Archive for the ‘Phantaasee’ Category

It’s been a while since I’ve graced my own blog. I finally decided to write something, fighting my most formidable foe, sloth. A lot of brain-wracking and thinking later, I decided to scribble something, lest I should lose the little gaggle of readers that this page invites. I’m already beginning to nurture fears of having lost more than half of them. It was on the eve of Noël that I sat down to write a new post. But then again I stood vanquished by the dreaded enemy, so, I decided to take a raincheck on writing.

Over a month later, a few minutes past midnight, I found myself sitting next to the fireplace in my aunt’s house. It was a cold Florida night only devoid of the hallmark snow. Everyone but myself, the nocturnal beast, was snoring away to a dreamy slumber. Armed with a laptop, I sat down to write a post on some elusive subject. I began to rummage through the mess of ideas that were galloping through my head, when I heard a ruffle from behind the wall almost near the roof. The noise seemed to come from above the fireplace and seemed to slip down the chimney. I grabbed a rod next to the hearth and began prodding it up the chimney.

“AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” came a deafening scream and something came crashing down. Even the gods would’ve gone deaf. Owing to natural reflexes – I screamed too. But surprisingly, no one else seemed to have heard it. The sudden hellish commotion hurled me to the ground. A haze of dust and ash billowed from the hearth. As it cleared, a large red ball-like figure began to fade into sight and it began to move.

“WHAT THE FU**!!” I howled out of sheer fear.

“You mind your language kid!!” came the reply in a thick English accent.

“Who the hell are you?” I snapped back, my heart still pounding. I was still trying to get my bearings on what was happening.

“Look again” his gruff voice said.

I did. I looked again, and again. I still couldn’t place him. So, I looked again, and again. He was a ripe-old portly man with an impressively long white beard, clothed in blood-red coat, white cuffs, and a large black leather belt. He was wearing a funny looking red cone hat.

“Is he who I think he is?” I thought to myself.

“Yes, Yes!! I am who you think I am!” he said as though he was reading my mind. He struggled to climb out of the fireplace.

This time I looked closer and sure enough, it was him.

“Santa? Is that you?”

“Yes, you bonehead! It is I, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, St. Nic, Kriss Kringle. Now, give the ol’man a hand will ya” he yelled, still trying to pull his meaty self out of the damn fireplace.

Instead of helping him out, I ran to the window to get a peek at his sleigh. There it was, with the nine reindeer.

“I’D BE DAMNED! It is Santa!!” I exclaimed with a childlike excitement.

“You don’t come over here and pull me out’a this fireplace RIGHT NOW, you will be damned! I promise you. I’ll make sure you are!” he cursed.

With a sheepish grin, I helped him drag himself out of the fireplace.

“So, wassup Santa? What are you doing here at this time of the year, Christmas is long gone! And why, O why! Why the chimney, when you know you’re not as acrobatically flexible for it? Can’t you just knock on the door?” I asked him as he dusted himself.

“Well, I just took some time off to see my old friend, K and the chimney….mmm…let’s just say I’m sticking to an old custom.” he smiled.

“hmmm…so you’re here to see me? Wow! I’m touched Santa! But now really, to what do I owe this honor of your visit?”

“O Alright!! I’m here to give you something that’s been festering in my warehouse for a while. It’s not something my elves made. It’s something your chum Max wanted me to give you. I don’t see why you deserve it in any form, but I just had to get it off my chest” he admitted. He pulled this out from his goodie bag.

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“WHAT!! Really? This is for me? Thanks Santa! Thank you so much!”

“O Please! Thank your buddy Max for it, not me. I didn’t think you were worthy of it in the least” he heartlessly admitted.

“But I’ll take it anyway, thank you very much! You can be really mean for a jolly old man, you know!” I remarked with a frown.

“So, why didn’t you come earlier? You sneak to every house with good people on Christmas Eve with all sorts of presents. Was I not a good boy Santa?” I chuckled.

“Don’t even get me started on your bad-boy quotient last year. You have a special mention on Hell’s most-wanted list. The gargoyles have a bounty on your soul. About popping by at this time of the year, well….. I thought, if you really deserved this blog-award then I’ll let you blog first and then give the award away. I waited for you to commit something to paper before I handed it over. But you sinfully indolent bum! You wouldn’t even login to your blog, let alone writing! You’ve been dead for over two months now! Some of your friends even have obituaries prepared for your blog. The prolonged silence even drove away some of your regulars. You’re hopeless!”

“I know, I know! Now please don’t rub it in. I admit I was inconciderate to my readers, but you know how it’s been in the past couple of months. I was travelling and then I fell sick. So, cut me some slack!”

“O yes, of course, the illness. What’s it called again? Shingle bells, Lingle bells or some hogwash like that. You know your friends were joking about it” he joked as he burst into his signature guffaw “HO, HO, HO, HO……You know, your friends have a brilliant sense of humor, I love those guys!..….HO, HO, HO, HO…..Damn!! This is killing me!!” he cracked up as his cauldron-like belly wobbled to the rhythm of his laughter.

