It was 5 pm on a Sunday evening, the time when the four 10-year-old kids met in the park every week. Amit, Sneha and Varun were on time but Aanya was nowhere to be seen. She was usually the first one to come and wait for others. A few moments
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It was 5 pm on a Sunday evening, the time when the four 10-year-old kids met in the park every week. Amit, Sneha and Varun were on time but Aanya was nowhere to be seen. She was usually the first one to come and wait for others. A few moments later, Sneha saw a pair of torn shoes walking towards them.
Aanya lived in the nearby slum and sold books at the traffic signal to make the ends meet. She was fond of studying and read books whenever she got time before selling them. She never went to school but had basic knowledge of alphabets from her friends who belonged to well to do families.
Christmas was just a week away and Amit suggested that they play the game of Secret Santa this time that had seen in a TV show. The idea seemed exciting to all of them and everyone agreed. The chits were picked up and the Secret Santa for each person was decided.
After coming home Aanya began to beat her head with the ideas of gifts but everything she could think of was beyond her affordability. Although she was aware of the fact that her friends would never judge her for anything but yet it made her sad. She didn’t want to be the Secret Santa with no gifts especially to Sneha. Her thoughts moved in circles with no beginning or end.
The day finally arrived when the Secret Santas and their gifts were to be unveiled. They met as usual in the park. Amit turned out to be Varun’s Secret Santa and vice versa and Sneha turned out to be Aanya’s Santa. Amit and Varun exchanged gift boxes wrapped with shiny papers warning each other not to open it until they get back home. However, Sneha and Aanya were carrying no such boxes with them. Sneha took out an envelope from her bag pack and gave it to Aanya. Aanya opened the envelope and in a fraction of a second tears were rolling down her eyes. It was the scholarship money that Sneha had won in a drawing competition. Aanya smiled because now she could finally get an education but cried as she failed as a Secret Santa. She hugged Sneha not knowing how to thank her enough.
Twenty years later, “Sneha Public School” was inaugurated on a Christmas morning. Sneha finally received the gift from her Secret Santa. The school provides education to the financially deprived children free of cost. Aanya became the Santa to not only Sneha but many other children by lighting a ray of hope in their lives.
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