Dear Santa a.k.a. Christmas Father, as we are saying in Fiji
I am Mrs Singh. As you are probably knowing, we are having Diwali here every year before Christmas. It is, on a scale of one to ten as the professors are saying, a 9.5 as far as festivals are going. Lots of pretty lights and plenty sweets, and good curry as well. Also plenty of fireworks only this year government not allowing bangers and children very disappointed. They are saying it is because Prime Minister’s parents never allowing him to have bamboo cannon when he was boy and now he spoil it for others, but I am not knowing this for fact. But even without bangers, Diwali is being very fine and Christmas is maybe six or seven on the professor’s scale. But don’t worry, we are still celebrating, Santa, because you know Fiji peoples, they doing anything for a good chow. Other thing is, Christmas is about giving presents, and we are writing to you for the things we want.
First thing Santa, you need to get the damn bloody printer fixed or there isn’t going to be any Christmas list for anyone. If I am getting printed out I will pin it on the bookshelf. Excuse us Santa, but people in Fiji don’t have the chimney. Because, thank God, we got the kerosene stove and the gas cooker now. And as you know, we aren’t having snow either. I expect those goats with funny horns that you are driving quite like coming to the warm places, eh?
But I know Santa, that Christmas is not being just about getting presents but also about other firstclass things, maybe eight-nine on the professor scale.
Peace on Earth, eh Santa. A bit of peace around our house would be very nice, but since we are having the chickens I am not getting any anyway, so you can give my peace to that poor refugee woman I saw on the BBC television, ttch ttch, and you should give her a chicken too, poor thing.
Also goodwilling to all men. I am doing goodwill to all women too, and am trying with all men but some are making it very hard. Are you reading the Fiji Times, Santa?” I mean, I am having goodwill towards prisoners, definitely, but prisoners in their place. Prisoners on picnic islands like that failed coup swine bastard George Speight and prisoners allowed to go home because they have a sore leg are not prisoners, are they, no matter what the government say. And I am trying to have goodwill towards politicians but if you are wanting my advice, Santa, they are mostly not deserving what they get and I would be very careful about their Christmas lists if I were you.
But I am not demanding lie some people, Santa, who are asking for the I-pods and the X-boxes and the P-plates. I am just wanting a skylight in the back of the kitchen and that pinky-colour shalwar kameez that is right in the corner of Ramesh Brothers shop window in Nausori, and maybe the matching matching pink bangles. Never mind about the shoes now, I am borrowing my sister’s high heels since she is falling over at Diwali and dropping the Dhal. Bahut mesh, Santa, and her mother-in-law hot like hell.
Anyway, say hello to Baby Jesus for me, Santa. He seems a very nice baby. Not cute like Baby Krishna, who is being a real 9.8 on the professor scale, but I am seeing he is a sweet little boy. Never mind that business about who’s the father, anybody can make mistake, like my cousin’s sister-in-law;s daughter last year. Nobody making a big fuss these days and that Mary seems a very nice woman. Only I’m wondering, how is the mother-in-law there?
That is all for now, Santa, so wishing you a merry Christmas,
Yours faithfully, Mrs Singh
PS: Santa, if you are getting the pinky colour shalwar kameez for the Ramesh Brothers in Nausori, it is size 18, but not telling my skinny sister-in-law please. I will be leaving some goat curry on the kitchen table for you on Christmas Eve, and I think you are knowing where the whisky is.
Yours sincerely, Mrs Singh
PPS: Personally I am not believing too much in Santa Claus because there are a lot of fakes around. Scruffy old men in red tracksuits who are needing haircut and who are putting little girls on their knees like we are reading about in the Fiji Times every week. But maybe if I am leaving this around my husband will see it and I will finally get that damn bloody skylight in the back of the kitchen before I am going blind.
Yours truly, Mrs Singh
Seona Smiles is a well known columnist and activist from Fiji. She has published a collection of her short pieces which she often performs to great acclaim at reading nights.