What Do You Believe This Christmas

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Christmas is my favourite time of the year.  I think it is because I was educated in a convent school in my childhood. And we celebrated Christmas more than any other festival.

27 years ago: A typical Christmas:

Socks would be hanging in the balcony.  I would wake up to find lots of presents. Little things.  A double decker pencil box.  A hair clip with a butterfly on it.  The eraser in the shape of a cat.  The giant pen. The sharpener that looked like a house.

I would go to school.  The Chapel would be decorated. Sisters would be singing carols. Santa would come in his red clothes and white beard and big belly.  He would shake hands with all of us. And give us toffees.

We would sing:

Oh what fun it is to ride on a one-horse open sleigh

One time, one girl told me that Santa was not Santa.  It was one of the Sisters who dressed up as Santa.

How can a lady Sister be Santa!!! I laughed at that girl. She told me that the Sister puts on a red suit and a fake beard.  I did not believe her. I told her Santa comes to my house also.  How would Sister know my house? She told me that it is not Santa who leaves the presents but my parents.  Her parents do the same for her.

Now, this made me a little suspicious. How was it that Santa knew that I wanted the same things that I used to tell my mother? Could she be right? I thought for a moment.    And then solved the mystery.

God always listens to us.  So when I would tell my Mom what I wanted, God listened and told Santa.  That is how Santa delivered the presents.

I was five. I believed what I wanted to believe. Nothing could change it.

Past few days

November 30th was the first time I read about a girl who got gang-raped and burnt.  I could not think about anything else for a long time. Every day I would post about her.  There is no such thing as justice when a young life is snatched away so brutally.  Even if the murderers would be raped and burnt alive, she would not have come back. But still, we screamed justice. So that it would not happen to anyone else.

A week later, the “accused” were killed in an encounter. I was very happy.  Again, there was a divide. People said:

It is the job of judiciary to decide who is guilty and who should be the punished.

What about human rights.

What if innocent people get framed like this and die.

What if the rapist had been rich and powerful?

We got into online debates.   Real debates over coffee at office.

I hoped that this was not the end. A great beginning but not the end. That the law would change..

But soon after, another law was passed.  One that became very controversial.  There was a clear divide. The supporters. The protestors. There was violence. There was destruction.  People like you and me may not have indulged in physical violence. But the words exchanged were harsh.  The people who were “silent” were not left alone either.  They were shamed for “not speaking up” and called spineless.  As if we owe everybody views on social media!! There was madness around as people got into spats and unfriended each other for difference in political views.  I sometimes feel that during such times, people get a reason to be obnoxious to someone they are jealous of, by taking a morally high ground of “beliefs”. It is just an excuse to tell people what you always wanted to tell them.

But one thing is consistent.

Both sides feel the other side is too dumb to understand anything, and there is no point offering them any logic. They are blind!!

We all believe what we want to believe.

But with all this negativity, anger and sadness, the holiday season is here.  Tomorrow is Christmas. Christmas has always meant everything nice. Everything beautiful. Everything magical.

I know most of us have been very unhappy lately.  Everything has been unpleasant. Even hopeless.

On this Christmas, I wish you hope. Spend time with your loved ones.  Be with your family. They are the ones who matter.  I also hope that things cool down in our country and peace is restored.   Till then, I would like to believe,

The six year old girl who believed in Santa no matter what anyone said.


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