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Participated in the first leg of the Triathlon picture contest? Stay in the race with the second leg, ensuring that you submit your entries before the clock strikes 11a.m. on 11th February 2019.
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    Triathlon Picture Contest second leg - creative writing

    We are delighted to see the wonderful response to the first leg of the Triathlon Picture Contest. Points and cc have been credited to your captions and it is now time to move on to the second leg. In a triathlon, the second leg is of the longest distance. Accordingly, for this leg of our picture triathlon, you will get four days to submit your entries.

    It is hoped that the twenty participants who lined up at the start of the first leg do not drop out, but continue to persevere and complete the entire triathlon. Those who did not participate in the first leg are welcome to participate in this and the next, final leg, and will get points and cc as per quality, but will not be eligible for the main bumper prizes.

    The second leg: See the photo below and imagine yourself to be in the shoes of who is shown. Write something about your observations and experiences within 450 words maximum (minimum 200 words.) No title is required. No links are required. Conversations/dialogues are allowed.

    Submit your writeup in a response to this thread only. Slang, indecent, adult content, text related to alcohol and weapons, as well as SMS-type words, symbols, and emoticons, are not permitted. You are permitted to use the edit button to make corrections in spelling, grammar, and typo but please be honest and don't change the core content.

    Triathlon photo_2

    Closing time to submit your entry: 11a.m. 11th February 2019 (IST).

    Note: Members are requested not to post any comments on others' entries. Also, if you have any queries, you may submit them in the thread for clarifications (the link is given at the start of this thread).

    Tip: This leg of the triathlon will have the maximum points and cc of the three legs, so it may well be the deciding factor in your points' tally!
  • #658391
    Onlooker: Oh Santa, Why are you still here. Christmas is over, the New year day also over. Almost 45 days over. Yet you are standing here in style. Don't you want to take rest and prepare for this year's Christmas?

    Sun as Santa: No son, I had brought too many gifts to distribute. I am still holding varieties of gifts undistributed to distribute to the boys and girls who cross me.

    OL: Is it? Can I also have a gift for me?

    Santa: Why not? I have a lovely gift for you and your children. Take it home and enjoy.

    OL: Thank you Santa. Don't you feel chill in this month of February?

    Santa: Yes. I feel it. It seems that nature has changed. The season has changed. People have changed. Society has changed. People don't respect religions. Religious issues are taken to the court. Injustice has become the order of the day.

    OL: Correct Santa, How to change it. You being a great person, give us the solution to overcome the problems we face.

    Santa: Don't cut trees. Grow trees. Love all. Hate no one. Love your religion. don't disrespect other religions. Have faith in Lord. Help the poor. Do good for your society. Take the name of the Lord at least once in a day.

    OL: Thank you Santa for your lovely gifts and good advice. Wish to see you in December. Bye

    Santa: Thank you, gentleman. May God bless you. Bye. see you during Christmas this year.

    No life without Sun

  • #658419
    Ho! Ho! Ho! Christmas is knocking at the door. Look at the beautiful kids. There are here to see me, Oh! Wait, they are here for the gifts. Maybe they like both, Christmas gifts and Santa, yay!!! They are wearing so lovely clothes.
    Their mothers are with them, and look they are all taking pictures with me. Wow! It is so nice to be meeting the children on Christmas eve again. I remember John of San Fransisco was up all night. He caught me while keeping gifts under the tree. Oh! I remember Sonalika of Mumbai kept chocolate cookies for me. So sweet of her.
    It's 1:00 PM now. All the children are gone with their mothers. They must be hungry and tired. The best thing is that being a Santa mannequin, I don't get hungry at all. I enjoy clicking pictures with children all day. Oh! Look here's a boy looking at me from outside the window. Why is he dressed up in rags? It is Christmas time. Doesn't he have a good dress?
    Street Child: No I don't, my father is a mason. He gets barely any money to buy our food, forget about dress.
    Santa: Can you hear me?
    Child: Oh yes. You are so gorgeous. Will you come and give me gifts too? I am a street child and my family is very poor.
    Santa: Why not? Didn't you get any gift on past Christmas? How's that possible? Where do you stay? How did I miss your house? Santa never discriminates between rich and poor. All children are God's gifts and dear to me.
    Child: I don't stay in a house. Like I said, I am a street child. My family lives on the street across this road.
    Santa: Oh! Maybe my assistant Bernard missed your name as you don't have a house. He makes a list of those kids who have a house. I come to them through their chimney or window and give them gifts. Hmm! Tell you what, I will from now on will go across the streets of every city and look for children who haven't got any and don't stay in a house. I will leave no child. Everyone on this Christmas will get a gift!
    Child: Will you oh, will you? Let me go and tell my father.
    Santa: Ok and Merry Christmas!
    Child: Merry Christmas to you too.
    Santa: You take care and see you on Christmas eve. Now I will sleep before a new bunch of kids come to play with me in the evening.

