Queen Victoria sits patiently under a mango tree frozen in time-Diamond Jubilee Memorial (1897) in the rear lawn of the National Museum in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Summer Solstice thinking: when I was a toddler my grandmother would always call Christmas a ‘Badaa Din.’ I thought then that she meant Long Day or ‘Big Day.’ I always thought it described the length of the day but today it dawned upon me she meant a big day for the former white rulers of India. She as a young girl had seen the days of Empire under Queen Victoria, or the Mallka (Empress). She had lived through an era ruled by King George V and King George VI. She was definitely aware of Queen Elizabeth.
I also used to wonder ‘how this day can be long when it gets dark so early on the 25th of December?’ Thus on June 21 of 2013 I have figured out what a simple phrase meant ‘Bade din kee chhootian’ was nothing more than Christmas Holidays and not as I confusedly thought ‘holidays of the long days.’