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Wednesday, 24 December 2008

That Christmas Eve...


Cold winds shrieked as they hit against the window pane. It was nearly two hours since the shop had closed. After all, it was Christmas tomorrow; and who would want to be late for home on Christmas-eve? The residential area was not near by. Not a soul stirred in the desolate road... None but one. A waif. Whose gasped breathing seemed to be a desperate attempt at keeping his young lungs warm in the biting cold.

Little Ronny stood under the light of a lamp-post which was right outside the glass window... Stood. He stood so that the exposed parts of his already under-nourished body could try and absorb some of the warmth that seemed to emanate from the nebuluous light. Ronny could not sit. The pavement was too cold for his raw bottoms. He tried to balance himself by standing on his toes. He needed all of the faint warmth that his near four-foot frame could grope for. 

It would be Christmas soon... Ronny continued to throw hungry glances at the window. Hungry because his stomach ached. Hungry, also, because his will ached. He remembered promising his little sibling "that pretty-pretty pink doll which shhmiled shooo cutely"... That doll lay right behind the glass barrier. Ronny wished he had the strength of Samson - to break the glass. Ah! The lamp-post! But suddenly he wished he hadn't. How could he steal? His dead parents would not like it. But how could he refuse his sister... He knew the pain of an unfulfilled wish. His parents could not afford him an action figure. His sister was all innocence then. She knew no material pain. But now, she had grown into his treasured possession. His little Ree. He winced at the thought of a Christmas tainted by her tears...

There was a brick lying nearby... It was too big for his little hands. Nonetheless, he decided to give it a go. A faint rustle stopped him in his tracks. He looked around. Was there someone waiting to pounce on him? Kidnap him? Or worse; arrest him and throw him in a dark gaol cell? Any plain-clothesman on duty? Ronny's little mind raced... He spotted someone... Was it the beggar? Yeah..! It was "the beggar with the red eyes"... He was towering and gaunt. Ronny feared he was up to no good. But then again... How could anyone be up to no good on Christmas? It just didn't seem right!

All of a sudden, it started raining... The rain came down hard. A storm during Christmas was pretty much unheard of. Ronny ran across the road and hid under a shade. He began to sob... Heavy sobs. He was already drenched. Little feet do not have a long stride... The soaked countenance camouflaged his tears. The sobs became a wail, which was in turn drowned amidst thunder and the fulminating clouds. Then lightning struck and the gale howled. Party-poopers gate crashing a silent Christmas.

*** *** *** *** ***

Ronny woke when the faintest of sunlight blessed the Earth. He seemed all warm... "I must be having a terrible fever. Poor nanny will have even more trouble because of me." His thoughts were interrupted by an ancient voice. "Aww, Sonny boy's awayke awre yew dearie... Slept well?" It was the beggar. Ronny trembled at the sight of those bloodshot eyes. Warmth gave way to a tingling chill... The man, but smiled. "Aye, me lad... Wan' me ol' bag o' bones to tayke yew 'ome? No? Naaw there yew gow... Merry Christmas!" He thrust a bundle under Ronny's arm. Ronny took a look at himself with his bleary eyes. A few more layers of clothing, however ragged, adorned him. The beggar reclined against the wall and watched the numb, bewildered boy silently take leave.

Day broke. News of the strong winds, the sudden rains and the devilish lightning taking out a bent lamp-post began to spread. However, there was no news made of the limp cadaver. For, a stone's throw away from the lamp-post was a bare, gaunt body lying lifeless on the cold Earth. The eyes were red. But there was a tranquil serenity about the face, which also bore a pacific smile. Upon finally being discovered, there were talks that he resembled some Saint Nicholas. Humankind is not new to gossip.

Ree would have her Christmas after all...

*** *** ***

"He wishes for the cloths of heaven" (William Butler Yeats) came to my mind as I wrote that story. It is one of my favourites...

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

*** *** ***

Here's wishing you and all your family a very Merry Christmas. May the Holy Spirit usher in times of affluence and well-being. Let us try and bring a smile on someone's face. 

Peace on Earth, goodwill to men. (I love that hymn!)

50 comments:

Sneha said...

Heartfelt story.
Merry Christmas.

CяystąL said...

Wow..What an apt story for the eve of Christmas,Kartz..
Well said..
A verrrrt Merrry Christmas to youu!! :)

Richa said...

awwwww

its so piognant....
n moving...

loved this one.. :)

merry christmas to u too :)

NAVAL LANGA said...

I would spread the cloths under your feet: Here Yeats display one of the basic human instincts.

We love to give to our beloveds the best we can offer, the best we have in possession. And who can be more beloved of ours than the God Himself/Herself [I don't know whether the God is He or She]

Merry Christmas.

Naval Langa

Gauri Mathur said...

:):)Nice:):)
n thanks for ur warm wonderfull wishes..:-))
wish you the same:):):)
cheers!!
enjoy!
take care..
God Bless!!!

Karthik said...

chk ma blog... Santa has gt smething for u!! Here is Santa's address...

http://nxgmobz.blogspot.com/2008/12/jingle-bells-jingle-bells-awards-all.html

Gail said...

Hi Kartz-

Such a beautiful story. "Thank You" for this.

"Merry Christmas" to you and yours.

With hope for us all....

your sister in faith
Gail
peace...

Gauri Mathur said...

:):)Nice:):)
N Thanks for ur warm wonderfull wishes!:-)

Wish you the same:-)
take care
God Bless !

Ramanathan Palaniappan said...

touching story indeed...

