Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! We have a warm little Christmas post for you to add a dash of RV to your holiday celebrations. Ho ho ho!

In the aid of those of us who have forgotten, here’s what happens in RV over Christmas.

  • The 11thies, who are in charge of organising the prime event of Christmas at RV, carolling, start practising a week in advance. (Or rather, they start making plans to do so.  😉 ) One of them is elected (read: forced at gunpoint) to be Santa. The qualification? Be big, hearty and lovable. If the 11thies have engaged a good PR agent, false rumours about Santa’s identity should now be spreading like wildfire. If they haven’t, well,  false rumours about Santa’s identity should still be spreading like wildfire. Note to to-be 11thies: for a successful campaign, you absolutely must try to convince everyone that this year, finally, Rajan is going to be Santa. (It’s extremely helpful if a class has more than one real candidate up for the job. This, unfortunately, doesn’t happen any too often.)
  • Preparations for the other big event of Christmas, the touring of all the decked-up junior hostels (Why no 9th and above? Ask a 9thie: “Dude! We’re in 9th!”) are beginning in earnest. For much of the rest of the school, the real fun lies in watching the bustling juniors. Here’s what’s happening (don’t deny it!) at every boy-girl conversation.

– “So, I’m making you a card for Christmas.”
– “You are?” Makes a brave call on the spot. “Me too!”
– Uh-oh. Someone might have heard. Must. Make. Amends. “Except that it’s actually going to be a ‘Terrible Christmas’ card!” Desperate attempt at sneer.
– Cannot afford to be one-upped like this. “And yours is going to be a… be a… packet of shampoo! For your hair!” Pats self on back. She knows that was a good one.
– Oh dear, I hope I wasn’t too harsh. “I’m going to be visiting your house this Christmas.”
– Oh dear, I hope I wasn’t too harsh. “So am I!”
– But boys will be boys. “And I bet it’ll suck!” Runs off in triumph.

They know their lines well, the cute little buggers.

  • Christmas finally arrives. Final finishing touches (and, in some cases, the entire thing itself) are added to all the attractions. Boys Hostel has proudly crowned its windblown ‘Christmas tree’, the only one in RV that is within reach of human hands, with its glowing star. Miniature models of Christ in the stable adorn the landscape here and there. Streamers are up. Chalk art lands on the floors and walls. Woe betide the teacher of the last class of the day, who finds herself facing open rebellion from the restless students. The bell rings. Wear shoes. Bell rings. Games. Bell rings. Dinner. Gobbled in a flash. Now the real thing begins. Every hostel worth its salt has protested with shrill vehemence the the deadline for being back home after the Christmas touring. The girls generally get the best of it, and Boys Hostel the worst.
  • Everything is bustling now. The 11thies have begun their loud journey with Silver, Golden, Neem, Raavi and Palm. In time they will move on to Red, Green, and the rest of the palette, then to Boys Hostel, then to the senior girls’ hostels and thence to the abodes of the bearded wise, the senior boys’ hostels. The juniors are strutting around, pointedly reminding each other not to peep, and giggling. More than one super-voluble daredevil is chattering away with pride about his heroic adventures and daring escapades: “God knows what would’ve happened if Dhurga akka caught me!” At the conclusion of each carolling session, a winner-takes-all contest ensues as chocolates, dazzling in their wrappers of illegal, shiny plastic, are thrown around with gay abandon, the ultimate opportunity for boys to assert their ‘manliness’. “Aidan got eight eclairs, you know. Eight! I’m going to see if I can give him some Bangalore grub for one…”
  • Carolling is something all RVites will always remember. Everybody is hustled together in the chilly night, shouting hoarsely with but the faintest idea of rhyme and lyrics, the latter glimpsed from a battle-worn sheet of paper, one for each pocket of people. A curious feeling of longing, heartache and misty eyes attends the conclusion of carolling at all the senior hostels, especially for the 12thies and 10thies. Oh, RV. Heaven knows how much we miss it.

We leave you with a jolly video taken by Lindsey Adkisson, who spent a good bit of time at RV as a fellow of the American India Foundation. The sight of all the good old buildings and people and everything, even if you didn’t know the wonderful batch of ISC 2012, really does something to stir up some memories. Oh, and Satya Vaghela’s Santa, if you must know. A Merry, Merry Christmas to one and all! 🙂


6 thoughts on “Merry Christmas!

  1. Our son has joined RV this year and I was wondering what he’d be up to today. Thanks for the blog AND the wonderful video.

  2. It was interesting to read, as some of us never ever celebrated Christmas at RV — we had December vacations for a month! Batch of 1964… Ancient as I may sound, I could still relate to the blog, since we celebrated Diwali in much the same way and did the similar rounds, only no carol singing, etc. Our Diwali was having fun decorating the houses, visiting the others, and, of course, buying crackers worth Rs. 2 — from which we got quite a bit! Bursting them on the field was fun. The next morning we had to clean up the field class-wise — which meant picking up every bit of paper! … A very Happy New Year to all!

  3. The first year of carol singing was 1967, when a bunch of us from Green House, senior girls, decided to go carol singing for Christmas… we started with the staff room where the teachers were, and our House mother Joshua Akka, threw open the windows, declaring that it was rather hot! The teachers must have been stunned, but even more so when a bunch of girls holding candles burst into song! We went round the campus, met with various shades of bewilderment from our audiences… the Neem House boys ran shouting “Dames”! Raju mama came out with a thali of sugar…
    But yes, as I read the earlier comments, we did Diwali too: decorating our house common rooms, wearing our silk saris and visiting houses… ending up with changing into non flammable cotton clothes and out to the playground to burst our quota of crackers!

    • It’s always lovely to read the musings of an ex-RVite. My son joined RV just last year and his first Christmas over there was “awesome” according to him. As parents, we are really glad he’s finally in an institution where he’s happy. Long live RV!

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