  • #658429
    Behind the glass of showroom there is a boy whose name is John. From last few days John came to store and has window shopping of all the gifts inside the shop. John's father is a weaver. He has order of blankets from customers. John and his younger sister Ealsi try their level best to help their father so as to complete his orders in time. Though John is from poor family he is hard working and self-respecting young boy. He wants to purchase a new doll for his little sister Ealsi, but he does not have that much money with him.
    So on this background there is imaginary conversation between Santa Claus and John.
    Santa:- Merry Christmas, John
    John:- (frightened and look around) Who is there?
    Santa:- John. It is me, Santa. Come inside the shop.
    John:- Really you are speaking with me.
    Santa:- Yes, my child.
    John:- But how it is possible? A statue is speaking with me. Is it true?
    Santa:- John, as I am messenger of God. I have that ability to speak with those to whom I want to speak. I know your wish. You are trying your best efforts to meet your dream of purchasing this new doll for your sister Ealsi.
    John:- O' my God. You really know everything. I am surprised.
    Santa:- John, as I told you I am messenger of God. My voice is a divine voice and only those persons who are pious they can hear this voice. I like Childs who are innocent, hard work like you.
    John:- What you want to tell me?
    Santa:- Look my child, every child think that on the occasion of Christmas, Santa will come to me and give me gifts as per my wish list. But I like to complete the wish of those children who try to take some efforts towards their goal. I know both you and your sister help your father to complete the order of blankets. Also you want to give gift of doll to your sister. Being hard worker, honest and good human being, you are always blessed by me. Your wish will be come true very soon. One more thing, everyone supposed that Santa clause fulfill wish of everyone. His golden bag is full of gifts, but I tell you, Santa only give blessings to those who have eager to find their own ways like you John.
    John:- Merry Christmas Santa.

  • #658447
    The shopkeeper and his employees had been working hard throughout last week. They meticulously cleaned the shop, arranged the goods in an attractive manner. After that, they placed me in such a place so that everyone could watch me even standing on the road. The glass-door was spotlessly clean and people moving on the road were taking a look at me. Children started asking their parents to enter the shop and purchase toys and toffees. The purpose of the shopkeeper was served. The employees also felt happy because they knew that they would get a handsome bonus after the New Year.

    A smartly dressed man was telling his wife: "Look, the Santa mannequin is really good. It is resplendent." His wife said: "And it is strategically placed." Their young daughter asked them to enter the shop. Her parents agreed and the entire family entered the shop. They purchased expensive toys, toffees and some other decorative items. The pretty girl was now satisfied. At the time of leaving, she requested her parents to take her picture with me.

    They agreed. The girl stood beside me. The father started adjusting his expensive mobile phone. Then suddenly the little girl told her parents to stop. She ran out of the shop.

    A small boy with torn clothes was standing outside the shop. He was wistfully looking at me and the toys kept in the shop. He knew that it would not be possible for him to purchase even the least costly item from the shop. He was only watching.

