The arduous phase of getting to know each other in order to develop a bond was conspicuous by its absence in our case. Right from the age of 3 we knew one another like the back of our respective hands. There is a saying in English which roughly gives the meaning “ A period of understanding silence with a true friend is far better than a contrived conversation with someone who thinks he is a friend.” This was exactly the kind of rapport we shared. When we were silent we needed no conversational starts; and when we talked our planes of thought joined in a seamless stitch enabling the conversation to be never ending. Though he stayed in vijaywada and I was put up in Chennai, we bridged that physical separation in the form of miles with our minds. There was never a necessity for a phone call or an E-mail. All we longed for were those ten precious days of leave we got every 4 months. Those were blissful days… delectable till the fateful last day when the painful punishment of returning to school became a compulsion.
He was never an extrovert and never felt the need for sharing his thoughts or emotions with even someone as close as his parents. Very few people will know that he had a really delightful sense of humor which almost always remained hidden when he was present in a group. I was one of the few persons to have witnessed his slapstick side. I recall a memorable incident with regard to this. Once we were all packed and waiting in a station for our train to arrive. His bag’s zip was open and on seeing it I said “close the zip”. His hand immediately went to his fly and he retorted “its closed only”. Though his parents and sister who were with him mistook it to be a misunderstanding on his part, I knew that it was intentional when I saw a mischievous glint in his eyes. I laugh even today when I remember that incident.
There was not a single holiday we didn’t spend together right until our tenth standard. When we moved on to eleventh, fate, it seems, had other plans. That calamitous day in September 2003 is still fresh in my mind. A phone call without any harbinger at 3 am announced the cause to be dengue fever. I experienced death for the first time… it was the last person through whom I thought I’ll experience it. There have been myriad occasions when I have sat down to look for a reason for all these happenings, but whichever way I think nothing logical comes to mind. How can a person’s life come to an end before it even started??
There are some people who cannot be replaced and some voids that can never be filled… he left both of that in my life… RIP