It was midnight. My laptop was shut. I was about to put it in my bag when suddenly I saw the screen coming to life,emitting a beam of red light. I was startled but my curiosity made me open it. You would never believe what I saw! It was Santa Claus, looking at me and smiling from behind his Snow White beard. I was too stunned to speak. “Hi” I croaked in a dismayed whisper. He smiled at me replied, “How are you my child?” I told him I was fine and asked him how he was. He said he is super busy these days! Christmas is around the corner and he is really working hard on his list of gifts trying to fulfill millions of wishes from children all over the world. I asked him “how do you manage such a task Santa! How can you possibly reach each and every child on Christmas Eve?” He winked at me playfully and said “I have my trade secrets”. He explained “Neeraj! I belong to a world that is ruled by eternal possibilities of the pure and spotless minds of young children, a world of limitless and everlasting imagination. In a world like this anything is possible if you just believe! It was my turn to smile.
I asked him what he was doing in my house. He said he was here for Savannah. He said that he was doing a recce of Savannah’s house. He visits the home of every single child before Christmas. It’s his policy to ensure that the children have been nice and to make sure that the right gift reaches the right child. I told him that Savannah is sleeping. “Yes I know” he replied. I asked him why he visits children only when they are sleeping. To this he replied that the sight of a sleeping child is the most beautiful vision in the world and moreover children love surprises. The smiles on their face when they see their gifts under the Christmas tree on a Christmas morning is what the spirit of Christmas is all about.
I told him to stick around for a bit so that I can check if Savannah was awake as I really wanted him to say hi to her. I ran to her room only to find her in dreamland. I came back and he was gone. I called out to him but he didn’t reply. I ran out of the house to look for him. He was gone as if taken away by the wind.
I saw “kaka” the old society watchman, sleeping under a tree. His cat snuggled next to him, sound asleep. His dog was sleeping too. A frog was sitting there and watching them sleep. Its eyes were also droopy and sleepy, the heron bird and its babies were sleeping on the tree. The tree was also fast asleep. The night was still and quiet. The breeze was nice and cold. The stars in the sky were watching as the world snoozed. They had a twinkle in their eyes. I knew Santa Claus was out there somewhere amongst them, watching me with a smile on his face.
Suddenly I felt something curl up against me
I looked down only to see Savannah snuggling, and her eyelids were heavy by now. She was almost asleep, I used my fingers to move a few strands of her hair from her forehead. Her mouth was slightly open. Her face was relaxed. Wow! She loved the story I guess! She looked divine. I kissed her forehead and wished her “goodnight”.
I know tomorrow will be a new day and I will have to be ready with a new story to put her to sleep. I look forward to it, more than anything else in my life. Tonight it was Santa Claus. Tomorrow it might be Santa Banta or Super cat or Kali the black-faced dog or “Turtu the turtle or Purpu the purple owl or the jungle flower or Abdul Bhaiyya’s goats or telecom pigs. As Santa mentioned earlier! The imagination is endless. All I need is a start and then my daughter’s presence makes me a story-teller. Oh! “The storyteller” could also be my next story.