Good bye, Santa Klaus

June 11, 2010


I lost a dear friend last week. Another one of my class mates called me to convey the news. There is something surreal about a death of a near or dear one. It takes a while to understand the full import. This time was no different. I grieved for a while. Cursed fate’s conspiracy. Pitied. Sulked. Drank. Got drunk. Sobbed. Cried. At the end of it all, realised the selfishness of my grief. Once more. And not for the last time.

The friend who passed away under tragic circumstances, away from his home, was my Santa Claus at school. For a start he looked like one. In a school which appeared to have a disproportionate number of students from parsimonious Tamil middle class families, he was the lone exception. He was always there for me (or us) with the greenbacks. And boy, was he generous. We took shameless toll of his generosity. At that time, it was (and still is for a few of us) easy to pretend that he was buying our friendship. It took us time to erase such felicitous pretensions. Post school, we went our own separate ways. I continued to rely on him as an emotional anchor. He was always there for me. He was the first one to tell me on my face that I was a “demanding” friend to have. But he said that with beguiling sincerity. I loved him even more for that. In the last decade, our relationship ebbed and flowed. Distance sometimes helped, more often hurt. He went through an emotionally wretched phase. Sadly, I was not there for him in his worst of times. I was a fair weather friend. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I found it impossible to understand that a friend who had so much to give would himself be in need. There are no bottomless reservoirs inside a person. Even Santa Klaus needed replenishment.

In my life, I have come across people who epitomize adjectives. I can name various people who are synonymous with words like “self centered”, “selfish”, “professional”, and so on. “Nice” is the word which I shall always associate with my SK. I hope the netherworld understands and treats you better. They will not find a nicer person. May your soul rest in peace.

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One Response to “Good bye, Santa Klaus”

  1. Yoganand Says:

    agree totally with you G. He was santa indeed. However, I doubt he wanted to buy friendship. That was his nature. He had no dearth of friends. I guess he wanted to be accepted by just about everybody he met. He created a small space for himself in everybody’s hearts. He will be missed.


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