By Ruma Dubey
Dear Shri Santa Claus,
This is the busiest time of the year for you and you must off on your travels.
I know we are a “little” grown up to ask you for gifts but when times are bad, people latch on to even a blade of grass for support. And we seek some solace from you.
Children all around the world send you a wish list and we thought we will also ask for some ‘gifts’ which can make our life in India much better. We know, what we are asking for is maybe beyond you, but just wanted to let you know what we needed.
Also, can we please address you as Santaji? (Not to be confused with our desi Santa and Banta)
So here goes:
1: Santaji, as you might be aware about our Modiji (though he is yet to give a speech in Finland), can you please give him more strength and will to push through all the reforms. You see, he has promised so much but right now, nothing much seems to be happening. Crashing hope is worse than bullet wounds.
2: Oil prices are down and some of the biggest powers are fighting some battle. For us mere mortals, Santaji, can you please bring down the price of fuel further?
3: It would be impossible, Santaji, even for you to make India corruption free. But maybe you can sprinkle a sense of shame all around India; maybe this rare character, almost extinct in India, can help change some behavior?
4: Santaji, we know you are an angel for the children and might not be aware of the economic woes. But in case you are aware, can you keep the inflation rates as low as they are currently, so that we can bring down the interest rates too? I do not remember seeing any magic wand with you; so we wonder how you will be able to pull this off.
5: Now this is something which, maybe, you can really do. Santaji, on your swoop down into North India, just take a small deviation and visit the juggis and jhopadis. There are scores of children there, dying either due to cold or illness. Can you pretty please give them warmth, good food and better tents to live in?
6: Will it be possible for you to make the air in and around Delhi; nay, all over India pollution free? Maybe lessons is driving a sleigh like you could help?
7: We have embarked on this ambitious “Make in India” program in India. Can you please ensure that land, power, water, infra bottlenecks are removed so that this does become a reality? Yes, this is even too much to ask of you but we thought, “let’s give it a try, maybe?”
8: Like you giving gifts out of huge sacks, giving us what we ordered, Santaji, can you please teach these logistical skills to our Indian online retailers as they seem to be struggling to deliver, even within India?
9: Please Santaji, no more onions as gifts. Prices have crashed so you can instead get us a bag of pulses and fruits, which have truly become unaffordable for the common man.
10: Santaji, do you know where Raghuram Rajan lives? Am sure you will find out soon – when there, please ask him whether he can do something more to bring down the soaring NPAs of banks, instead of more new definitions for defaulters?
11: Santaji, you must be having a fantastic supply network as you seem to deliver all that is asked on time. Can you please conduct some classes for our Indian Govt in the same, once you are done with this ‘rush hour’ work?
12: And while you are travelling around the world, can you please carry some extra-large sacks to fill it up with all the black money hoarded by Indians? If you bring it back, a lot of our economic issues could get resolved in a jiffy.
13: This is not a wish – just wanted to know – are all your toys and giveaways also ‘Made in China’?
Well, the list can go on and on but surely, you have millions of wish lists to go through and you must be super busy! Please give a thought to our wish list; maybe that’s all we will get – a thought?
Jai Ho and Merry Christmas!
PS: Do you have an SMS or a Whatsapp where we can contact you directly next time? After all, snail mail is dying away and very soon, you too will need a better ‘app’ to stay connected.
And one more thing – in India, we do not have chimneys; so please do not waste your time trying to find one. Try climbing up the stairs as it would be better to have a fitter Santa. Yes, being fat is no longer correct and you could send the wrong message to the children. Please don’t mind!