Monday, December 26, 2011

Santa at Mantri's

At Mantri's we do things somewhat differently. Not for us, the portly old man with bulbous nose and a pot belly. Santa, for us at Mantri's, doesn't spring down on us from North Pole on flying reindeer. Nor does he park himself on a rocking chair near a Christmas tree. Our Santa comes down the E block elevator from his 8th floor abode.
We, on D block 9th floor, were alerted of Santa's arrival by the cheers of the children assembled at the central park. He bounced about dancing with children,ringing a puja bell, and raising hungama in the joint. The Mantri's Santa, far from being an oldie, turned out to be an young man, athletic built with no belly to speak of, even after stuffing in a pillow under his red robe.
He reached out to all comers, handing out gifts to kids, blessing their young mothers,and seniors twice his age, out there to join in the fun.A platoon of children followed Santa wherever he went in the complex.
Santa's agenda at Mantri's included planting of a sapling under our community tree-planting programme. Children and community elders filled up with sand the planting pit, prepared by gardener Raj, and watered the plant. The tree, when fully grown, would have exotic flowers growing out of its branches and trunk.
Our Santa is multilingual, profecient in Tamil, English, Hindi. He spoke Bengali to the daughter and mother of a migrant worker at Mantri's construction site. Our effort at Mantri's is to make our community events inclusive, engaging in festivities the Mantri staff and residents alike.
The tree we planted has a name - Nagapushpam - but we prefer to call it Ujjal Santa. We the Mantri community would like to see the tree, the children, and Mr Ujjal Mukherjee grow up together to higher heights over many, many more Christmas to come.
More photos on our Facebook page.

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