In The Beginning…

Dear Friend,

Years ago, when we first met as teenagers
It was such a thrill to discover that we had –
Lots of things in common
We had a bond
That grew as we grew older and miraculously found
Similar tastes for good music, the comfort of wine and the lust for cash
We loved the same colors, appreciated similar traits in women
So we became more than friends, closer than kin
And solemnly made promises to remain
Together till the end
That was what ‘twas supposed to be
That was our plan but for fickle fate’s dissent

Those days, those glorious days of young friendship, those days of ‘mi casa su casa’, when all was right with the world as long as we were together having fun. Those days when we shared everything, including the ‘high’ of first love and the hurt of first heart-break. Those happy days, when the future held nothing but promises of greatness for both of us, side by side.


Dear Friend,

I know it’s been a while we really talked
And it’s been ages since our eyes last met
I heard about your struggles with finding another job
And all your challenges on the domestic front
I heard life hasn’t been kind to you at all
I should call you soon, so we can talk
If only just to share a few words of comfort
But this crazy work schedule, it doesn’t let up at all
Every day is like a tornado…
…hold on a sec…
Sorry bro, the boss just buzzed and I have to run
I’m sure the tide will soon change; stay strong
I’ll be in touch; hopefully, I’ll talk to you soon
For now just bear this sms with me, until I find time for that call

In pursuit of the proverbial fleece, the bonds between us became stretched beyond acceptable limits. It wasn’t intentional, just a consequence of my busy lifestyle. I know you tried to stay in touch, many times, you called and e-mailed while I kept giving excuses. Inevitably the bond broke, both of us went our separate ways and what we shared was consigned to the trash can of history. The hustle – my new mistress – she took over my soul. And my friend was left in the cold, alone.


Dear friend,

I heard the news but I still can’t believe my ears
That you have passed on, that frustration pushed you
To take your own life
That you grew tired of living in need
Sad and alone, depressed on a daily
The news unleashes on my heart, a crushing load of guilt
Just last week, for the umpteenth time, I heard my phone ring
I saw your name on the caller ID
But as usual, I was too engrossed with work
I really was going to call you back, intended to, but never got around to doing it,
As usual
The very next day, I was out of the country for a meeting
Life took over, and all thoughts of you were forgotten
Totally forgotten, until I got the notice
Of your tragic passing


Dear Friend,

My heart is broken ‘cos I know I failed you
I failed to keep the promise
I failed to be the shoulder sharing your burdens
When you reached out to me, my place was empty
Perfect example of what a friend should not be

Here I am all dressed in black, a stark contrast to the loose red colored earth they brought up to make space for your wooden box. I hear the choir sing the solemn parting song and I hear your family’s loud wails of grief. I hear the wind forlornly speak of your journey to shores I haven’t been, never to return.

If only I had spared just a few moments to listen. If only I had cared enough to reach out. If only I had seen beyond the distractions of making a living. If only I had made time to be the friend I was supposed to be, who knows, it just might have made a world of difference.

These tears I cry are not for you my friend, you’ve gone on to rest and nothing else matters. They are for me. For the guilt that will bite my soul every day for the rest of my life, for the pain and regret that will accompany my every step. I hope I can find redemption, I hope I can find forgiveness and I hope I can live with myself.

I wish you Godspeed on your journey dear friend. I pray you find that peace that eluded you while you were here, I pray you find rest. Most importantly, I pray Mother Earth takes you in and offers you the benefit of constant attention, I pray her arms would always surround you, for as long as you need them. I pray she always stays true to you, as a friend should.

“The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.” – Ulysses S. Grant

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