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Call me Santa Claus

A veteran, a waiter and an expat echo the sentiment as they play the jolly saint this year. Read on to know more.

entertainment Updated: Dec 25, 2010 13:51 IST
Shweta Mehta
Shweta Mehta
Hindustan Times

Santa comes only once a year. I love the fact that kids look forward to him all year long,” says Pravin Kamte, 46, a theatre artiste who has been playing Santa for 17 years now. “I am not a Catholic, but this is a great opportunity for me to bring smiles upon so many young faces,” he adds ahead of his act at High Street Phoenix.

Percy Dulam, 28, agrees. The server at Hard Rock Cafe, Worli has been playing Santa for three years, and the innocent joy that he manages to generate through his character is what drives him. “Once, after I had changed back into my uniform, a child presented me with a handmade Christmas card and called me ‘the original Santa’. That has been the greatest appreciation,” he beams.

santa clausSanta is a very easy character for Peter Van Gorder, 58, to play. "He’s happy, wise, funny and an archetype of goodwill," says the American, who has a Dutch wife and Indian grandchildren. "We’re trying to strengthen our family ties. I’m living here and helping my daughter, who is married to an Indian." Van Gorder, who will play Santa at Courtyard by Marriott, Mumbai International Airport, had previously slipped into the garb 30 years ago at a traditional event in Holland. During his stay in the city, he has participated in several community projects, including a small cameo in We Are Family.

Clearly Santa is a universal character. In Kamte’s words, “He is just like Hanuman or Ganpati. They don’t exist, but everyone knows exactly how they are meant to be played.” And how does he prepare for his role? “Put on a little padding and have lots of fun,” he says.

First Published: Dec 25, 2010 12:17 IST