Every year the kids would come around . Singing carols with guitars and tambourines. Every year he scowled at them. What was there to be so happy about ? Christmas came . Christmas went. Life went on. He still had to deal with the cold. Which made his aching bones ache even more. He still had to deal with the kachrawalla and the phone walla and the postman. Demands for baksheesh were in triple digit inflation. He still had to spend money for the cousins who thought visiting him was an act of charity. He had to manage without the maid who would want Christmas Day off. The damn carollers were proclaiming peace on earth and goodwill to men. They we're singing Silent night which woke the cranky baby next door. Next year he'd pretend to not be at home. The year went slowly. Not much to do when all you have to worry about is yourself. When your only social outing is to the doctor. When the only visitor you get is the maid. The obituaries were more interesting than Modi's demonetisation. Trump or Clinton it didn't make a damn of a difference to his rapidly increasing incontinence. The month of May was just more noise. More noise of children who played noisily. Just outside his window. Couldn't their parents keep a hold on them. Divali brought even more noise. Soon it was turning cold again. A notice near the stairs told him the carollers would be visiting the road on the 22nd. 8 p.m. He closed the windows at 7.30. Had his soup and chappati and turned the lights out. Sat in his bed. Needed to go to the toilet. Couldn't put the lights on. That would give the game away .Then he'd have to put something into the carollers box. Headed to the toilet in the dark. Tripped over the bathroom mat in the dark. Cracked his head on the edge of the basin. The carollers sang for two masses on the 24th. One at midnight and an earlier one at which they outnumbered the mourners.