|Patna Women’s College students and their friends at the institute on Tuesday. Pictures by Sachin and Jai Prakash
The early morning haze lifted as revellers welcomed a pleasant Christmas on Tuesday morning — at home, college and anywhere their heart fancied.
For all, it was breaking away from the every day monotony.
Christmas is the only day when students of Patna Women’s College can bring their boyfriends to their alma mater. While some were amazed to see boys on campus, some took full advantage of the relaxed rules to augment their festive mood.
Preeti, a student, said: “This is the only opportunity to have fun with our boyfriends on campus. So, I brought my boyfriend with me to offer prayers.”
While the girls were happy to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ with their paramours, the boys were busy choosing the perfect gift for their lovers. The chill in the air — the weather turned pleasant after the sunrays peeked out of the fog around 11am — did nothing to dampen the mood or spread the love around.
The nip in the air, though, would be felt for the next 48 hours, claimed weathermen.
Animesh Chanda, the director (radar) of the regional meteorological centre, Calcutta, said: “The wind direction is changing to northerly, which is dry and cold. The fog cover at night would remain till the northerly winds dominate the atmosphere. The North Wind would be accompanied by a steady drop in the minimum temperature and a marginal rise in the maximum temperature.”
Christmas, also a time to eat delicacies and make merry with one’s family, led to overcrowding at cake shops.
At Sweet Shop on Boring Road, confectionery shaped like Santa Claus sold like “hot cakes”.
“I want people to believe that Santa Claus spreads happiness and peace,” said proprietor Harsh Mankani.
He added that the festival had assumed a secular characteristic with many non-Christians enthusiastically taking part in its rituals.
Spending time with family and friends seemed to be the priority for many residents this Christmas. Braving the chill, many headed to the picnic spots for a fun time under the sun.
“Christmas being a holiday, I had planned to take my entire family to Rajdhani Vatika. Thankfully, it was a bright afternoon today (Tuesday) and our plans were not spoilt. We had a lovely time, as children played and elders relaxed,” said Boring Road resident Prasun Kumar.
At Bollywood Treat near Gandhi Maidan, the Christmas dinner of the patrons became more exciting, as the T20 match between India and Pakistan was screened on a big screen.
Having fun was not the only thing revellers did this Christmas. Some of them also indulged their generous spirit by preparing for Boxing Day.
Traditionally celebrated on December 26, on Boxing Day, families present packets or “boxes” of gifts to those from economically weak backgrounds.
Anandita Casey, a Class XII student of St Karen’s School, said: “This year, I have decided to gift blankets to rickshaw drivers. It will keep them warm in this intolerable winter.”