"By golly?", I asked. "Oh I'm just experimenting with a few catch words, terms, phrases, if you may, that I can revive. You know, re-start a trend, by golly!" He waited for an enthusiastic response from my side, but I didn't blink. "Lose it, I said, never gonna happen". He looked crestfallen, "That's cold man, really cold". I raised an eye brow, "Lose that too". "But bubzzz", he cried, "I like that one". I decided to move on from this "by golly, that's cold" phase he was going through and address the more important matter at hand. "I made those cupcakes, not the tooth fairy". He stared at me, mouth ajar. "Also", I continued, "I don't think the tooth fairy rewards anyone when they get their teeth cleaned at a dentist. And I'm pretty sure you have to lose a tooth to get anything out of her. Oh and I think she generally leaves cash". He looked crestfallen. "So there's nothing magical about these cupcakes appearing here"? I returned to my magazine while saying, "Nope. Just the regular ingredients and the magic of the microwave, sorry". My attention shifted to autumn fashions which would never look good on me, but which I stared at all the same in various fashion magazines. While deliberating the unisex look which advised me to raid my husband's closet for his blazers, pants and over sized shirts, I heard a silent muttering in the background. Tearing my gaze away from Kate Moss in what was definitely not her fiance's clothes, but a very well tailored size zero suit, I looked up to find Sid mumbling. "Speak up boy", I said rather sharply. He looked at me straight in the eye and said aloud "You don't believe in magic, you're no fun"!
It was a rather cruel blow. For fantasy and magic have played a very important role in my life. "That's not true", I replied. "You just need to get your magical facts right. The tooth fairy doesn't make cupcakes for teeth-cleaning adults. Witches have square feet and are bald. Elves love to dance around in a ring at midnight. Brownies are hard working, industrious sorts. Goblins are fantastic with metal and make handy war tools, but they're super mean. Fairies have shimmery wings and they leave their dancing shoes in flower beds. And they're lots more...trolls and ogres, giants and centaurs, wizards and werewolves, etc, etc.". He looked stunned. "Yes, the mind reels at my "magical" knowledge.", I said.
Brought up on a staple diet of Blyton, Dahl, Tolkien, later Rowling and a whole host of other writers, a parallel world of fascinating beings were constant fixtures in my life. But like Sid I too had a rather cruel awakening from all that flew and shimmered. I wrote to Santa Claus religiously around Christmas, drawing up a long list of needs on my "nice" list, and a shorter one based on necessities just in case he felt I had been "naughty" and wouldn't give me as much! My family went to much effort to set the scene for me, with my dad demanding I hurry up with the letters or it would get caught in the colossal mail jam that takes place around Christmas, a time hated by employees of the postal service, rendering many nervous-breakdown-ed and swearing off Christmas for eternity. On the night before Christmas, though I tried to watch the living room and our bedecked tree like a hawk, I would usually be lured away for a few minutes. Much excitement would ensue within those minutes, when I would hear a bell being rung and my mom and sister screaming, "Did you hear hooves? I think that's his sleigh outside?". When I would tear back into the room, below the tree would be a pile of gleaming gifts, but no Santa would be in sight. A sketch would be prepared by them for me with my nani saying that he was about 'yea high' (pointing at her knees as the cut off), and a "stout little fella". My sister would go on to say that she hardly saw him since he whizzed into the room and out before they could call for me, and my mom said he looked "stressed". My face would fall at the missing of such a momentous opportunity to meet the man himself, but I would be pacified by little marks in the driveway that were the marks of the "reindeer hooves", my sister declaring herself the expert after much time spent reading National Geographic mags. Unfortunately, that time passed, though I held on to it till I was eleven, mildly suspicious, but never wanting to believe the bleak alternative. My dad put an end to it impatiently one day as I clamoured for my letter to be posted, saying "Reem, I'm not going to run around for the postage stamps. Santa isn't real".