“You know, for a man who’s ever-fussy about children being virtuous, you are a foul-mouth, Santa!! And please….it’s called ‘Shingles’, not Shingle bells. You’re just obsessed with those carols. Christmas is gone, remember? Grow up, ol’man!” I commented with scorn.

“Right!! Whatever! I find it amusing!” he shrugged and “O, and one more thing! Max tagged you”

“Tagged me? With what?”

“Well, the rules of the tag are” he pulled out a scroll and read “Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the 5 key words given (family, friend, yourself, your love, anything you like). Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better. Nice tag, ain’ it?”

“Yeah! Nice one! So, I have to link some of my old posts eh?”

“Yes, and then write new ones, don’t just stop with this. This tag isn’t an epilogue, you know” he mocked.

I pretended to ignore that comment.

“hmmm….so, family eh? Let’s see. Well, I don’t have posts exclusively written about my family, may be this will qualify. It mentions my mom and her peeves.”

“How about this? It shows what an angel you mother is” Santa suggested.

“O Yes!! Of Course! Thanks Santa!” I said “mmmm….I really need to come up with more posts on my family.”

“Yes, momma’s boy, you must!” he joked.

“Well, now for my friends. They eat a large portion of this cake. There’s this and this for a start. Interesting episodes! Then there’s this with pictures! And then this post briefly mentions another best friend of mine who had a little rendezvous with some very different people” I said with a naughty smirk.

“Ho, Ho, Ho! Yes, that one had me in splits!” he agreed.

“Yeah! And now, for myself. Well, what better way to introduce myself than with this, watsay Santa?”

“Yes, there’s no better way! And coup de grâce! This one! Sums you up in one word!”

“What word?”

“Weirdo!!” he burst into another fit of laughter.

“Okay, now! The next category, love. Aaah!! My most successful post to date!! This one invited so many comments with questions and interjections, I had never imagined! Some even said that it couldn’t have been written by me. There’s nothing else and nothing better in this category!” I grinned.

“No, seriously, did you really write that post? And did it really happen?” he asked, trying to force things out of me.

“Don’t you know?” I retorted “Now, for the final category anything I like. Well, I like all of ’em!” I said grinning again “This and this would take the cake. My favorites!! The former being thought-provoking and the latter, just hilarious. Don’t you think?”

“Yes, but then how about this one, Mr. Ghalib!! hmmm?” he winked.

“Sure, if you like it!” I smiled “Well, there we have it! But I already seem to have broken the rules of the tag! It asked for five links, this is as long as a toilet-paper roll!”

“That’s alright, my friend, as long as you take up the tag! Now, tag five other people” he reminded me.

“O I completely forgot! Yes, I’ll tag and award my childhood friend and fellow brilliant blogger Vidya, and other excellent bloggers, the confounded-lady, Nandini (whenever she’s back from her sabbatical!), rads and Prashanthi. Go all taggy guys…err…girls!!”

“Well, good job son!! You’re back on track!”

“Yes, I’m back on track! All, thanks to you and Max!”

“Alright! If my job here’s done, I shall take your leave. My reindeer must be dehydrated from all the perspiration! Is it even winter over here in Florida?”

“Perspiration? It’s freezing out there!”

“Son, do you even know where I come from! It’s called the ‘NORTH POLE’! You think this so-called ‘freeze’ beats the ‘close-to-absolute-zero’ temperatures?”

“Absolute zero, Santa?”

“Alright, that was an exaggeration, but I wager, you have not the slightest idea how cold it can get out there!”

“O okay, okay! I understand, I come from a winter-oven and you from a summer-deep-freeze. Happy?”

“Alright! I should now hit the clouds! It’s late and my elves must be getting out of control, they only need a reason to engage in mindless frivolity and with me here, the warehouse must be a complete mess! Anyway, you be good and you HAD BETTER KEEP WRITING or I’ll run you over with my sleigh! You understand?”

“Whoa! Is that a death threat? I’ll call the angels have you arrested and frozen in the North Pole for all eternity!” I joked.

“We’ll see! If it can get you to blog regularly, then it is worth all that pain. Anyway, you keep writing and be good, okay?”

“Aye, Aye Sir!” I gave him military style salute.

“At ease! Now get to bed, it’s past two. Good Night and very happy belated greetings to you for Christmas, New Year, Pongal and Republic Day!”

“Thanks Santa, and wish you the same! And Good Night!”

“RUDOLF!! Let’s go!!” he called out to the reindeer. He hopped onto his sledge and away he flew. What a jolly old man!!

The next moment I found myself sitting on the same couch next to the fireplace with the laptop. Everything around me seemed untouched, including the fireplace, as if nothing had happened. And the time was a few minutes past midnight, the time I sat down to write. I looked into the monitor and there it was, this post! All written and concluded!

Was it all a dream? I wondered.

Some questions are better left unanswered!

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