flower(For Raghubir Prasad, Helen Yeats, William Harding, Dolores Gonsalves, Noel Eric and Theodora).

Merry Christmas to all those dead people who were an integral part of our growing up years; who made past Christmases memorable with their culinary delights, laughter, clinking of wine glasses, warm hugs, messy kisses, smudged rouge lined faces and a happiness far removed from hatred, angst and pain.

Carols sung by family and friends, the Christmas tree blinking in the corner with colorful glittering presents piled at its base ready to be opened by breathless children wearing new clothes and smelling of the sweet joys of Yuletide – all these pictures fading into sepia remain, thankfully, indelible images of the dead who now celebrate Christmas elsewhere!

Let us pause for a moment, fold our hands and send kisses of love to the dead.

Let us embrace in our minds and hearts the remembrances of a time when simple pleasures were greater than wants; when sharing, family and belief were sacrosanct. And then when we sit down to Christmas lunch or dinner or whatever let us talk about them as if they are present.

This is a time for love, peace and happiness. Most often we crave for material things during this festive season – family and other loved ones being together, partaking of forgiveness, devoid of deceit and filled with delightful oneness.

This year we must include our dead and invite them into our homes by hanging their photographs on the Christmas tree along with the bells, stars and angels; And sing hymns with them in our hearts with love and respect.

Those ‘alive’ today will be dead on the ‘morrow’ for the cycle of Life never stops; it’s unrelenting except for Christmas, which is the vestibule that connects the two worlds of living and the dead. It gives us an opportunity to reach out and be touched by the dead who had nurtured our minds and bodies. What we have done with this nurturing is for the dead to decide.

Merry Christmas to all the dead and let the warmth of this season of passion and revelry prevail for ever and ever. Amen.

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om