Priya Joyce said...

awwwwww wat a suttle way to bring out santa there

wow

just wonder piece ...

thanx for the wish friend ... same to you

Priya Joyce said...

oops i am sorry typos its subtle*

Divya said...

best christmas story of the season!
merry christmas :)

Ayushi said...

This time, what I liked about your story was something different.
It was the perfectness with which you have adorned the right philosophy with perfect art.

Struggle for survival is indeed the law of nature, but the basic minimum, so that we may at least fight, is the one which everyone should have by right.
But mind...this basic minimum is just enough food and clothing to sustain oneself.
I would love to see someone struggle (like fight the desire to steal)...thats the beauty of this world...

Perfect.
:)

preeti said...

what a post. loved it. ronnie rocks truly.

Anurag said...

aww mann ...that was such a nice story ...and lovely lines those ....kudos mann ....

WarmSunshine said...

this was beautiful Kartz... it was as if happening before my very eyes... Brilliant... and yes... it sure is a perfect read for Christmas...

let's not forget the poor in our happiness... you did your share buddy!

hats off to you!

Kartz said...

##Sneha
Thanks.

Season's Greetings.

Kartz said...

##Crystal
Thanks.

Season's Greetings.

Kartz said...

##Richa
Thanks. Glad you liked it... :)

Season's Greetings.

Kartz said...

##Naval Langa
Thanks for the read.

Season's Greetings.

Kartz said...

##Gauri
Thanks buddy.

Season's Greetings.

Kartz said...

##Karthik
Noted. Thanks.

Season's Greetings.

Kartz said...

##Gail
Thanks. Glad you liked it ma'am...

Season's Greetings.

Kartz said...

##Palaniappan
Thanks for the read buddy.

Season's Greetings.

Kartz said...

##Priya Joyce
Gratias...

Season's Greetings.

Kartz said...

##Priya Joyce
Of course. Noted it already. :P

Kartz said...

##Divya
Gee... Thanks. :)

Season's Greetings.

Kartz said...

##Ayushi
Thanks. :)

Season's Greetings.

Kartz said...

##Preeti
Thanks. Welcome back..! :P

Season's Greetings.

Kartz said...

##Anurag
Thanks. Glad you liked it. Welcome to Contorted Reality. Keep visiting...

Season's Greetings.

Peace.

Kartz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kartz said...

##Mehreen
Merci beaucoup! :)

Season's Greetings.

Peace.

*~*{Sameera}*~* said...

I loved the narration,the theme and the spirit.The verse at the end is the icing on the cake :)

*Applause*

verbivorehere said...

Heeyyyy.. i cant believe i missed ths one till one!! You touched me! Its soooo niice..ur first work at fiction?? OMG..i guess ill write half a post here. But you got me lost inside the story..i really dnt have words.to describe! the sibling's affection, the old man's sacrifice..uve weaved it so beautifully! and the poem is too good!

verbivorehere said...

This deserves a second comment! the poetry you have chosen..is worth repeating a 100 times (10 times already done ;P) and it suits so well to the situation!

kanaguonline said...

very nice story :)
Belated christmas wishes :)
Will make my new year wishes on time ;)

Usha Pisharody said...

So very very touching! Sorry I missed reading this one!

Season's greeting to you; and specially, a very Happy New Year!

God Bless!

Kartz said...

##Sameera
*bows to the applause*

:)

Kartz said...

##verbivorehere
Thank you so much. Glad it was to your liking.

Well, it isn't my first take at fiction. There have been others. Forgot 'Unforgiving Africa', 'Rivalry'..? ;)

Peace.

Kartz said...

##kanaguonline
Thanks mate.

Kartz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kartz said...

##Usha ma'am
Merci beaucoup madame. :)

jayu said...

Kartz-a beautiful story.I had tears in my eyes reading it.
A lovely,heartwarming tale for the season.

Akshat said...

Hey Kartz...

I guessed I missed this one.....:(

The fun would have been when I had read it in on the Christmas Eve..:(

Amazing story....imagery was very strong....

Peace....

Kartz said...

##Jayu Auntie
Glad you liked it... :)

Kartz said...

##Akshat
Thanks buddy...

bondgal_rulz said...

A very heart warming story. Perfectly written. :)

Kartz said...

Thanks Isha... :)

Towards reclamation said...

okay ... i had trouble with the last para in your story .. infact the last line when you say lil Ree would hv her christmas .. lemme know wat happ there ...

and tread on my dreams .. beautiful

Kartz said...

##Towards reclamation
Allow me to explain -

Ronny didn't have to break through the glass to take that doll. Heavens decreed that he would gift it to his sister. How? The storm ensured that the bent lamp-post would break the glass.

The beggar, in an attempt to gift the child, gives Ronny the same doll before he breathes his last.

The metaphors and analogies relating to Saint Nicholas are just to bring the Christmas feel into the composition. For, it is a season of love and selflessness. After all, the mythological Santa Claus is none other than Saint Nicholas himself.

Yet, in such a season, people are known to think only about their needs and forget the poor. Which is why I say humankind is not new to gossip.

Ree has her Christmas, thanks to Nature, will of God (they believed in one) and a Santa Claus incarnate.

Hope you get the picture now...

And yes, Yeats is awesome. Do read his poetry if you get a chance. :)

Peace.

Minions

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Rendition?

"Santa" Akshat comes to town!

"Santa" Akshat comes to town!
A token from a fellow blogging compadre, Akshat

Lady Cяystal relates...

Lady Cяystal relates...
Note - her creativity *swells* with every block. :)