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‘Tis the season

‘Tis the season

Since Christmas is round the corner and I’ve always been a big Christmas fan, I think it’s appropriate that I write a column about Christmas elements in literature. Never mind that an Indian Christmas, the season where there isn’t quite an inch of snow on the ground and stockings by a fireplace, didn’t quite match up, culturally and contextually to the Christmases I read and enjoyed as a girl.

All the Christmases I read about as a little girl were a far cry from the Christmasses I had at home in my third floor apartment with friendly neighbours asking if they could help with the tree. That didn’t make me love them (the books I mean, not the neighbours) any less. There was the Little House series for starters. Pa Ingalls would more often than not go out and shoot the meat the family would eat for Christmas Dinner and there was always things like doughnuts, sour dough biscuits and gravy going around not to mention an obscenely large fire. Of course there wasn’t too much of an emphasis of Christmas presents, so real life won there. Owing to difficult conditions (of the wild wolves right outside your front door variety) the Ingalls made do with knitted socks or a new handkerchief or something. Boring. The only book in the series that made any kind of Christmas sense was Farmer Boy (Lots of cousins and aunts coming over. Yeah, Indian Christmases are all about chaotic, loud extended family and your older cousin slyly stealing your share of cake and fudge.)


Another writer for whom Christmas was a big ass deal was Louisa May Alcott. Little Women opens with the line “Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” and in Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom there is at least a chapter or two dedicated to the preparation of and the actual day in this season of love and goodwill. Of course, in true Alcott style there was always room for a little preachiness. Somehow I couldn’t stand that books like Rose in Bloom had all the answers. Trust me I’m the last person on earth to diss Loiusa May Alcott (she’s awesome) but at some point it was alright, we get it- Christmas is about giving, sharing and loving thy neighbour, we get it- can we have some more cake now please.

Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is an absolute dream to read. Right from the characters (Go Tiny Tim) to the narration and even the kind of hilarious future pop culture love they inspired (Eric Cartman quotes from the book in Starvin Marvin), the book is start to finish, a Christmas treat. I love the detail that Dickens goes into. Even today I remember reading about Bob Cratchit’s scarf was extra long so that he had to wrap it around his neck or that Marley had chains and padlocks wrapped all around him for eternity. I mean, come on, that is the stuff.

There was also short fiction that specifically dealt with aaaaaw Christmas messages and you probably read them in a big, bound volume that your grand aunt gave you. The Gift of the magi, was one I remember and of course The Little Match Girl. The best part about Christmas is without a doubt the food, the presents and the family and though I specifically felt short changed in terms of Christmas context, I still loved and continue to love reading books that celebrate the season. God bless us, everyone.


Lucy Lawless is Ron Swanson’s new love interest and other stories

Lucy Lawless is Ron Swanson’s new love interest and other stories

We’re changing it up, guys. That’s right. Instead of a tribute apiece every week, Sharanya and I will be doing an incredibly cool round up of what’s been making news the past week, what amazing thing the internet has thrown up and just other things that made us squeal with delight or weep in abject despair. Don’t worry. We’ll still write tributes to our heroes (and trust me, we’ve not even made a dent in the barrel of guys we love), but we’ll just write them as columns. Send us what you think of the new format. Or just continue loving us and sharing our stuff and generally making us feel cool about ourselves.

Exactly one month from now NBC’S Parks and Recreation will return to your television screens- err your laptop. Savour the feel of that for a moment. Are you doing it? Yeah? Okay! Ah Parks and Rec. The super enthusiastic Leslie Knope. The ever-cheerful Chris Tregar. Tom Haverford and his over exfoliated hands. And Ron Swanson. If there’s anyone who I’m dying to meet again it’s the all-male rock star who gave us the Swanson pyramid of greatness, hates government and is so awesomely manly that his toenails have to be sanded down (too strong for clippers). Which is why, I was super kicked to hear that Xena – The Warrier freaking princess, Lucy Lawless is going be Ron’s love interest in the next season. Though the two Tammys made for some fun times, it’s time to move on. Ron needs an all-woman ass kicker. And I have high expectations for the season, you guys. Will Donna Meagle become more than just her Benz? Will Tom and Ann last or will they be Dun-zo? Will they give Jean Ralphio more screen time? High expectations. Really high.

Two words. Pussy Riot. Either you just said, “I knoooooow, that’s terrible.” Or you just shrugged. Or you Googled. I feel the same way. I haven’t listened to their music and I haven’t seen any of their videos, but this is just way canned. Is George Orwell, looking smugly down on all of us? Is someone keeping track over how slowly, so many governing bodies are quietly extinguishing basic human rights?

So, we know that Harry Potter is probably the greatest thing that ever happened to me when I was in my teens. Well, him and the fact that we got an internet connection at home when I was 14. But you know, what do I know? My fan girl-ness extends to gushy blog posts and willing “Accio Maggi cup noodles” to work when I’m too lazy to get dinner. This, right here, is the real deal. As the story suggests, you will either love this table instantly and or you’ll brush it off, and judge people who like it. I’m in the first category. Really. Why don’t fans do fun things like this more often, instead of writing lame best selling BDSM novels? Oh the fame and glory thing. Right.

Sidin Vadukut’s column on the Olympics, is the greatest thing about the games apart from the actual games, cough circus cough, themselves. Yes, it beats Michelle Jeneke’s dance warm up. And by a very small margin, Mary Kom.

What is UP with Star World’s promotions for Grey’s Anatomy? What would Meredith do? Seriously? Seems to me, whatever rubbish is going on in my life, I would always strive to do the exact opposite of whatever Meredith would. I stopped watching Greys Anatomy when every character in the show had at some point or another slept with the other. I don’t ever want it suggested that weepy, annoying Meredith Grey and I may have something in common. Please. Don’t. My life is sad enough as it is.

So apparently, Sarah Palin was a Little House fan when she was a kid. This article uses Palin as a start off point to delve once again into who actually wrote those stories of the pioneering Ingalls family (So, Rose Lane rewrote her mother’s diaries. Big deal). I actually found the story interesting because of the new things I found out. Thing number one; Lane and Ayn Rand were friends? WHUT? Somehow it’s hard to find a connect between Atlas Shrugged and the fact that Pa shot a Christmas turkey about the size of a small cow. Thing number two? Lane was part of the Parisian Jazz age of the twenties. From a farm in Missourie. Talk about taking “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore,” to the next level.


– Sheena


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