    The girl came out, hold the hand of the little boy and asked him to enter the shop. The boy hesitated, but the girl insisted. She ultimately took the boy inside. Both stood beside me. The girl asked her parents to click the photo. They did as requested by the girl.

    The girl then opened her small bag, took out a big packet of chocolate and handed it over to the boy. The boy took it, murmured a genuine 'thanks' to the girl and left the shop. He was happy. The girl was also very happy.

    And, I, the Santa mannequin, am now genuinely elated because the little girl has just proved that humanity is still alive on this Earth.

    Come on, have a fight. Don't shoot and scoot.

  • #658493
    A phone call from my darling friend before Christmas completely bowled me out. She requested me to dress up as Santa Claus and be at her shop for a few hours. I loved the idea and readily agreed to her plan.

    On 24th Dec I dressed up as Santa Claus and went to my friend's shop. The shoppers started coming in, and I stood as a mannequin in the centre of the shop beside a Christmas tree. Children looked at me curiously, and suddenly, I thought to surprise them by being a living Santa Claus. Greeted everyone and started mingling with every child who came to shop. The children and I had fun dancing on the tunes of Christmas Carols played on the music system. Naughty little kids were touching my white beard while some wanted to peep into my bag, and some wished to click photographs with me. In the meantime, I noticed a middle-aged couple who were moving around in the shop very slowly and picking up every little gift item, looked at them vacantly and later put them back on the shelves very carefully. I became eager to talk to them because on Christmas such a sad look was quite depressing.

    I went closer to the couple and cheerfully wished them Merry Christmas! I began to converse with them and after a while, came to know the reason behind their sadness. The couple loves children as I do, but unfortunately, they have no child that sucks them a lot. I felt their grief deeply so told them that Santa has unlimited children in this world in spite of not being a parent. There are homeless children or orphans. Even there are poor parents unable to buy gifts for their children. I suggested to them that it's better to become a Santa Claus for such depressed children, and in return, they would receive immense hugs and smiles from the little kids. Becoming parents is not in their hands, but giving joy to the children who need it badly is a selfless job which could wipe away their sorrow. Suddenly, I noticed a twinkle in their eyes, and instantly, they gleefully thanked me for the suggestion. The couple purchased loads of goodies and gift items then left the shop but not before thanking me once again for being a guiding light to their happiness.

    The shop was still full of shoppers, but I thought to be calm for some time and watch the little ones, so I changed my gear from living Santa to mannequin Santa. Stood there watching children and their joy enthralled me endlessly.

    shampasaid

  • #658498
    During the last Christmas, when I (Santa) was distributing gifts to the people, I met that gentleman in the early morning, who was so generous and kind hearted and was giving all types of useful and gift items to the poor and needy. I was so much impressed by his noble gestures that I offered him a few gifts and asked him who he was and where he lived. He politely bowed to me and took only one of the gifts and returned others telling me to give them to the other people.

    "I have a big toy store in the town and during the Christmas time in the mornings, I usually distribute free items to the poor and needy. Everyone knows me around here and I have a very good sale in my store as most of them buy their items from me only. They all love me," He told me beamingly.

    I was really very happy to find him, to some extent, doing my job and wanted to help him in some way. "Can I help you in any way?," I uttered in a soft tone.
    "No. No. Not really. I am comfortable," He smiled.
    I kept quiet for a while. I somehow wanted to help this simple and worthy person.
    "Do not feel shy. Tell me anything," I again tried.
    Seeing my firmness he pondered for some time. "Can you do me a favour?," finally I heard him saying.
    "Tell me," I was happy.
    He asked me "Next Christmas can you come for a few days to stand in my shop as a statue? It will do a lot of good to me and as well as to my reputation. Just a day before Christmas you can leave and go back to your work of distributions of gifts. You can call your reindeers and fairies to come and take you with them from here. Am I asking for too much?"
    I was not expecting this but seeing his innocence I agreed and came here a few days back. The crowd in the store has increased and his sales are quadrupled. He is planning to give more gifts this time to the poor people.

