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Christmas, politics and parodies

‘That Marwari boy from South 24 Parganas’ wishes his readers a Merry Christmas… for Rs 499 per wish

Vikram Poddar | Published 24.12.22, 06:58 PM
Christmas at Bow Barracks

Christmas at Bow Barracks


(All the brackets are chorus)

Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse Russian Sleigh (Putin), Underneath the mistletoe, some patriot missiles lay (Biden), hey Jingle Bells, Jingoism sells (Zelenskyy), Covid all the way (Xi!!), Oh what what fun it is to ride on a blue tick all the way (Musk!)


Jingle balls (SBF!), Saudi calls (OPEC!), We’ll go all the way (Powell!), Oh what fun it is to cite it’s inflation I must slay!


My dear Elves of Calcutta,

This is your Marwari Santa Claus speaking because I cannot think of a bigger joke to pull on a bhadralok audience in this merry season. Nothing is dispensed for free here. Unless you’re below 13 years, you are expected to do a free internship for me to fill your stocking. And that too because even in the Marwari North Pole, there are some misgivings about hiring children below the age of 13. Now, if only Instagram had similar misgivings about its age-verification control.

I understand the big party is happening at Park Street and they are expecting a lot of shipments, so I expect all of you to work around the clock as this is a BYOG Christmas Party — Bring Your Own Gift. Think of me as a Marwari Jeff Bezos, who gives you a job in Amazon so you can have the money this lay-off season to order from Amazon. As parodied in that epic South Park episode “Unfulfilled”, which ironically is streaming on Amazon Prime.

Of course, they tried to play on my sentiments by renaming Park Street as Mother Teresa Sarani, thinking that will melt my Marwari heart. But I can’t blame them. After all, the infrastructure of Kolkata has improved dramatically, and so has the quality of life as compared to Calcutta. Or as Dr Bombay would call it in that epic song about a taxi driver in Calcutta “Cal coota, I am a taxi driver in Cal Coota, I drive my little taxi in Cal coota,” with lyrics that go on to say “A taxi driver man is what I want to be But there are no customers who want to ride with me, I don’t know why It could be that I'm almost blind” as he ploughs straight through Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra.

But as someone who studied in a Jesuit institution (no, not the Republican Party), Christmas and carolling has as much been a part of life as rejoicing over St. Francis Xavier’s feast mainly because it was a holiday. But I guess somewhere looking for a gift in my stockings and looking for a gift between stockings, I’ve grown up a true product of a Catholic all-boys’ school. One could say the same about Sam Bankman-Fried’s girlfriend, who has happily thrown him under the proverbial school bus in exchange for a plea bargain with the SEC. Perhaps cryptocurrency is indeed the devil’s way of testing your weakness for temptations. On that note, do try our Cryptospecial chocolates this Christmas with an NFT of Santa Claus himself for just 499 per basket (excluding GST).

Unless, of course, you’re an old warhorse from Bow barracks looking to re-live the glory days of World War I, as the world seems to have forgotten lessons from II and seems ready to engage in III. Then perhaps, you could go down to the warzone between Ukraine and Russia and remind them about Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce of 1914. When, according to Time Magazine, “On a crisp, clear morning 100 years ago, thousands of British, Belgian and French soldiers put down their rifles, stepped out of their trenches and spent Christmas mingling with their German enemies along the Western front. In the hundred years since, the event has been seen as a kind of miracle, a rare moment of peace just a few months into a war that would eventually claim over 15 million lives.”

The Illustrated London News's illustration of the 1914 Christmas Truce

The Illustrated London News's illustration of the 1914 Christmas Truce

Wikimedia Commons

It is speculated that the two sides even played a friendly soccer match. As the World Cup wraps up, one can hope when someone in the future asks “Who was Messi?” we’ll be able to say, “Messi was a messiah, whose dream of winning the World Cup resonated with so many from around the world including both sides in the war, that they put down their weapons and started kicking the ball around instead.” Of course, I sold you this emotional story today because I will be one holding the broadcast rights for this event in the future. On that commercially exploitative note the Marwari Boy from South 24 Parganas wishes his bhadralok readers a Merry Christmas — for Rs 499 (+GST).

The author, Vikram Poddar, is a Marwari investment banker turned corporate comedian. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.

Last updated on 24.12.22, 06:58 PM

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