My sister, all of four years older than me, kindly informed me very early on that Santa Claus didn’t exist, thereby converting me into a life-long skeptic. She also let me know in no uncertain terms that I had been found in a garbage can wrapped in a newspaper. This sound-bite shocked me more than the non-existence of an old man dressed in red whose constant ho-ho-ho-ing irritated me no end. I still remember the shock on my parents’ face when one evening at the dinner table I announced that it was a miracle that I resembled both of them considering that I was a foundling. Their shock turned into disapproval as they scolded my sister for having dealt such a blow to my sense of self. But I was quite happy because looking like both my adopted parents was quite a feat considering that my mother was a North European blonde beauty with round green eyes and a sharp nose just like mine and my father was a dark South Asian man with liquid brown eyes which, you’ve guessed it, were just like mine. My café-au-lait skin, of course, was somewhere in the middle.
I now know for sure that Santa Claus does exist, provided you believe in him, and that my parents were indeed very much mine, thanks to the laws of consanguinity and bonding. You see, my sister had only been trying to test the dual tenets of transparency and freedom of information.
Or had she?