    Two more days and then it will be time to leave. I am feeling sad about it - to leave him.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #658502
    The enticing toy room is filled with aromas of molded plastic and synthetic fur. The storekeeper has beautifully decorated all the toys in the store. Toys from porcelain china dolls clothed in delicate silk dresses to the brightly-colored cars and toy trains have been beautifully racked in the wood shelves. The beautiful teddy bears sit proudly in the front of the rows of soft toys. A group of children, adults, and teenagers fill every corner of the toy store. Mixed expressions can be seen on everyone faces, from ecstatic toddlers to bored teenagers. Cries of children, laughter, and chatter make the toy room full of life and atmosphere.

    Ho! Ho! Ho! I am Santa Claus as the children and people call me. It's Christmas day and I stand big and tall with my arms outstretched in this beautiful toy store. I was brought to the store a month before and I am waiting for someone to claim me. During this entire long month, I have seen different walks of people and children coming to the store looking at me. But, no one has claimed me yet. This may be due to the high price tag that the shopkeeper has tagged me. I am the most expensive of all the toys, with it the store keeper has further increased my price looking at my high demand during the Christmas Eve. After all, I am the bombshell of the window display.

    My dresses include a bright red glossy fur jacket, soft as a newborn puppy and irresistible to tiny hands. Shiny black eyes and long white beard are enhancing my looks further. I don't have a plump stomach like the real Santa Claus still I look attractive in the red jacket. The storekeeper has dry cleaned my expensive fur clothes to look bright and shiny. I have also got a pair of new shiny black boots. There is also a small sparkling golden bag hanging round my neck in which a handful of toffees and chocolates have been kept. This will be an extra treat for the one who is going to claim me. The people and the children are found to be busy hunting for their last minute Christmas presents and then clicking selfies with me.

    Now, I can see a classy, pretentious woman dressed in luxurious clothes getting down from a big Lamborghini car with her nine-year-old daughter. She might be a prospective buyer as she asks my cost to the shopkeeper. Her nine old year daughter looks at me with her eyes widely opened while admiring my looks.

  • #658504
    Malar to mom: Mom, do you think I am fat?
    Mom, while window shopping: No my beautiful babe! Why do you think so?
    Malar: Our teacher was explaining about obesity today and she taught us to always keep in check our body mass index.
    Mom: I really appreciate her efforts but do you think that this is the age to worry about all that?
    Malar: Mom, teacher says that children of my age are the ones that are most prone to obesity. We eat a lot of junk and dont work enough. Can you lend me your phone?
    Mom: Here you go!
    Malar: So mom, I divide my weight, 45 kg by my height square, 4.5 ft. Mom look. I am under healthy weight.
    Mom: That's glad to know my dear.

    Malar, though, 19, had a mind of an 8 year old. She looked at the Santa Claus from a window.
    Malar: I am going to calculate BMI of Santa. How tall is he mom? And how fat is he? His age?
    Mom looked at the toy and guessed: I would say he is a 130 kg man with a height of 5.8 ft.
    His age though, must be in seventies.
    Malar: Mom! He's overweight.
    Mom smiled and took her away. The next day Malar visited the Santa toy. She had procured the medicines that obese students of school were given. She gave it to the Santa in a sling bag saying ,"Take care of your health Santa" and left. The Santa toy looked at this mentally impaired child's empathy and started tearing up. "No one ever gifted Santa. But today this girl took care of me like her own family member. I'll remember this gesture of her forever and will focus on my health for sure. I hope you get what you wish for you beautiful soul".
    Soon the shopkeeper came, threw the slingbag away and sold the Santa to another customer. But Santa always remembered her sweet smile and her concern.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #658505
    Oh! It was a 'freeze task'. On the day of Christmas, my owner asked me to dress up like a Santa. The best part of being a Santa is you can spread lots of love and happiness to the kids by giving gifts and share Christmas greetings to everyone you meet. So, I happily wore the costumes and prepared myself to entertain the customers. But lately, I came to know that I need to stand in freeze mode like a Santa doll. Tough, isn't it?

