Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
Jingle all the way
Santa Claus is coming along
In a one-horse open sleigh…
This lyric reminds us of Christmas Eve, the Jingling sound of bells, shining lights, tasty fruit cakes, beautifully decorated Christmas tree and lots of gifts. It creates a festive mood. Amid celebration, fun, happiness and loads of smiles, the ambience enlightens every heart and mind. It is an attempt to welcome Jesus, the saviour of humanity with a grand celebration. The year-long, parents keep repeating- “be a good child if you wish to get your desired gift this Christmas.” A belief prevails that St. Nicholas (most popularly known as Santa Claus) descends on earth and brings gifts for all. This belief makes every child excited about Christmas Eve.
The same was the preparation this year. The entire London was decorated with lights, and bells dipped in the ocean of fun, enjoyment and merrymaking.
Alec with Mick, Joe, Peter and Mary was busy decorating the Christmas tree in their apartment, ‘Dreams mansion.’ There was a peculiar brightness in each one of their faces. All of them were wonderfully dressed, like pretty angels.
Alec said, “Hey friends, what gifts are you all going to wish for this year? Have you decided? As girls are always excited about gifts, Mary and Joe excitedly replied-“Yes.”
Alec looked at Mick, expecting an answer from him, but the tasty burger and the pastries didn’t let him pay attention to Alec’s words. He was busy devouring cakes and chocolates. He didn’t even bother to listen to the topic of discussion as his full focus was on the slice of cake and the creamy foam. Peter was sitting adjacent to him. He patted his back and asked, “Hey, what are you going to wish for this time? What gift do you want Santa Claus to bring for you?” Mick was still busy. He didn’t even look at Peter. His eyes shined with joy, and his mouth continued to devour the food. Taking a huge bite of Cadbury, with his eyes on the served cakes on the table, he replied, “hmm! I am a bit confused, Peter. I am unable to decide whether the best gift to think of would be a bag of chocolates of different flavours or a box of sweets. If I wish for two, can’t he give me both?”
All of them busted into laughter and moved closer to him.
Alec placed his hand on his shoulders and said, “Mick, you shouldn’t be greedy. If you behave like this, then you may not receive any gifts.”
By this time somebody called from behind, “Children! Here is a surprise for you all.”
They turned around and found a man, in his mid-forties, standing at the door. He had a beautiful chocolate cake in his hand with some cherries on its top. It looked lovely and of course, yummy. It was Mr Smith, Alec’s father. After the demise of his mother, he had taken care of Alec and his younger sister. He never allowed his professional responsibilities to drag him away from his kids. A successful professional and a loving father, Mr Smith, was one of the richest and happiest people at Tender Valley.
Alec rushed to the door and hugged the man and said, “I Love you, Dad. Thank you so much. The cake looks captivating.” His dad replied, “It is equally delicious. Let us taste it.” They enjoyed the cake together. The preparations for the next day’s celebration were almost done. The Christmas tree glittered with shiny stars, balls and bells. Gifts wrapped in red and yellow glitter papers looked gorgeous. Alec’s friends left for their home with lots of excitement to meet the next morning.
Alec moved to his room and opened his wardrobe to check whether his new suit for the Christmas party is well-plated and ready. He was satisfied with the dress, and now, it was time to make a wish. He went to his bed and took a piece of paper and a pen. After scratching his head for a while, he scribbled something on the paper and folded it into four. He then placed the same under his pillow and switched off the light.
Alec was one of those children in the neighbourhood who grew up listening to the stories of Santa Claus. His mysterious voyage and beautiful Christmas presents. He believed that every year he comes from a distant place to see the children and get their desired gifts on Christmas Eve. Since he gained consciousness, he had received gifts on the day and a small size Santa doll every year. When the night queen casts her spell and lulls all to sleep, Santa descends on earth and fulfils all wishes. This is what he had heard from his mother when he was of just two years old. Alec was about to sleep, and his dad entered his room and asked, “Did you make your wish, Son?”
Alec said, “Yes, Dad. Shall I ask you something?”
He placed his head on his father’s lap and asked, “Dad, how do Santa know about our wishes and bring the same gift for us that we wish? Where does he buy such a variety of gifts at a time? How does he distribute all gifts within a few hours? Moreover, how does he remember which child has asked for which gift? Is not it amazing Dad?” he went on saying, and his dad looked at him with a smiling face, thinking how innocent his questions are!
