It was the night before Christmas Eve and Santa was busy packing all the gifts. Meanwhile, the Grinch had sent his spies to know what Santa was up to and after his spies returned, they informed him that Santa was packing presents. The Grinch was fuming and wanted to stop Santa. So, after Santa had fallen asleep, the Grinch stealthily crept up to his house to rob all the presents. But he made a loud thud when he fell down from the chimney and Santa woke up startled. He darted outside and saw the Grinch, who challenged him to a fight.
It’s that time of the year. Everybody has asked Santa for something. Santa wrote to everyone that he had met with an accident and broke his leg.
Santa was a big pluviophile and was enjoying the petrichor. He took his bumbershoot with him. Santa was walking on air. It was a week before he would distribute the gifts for Christmas. His beard had grown very long, all the way to his boots. Santa Claus’ wife, Santy Claus, commanded, ‘Go trim your beard, or I’m cutting it off.’ And she was very bad at it. So here he was, standing at the porch of his favorite barber shop called ‘Big, Bad Barbers’.
On a chilly Christmas eve, Santa was all set with his sleigh to deliver presents to children. He proceeded from his gift making factory and reached the first house he needed to deliver the present to. Santa descended from his sleigh and took out the gift from his sack. He started climbing the roof so that he could slide down the chimney. But the snow on the roof was too slippery and Santa fell down!
It is Christmas time. That time when the North Pole choir sings jolly Christmas carols, snowball fights happen everywhere, Christmas sweets are made and kids’ hearts are full of joy. The season to make merry and spread love.
Santa Claus was sitting on a chair with a Christmas tree-topped thermometer sticking out of his mouth. I, meanwhile, sat beside him feeling pity for the whole world out there, waiting for Santa to deliver their gifts at night, who would wake up to find an empty tree. I had already gotten my gift, but before he could deliver all his gifts he went down with fever!
‘God! The number of times I have told this man to wear adequate clothes, that hat is hardly anything!’
It was evening. The sky was a painter’s dream of accomplishment. But how could one capture this heavenly beauty that seemingly lit every corner of the Earth? The sun was slowly steeping into the ground while its scattered yellow lights bid goodbye to the worn-out people of the land. The moon was now peeping from between the fluffy white clouds, glowing softly. Its softness numbed my pricking worries, letting my mind live life for once. The wind was blowing softly. Brushing my cheeks, it quietly landed on each tree, making their nettled leaves sway gently. I stared. My restless red eyes were soaking in the simplicity of this beauty. “Even an eternity wouldn’t do justice to such a paradise,” I said quietly to myself. This moment was my escape from reality. This is when I would pretend that the world was this phenomenal dwelling of peace and love. But alas, one’s imagination can only last so long. Aware that reluctance was tugging at my heart, I turned my glance at the people around. Predictably, what lay in front of me was- in a word – “chaos”. It was quite amusing to see people so wrapped up in their problems, that not even a paradise for a solution would dare distract them. “Mortals,” I said, shaking my head in disappointment.
This story is about a girl called Bhavna. She was a twelve-year-old girl who lived in a small village. She was the first girl child to go to school in the village. Her dad Mr. Moksh was weak in studies and used to fail in all his exams. The villagers used to rag him a lot about his failure. Moksh got really angry and decided to put Bhavna in a good school so that he could proudly say that his daughter was the first educated girl in the village. The villagers had a perspective that educating girls was a waste of money. Bhavna didn’t care about them because she used to really enjoy learning in school.
‘As I Prepare For Landing!’ is the debut book of Mrs. Gulnar Raheem Khan. It won the Best Debut award in the Fiction Book category held at the 4th ALS Lit Fest in the year 2022. It has been described as a ‘Basket of Stories’ and a ‘Casket of Poems’. I would, however, classify most of the prose in this book as personal experiences and anecdotes, since they do not follow the structure expected from a short story, like character arc, plot, conflict. They are simplistic in nature, with love and compassion being the common themes recurring throughout the book.
“God believes in creating infinite variety because he believes variety is the spice of life.”
Pluck any two leaves from the tree. Aren’t they different? Then how can two children be the same? Teachers, parents and grown-ups need to understand that each child is born with a unique set of talents, personality traits, abilities and interests to make this world a beautiful and colorful mosaic. Imagine how dull and dreadful life would be if everyone was either an engineer or a doctor?