A Handful of Published Personal Essays
Every year, I send a personal essay for his special annual Christmas issue to Tony Charangat, Editor of The Examiner, a weekly that is published in Bombay, India. This has become something of a tradition for me. Here are some of the essays that have appeared over the past few years.
This essay talks about my silver bell collection. I have bought one silver bell each Christmas for the past 18 years. Each bell commemorates another year in my life as an immigrant in the United States. Click on the link below to read about each little bell and the sentiment attached to them.
Silver Bells, Silver Bells (2003)
This essay is a very humorous account of the strange coincidence in the Almeida household one Christmas when we had to make decisions on what presents to buy for each other. The end result made present-opening a very hilarious experience that year. Click on the link below to see what we found when we opened our gifts.
Gifts of the Almeidas (2004)
This essay is based on the truly rollicking time we had when we decided to carry a frozen uncooked turkey to Bombay, India, one year in celebration of our special Christmas lunch with our extended family overseas. As the turkey traveled over several continents and countries, its crazy romp made for some funny episodes. Despite its many adventures, the turkey made a very delicious meal when Llew, our inimitable chef, carved it for the family.Click on the link below to read our hilarious escapades.
Nutty as a Fruit Cake (2006)
This essay is filled with nostalgia and longing. It is a comparative account of Christmases Past and Christmases Present–those I knew and remember from my girlhood and teenage years in Bombay and those I fondly celebrate in Connecticut today. A wealth of old holiday traditions have been sacrificed in my life as new ones have replaced them. Click on the link below to find out how my festive memories have evolved.
The Old Order Changeth (2007)
This essay is a result of my year’s stay in London. When I found myself posted to the United Kingdom to teach at NYU for a year, I decided to make the post of every Christmas experience. From tasting hot mulled wine and mince pies to attending the annual Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, I had myself a Christmas season to remember. Click on the link below to find out how British Christmas customs differ from American ones.
Yuletide in Ole’ Blighty (2008)
This essay is the outcome of a real-life encounter I had in Belfast in Northern Ireland with an accordionist. It taught me the true meaning of Christmas and the real truth of an old adage, oft-repeated by my Dad–that Giving is Better than Receiving
It Happened in Belfast (2009)
This essay is based on my very traumatic experience of losing my voice–temporarily, thank heavens–following a thyroidectomy. Suddenly, for the fist time in my life, the true meaning of Advent (waiting, preparing) made sense to me–as I waited patiently for the return of my vocal abilities. My speech handicap caused me to contemplate the silence of the Infant Babe at Christmas.
The Silence of the Babe (2010)