Coalescence. I love the word. I love science for helping me express what language cannot do with the same degree of precision or emotion. How else would you explain the phenomenon of people suddenly wanting to be seen as groups and not individuals?
In its most simplistic definition, coalescence is the union of diverse things into one body or form or group; the growing together of parts. It is what happens when the festive season sets in.
Families feel grateful that they are still families.
Friends begin to remember they can’t take friendship for granted.
Couples begin to remember they are still married.
Colleagues, who you don’t know the names of, wish you randomly and put a smile on your face.
Children begin to realise that parents are the only people who will always love them unconditionally.
You email or e-card people who you have never thought about in the past year. You text numbers from your phonebook that have been never texted or called before. You even call. You begin to add (sometimes even multiply) instead of subtract.
It’s that time of the year when people coalesce.
They say that when you say something positive long and loud and repeated enough, it becomes a truism, and the good energy rubs off onto you. May be that’s why even couples in dysfunctional relationships send out messages and cards in the festive season that end with Mr, Mrs and Master/Miss.
It’s what can get a Vindoo, with repeated nominations, but a firm belief in Desh Ka Aadesh to eventually win Big Boss, a topic I shared with buddy Chetan at a Christmas party whose piece de resistance was a flambéed pudding that had travelled four generations. Where the infant petted a dog six times his size and I realised why I did the right thing by bringing a child into a home with animals.
Even for me, a more-or-less minimalist who is on a mission to declutter her life in more than one way, festivals are the only time I want to add rather than subtract.
When we were growing up, cousins were people you met because of the grandparent connection—you had to share them (the grandparents), whether you liked it or not. Now that the grandparents are no more, the cousins are more or less redundant. They show up randomly on Facebook, want to be added as your ‘relative’, they post comments on your albums, and make fleeting plans to ‘meet up.’
Time passes. And one day, you have a child. And festivals become indicators of a family that was. And cousins’ children become more important than the cousins ever were. You look through their albums, you ask if their children are crawling or teething, you find bits of them in their children — the bond is renewed.
So finally, with the infant in tow, I am now looking at the festive season in a whole new way of awe and innocence. His.