Please note that this story is purely a work of fiction and all names, characters, places, events and locales are either a product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictous manner. Any resemblance to any event and/or person living and/or dead is purely coincidental. We do not intend on offending any race, religion or community.
“I am sorry,” said Vivan standing at the door,” Arjun just lost his temper. I think the way our ex- boss spoke to him today was too much for him to handle. But he shouldnt have yelled at you.”
“I am not surprised at all,” said Nisha remembering the time Arjun had stood leaning against the window letting the cold raindrops pour over his shoulders.
“I know that when he is upset he is too harsh on himself and no wonder he loses his temper with others as well. Its not his fault. We are always taught to be hard on ourselves. No one ever told him to slow down and let it be.”
“I cant agree more,” said Vivan,”Its this conditioned behaviour which makes him feel so stressed.”
“Will you please do me a favour?” said Nisha handing him a fabric roll,” Please do give it to him and say to him that you found it at the doorstep of your home.”
“I wont ask you what it is,” said Vivan smiling at her,” You know what you are doing.”
“Diya is waiting for you,” she said,” She wants to gift you something. A halloween present I believe. But before you leave I have something for you as well.”
Nisha handed him a small wooden box neatly polished with glittering golden colour.
“Now this looks really pretty,” he said feeling its smooth and glossy texture,” but what does it contain?”
Vivan opened the lid of the box and saw a packet of roasted pumpkin seeds along with a silver keychain carved in the shape of a smiling pumpkin.
“Its beautiful,” he said thanking her,” Good night.”
Vivan walked down two flights of stairs and arrived at the parking lot. He saw Diya talking to a middle aged woman and waited patiently until she had left.
“So,” he said,” Where is my gift?”
“Nisha told you?” she said,” Any guesses?”
“No,” he said,” I cannot think of anything at the moment.”
“Try at least,” pleaded Diya making a cute face.
“I cant say,” said Vivan,” Okay, let me see. A locket? No, maybe a pullover or a book?”
“No,” she said,” One last guess!”
“I give up,” he said,” What is it?”
Diya unzipped her shimmering little handbag and pulled out a neatly folded Christmas stocking. Giving it to Vivan she said,” This is a tradition I used to follow when I was in high school. My brother and I would write letters to Santa stating our dreams and wishes hoping that on Christmas eve Santa would come for a visit and grant us our wishes.”
“Thats lovely,” said Vivan,” but didnt you feel disheartened when Santa never came?”
“He did come,” said Diya,” He always came but we never saw him.”
“How do you know he came?” asked Vivan taking the stocking from her.
“You know,” she said smiling with moist eyes,” Once my little brother wished for a puppy and I wanted a new Christmas tree. At that time we were struggling with our expenses because Dad hadnt received his salary for over two months. On Christmas eve after our parents had gone to bed, both of us waited patiently for Santa to arrive. Tired from the festive activities of the day, my brother soon fell asleep while I continued to look out of the window hoping to catch a glimpse of Santa riding on his sleigh. When the clock struck twelve I felt as if I saw a sparkling little elf. I may have imagined it out of drowsiness but I do remember how he looked like. And then I suddenly fell asleep. The next day our society members bought a huge Christmas tree which they placed in the main lawn. Knowing our financial condition, they charged no money from us. In order to help Dad, my mom took up the job of babysitting pets and thats how my brother got a chance to have a puppy in his home. Santa always came, I knew it but as I grew older I stopped believing in him but he still came.”
“I love your story,” said Vivan caressing the beautifully knit Christmas stocking,” And I would surely love to follow this tradition as well. But will Santa come?”
“If you really want him to come, he will. And if you believe in magic, you might see him as well.”