The door flew open and what seemed like a billionth page on marketing slowly drowsing off my senses to a world of infinity made the moment stand still forever. Standing at my door was my classmate with a shock on her face which made my hair stand up; “Ankit is no more”, she announced and as those words slowly hit my ear drums and traveled back to my brain, it didn’t make sense. I didn’t move, it didn’t make fit in and neither did sink it. As she closed the door behind me, I was amazed at the volatility of life and the concept of people dying, how can some one stop existing in a moment?
My mind travelled back to the first day I met him. I can vividly remember that crooked smile on his face which always announced that he knew a little more than what you anticipate. His eyes had that glint of mischief and plans for life? Phew, unlimited! Not those regular run off the mill plans of a cushy job or of a beautiful wife, no. He was the kind of guy who could analyze even the guy sitting to your left and tell his life story. Yes, he was that critical and the life theories? Newton would have given him an award! When I look back, I see so many things that he used to come and whisper in my ears and told me to believe, those terribly tiny tales were true but we never wanted to believe him.
Ankit was the kind of guy who would slip in that little color in your drink and make you feel good about it. He extended that hand of friendship and trust when I told him about my problems and told me to chill while his political connections did the trick. Oh yes, he had a solution to everything in the world and an analogy to prove everything was right the way he perceives them.
The cold harsh winds were piercing through our bodies as we waited outside our hostel in London to leave for the day and there I saw Ankit coming towards us with a big smile on his face and a beer in hand; while we cribbed about the weather, he offered me the beer and told me to chill and warm the system. The London beer was his savior and he loved his drink, he sure did and so did we, but we could never relish it as much as he did. Maybe we never relished anything as much as he did, the small things, the small fights, the friendships, the late night walks and what not, he was passionate about everything he did.
I use to sit on the second last row of the class everyday and Ankit settled himself at the back of that row as a rule. One morning he walked in wearing those parrot green trousers, white shirt and a pair of blue/black shoes flashing the big signature Ankit smile. I gaped at him with my eyes wide open and mouth that was open in amazement. I asked him the occasion and he became oh-so-conscious about the whole thing and asked me a million times if it was not looking alright. I distinctly remember telling him that he looked ‘interesting’ to which he wittingly replied that it was his ‘Date day’! whatever that meant, it made me laugh so much!
My class had 28 MBA students who couldn’t say a word to our dean or even argue with him, the only guy who could not only mimic him perfectly but also tell him what we wanted was Ankit. That perfect imitation of almost every professor and that boldness of telling a professor that he/she doesn’t know a thing about the subject and that he knew better is worth a salute. We never appreciated all that until now.
Ankit was the most jolly and the most mischievous person I knew and I can say on behalf of every one I know that he has left behind a huge void which can never be filled by anyone. That sheer ability to bash anyone who did wrong is so missed each day and that assurance that he will make things right for all of us is gone. Nobody makes fun of the professors anymore, nobody tell me that I should enter politics and not join a boring corporate job anymore and nobody ever challenges the system for everything anymore.
He was that reason which made our class a group, he was the reason behind our smiles and a big reason for all of us to actually fight for what we wanted, the last thing he fought for was a holiday on October 2 and he got that done too. I still remember the last time I saw him. He was sitting outside the hostel with a junior. It was windy and I was leaving the campus, he had that smile on his face and an expression which conveyed to me that he knew more about my life than I could ever imagine and I always smiled back thinking; “who are you kidding buddy”, maybe he knew.
I knew him little through the classes and the little time we spent in Scotland, I loved his sense of humor and the amazing Sholay type friend that he was; full of drama and compassion. Life for all of us will never be the same and my heart bleeds every time I think about his family. I walked into his life a year back but he has left behind a wonderful family who can not imagine their life without him.
The last trip to his house was painful and his father’s eyes broke us. Millions of aspirations and plans for his future and his life with him at this stage of his life when he was going to support him and take over all his responsibilities finally. Nobody can ever do anything to give his parents back what they have lost in life and I pray to god to give them strength and the lost love to bear this irreplaceable loss.
Un Chiraagon Mein Tel Hi Kam Tha
Kyon Gila Fir Humein Hawa Se Rahe