Dear Santa,

I have been good this year because I have single-handedly caused hundreds of people remember God, the Big Boss Himself. You have to agree, amongst all the good deeds anyone can do, inspiring people to be aware of God more fervently than they are is surely at the top of the list? I knew you’d agree.

I know you are all agog and want to know how I managed to work that miracle in this cold, cynical world. I assure you, I am itching to tell you too. Who knows, you might spread the word around and inspire others. I am not a mean little hoarder, holding the goodies to my chest.

My claim to being good comes out of a sound management principal. They say that if you give a hungry man a fish you feed him for a day; when you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime; but if you teach him how to teach others to fish, you feed an entire community. Sharing my secret with you comes out of the last premise. You see, my good work continues…!

In order to be good, one must do good deeds and to buzz around helping people- even when they don’t want to be helped. All these years past, that’s what I had been doing. Just between you and me though, the results were a tad disappointing. I mean, you can spread a 10gm pat of butter on only so many bread slices… even if you are revoltingly miserly. After a time, the butter WILL run out.

Similarly, there was just so much of me to go around. And there were too many bread slices… if you know what I mean.

Moreover, the whole do- good- deeds- and- help- people was not only boring but annoying. Can you imagine Santa, people don’t bl**dy want to be helped..! Have you heard of anything more perverse…? It gave me a nasty jolt, I don’t mind confessing. Personally, I’d have thought people would have been falling over themselves trying to get me to help them. Not only did they NOT fall over themselves, they were offensively rude to me, the way they asked me to mind my own business. I left of course. But don’t think I didn’t let my displeasure known. My perused lips must have told their own story- loud and clear.

Honestly though, it sort of left me totally at loose ends. I mean, how was one to prove one was good if people wouldn’t let one help them? You guys, the Big Boss and fellows like you, conveniently forgot to mention a way around that one, didn’t you? I guess you just love raising the bar higher all the time and making things tough for little people like me. If you thought that would stump yours truly though, you miscalculated grossly..!

But you know what they say. You can’t keep a good man down. And so it was with me.

I sat down and thought.

The first conclusion I came to was that this do- good- deeds- and- help- people deal was an abysmal flop. You can’t do good to people if they sprint at the speed of light when they spot you on the distant horizon..!

[Alright, so I am exaggerating. Considering how you guys set me up to fail, I think I have the right to rant a bit..!!!]

The result of my intensive, mind-numbing thinking was a conclusion. I realized I would have to find a better way of proving my goodness. I had to acquire a new leg of reference and a new paradigm. As a result of that, I would have to throw away the do- good- deeds- and- help- people paradigm.

So far so good.

It came upon me like a flash of pure inspiration- coming out of more boxes than I could count. I know you might be tempted to call it genius, but please, spare my blushes.

I’d like you to walk walk with me along the steps which took me to the new paradigm.

I recalled that I  remembered Big Boss each time there has been a major screw-up in my life. I didn’t like to bother Him at other times- specially when things were going hunky-dory as a result of my excellent planning and foresight. I thought it only reasonable that He took care of other people in those times, since I didn’t really need Him. I know it was generous of me, but then I cant help being like that. Only, somehow you guys did not allot any brownie points for this kind of goodness so it never did me any good. Dammit.

Every well and barely known system of faith agrees that thinking of the Big Boss in a thankful way was a sure-shot winner in the race to tote up the max ‘goodness’ currency. I decided to thank Him MOST fervently for all the blessings in my life. My prayer of gratitude usually goes this way [I don’t mind sharing it with you, we have a community to feed, don’t we?]:

Dear Lord, I am grateful for the nice neighbors you’ve given me. They brought me a heaped bowl of home-made sweets today, which was so kind of them. Next time you hit them with the urge to share their goodies, could you also please suggest to them that they need don’t really need to be so stingy with the dry fruits? Also Lord, thank you for my close friend and for her generous heart which made her give me the beautiful length of dress material. Next time Lord, will you please whisper in her ear that my favorite color is red not the drab beige she gave me? Thank you for everything, Lord. Amen.

You see? Short and sweet and very much to the point.

Though I began saying my gratitude prayers diligently, I intuitively felt there was something wrong. Yes, I am like that Santa. Sensitive… almost clairvoyant you might say. I realized this was not going to be enough. I had to add power to this. It needed a shot in the arm desperately.

This is the inspired part now Santa. Listen up carefully.

What’s the best way to add weight to a good thing, I asked myself. Why, it was to multiply it many fold. In short I needed to say more and more prayers. To be brutally honest Santa, I sincerely tried that one. But you know, there wasn’t much to be grateful for… I managed almost everything all by myself. And one doesn’t give undeserved credit… it is dishonest in a way, isn’t it?

