“Baapu get ready, drop me to school.” A chilly winter morning of December did not dampen Shalu’s spirit.
“Bitiya, school is at nine in the morning. I shall get you ready at the right time.”
A student of kindergarten level I, Shalu was eager to participate in her first christmas celebration. She had heard, there will be cake for everyone. Four year old Shalu has never eaten a cake. Today, she does not want to miss it by being late.
Father D’Souza was also excited today. After he became a priest, this was hist first posting. Father has worked hard to setup his school. Today, his school is celebrating christmas. A big cake will be cut and offered to the lord. There will be cultural function followed by lunch. “No kid should go home hungry. Today is our father’s birthday.”
“Baapu, do you know what is christmas?” dressed in school uniform of long blue shalwar, a blue chequered kurta and a blue sweater, Shalu walked the dusty village road holding his father’s hand. Father, a daily wage laborer, had no answer.
“Today Isah Masih was born.” Shaalu informed, ““today Isai’s eat cake baapu?””
Father D’Souza was standing at the gate to welcome children. “Pranaam masterji,” greeted Shaalu, “I shall be eating cake today, isnt it so masterji?” Father’s eyes welled up. He remembered his childhood days, and assured the little girl, “yes my child, today we all are going to eat cake. You, me and everybody. Today is our father’s birthday.”
Word Count: 247