Samir has been my friend for eons now. We grew up together since kindergarten and have always been pretty thick.
He had always been the non-servile kinds, sometimes almost bordering on impudence. Remember the types who used to be reprimanded by the teacher – and could be found standing outside, or the ones who were a supremely irritating yet funny concoction of no studying yet high marks? He was one of those. Always a joke at the tip of his tongue, he used to spare no one when he was in the mood.
Oh, and he used to fall in love every other week, with a new person. With hearts in his eyes, on his sleeves and everywhere else, he was a full package – the surprise proposals, flowers and presents, dates and getaways and then proposals again..
His influence was pernicious, God! How every boy used to want to be him. And man! he was enviable … he did have it all…
Thankfully, I didn’t fall into the romance trap with him. Though joint at the hip, our friendship was the talk of the town and we used to revel in the fact that we would always be each other’s pillar.
Come our 20s, and we drifted off to new cities – jobs, travel, partners ( his no. had definitely decreased – guess affording a change on one’s own salary was tougher than affording the same on parent’s pocket money) and while we were in touch, the pillar grew just a tad weak. And once you’re that close, you sense the crack before the crack, and for prevention purposes, decided to meet up in Goa.
Goa was Goa, which is basically another word for spectacular! We had a ball of a time, but Samir’s smile did not reach his eyes. There definitely was something amiss, but who wants to ruin 4 days in Goa? Keeping the tough conversation of reason at bay and with promises to meet up soon again… we parted, with me telling him that he owed me a conversation.
Who would have guessed that it would need to be another lifetime – he died. On an overdose of sleeping pills.
The earth gave way beneath my feet. There was no day, only night while I furiously refused to believe that this had actually happened. My mind couldn’t process a world without Samir – the ever funny, always laughing Samir. He whose smile lit up the room – he whose laugh was like the sound of million Christmas bells.
His letter said –
This world, though beautiful, is not a place for me. This is no one’s fault, except me. To my dear family, I love you all but I dislike me more. And my dear friends, when you’re drinking Black Label, and it seems like you’re drinking more than you’re actually drinking, guess who is there with you? 🙂
He had been battling depression for the past couple of months.
His smile really did not reach his eyes and my life remains incomplete, till date.
Could I have saved him had I undertaken that one tough conversation?
How often do we mistake smiling people for happy people?
That one conversation can help. That one phone call can help. That one hug can help. That one smile can help.
That one friend, my pillar, will never come back. But I am trying my best to ensure there is never ever a conversation that I don’t have.
So should you.