This morning, as I was turning the pages of a magazine, an article caught my attention.. "Santa Claus does not exist". The writer had gone on to give mathematical and scientific proof that Santa did not exist.
"....................353,430 tons, weight of his sleigh, travelling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance--this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as space-craft re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. A 250-pound Santa would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force...... Santa is a myth, a game--and the goal is to keep the little children believing he is real.......in conclusion, Santa does not exist."
I smiled as I put the magazine away.....my mind going back to a Ria Chatterjee who I have known since she was a kid. Fiery, headstrong Ria who always managed to do more bad than good. Ria, with her I-don't-care attitude, rubbing elders the wrong way, antagonizing her mother; so much so that Mrs. Chatterjee gave up on her and let her live as she wanted to, friendships abandoned halfway because Ria could never respect the word 'friendship' nor the people who genuinely loved her. All she gave them was tears as she moved on. If one believes in divine punishment, punished she was---her academic career fizzled out after college and there she was---aimless and friendless.
And then one December morning, Shyamoli moved into the neighbourhood. As Ria and she were of the same age, it wasn't long before they became friends. Ria adored Shyamoli and found herself travelling that 'little extra mile', making that 'little extra effort' to nurture the friendship. Shyamoli was totally different from the others that Ria had known. Although Shyamoli reciprocated the friendship equally, she remained just that wee bit 'elusive'. Shyamoli, with a lovely soul but an equally caustic tongue showed Ria what she truly was...making her realize for the first time how much she had hurt other people's feelings. Shyamoli, who gave a new meaning to the word 'friendship' altogether. Shyamoli, who scolded Ria, screamed at her, never told her 'what a good friend' Ria was, yet sat up with her night after night as Ria prepared for her exams.......once again treading that path she had long abandoned. Shyamoli, who was right beside her, in her own quiet way, when Ria's mother passed away. Shyamoli, the quiet granite force behind Ria, forever.
I found myself smiling as I thought of Shyamoli. An angel who changed someone's life forever. Today, I am not just Ria Chatterjee, I am Doctor Ria Chatterjee., all due to that one person. My friend, my angel, my Santa Claus. I have gone back and apologised to all those people who I had hurt and I the joy I felt on being forgiven, cannot be explained . Who says Santa does not exist?? Santa gave me the gift of a new life, Santa taught me friendship, Santa gifted me... Shyamoli.