As a kid I had rather weird ideas, self developed concepts, wisdom that I had realized in the few years of my earthly existence…… the faint line between reality and my imagination was almost non-existent. I had my own notions about things, and felt strangely confident about them, in fact sometimes I was so proud of myself, thinking I was the only one who was able to crack these mysteries! There was no ambiguity or obscurity; I was the detective in the thriller written by God called ‘Life’!
My earliest memories are of Santa-Claus and the deep affection I held for him. Oh! That vision of the plump old man with his “HO HO HO! “ that I had in my mind never failed to bring a smile to my face! My belief in Santa knew no bounds, though I had a couple of friends who did not get regular visits from him, when it came to me I was always a good girl and my dear old Santa never forgot my presents! I was extremely excited to see what he would get me each time…I jumped out of bed each Christmas morning to find the most beautifully wrapped present waiting to be torn open.
Not once in all those years did I get something that I did not like or that deep within my heart I did not want! Hmmm… something was fishy here..How did Santa know exactly what I wanted? I thought hard about this, I talked to some of my friends, not all of them got what they wanted, but why me? I thought and thought… All throughout school if one thing was consistent it was the word “chatterbox” in the Remarks section of my report card.. and it struck me… Santa had only one job, he had to find out what each kid wanted… for that he disguised himself as a normal looking human being, he could be the ice cream man who came to my house sometimes, with his cart, or the aunty who owned the grocery store nearby, the new driver or just about anybody! And because I was so expressive about what I wanted it was always easy for him, wherever he was, whoever he was, to listen to me, my friends of course were fools, they barely spoke, if they didn’t let Santa know what they wanted how would he ever know?
I was so proud of myself to have cracked the mystery, I remember speaking sweetly to every random person I met, smiling at strangers, trying to be the most adorable kid around, cause I was so scared one of the many people I bump into would actually be my dear santa claus in disguise!
An incident I particularly remember related to my “santa claus memories” is related to this totally delicious candy called Heartbeat that was around when I was 5. They were heart shaped , in every possible colour and flavor and I use to totally love them! One day my stock was over and I desperately wanted more, so I waited for daddy to come back from office and as soon as he did I demanded to be taken to the store to buy some of those candies. On the scooter, dad and me, smiling away, the wind blowing past my face as I narrated a saga of the many incidents that had taken place in school that day , the princess that I was, my wish was fulfilled…. But as we were riding back I suddenly realized that had santa been observing me, he would think I wanted the candy for Christmas too… I was crazy about them no doubt! But Christmas gifts were supposed to be special…. And so I said…. “Daddy, these are yummy, but I’m sure what santa gets me is going to be much more exquisite!” Oh! Those days! The innocence, the bliss, the happiness that I received believing in things that I now know never existed..As I grew I came to know how everything I believed in was fake, how there was never a tooth fairy, and there was never going to be a fairy god mother…. How I had no one looking out for me! How life isn’t all smiles , frilly frocks, and Barbie dolls… From 5 to 20, you might say I have grown wiser, more mature, braver and what not… but have I?... Today I have no beliefs, leave alone the confidence to stand up to them… Today I know that when I step out into the world there is never going to be anyone to catch me if my step falters…does that make me brave? No it just makes me weak….Sigh! Sometimes I wish I could trade the wisdom that I have accumulated over the years for the bliss of not having to know…not having to understand….not having to deal with the multitude mysteries I can now never even attempt to solve......