Sumati Huber sleighs her impression.
Christmas? What do you mean it is a time of joy and cheer? I would be joyful all year round if you actually listened when I asked you to do something. It must really be Christmas magic that you jumped out of bed early today because you wanted presents when you normally come out of your room in time for lunch!
What nonsense that people leave out milk and cookies for Santa. Do they not worry the ants will come also? Hai, I would put out chai and parathas in a tiffin, at least it will stay warm and covered. Of course Santa would like Indian food, don’t be silly! Have you seen his belly? He must be having indigestion all the time eating junk so late at night! People should really offer him some ginger water instead.
OK, fine, you can open this present first. Do you like it? Yes, I know it’s your maths textbook from school. Why should I go out and buy new things when you already have so much? I even wrapped it so nicely with your old homework that I saved as a reminder that you need to focus on your studies instead of material things. You should be happy to get a good education instead of wasting your time watching TV.
Alright, no need to grumble so much, tomorrow we can go out and buy a real present when everything starts to go on sale. You know gifts cost money, right? Last time you asked us to buy strawberry yoghurt from the supermarket and you didn’t even eat it! Now it is expired. Every day is Christmas for you, expecting to get things all the time and not appreciating it. Here you already get free meals and treat us like a hotel, coming and going as you please.
What, you bought something for us also? You don’t need to give us presents, such a waste of money. We have everything already. Oh yes, it’s very nice, the perfect cup for tea. We can’t use it yet, it has to be washed first! I’ll save it for when we have a special occasion. Never mind, just leave it in the box with the plastic around it, let’s try to make it look new for as long as possible.
Come, we can go to mandir today instead and pray. So what if Christmas isn’t Indian? You are treating it as an auspicious day so let’s get some blessings. Half the time you are trying to leave any puja we do, or staring at your phone while pandit ji is chanting, but look, for this gora festival you are sitting so nicely under the tree. And leaving on all the Christmas lights for the whole month of December, what a waste of electricity!
What do you mean we are going for a Christmas roast? People are not vegetarian today? How can they eat meat on the day their saviour was born? I really don’t understand this celebration, bribing people to be good so they get presents but forgetting to listen to their parents the rest of the year.
You know what is the best gift? Doing well in school, becoming a doctor and getting married instead of jingling all the way to meet your friends. Now that will be a Christmas miracle!
An unreformed party girl and mother of two, writer, editor and observer Sumati Huber tries to make sense of our unique Thai-Indian society and the aunties that she will one day become.