A nonplussed North Pole

Last Updated 26 December 2010, 10:37 IST

 Deep rifts appeared on his forehead as He reached for his antacids.

Tension always aggravated his ulcers. Christmas was round the corner and there was no sign of the usual frantic activity at Santa’s factories.

All was quiet at the North Pole. Just some lazy seals idly around. No Elves working night and day. No reindeer being put through their paces for their long trek.

Not even Santa doing a few weights to get into peak condition. Nothing. God groaned as his acidity started up and rang for Chief Angel – Global Events. “Can you tell me what is happening at the North Pole? There seems to be no action ….and there is just a week for Christmas.”

The Chief Angel-Global Events fluttered off in alarm. “It’s bad news Sire.
The melting snowcaps flooded the factories. The Elves are on strike because they want a hardship allowance for having to swim to work. The Reindeer are objecting to snipers who take potshots at them when they cross borders. And Santa…..he wants to put in his papers and retire in Las Vegas.”

“How can he do that without grooming a successor? Tell him, we have a contract and we can sue him!” thundered God.  “No…. wait. Tell him that the whole world is waiting for him and Christmas will not be the same without him.”

“Sire he is demotivated and depressed. He says he cannot handle the security checks where they strip him down. And because of his beard everyone thinks he is a terrorist.”

“Jolly him along. Promise him a high speed sleigh with a Rolls Royce engine, or a case of single malt ….anything.” The CA-GE fidgeted with his wings nervously, not knowing how the divine ulcers would react to the rest of the news.

   “You are hiding something,” said God chewing on his antacids furiously. Really, it was just too much that He had to look into every little detail Himself. He had half a mind to quit himself.  “Santa has already quit work. He says he ordered a shipload of motors from China and none of them work. And he says he doesn’t know what people want anymore.”

“For Godsake…hasn’t he heard of consumer research? Or outsourcing to India for that matter?”

“India is another source of endless problems for him.

He says emails from India keep asking for the strangest things…  unheard of in
his 2000 odd years of service.” “What does India want?” roared God sending a lot of angels scurrying into hiding and setting off avalanches in the Himalayas and
earthquakes in Turkey.

“Get me a report. Now,” he roared.

Sixteen antacids two hurricanes and an avalanche or two later, the CA-GE was back, all a tremble.  “Sire, I hacked into Santa’s emails and discovered what most of
India wants. It is strange indeed.”

“What is it?” asked God, now wearying of it all and thinking fondly of a long holiday in the Bahamas. “They all want kilos of onions. Santa flatly refuses to carry onions.”

 God pondered over this deadlock. “Wait… maybe you can get that Radia woman in India to lobby with Santa... to carry onions this one time.”

(Published 26 December 2010, 10:33 IST)

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