Friday, December 16, 2005

Scary Santa

TOI report: Father Christmas may be perceived as a scary figure
It is a while ago now, when my daughter was 3 years old. She went to a small pre-nursery school---it was one room, to be exact. It was run by a lady who loves kids, and her own having grown up, found this an ideal way to spend her time.
For Christmas, she organized a treat for the toddlers in her care. She got sweets and small gifts for all the children. She made a small Nativity scene in a corner of the room. She told them the Christmas story. She told them they would all be getting Christmas presents. And then, as the grand finale, a door burst open and in rushed a portly figure in red, his face nearly hidden in a beard and whiskers of cotton wool.
“Ho, ho, ho,” he cried and swung a huge bag from his shoulder. For a moment there was stunned silence. Then it was shattered by a shriek, and my daughter went off into howls of terror. She managed to set off most of the class too. What nobody had budgeted for was the fact that most kids, at some time or the other in their young lives are threatened with a “Buddhha baba”, an old man who takes away disobedient children in a big bag. Parents use that vision to get kids to drink their milk, have their medicine, go to bed---whatever. And here was the menacing ‘baba’ in person!
I thought only non-Christian kids might get scared of Santa, but I saw an episode of Full House in which the twins Nicky and Alex are terrified too, because they are told, "He is watching you, he sees when you are good and when you are bad!"
Note: I don't think I ever raised the spectre of the buddhha baba, though I remember regularly enlisting the services of the colony watchman to get her to take her medicine! He would cajole her in the most avuncular fashion, whereas I wanted him to be a figure of awe!


Blogger ... said...

Yeah...I've known kids who are scared of clowns too!

18/12/05 10:23 PM  
Blogger LAK said...

And balloons!

18/12/05 11:01 PM  
Blogger MumbaiGirl said...

I'm scared of clowns! Well actually, just find them a tad creepy and sad.

That was a funny story. Did they all stop crying once they got their gifts?

19/12/05 3:23 AM  
Blogger LAK said...

Oh, yes, they did! The Santa was actually the lady's husband and he had to remove his beard!
I was not scared of clowns earlier, but I am now, ever since I read Stephen King's "IT".

19/12/05 8:59 AM  
Blogger One in a Billion said...

One's old colony-watchman made a most formidable buddhha-baba. One still has terrifying visions of him taking one away whenever one does bad things. Which is practically every day.

19/12/05 4:13 PM  
Blogger LAK said...

The One: welcome!I think an entire generation has grown up terrified of the watchman. and then of course, the classic,"raat ko jab baccha rota hai tho maa kehti hai----"

19/12/05 7:53 PM  
Blogger Shankari said...

Hi! I used have these issues with my dd too! She was just too shy. Even if anyone rang the beel at home, she go into hiding. The milkman was her daily terror. I used to be quite upset by it and really despair. No Santa for her. She wass terrified most of the part we were in Disney World. Till suddenly she grew out of it...Just hug her!

23/12/05 10:26 PM  
Blogger LAK said...

Shankari, can totally understand. Sometimes I feel, how do we determine what the kids would like?Just because we find something cute, does not mean the kids will too!

23/12/05 11:20 PM  
Blogger krupali said...


24/12/05 10:53 AM  
Blogger LAK said...

Krupali, Thanx for dropping by.

25/12/05 7:03 AM  
Blogger Hiren said...

First time I have heard of anbybody being scared of Santa. I thought he was always an endearing figure.

25/12/05 11:11 PM  
Blogger LAK said...

Hiren, thanx for visiting.Well, like the report I quoted,it's official now. And children do get scared of the strangest things. A neice of mine was scared of soft toys.I guess our perception is just different from theirs!

27/12/05 1:46 AM  
Blogger Thulika - My pen said...

Hmm..thinking about it Santa 'CLAWS' could be scary. How are little children supposed to know santa is a good old man and not just another potli baba!!!...But it is nice too in a have one good story you can tell her (her kids too when she has them)...:)... about herself when she is older..:)

28/12/05 4:36 AM  
Blogger LAK said...

Thulika welcome! She is almost grown up now, and I've told her this story!

28/12/05 7:31 AM  
Blogger Thulika - My pen said...

Thanks for dropping by at my Blog...:)..Happy to know your daughter wants to be an architect too. It is nice to listen to stories about ones own childhood isnt it? Parents always dont remember many of the stories, they get faded in the midst of the crying, diaper changing, not eating, illnesses and the sleepless nights and tensions that follow. Grandparents, Aunties, Brothers/ sisters, cousins, neighbours have better stock of such stories..:)..May be all those stories can become inspiration to write a book..:)..I love the Chef, chaufer, teacher,....part of your profile. Summing up you could say profession:..Being Mr. MOM..:)..

28/12/05 9:36 PM  
Blogger B o o said...

Lak, you have a great blog here. Mine is scared shitless of the pressure cooker whistles! Gotta feed her when shes hungry but cant cook some rice for myself. Go figure!:) Thanks for dropping by my blog. Wishing you a wonderful New Year!

2/1/06 3:15 AM  
Blogger ... said...

Hey! A very happy New Year to you!

3/1/06 3:23 AM  
Blogger Thulika - My pen said...

Hope you had a wonderful time at the begining of the new year. Enjoy!

4/1/06 12:51 AM  
Blogger Deepali said...

that was hilarious!

I got conned into thinking the watchman's lathi going tak tak at night was the b.b. coming for me when i didn't eat my dinner.

Such dhoka *sigh*

28/2/06 7:50 AM  

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