    I took it as a challenge and stood at the entrance of the shop along with the colorful toys. Everyone who passed, by the way, glanced at me. Some little kids came near the glass and peeped at me. The customers who visited our shop took a snap of me and few young ladies had a selfie with me. I silently enjoyed the happiness in everyone's face. But after some time, my mind distracted from my surrounding and I started to see the things that are happening outside the shop through the glass in front of me.

    Since it was Christmas, many families visited the church opposite to our shop and hence there was traffic on both sides of the road. Near the church, a young guy was selling teddy bears and an old man was selling tender coconuts. When I gazed everything from my place, it appeared like a silent movie.

    After a few hours, I felt like someone was watching me and I spotted a teen girl on the pavement outside our shop trying to capture a photo of me. She was focusing me through her mobile camera. Suddenly a BANG sound came. Unknowingly she stepped down from the pavement while focusing and a car smacked her from behind. She slipped down and floated on blood. I was shocked. A huge crowd surrounded her. No one stepped forward to help her. Not even a single person called the ambulance. Some were busy clicking photographs of the victim. OMG! Where is humanity?

    Hey Santa! Release, go and save that girl, my conscience pushed me. But sadly I was frozen. To me, the outside world looked like a place with heartless frozen dolls like me. No one helped that girl. But luckily I spotted a real Santa. The guy who was selling teddy bears ran forward, lifted her and took her to the hospital in an auto.

    After two weeks, the same girl came to our shop, searched for me and handed me this photo of mine which she clicked a second before she met with an accident. So nice! Thanks to the real Santa for saving the life of the girl.

  • #658507
    This is not at all boring, do you know why? I stay surrounded by kids throughout the evening. I see them laughing, singing, pleading with their parents for a particular gift, crying at times if their demands are not met. Actually, I fell in love with this shop. Shhh! Do not tell anyone. I am not an original mannequin, I dressed up as Santa and standing here just like a mannequin.

    The children and their parents cannot guess that, but it's a tough job to stand still all the time. I hear some of the parents telling their kids a few things about Santa. The kids are listening and at times laughing when they are looking at me. I understood they feel very happy when they hear from their parents that their wish could be fulfilled if they whisper it in front of me.

    One of those kids whispered that he wants that green coloured car. He also told me that last Christmas he expected Santa to gift him a toy aeroplane though he got something different. He touched my hands and promised me that henceforth he will listen to his parents more attentively and this time he only wants this wish to be fulfilled.

    I must oblige this little wish but had to keep quiet for obvious reasons. Following this incident, I am reminded of my childhood days. In my locality, there was no colourful gift shop like this one and I remembered how I cried inconsolably for a cricket bat. I never whispered my wishes to Santa, maybe that's why it wasn't fulfilled.

    A little boy entered with his mom, pointed his finger towards a teddy bear and said: "Daddy promised me to give me one like this but he forgot it". "He doesn't take me to gift shops nowadays and never spends enough time with me". The little boy looked at me and said "Santa, can you tell me why my daddy became like this"?

    My eyes are moist now. I am trying hard to control my tears. I know this kid very well. But the kid doesn't know that his dad is now dressed up as a Santa here in this shop. It is not expected from a kid to realize the intricacies of life.

    Sankalan

    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #658508
    Santa liked this place. It was warm and cosy. The store was having a good heating arrangement. Last year when the shop owner invited him to stay, he obliged him for a few days but liked it so much that decided to be here till the next Christmas.

    The shopkeeper was a God fearing person and wanted to help Santa in Santa's usual Christmas gift distribution. He offered the warehouse in the backyards and Santa was much pleased with it as he could store his large inventory of the toys and gift items there.

    Fairies, Elves and reindeer were not very happy with this arrangement and were alleging Santa for that. He consoled them that this was the last time that he will be in the shop and before Christmas he will come back and then they will go on Christmas gift presentations in the area. The senior elve was understanding the whole thing and appreciated Santa for his concern for them and in fact was happy that soon Santa will be with them only. As Santa was now storing all the gifts in the shop's warehouse, elves were relieved to that extent and were happy on that account.

