Thinking about a new post, I feel that I had to think twice before giving a title like 'Vanity Moments’ to my blog as the incident which is going to be narrated here is not of such a nature, instead, it was an incident with moments of pity, sorrow and lost friendship. This incident is a contemporary to the previous 'Ma, Please Don’t Tell this to Papa’, occurred during my study times at Mahatma Gandhi University.
We have got a class mate, who was the eldest of all students and I became the friendliest one with him. I still remember the train journey that I made with him on a weekend to his countrysides during the season of festivals in the temple of his neighborhood. It was then I drank liquor with his friends and understood that his nature after drinking was quite converse to mine – he was the silent one after drinking and I am the noisiest. I still remember the tune of the song that he used to sing, which was written by one of today’s well known film song lyricist, Anil Panachooran, who was then a comparably unknown lyricist. A rough translation of that song goes like this,
To hear my return to the countrysides,
My friends in Kerala might have understood the song by this time. Yes, this is the same poem starting with ‘thirike njaan varumenna vaartha kelkkaanaay graamam kothikkaarundennum’ in the film 'Arabikkatha' (An Arabian Tale). I knew this song even before the makers started thinking about the conception of such a film, but only in a different tune.
But, the real story of our study time starts only when he fell in love with the most beautiful girl in our class. Despite of their different religions and different family backgrounds, both became very intimate - mentally and physically (?) and I heard several legends including the one, which told that both of them went to Thiruvananthapuram and spent a night together in a hotel room.
Anyway, this incident had caused much fuss in our class, and somebody rang at our heroine’s house in that morning to inform them about the pleasure trip that the both had been making then. Though we initially tried to find the owner of that anonymous call with the hints provided by our heroine’s family such as the caller could likely be a female with some sort of masculine voice, our investigations were dropped in midway. Though, I was his close heart mate, about things like these, I was the most unaware of, since as I was the youngest one in the class, he used to tell me his private affairs only in a censored mode. But, everyone in the class blamed me for my company with him and only then I felt my importance in this love story, which was on the edges of breakup.
On return to the campus he was welcomed as a hero and I watched enviously all the girls looking at him with admiration. The girl did not come to the class to attend the rest of portion and to write the final examinations she was escorted by her furious mother. Our last days of the campus ended in a cold manner, but I felt that my friend was very much disappointed about his broken love.
After the course, I went to home and in my native place I met with some problems those were evolved out of the residents’ conservative nature. I actually almost had forgot about my friend and he used to phone me and whenever I attend the phone he used to greet me with the most abusive vulgar language for the number of calls from me to him was actually zero. As we were that much close both of us had a liberty to call each other anything.
Later, I came to know that he was admitted to Regional Cancer Centre in Thiruvananthapuram due to his continuous headache and problems with nose. The thing that he mistook for sinus was actually a version of cancer. As I was looking forward to get an admission in University of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram, I went there and visited my friend at the RCC. I saw him with his usual enthusiastic smile, but without his hair and mustache, those were removed as a result of radiation therapy. His cheerful nature made me happy and I returned home as if nothing had happened. But I remember the name of his cancer version, it was something like abdomayo sarcoma.
I again forgot my friend even though I was in Thiruvananthapuram and his phone calls with abusive words and name calling still had continued with seemingly no end. Then one day calls from him suddenly stopped, and for a long time, I received nothing from him. I found nothing unusual in it as I had been busy with my own professional as well as academic affairs. Only some months later one of our class mate informed me that he bid farewell to the world and had flown away spreading the wings searching for another world where religious and caste wise distinctions have no existence. Then only I realised the serious error that I committed in treating my friend.
The girl might be living in somewhere in the world happily looking after her husband and kids, possibly with a job. My friend could not see his favourite song writer and song becoming a much-loved and critically acclaimed one in the film world. And the third character of the story is myself, who was a simpleton then, who became aware of the serious mistake that he made in maintaining good friendships only later.