News & Reviews

CHRISTMAS EVENING - A MEMORABLE GET-TOGETHER Author:Amit Ukil   Posted On:2017-12-27


The celebrations and festivities of Christmas Eve and Midnight Mass were yet to sink in when it was time for another annual event – the Christmas Get-together at the Dalhousie Institute. Music, dancing, food and high spirits abounded at the DI, the only major club in the city that has for years been organizing a ‘following-day’ occasion where members, their guests and their families have the opportunity to meet and exchange greetings.

This year’s do was special for several reasons, the main one being that the rhythm and the beats that matched the dancing with the music were played out at the newly refurbished main hall of the Club, where the polish on the vinyl flooring competed with the dazzle of the wooden panels and the varied lighting. The trepidations of the Club authorities were set aside when the acoustics too turned out to be appropriate at a time when the hall was packed with people, both on the dance floor and seated, enjoying the high decibels of live music.

The committee members, aided by a band of volunteers, had tastefully set up the festive decorations at every corner of the Club. Starting with the Christmas Tree on the far side of the hall to the strings of rice lighting and round lanterns under the huge shamiana on the lawn, as well as the streamers and LED display boards with Merry Christmas messages and the decorations inside the buildings, all added to the glow and gaiety of the gathering.

And what a gathering! Over 1,200 members, their guests and their families had converged at the DI from far and near to meet each other, some after many years, and exchange the warmth and wishes of Christmas. Some parents met their children, uncles and aunties their nephews and nieces, and friends their out-of-touch pals that evening, as handshakes and hugs were shared all over by all ages. The eldest vied with the youngest – in fact the baby of the get-together was perhaps Kiara Tahir, just eight months old. Ensconced in her mother’s arms all the way from Stockholm, the baby broke into a smile despite her pacifier when asked how she was enjoying the evening.

All the while, the music continued. Taking turns, the live band Hereafter and DJ Sammy played foot-tapping, swaying and jiving melodies that had the dance floor full. “We started off with some Christmas numbers and then moved on to all-time favourites,” said Krystan Decunha, the lead vocalist of Hereafter. “We choose our songs according to the mood of the gathering, and everyone in today’s gathering appeared to be in a good, chummy mood. So we enjoyed playing as much as they enjoyed listening and dancing!” he added.

The evening was ably steered by MC Andrew Scolt, who gauged the swings of the crowd and chipped in with games and competitions whenever there was a hint of a lull. The first prize of the evening went to the first couple on the dance floor – Leon and Anita Imlay, guests who hit the floor at 9.10pm. “We love to dance,” said Leon, and that love got them a wine bottle! This was followed by the Spot Dance prize, where a blindfolded volunteer keeps pace with the directions of the MC, who is faced looking in the opposite direction. A few paces straight, a couple more to the right, an about turn, another few paces to the left, and the volunteer was then asked to touch the nearest couple. It turned out to be Rahul and Vandana, who too were guests and were very happy to receive a whisky bottle as the lucky winners. Before the night was done, two more competitions were held, one for the best jiving couple, and the other for the most energetic dancer.       

As the gathering gained momentum, fuelled by music and spirits, pangs of hunger were quelled by the several savories available, the most convenient and popular among them being the variety of rolls, though kebabs, finger food and even a full set dinner platter could also be had. Apparel varied from smart Christmassy casuals to suits and boots, and midis and minis to PYTs in their BLDs!   

All in all, a fun-filled, friendly foray in new DI settings, where warmth and fellow feeling were shared during the festival of Christmas. If this be the pace, can New Year’s Eve be far behind?

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