    It soon started to rain followed by heavy snow and the whole area was engulfed with thick sheets of snow. Christmas was approaching and just two days before it the elves and fairies reached there with the reindeers pulling the sledge.

    The shopkeeper ran outside and welcomed them and asked them to come in and have some christmas goodies and eatables. All were happy and celebrated the occasion in the shop. Now this was time to say good bye and Santa asked them to collect all the gifts from the warehouse and they all left the shop and soon disappeared on the horizon.

    Thoughts exchanged is knowledge gained.

  • #658513
    Johnny heard a voice from Santa Mannequin. I was standing still dressed like a Santa.

    Johnny: "Santa, it's you! Am I dreaming?"

    Santa: "Ho, ho, ho! No, little Johnny. It's not a dream. I am Father Christmas. It is that time of the year! It is Christmas time. My mannequin comes to life on Christmas Eve."

    Johnny: "Santa, where do you live?"

    Santa: "I live in a land far, far away. Yeah! That's right the North Pole. I also live in stories and tales which are mysterious and wondrous of course and have been spanning for a century or so. Wait, what you don't have my address? Write it down please as I want every little kid to write letters to me.
    Santa Claus,
    Reindeerland,
    The North Pole"

    Johnny: "Santa, where are you headed?"

    Santa: "Christmas Eve and Christmas day are the busiest hours of my entire year. I deliver gifts to kids who are well behaved. Do you see the toys behind me? They get manufactured in the North Pole by little elves."

    "It's already dawn. Now, where's my team of reindeers? I need them to pull my sleigh. Brightest of them all is Rudolph. Yeah, that's right the red-nosed one. He is the instructor of the group. He is the one to let everyone know whether it is safe to land on the roof. Rudolph asks everyone to only listen to Santa for direction and never to listen to strangers. Smart Rudolph thinks as if there will be many strangers flying and racing around in the sky."

    "I need to increase horsepower. I mean reindeer power to fly the sleigh into the air. Ho, ho, ho! I only have let me count. 1,2,3…….yes 9 reindeer. As I have already mentioned one of them is that brilliant Rudolph. Remaining 8 are Dasher, Donner, Dancer, Prancer, Cupid, Vixen, Blitzen, and Comet."

    Johnny: "How do you fly without a license?"

    Santa: "Of course, I have a pilot's license. I wouldn't illegally fly. In the year1927, the U.S. government issued me a pilot's license. I have a Canadian passport too. Now, just like other Canadian citizens, I can go for world travel by boat, car or with a bunch of magical flying reindeer. My sleigh is the fastest vehicle ever made. NASA wishes to borrow it for some space project."

    "Anyways! I have to leave now. I don't knock the doors instead I come down through the chimney. Little kids hang their stockings near the fireplace. This year I am also going to give a ride on my sleigh to one special kid. Here's your gift. Merry Christmas little Johnny and be kind and courageous. Ho, ho, ho!"

  • #658515
    This is the story when we used to live in a locality where there was a slum area and lots of poor kids whose parents didn't have enough money to buy even the cookies on Christmas. They just used ro wish that Santa will come one day and fulfil their dreams to have everything which a normal kid uses to have. I at that time was also a kid and never knew why it happens that there is a difference between us and those kids. It was when "Prakash uncle" came in our locality. He explained its money which is the difference. He was like a man sent by God for those kids. He used used to donate things to those kids. I remember he used o wear a costume of Santa Claus on Christmas even and used to fill his bag with cookies. Now he is is no more but he is still in the memories. After seeing this picture I remember his activities how he used to be so loving and caring for those kids. I know it's not easy for us all to be like him but we can make a small effort for the sake of humanity and with a lot more people like Prakash could come forward and become Santa to fulfil dreams of such kids.
    Sanjeev

    " It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not" ... Andre Gide


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