It was Tuesday night that I found out.
I could not move for 15 minutes. I could not believe what I was reading. It could not be possible. But after a while, it sunk in. He was no more.
Bhavik, my friend from school, died in an accident on Tuesday morning. He was 21.
We had both gone to St. Kabir School together. Right from 1st to 10th grade. Those were the best times in my life. I guess, everyone will agree, school has a different charm to it. I used to drive my cycle to school from 5th grade onwards. Bhavik used to do the same. In 5 years, we had eaten at every possible place in between our home and the school multiple number of times. The ambodiya guy used to wait for us to come. The dabeli guy used to make special dabelis for us and we had a special deal with the cold coco guy.
We played cricket together. Everyone called you Pointing after the Australian captain. You do look similar. :) I still remember your joke about "I can't field deep, I don't know how to swim. :P" and "Look look, they are opening their batting with tailenders." :D
Vacations meant, getting together at a friends place at 10 in the morning and doing random things all throughout the day. It included, watching movies, playing cricket inside and outside the house, playing roadrash for 3 days straight, eating bhel as if it was going to be the last meal for us in the week, filling petrol worth Rs 10 just so that we could get to the sandwich place and crank calling random/desperate guys we used to 'seduce' on chat groups on rediff. Life could not have been better.
We were in different school for the next two years but we used to meet often. We were far in physical distance but whenever the gang got together, it was as if we were still in the 7th grade.
College began and we all grew apart. We took different streams and were in difference colleges. Meeting friends almost stopped. In the past 2 years, we did not meet.
Suddenly, a few weeks back, we met at Mc'd, late in the night. It was a chance meeting but as we all know, time lost in between doesn't count when it comes to school friends. We met just for a couple of minutes but it was a happy meeting. I did not know that this would be our last meeting but as I write this now, I am glad it was a happy one!
Thankfully, it was not our last interaction. You met my dad on Sunday at a pan shop of all places. The conversation he had with you was something like this:
Dad: Aree bhavik, kaisa hai tu? Padhia theek chal rahi hai?
Bhavik: Namaste uncle. Sab theek. Apoorv kaisa hai?
Dad: Ekdum theek.
Bhavik: Uncle mere best friend ke pappa hain, inse paise mat lena. Kitna bhi bole, mat lena.
Dad *smiling* (to the shopkeeper): Ye to mere bete jaisa hai, isse kaise paise le sakta hun. Aap paise le lo.
Bhavik: Uncle, beta ka to hak banta hai. Aapne mujhe itne salon baad bhi pehchan liya wohi mere liye bohot hai.
That day my dad came home and could not stop smiling while narrating this to me. I even wrote about it on your Facebook wall. You replied to it. That was unfortunately our last interaction. Again, I am happy that it was a memory I will cherish all my life.
I hope you are in a better place now. I am sure you are making everyone in heaven laugh out loud with your witty jokes and hilarious impressions. :)
We will all miss you. A lot :)
Losing a friend makes you realize a lot of things. It tells you that life is fickle. It can end anytime. There is no point in delaying things/decisions. You might not be able to do them.
It also made me realise that you should never fight with anyone and walk away without solving the fight. You never know which is the last time you talk to that person. It might just be the last and I am sure you wouldn't want it to be a fight.
Never delay things. Never postpone something which you can do now. If you decide that you will earn money now and serve the society later on in your life, also take into account that (god forbid), that later on might never come. Do it now.
Live now. Never regret. Smile now. Stay happy, now. Because (ending yet another post with a Shahrukh Khan dialogue) "Kya pata, Kal ho na ho?" :)