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Christmas is not an external event at all, it’s just a piece of one’s home that one carries in one’s heart.” – Freya Stark

As usual, the Yuletide Season began this year in Chennai with Mellow Circle’s annual X’mas play, titled ‘Stay By My Side’. It was a special play for me because I am spending Christmas at home with my family after nearly 2 years. It was even more special as my family was part of this play. A little introduction to what Mellow Circle is about. Mellow Circle is an organisation of mellow old friends from the seventies united, with a desire to proactively address social issues through music and arts. Over the years, this small group has inspired nearly hundred like-minded families to serve the less privileged. For a little more than 10 years, they have been involved in various drives to raise support for the society in need. Since 2004, Mellow Circle has concentrated their efforts to build Prathyasha – A Home for HIV affected children. This play, the 13th of their endeavors is the main fund raising event for Prathyasha.

 

The play revolved around a family of five with an over ambitious father, a mother who is more concerned about sending E-greets than actually setting up the true Christmas spirit, a son, spoilt by the advances of technology, a daughter most eager to be kissed by her crush under a mistletoe and a little girl who tries really hard to celebrate the Christmas she’s been taught at Sunday School. Sounds almost like any other family in today’s world doesn’t it?! As the father keeps insisting on watching Christmas specials to bring in the Christmas spirit, he tries to forget or has forgotten completely what Christmas really was. The father is still indignant of the fact that there is something missing although he can’t seem to put a finger on what it really is. His son, coerced by his inner conscience travels to an old-age home to find his grandmother who his father has disowned.

 

The son meets his grandmother, who has become bitter over the years after her only son forced her to sell her cake shop and her livelihood. She used to be one of the best bakers in town, in her day. The son calls his family to the old age home, where they finally reconcile and become a happy family again. It honestly brought a tear to my eye, towards the end. Parallel to the play, there was a strong voiced choir which sang sweet Christmas melodies throughout. It definitely brought out the yuletide spirit in me.

We have parents and grandparents who have been our spine all throughout our childhood. Just because we have grown up, it doesn’t mean that they don’t need us anymore. Let’s all make a constant effort to forget grudges and spend Christmas, the birth of our Christ with our near and dear ones. For those of us who have a little more to give, let’s spend it with the less fortunate. If anyone who reads this is interested in donating to the HIV affected children in Prathyasha, please visit http://www.prathyasha.in.

To everyone who’s reading… let me be the first to wish you… Merry Christmas!! 🙂

Photo credits: Abhay Mathew Thomas (https://www.facebook.com/pages/FOTO-Freaks/124351287704819?fref=ts) and Emil George Varghese

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