| A person dressed as Santa Claus carries balloons on a Shillong street on Christmas eve. Picture by UB Photos |
Shillong, Dec. 24: Soaring prices notwithstanding, the main markets in the city were clogged today as people rushed at the eleventh hour to make purchases for themselves and their families — from clothes to shoes, local delicacies to cakes. Indeed, Christmas in this part of the world is commemorated with much fervour.
Most of the shops were brightly illuminated, with Christmas songs and carols playing in the background. The star of Bethlehem and gaily decorated Christmas trees dotted countless homes and hearths.
Commuters had to pause for several minutes on some streets and thoroughfares since this morning, as young boys and girls took part in Christmas carols.
To prepare for the midnight service and tomorrow’s Mass, churches in the city were decorated and geared up to accommodate the hundreds of people who will be turning up.
There are also several family parties which have been lined up in many localities where people will congregate to celebrate the birth of Christ.
However, on the flip side to the display of materialistic splurge, one could not ignore the presence of the scores of children of a lesser god who had to be content with window-shopping, gazing longingly at labels beyond their reach.
The designer wear, cakes and pastries were inconsequential to them, as they could scant afford these Christmas offerings.
From one lane to the other in the busy Khyndailad (Police Bazaar area), the Yuletide spirit appeared to be irrelevant to the underprivileged souls while several privileged children of their age were exuberant and waiting for the Christmas bells to peal. In the chill of the winter’s night, as they prepared to sleep, these children may dream with yearning of the shopping spree they had witnessed all day. But what will endure is the radiance of Christmas as they awaken, when they will count their blessings and savour the joy to be alive, celebrating the birth of Christ.