this character is quite regular on my blog… my friend shriram!
so he finally got his call to sail on friday in the most weird circumstances.
Feeling toatlly bored that he was not getting a call for his first sail for a couple of months now, he calls up the company to remind them that he is on their list. the company reprsentative inturn asks him “when are you ready to join”. Shriram, in order to impress upon the restlessness with which he is waiting for the call, replies “Anytime you say, infact, i am ready to come tomorrow even”. The company representative however, takes the figure of speech quite literally, and calls him to join the next day.
So the poor fellow, packs in a hurry, gets himself a air ticket to mumbai in the last minute, and leaves home without getting enough time to say goodbye to family and friends.
On friday he finds out that he has to fly to Dalian, a port in china to join his ship.
Travelling abroad is quite frightening, even if you are well prepared mentally, have a good idea of the country you will be visiting. I am a case of “nearly there”. I was supposed to be on a flight to new york, sometime this time last year, but opted out for a masters at IIT. I sure felt the jitters of planning a trip so far from home, because finally, home is after all home.
Last year, i went to the airport to see of a friend, who was going to washington for his PhD. At the airport, I just glanced at the faces of the people travelling. It was not a tough task to point out the faces that was going out of india for the first time, a delicate mixture of eagerness, excitement, anticipation of the new place, with a fear, sadness of leaving home was clearly visible. But even among the seasoned visitors abroa, according to my face reading abilities, i could sense a little fear and a sense of holding back. Infact, to me the whole atmosphere at the international departures terminal was a mixture of fear and sadness. I did not glimpse a single face that was extremely happy, nor a send off group that was laughing and merrying.
Anyways, coming back to my friend, this was his first trip abroad. After collecting his tickets, we changed whatever money he had to USD and started for the airport. This is where, my trusted bag, that which has travelled with me to home and back weekends,to matheran , to madras and tirupati, to hyderabad and bangalore got lucky and flew to Dalian, China. Shriram in his hurry had forgotten to get a smaller cabin luggage bag to keep important documents and toileteries and a change shirt or two!
The whole day was fun and happy mood for me. But, in the evening on the way back home in the local train, parry called up to give news that shattered all the happy mood that i was in in the evening.
He called up to say that a batchmate of ours from RVCE, a fellow hostellite, AP, passed away in the evening, crushed by a bus as he slipped from his bike.
Initially, as dozens of calls started coming to me, informing me of the news, I hardly could not feel a thing.
A hostel is like a big joint family, close friends are your brothers and sister, and then you have a gang of friends, like your first cousins, and then there are fellow hostelites, people you exchange a pleasant hi-bye with, people you hug in joy when they/ you get good results/goof jobs etc, the equivalent of distant cousins, related yet not close. To me AP was in the last category, and thus a certain ambivalence in my feeligs. A part of me felt sad, but another part wanted to remain happy, wanted my brain to file the whole day of fun that i had!
But later in the night, as i tried to sleep, the whole enormity of the unfortunate incident stuck me. AP, had been a part of my life.
For two weeks, in our second week on engineering, we had to stay in our first year hostels as the second year hostel was still being renovated. AP, was my room mate for those 15-20 days. He was our team captain for our night cricket team in my final year, and we were “FEst-Hos” team-mates in our second year cricket team.
As such short burst of closeness that we spent circulated in my memory, i really started to feel that I am going to miss this person in my life, so what if we had not really spoken since we graduated from college. Tears did not come, but the heart became heavy…
It is at times like this the one comes to question faith, relegion and GOD et al.
He was most certainly like any other 20 yr old, chasing his dreams, first in an engineering college and later in a software firm, living his life, working hard, studying hard, partying hard…there was no reason that he should not live his bright future, have his share of the pie…
in some cases, he was little unlike many of us. His job meant a lot not only for him, but for his family too. The money he sent back home, was used to pay back some loans that his parents had incurred.
And afterall, he was young, with his whole life ahead…
I spent a small time, in the shoes of his mother. What trauma must she be going through…
Why GOD why??????????????
I have a stock dialogue for unfortunate events, “Whatever happens, happens for the good”…and two days ago, all I had was nothing!