Saturday, October 25, 2008

When memories come calling

Barath lost a dear friend at a young age. Reading his post was like experiencing a flash flood of memories rewinding themselves into my over-crowded, over worked, exhausted and weary brain.

But the memories were real. Like it happened yesterday.

A dear friend. A buddy.

Someone who never knew

How to say ‘NO’ to me


Those bike rides in the gullies of North Delhi

Or the four lane outer circle of CP

Cups of coffee at the IIT canteen (‘thaka hua’)

that I would compare to my ‘happening’ college canteen

And he would only smile serenely

Or garma garam chai at some roadside dhaba

at 4 am (or was it 5????)

After a nite of long partying with my crazy friends

(at some disco where we’d use him and his friends

“For entry purposes only”;

and dance the night away in wild abandon, flirting

with other men unabashedly)

While he would diligently escort us back

on bone chilling winter nights

I would be his pillion; (he always wanted me to….) 

to our barsaati, waving goodbye at the gate

never asking to be let in


He was the first buddy I made

Having had a sheltered ‘convent-strictly-girls’ upbringing

I was surprised that we could be ‘friends’

A real friend who did

not expect more…not need more

unlike some of the other ‘boys’ I’d known then


He was special, to me, to my friends

We could pull his 6 ft 3 inches long frame

and he’d still just smile and blush sometimes


He was always especially nice to me….

My room mate noticed, but I was blind somehow

because I’d fallen in love….with another man;

His senior…..


I didn’t see…the love and longing

the jealousy and the discomfort

Didn’t understand his feelings…..

As I basked in the glory of an over powering love and a

madness I never knew I was capable of


I left him broken hearted

said his friends angrily (wondering why I’d called)

as I beseeched them frantically on the phone,

tears streaming down my face

to tell me how he could die

so young, at 24


Those long nights of endless, ceaseless crying

the tears, the agony, the pain, the hysteria, the torment


Nothing brought him back to me

Nothing eased the pain


No phone call, no letters, not a word

He left me nothing but the guilt of knowing that

he died a broken hearted man


14 years have gone by

I wonder if he knows

that I cared too…and that I would do


for one day with him

to make my peace


And I know, in my heart

he will not say ‘NO’

just as he never could…


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