Thursday, October 28, 2010

If only

Like any other software affected engineer, he would have been coding and testing, complaining loudly about the stupid process that many of us follow, just for the sake or to blindfold the process audit team. If I listen carefully, I can hear the very words he would have been telling about all that did not make any sense. I never pictured him sitting in front of a computer for a job, but he was definitely more than capable to excel in it. Who knows? Maybe he would have ended up in a core company (mechanical engineering based). Yeah. He would have been perfect in one of those heavy-weight industries working on huge machines, not worrying about what attire he wore or how to for-the-sake impress his supervisor, but sincerely concentrate on what was his duty.

If he was in Chennai, which is typical him (can't imagine him anywhere else), Santosh and me would not only be picking the other up for the regular night shows, instead we'd be on two bikes with him as the pillion rider with one of us. We would have been laughing at his gimmicks and unbiased criticism about the over made scenes in a bad movie. In fact I can for sure say that he'd have been Santosh's roommate and it would have been fun going over to their place and listen to them pull each other's legs. How different it would have been for so many people? It pains that I could only write about this an it would never ever happen. Rajeesh succumbed to blood cancer, the same day, five years ago.

I knew him only like any other classmate. He used to wear a big streak of sandal on his forehead everyday. He was this typical mallu boy, which was marked clearly in his Tamil accent. We were all just a set of nine-year olds who knew nothing much, other than to fight for silly reasons and not even remember any of it the next moment. I have fought with him so many times (actually I've fought with everyone as part of being the jerk of jerks), but there was no much connection with him, at least not any that comes to my mind. We used to go to the same Hindi Tuition in 6th standard and we used to play cricket at his house if we could squeeze in time before/after the tuition. I used to really scared to enter his house because of his dog.

Towards the later half of our 10th standard a set of our classmates used to play cricket everyday in a ground near his house. It used to be fun teasing him and have him tease me back for not being able to catch the ball even if it was thrown straight at me (the Chennai 28 Premji Amaran type). Thats when I got to know the proper him. To say that he was God-fearing is an understatement. Anyone who has spent little time with him would have noticed him praying then and there. I don't think he has even hurt a mosquito in his life. We were getting along really well and as fate had it, he was denied admission in our school for eleventh grade. A stupid mistake made by some office staff lost him his admission even though he had gotten enough marks to get in. The worst part is that the school staff blamed him of submitting the application late, which was a bloody lie. He had to go to another school and we lost touch again.

We are meant to cross paths with some people no matter what. I was so happy to hear that he got into Amrita, but he was in mechanical department. He was not the regular college student type. He was different and everyone knew it. People including me used to tease him in and out for each and everything but he was such a sport. Well, he knew me well enough to hit back at me and shut my mouth. A year passed by and we had so much fun with visits to ARC Pani Puri Stall after getting down from the college bus, couple of movies and the hilarious best of all, the combined studies. He used to teach me Engineering Mechanics without which I'd have flunked in the first semester only. But, it took one more semester to bring out the true potential in me. I flunked Electrical Engineering. It was horrible. No complaints. I did not learn crap. However, the 3 Idiots formula of "If your friend fails you feel bad, but if he passes you feel worse", worked well with me. All those I thought would fail with me had gotten through and a shattered me went home. I was waiting for my dad to go out so that I could burst into tears and cry and thats when I got his call.

"Sollu da. Evalo GPA?", I asked him. ("Tell me. Whats your GPA?")
He burst into laughter and said, "Maths and Electrical pochu da". (Flunked in Maths and Electrical).

My happiness knew no bounds. For a second, my dad thought someone had called me and said that I hadn't failed the paper. I hung up and went straight to meet him. The next month was actually the best of all times I got to spend with him. We learnt together and cleared the backlogs in the supplementary exams. Third semester classes began and on the third day we got the results of the supplementary and I went to the mechanical block and celebrated with him that evening.

Little did both of us know that it was his last day in college. He fell sick that weekend and got admitted to the hospital one week later. The next I saw him at his house, it was the Rajeesh I knew wouldn't laugh aloud or tease me for he lay motionless totally not bothered about the people crying beside him. That is the first time since I have known him that he did not empathize the people crying around him. Its been five years now, which does not matter because his memories would never fade, for anyone who have known him.

6 Expressions:

Navneeth R said...

:( :( ...

Srinath said...

Chiju, A very touching write-up about a lost friend. You have really started to show your versatility in narrating your views in different subjects in a very impressive manner. Keep it going.. Thumbs up mate !!!

Sheetal said...


Nithin said...

I understand how you feel mate. Bloody life is never fair. I bet he would have loved to make a comment on this post. He would definitely be proud to have a friend like you.

VJ said...

You cannot claim that someone you have known for just 2 years is your friend. It takes a lifetime to know a person.

... You know where I am going with this.

You meet people over and over again, until you decide not to... and that doesn't happen in the span of over a few short years... why would it? If it takes a lifetime for you to know someone, it takes many a lifetimes over to meet them, and then to decide that you never will again.

Perhaps, my words are no comfort for a loss this heavy.


Vasanth said...


Words cant express the feelings, but it can kindle the memories as urs did.

Anyone who has gone through the same (lost his friend) would be able to connect to your feelings.

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