her first born, she then placed me on a pan on the wooden stove! Yes, you read that correctly. She put me on the pan!
I must have asked details of this story a hundred times from my mother who would always fail to elaborate on exactly how I was thawed enough to start screaming blue murder. I find it quite intriguing that the phrase matches the 'pre-heated' me! I always blamed my mother for not 'cooking' me well enough, so that I needed to be smacked and fried before being declared fit for human handling!
So for me, the holiday season is a resounding reminder of my advent into this world. So what if a tad blue! My mother used to fondly remember that I was her very own blueberry pie, served with cuddles and squeals.