Have never doubted the uncrtainty of life. However, yesterday its uncertainty hit with gale force. Came to know about the untimely demise of a former classmate and friend. Couldnot believe it then and the mind refuses to accept it even now. Young, smart, handsome, intelligent. Kafka, Nietzche, Pink Floyd were the mantras he lived by. Laughter could readily reach his eyes in those days. Serious talks, jokes: you name it and his contribution was there. Life was moving at its easy pace and nothing seemed amiss. The walks in the University, the sessions in the canteen, the motor cycle rides: what could go wrong! A free spirit, he was always looking for freedom of thought and action. No one felt that he would not achieve what he wanted. Over the years, everyone went their own way. Contact diminished. News about him filtered through sources. Some true, some untrue(that is what one would like to believe about one's friends, isn't it?). University trips meant that I would certainly get to meet him. Over the years he had changed. Laughter had changed to a smile which would rarely reach his eyes. Conversation was not so easy. Always felt I did most of the talking. A couple of more years and the smile was a mere twitch of the lips. There was no question of the twitch being reflected in the eyes. Laboured conversation. Perfunctory at the best. Friendly hug was ever full of self-consciousness. A hint of the old self when he said jokingly--'The professors will be scandalized if they see you in my room.' 'Hey come on, the door is open and everyone knows that we studied together.' Nothing futher. Usual small talk. Time for good bye. At that time, did not know that I would not get to see him ever.
More news filtered through. Not much of it were rumors. What had happened! Where had the carefreeness gone? Had life taken such a toll on him that nothing of his old self remained? Had cut off from everyone. Lonely existence sans those who could care about him. Did he want it that way or was there another reason? What demons were he fighting that he could never talk about them to anyone? What drove him to that? Of course, there would be no answers. Not any more. Always wanted to ask him things. Never got the opportunity for that. Too many things left unsaid. Too many questions went unanswered. What goes on behind closed doors, no one knows.He has taken his demons, his secrets, his sorrows, his lack of freedom and independence with him.
His death has shaken, rudely shocked. Cherish your friends. Talk to them. Be there for them. Communicate. And have closures if such a need arises.
August 12, 2011 at 6:35 P.M.