Having done our bit to reinvigorate the cash-strapped and circulation starved Indian economy through a bit of profligate Christmas shopping, we now stare at the spoils arrayed under the tree. As a family we like to do our bit for local economies, swooping down from the skies to lend a helping hand, spreading a bit of benefaction. In December 2008 we went to Rome and Perugia and pulled Italy back from the brink. We couldn't make it to Greece the following year, and you all know what happened as a consequence.
I'm a bit Andrea Bocceli'd out at the end of his Christmas CD, so that's been put away for another year. What we have been listening and re - listening and re - listening to is the soundtrack of La La Land - movie and music making at its best. By the way, who'd have thought that Ryan Gosling could sing and dance, isn't that a good way to make up for an otherwise floundering cinematic career?
Half of Mumbai has decamped for the holidays, out to Alibaug, Lonavala and Pune. The other half seems to have headed for our neck of the woods: Marine Drive, Nariman Point and Colaba. Crowds four lines thick are gathered outside Mondegar's, trying to get in for Christmas. Hundreds of cars and thousands of people on the streets, weary street vendors weaving in and out of the crowds wearing and selling bright red Santa hats and reindeer antlers, a site that never quite becomes normal, and nor should it. I know we live in the Indian version of La La Land, Bollywood, our own tinseltown, but there are limits.
Here's wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and safe 2017.
Btw, the banner photo was taken from our holiday home outside of San Gimignano at 6.20 am. What light! It lasted all of five minutes.