Secret (?) Santa

He was the jolly good fellow of the neighbourhood. He’d spend a fortune each winter distributing blankets amongst destitutes and he’d shower candies at the neighbourhood children on Christmas. It had happened more than once that someone from the neighbouring village had asked him for a favour – child’s admission to engineering college, wife’s treatment at some private hospital, daughter’s delivery – he would oblige everyone. Never having married, he had no children of his own, and considered the whole neighbourhood his family.

The neighbourhood was, thus, only a little surprised when, a fortnight after a short bout of heart block saw him off to the pearly gates, his will revealed that he had left all his possessions for the housemaid from the slum nearby. For a will doesn’t reveal how drunk he was on a specific afternoon twelve years back, it doesn’t demonstrate the strength with which he had restrained her on his bed that day. Neither does it gauge the amount of blood she had let flow down the drain following the abortion medicines she took.


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