That discarded, I thought of getting more people to say gratitude prayers. That didn’t seem such a hot idea either. In the first place, why one earth would someone say a gratitude prayer just to win ME some brownie points on the goodness scale? I wouldn’t do it for anybody myself. I mean, what was in it for them? Moreover, it would win THEM points… giving me nothing but the thinnest sliver from the crust- if that.

Now hold your breath Santa. What I am about to tell you will revolutionize the whole blessed do- good- and- win- points industry, I know it will.

The flash of pure intellect that hit me was this thought Santa: What if I could do things to cause people to spontaneously say prayers of gratitude as a direct result of some action of mine..?!

You see the sheer genius of the idea Santa..? Can you imagine how broad a vision my incomparable mind could envisage? Aren’t you impressed?

Once that idea had taken a firm hold in my mind, I knew the final decision was but a step. Let me recap the last point for you, I don’t want any confusions here.

I had figured out that it is virtuous to make the Big Boss feel important by praying to him every day- to remember him with gratitude. Stretching this a mite, I thought, it must surely be even more virtuous if I did something to make people think of him with gratitude. As I said, just a question of simple multiplication.

I hope you see the effort of thought that has gone into making me good this year. I assure you there was nothing casual, haphazard or chancy about my goodness. It was all carefully planned. I hate this habit some people have of blundering here and there and then pretending to be surprised no matter what results they get. It is so totally hypocritical, isn’t it?

No, I sat down and planned it all because this year I want a whole load of stuff from you.

Now, what was it that I could do I asked myself. To tell you frankly, I was stumped. I was clueless. For the life of me I didn’t know how to work this one out. All the pleased-as-punch feeling I was basking in up to this point, disappeared into thin air. I wasn’t feeling so hot about the idea now. I mean what is the point of having a hot-shot idea without the means of cashing in on it? I felt discriminated against and cheated. To say that I was resentful would be to put it mildly.

I tried everything I knew to wrack my brain. I even tried to sleep… someone told me it helps the sub-conscious to come up with ideas. All my sub-conscious came up with is to give me a over-slept headache. But I am made of sterner stuff, so didn’t give up. I went on sleeping until my family told me that I might as well be dead for all the good I was to them. You can always depend on family to be brutally honest with you. Who was that said that the best way to be happy was to have a loving family- in another town…?

I even tried to pull my hair out by the handful. This is a tried and tested technique and has always worked. This time it didn’t. All it gave me was depressing bald patches on my head. Seeing them my eldest came up with the idea that I was perhaps gaining height so fast I was leaving my hairline behind. The disrespect I tell you…! Can you see what I have gone through? Is that alone not enough to prove my goodness…? But I shall prove it to you irrevocably…

By this time I was desperate. Christmas was round the corner. In desperation, I had a conference with the Big Boss. I told him that for myself I didn’t care at all. I could do without a few goodies less here and there. But I couldn’t bear for Him to be so ignored. I described the whole scenario to Him in detail. I reminded Him how good He would feel when He has like a million people thanking Him all day instead of a measly score that He managed to eke out nowadays. (So I exaggerated a bit… big deal…! Hang me already!)

I am telling you, He fell for it like a ton of bricks. Looks like there is nothing sweeter than people thanking you. He promised to think of something for me to do. Sure enough He was ready with a solution within a couple of days. Impressed me quite a bit, I must confess. Pleased as punch and grinning happily, I sat down to listen to His idea.  Within minutes, I wiped the grin off my face. What He told me was this:

Big Boss: The only talent I remember having given you is an uncanny ability to get under people’s skin and irritate them till they want to hurl bricks at your head. You have an unerring instinct to go for people’s jugular. There is never a group of people you leave behind that hasn’t at least some people who aren’t toying with the idea of sticking a knife between your shoulder blades. It either that or a carefully planned trip to the internet to look for some kind of undetectable poison. What I am saying is that you leave people with a distinct rise in their homicidal tendencies. So I’ve thought of some way of exploiting this natural talent. You will start BLOGGING!!!

Self: What…!!! B B B B Blog? But how will that help?

Big Boss: Well, its like this. When you write something, it will be totally irritating. You will ramble on for hours and digress all over the place without coming to the point. People wont be able to avoid reading your blogs because your in-born tenacity and pushiness will make you pursue them like a blood hound. Your blogs will be so thoroughly maddening that people will feeling like writing to the blog host to make your address public just so they could send you sticks of RDX and satisfy their urge to do you in. But that will come later. Once they finish reading your stuff, they will say… THANK GOD IT IS OVER!!!

Self: Just like they will feel after reading this one?

Big Boss: BINGO..!!!

And now for the things I need this Christmas. Have you a paper and pen? Good! Then write…