By Nihal Tharoor-Menon
A well kept secret, Santa
I received the most personal gift from my Secret Santa on the last day of SCA.
For those who’ve managed to avoid a lengthy conversation with me in the past months, I have a passion for music.
In particular, African-American music.
Blues, soul, funk, hip-hop and jazz are my lifeblood.
The gift I received was three beautiful stamps of three defining figures of the jazz age: Duke Ellington, Sidney Bechet and Louis Armstrong.
It made my gift of a six-pack of kid’s bubbles bought on a last minute boys trip to Poundland seem a little less thoughtful.
I was half-expecting the giver to reveal him or herself at the Christmas party.
I suspect it was a girl based on the assumption that girls make more of an effort (see above guys trip to Poundland) but alas no one acknowledged them.
For this I am thankful.
Now I feel like this gift was from Coup itself, and I feel a stronger sense of belonging for it.
Yes, I am a sentimental bastard.
I am currently reading Alex Garland’s The Beach. It is not exactly a book I would never have read, but it is one I have put off reading for years.
I wanted to get my head away from SCA and a story of adventure in a tropical paradise seemed promising.
Our lead finds an idyllic community of travelers living secretly on an island off Thailand.
Soon he becomes so engrossed in their world that he can’t imagine life without it.
In one scene he speaks of a game the community plays before going to sleep.
In the darkness someone says goodnight to a certain person and then that person says goodnight to another until everyone in the community has been personally wished a goodnight…
Although the ritual was sort of taking the piss, in another way it wasn’t. No one’s name was ever passed over.
The nicest thing was when you heard your name but you couldn’t recognize the voice. I always found it comforting that someone unexpected would think to choose me. I’d fall asleep wondering who it could have been, and who I’d choose the next time.
As I read this I thought of my Secret Santa and Coup and smiled…
Did I mention I’m a sentimental bastard?