It’s a cold December night. Others would argue it’s pleasant but I’d say cold. It’s a little late, most shops have pulled down their shutters. Riding the breeze, piercing the otherwise silent night, most out of place at this late hour is Himmesh Reshamiya, crooning Tera sarafa kaisa hai hum dum . The street ahead is pretty deserted. I can’t see where this music, if you can call it that, comes from. It’s way too loud to be a radio playing somewhere or even to be the music at a bar. There’s probably a party somewhere. But it’s still 3 days to Ring out the old, ring in the new.
I turn a corner and I can see bright lights and a small crowd. But it’s not a party. Goodness gracious me! Blistering barnacles! Heavens above! God’s nightgown! That can’t be true. There is a Santa Claus jiving to Himesh Bhai’s nasal notes!! A shiny banner above screams ‘Merry Christmas’! (And btw it’s almost four days past X’mas) Right above the banner a board proudly announces ‘Radhe sweets’, in Devanagri. Wow! They take secularism, or mixed bag, or khichadi if you may, to another level. A closer look reveals the presence of a perfectly idiotic looking clown on the stage, as well. His face is painted an ugly pale pink with the quintessential red clown’s nose. Some little kids have climbed onto the stage and they are bobbing up and down, without any sense of rhythm or direction whatsoever, while their proud and grinning parents look on and cheer. I don’t know if I’m flabbergasted or amazed or amused or about to crack up.
But there’s something that makes me smile. It’s not Christmas and it’s not New Years. The music isn’t a Christmas carol. The Santa has a white beard, brown skin and black eyebrows. The clown is dancing with the Santa for no apparent rhyme or reason. And the kids are just happy doing their own Brownian motion. Any dream will do. We just need an excuse to celebrate.
As i walk away I hear a Punjabi song blaring from the speakers. As if the pot pourri wasn’t enough of a patchwork already. Jee karda bhai jee karda tainu kol bithawa jee karda. It won’t be a surprise if India invents a girlfriend for Santa next! (Maybe Karina) And maybe Santa and his girl would do a Raas Leela outside Radhe Sweets then. Gujju Khichadi!