This was quite a while ago, when my daughter was 3 years old. She went to a small pre-nursery school—it was one room, to be exact. It was run by a lady who loves kids, and her own having grown up, found this an ideal way to spend her time.
For Christmas, she organized a treat for the toddlers in her care. She got her husband to dress up as Santa Claus.
She made a small Nativity scene in a corner of the room.
She told them the Christmas story.
She told them they would all be getting Christmas presents.
Then, as the grand finale, a door burst open and in rushed a portly figure in red, his face nearly hidden in a beard and whiskers of cotton wool.
“Ho, ho, ho,” he cried and swung a huge bag from his shoulder. For a moment there was stunned silence. Then it was shattered by a shriek, and my daughter went off into howls of terror. She managed to set off most of the class too.
What nobody had bargained for was the fact that most kids, at some time or the other in their young lives are threatened with a “Buddhha baba”, an old man who takes away disobedient children in a big bag. Parents use that vision to get kids to drink their milk, have their medicine, go to bed— whatever.
Needless to say, the menacing ‘baba’ was nothing compared to the dirty looks I got from the other mothers when I went to pick up my little one!