He caressed Alec’s head affectionately and said, “He comes to know everything because he is a saint, and loves every child equally. Now, you sleep well.” Saying this, he kissed Alec’s forehead, wishing him goodnight. He noticed a scar mark on his forehead and asked, “What is this scar, Alec?”
He replied, “Oh! That’s nothing, dad. I had a duel with one of my classmates today at school.” Mr Smith enquired instantly, “What? Duel! What was the matter? What made you get involved in a fight? Moreover, you should avoid such situations as it is out of courtesy to fight with friends.” Alec listened to him silently with his head down. His dad then caressed his head lovingly and said, “Tell me, why did you fight? He replied in a slow voice, “I didn’t fight. It was Ronny who initiated and created a scene.”
Dad said, “Ok, but why?”
Alec Said-“For you.”
His dad was shocked to listen to this. He asked, “Me! How? Tell me in detail.”
Alec narrated the entire incident with utmost innocence.
We had a class on Environmental Education on the topic ‘Global Warming.’ While teaching, the teacher put a question to the class - What is Global Warming? Many students raised their hands, showing their knowledge regarding it. The teacher asked some of them to answer, but she couldn’t get the correct answer. Ronny too raised his hand. Being asked by the teacher, he said, “Global means ‘Earth’ and Warming means ‘Hot’. So, Global warming means ‘the earth is getting hot.’ The entire class laughed at this answer. The stern look of the teacher made the class fall silent, and she asked Ronny to explain how does that happen? He scratched his head for a while but had no answer to this question. The question was repeated, and the teacher expected some clarity in the response. Then she asked me and I said “The temperature of the earth is increasing due to global warming. The rise of Industrialization and the increasing rate of co2 in the atmosphere being released from industry is one of the major reasons behind it.”
Listening to this, Smith said- “Hmmm. Very good. You gave the correct answer. So, what happened next?”
Alec replied- “Yes, mam too said the same. She patted my back and praised me in front of the whole class. Ronny got scolded for being negligible towards his studies. He naturally felt insulted and jealous of me.”
After the class, one of the boys asked Ronny, “How could Alec answer the question correctly when no one else could? He is studious.”
Ronny didn’t like these words. He said in mockingly to taunt me, “No friends. The reality is something different. Do you know his Dad is the reason for Global Warming?”
The boy asked curiously- “His Dad! But How?”
Ronny said in an insulting sarcastic tone, “He is an industrialist. Being his son, it is quite obvious that he would know how his father is destroying the beautiful atmosphere by filling CO2. He is making the air poisonous for his self-interest and own profit.”
I overheard the entire conversation. I would have remained silent if Rocky had taunted me, but he directly blamed you. I couldn’t tolerate this. I turned back and said, “Rocky, don’t speak anything nonsense about my dad. He is not self-centred. He is very kind-hearted, responsible and loving person. He can never harm anyone.”
Rocky became aggressive and replied, “Yes. He is… and in future, you are also going to do the same thing. After all, dad’s son will follow the footsteps of his dad.” I lost my temper and hit him straight in his face to shut his mouth. He too hit me back which resulted in a fight. We pulled each other by holding each other’s collars. Our classmates intervened and separated us. In this small duel, I got this scar mark.”
His dad patiently listened to all this. He thought to himself, how sensitive the children of this generation are!
Alec moved closer to his dad and asked, “Dad, you tell me, Rocky was lying, Right? You are not the reason for Global Warming. Are you? I know you can’t.”
His dad replied, ’No, dear, I’m not. There are many reasons responsible for Global Warming. We would discuss it some other day. But Alec, you shouldn’t fight with your classmate like this. It is not good, son.”
Alec said, “But…”
His Dad stopped him and said, “No more words. It’s too late. Go to sleep.”
Alec said, “I love you, dad, and I want to be like you when I grow up.”
Saying this, he hugged his dad and said, “you are my hero, my role model.”
Smith caressed his head, smiled, kissed his forehead and wished him goodnight. He left the room, switching off the light.
The words of Alec buzzed in his mind. He couldn’t deny that being an industrialist, he is partially responsible for the worst atmospheric condition. He couldn’t even deny the significant profit he earns from the industry that has made life luxurious and easy-going for his family. He had seen the faith and confidence he has in him. He assured himself by thinking that, “success never comes without failure and nobody can gain without losing.” He spent some time in the garden amid the small flower plants which he loved the most. The industry is his profession and greenery is his passion. He has developed a beautiful lawn and a garden to provide a healthy life for his family. He watered those plants and sat there for a while to enjoy the peaceful ambience.