As I alighted from the train in Chennai, the cold morning rain slapped hard on my face. Rains in Chennai are not very common. Uncommon rains have one thing in common for me.
They always spell bad news.
“Machan, bad news da. AK passed away some time back”. That was six hours ago. After that came a flurry of shell shocked phone calls. The truth was impossible to swallow. Doubt, disbelief and sadness combined in my head in proportions they never had before.
As I made my way back home, I tried to push my mind to remember what ever it could of the wonderful times that we had had together; moments that defined AK for me.
Somehow each moment always had him jumping up and down, a uncorked cracker of energy, with a voice that was always set on ‘cheering-at-the-stadium’ accompanied by a smile that could light up a few street blocks. His pants hung loose about him and his pure enthusiasm threatened to rub on to everyone within a considerable distance.
I can never put a word to describe the relationship we shared. In some ways, I felt very close to him for one simple reason. We understood each other perfectly. He’s helped me many times and I have tried to reciprocate it.
To the end, I believe that he remained how he used to be. He’d love to take matters into his own hand. He chose not to worry his friends with the bizarre details of the disease that he was battling. I am told he even reported to work the day before he was taken to the hospital.
Now that he’s gone, only one thing worries me the most is that I am not able to mourn him the way I feel I should.
Sadness plays deep in the heart, but the tears don’t come.
Would they who passed want it this way?
Would they have wanted us to remember them one more day?
Would they have wished we mourned them some more?
Would our wanton smiles burn holes in their soul?
He was a good man, one of very few
But we now live in a world without him … a hopeless truth
We shall meet again my friend,
Your memory shall ride with us to the end.