I would like to paint the way a bird sings.
— Claude Monet


#


A flashback

On a fund-raising spree

I contacted on WhatsApp

In my bulldozer style,

I asked “Oyeee how are you …. Please can you do a short video for Samaritan Mumbai’s emotional support helpline


Then I did my usual pitch: Blah blah blah (he must have downed the shutters long ago)


There was silence

I am not in a good space, he said


I paused


I called him, immediately

Tring tring tring

What happened

I cannot explain

Okay

Just back

Okay

I am in quarantine

Okay

And this … Covid thing

Okay

Taking care of … my parents

Okay

Right now, I am not in that frame of mind

Okay

I hope you … er … understand …

Sure, Yaar

Er … The thing is …No pressure

Hmm

Do contact Samaritans Mumbai whenever  you feel like talking … and sharing

Hmm

We are anonymous, confidential and non judgemental 

Hmmm

Bhai, tera number bhi nahi dikhega

Hmmmm

Naam nahi poochengey … Jo bolna hai bol de

Hm

And you know I am there just a call away

He laughed

What, I said

Jhande-wallli!!!

Aha, I said

Haan bhai haan

(He called me that, haan bhai haan)

Jhandewallii!!! Haan baba

haan zaroor

Pakka haan pakka

Take care yaar

Then he disconnected


And then I said adieu


That was my final audio and WhatsApp guftagu with Asif


#
We can be knowledgeable with another man’s knowledge, but we cannot be wise with another man’s wisdom. 
— Michel de Montaigne

#


Then the news of his demise

trickled in

It was like a crumbling of a

mountain inside me 

As if a volcano erupted

Then silence


We have known each other

for years during his theatre days

Of late we met less

When we did, we were a

house on fire

We had long conversations

which never ended

Lots of drama

Lots of nautanki

Lot of theatrewallah’s high art

Plays

Films

Poems

But above all, political and ideological discussions

Zindabad vs Murdabad


#
In philosophy, if you think the answer is obvious, you haven’t understood the question. 
— Keith Frankish

#


News of his  

I felt like a zombie

I disconnected from all social media

I needed to store and remember the good memories


#
Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.
— Vesna Zivkovic

#


MY GOOD MEMORIES ….
Underlined….


And then when I started my

social media account 

A barrage of comments

And mostly WHY ….

.
He was always smiling

As someone said, The Boy

Who Never Stopped Smiling

No way, it can’t be true

Conspiracy theories erupt again

Finger pointing

Gossip

In the pandora’s box which

Stephen Fry calls social media


#
If we winter this one out, we can summer anywhere.
— Seamus Heaney

#


He was struggling

He was going through depression

A person can smile and be sad

Can you accept it?


The social media rants

 No No….

He cannot do this to the love

of his life

To his family

To his innocent parents

No No No

Not possible


People, do you see it’s all

about you

It is not about him

You feel bad, about yourself

How come, if you were a close friend, how  could you

not see

How come as a fan, you see

a coward who could not take

up the life challenges

How COULD YOU NOT

HELP ?

Instead you say he let YOU

down 

You felt he did wrong


#
Some people have one great dream in life which they fail to fulfill.
Others have no dream at all and fail to fulfill even that.
— Fernando Pessoa

#


For once

Can we just see his pain

He ended his pain

I am sure he must have tried

But that sensation of floating …

Beyond boundaries

Beyond logic

Beyond this planet which is

three quarter dead


#
If you’re reading this, if there’s air in your lungs on this November day, then there is still hope for you. 
— Jamie Tworkowski

#


He took a call

To end his pain…

Can we respect his decision?

कोई कश्ती में तनहा जा रहा है, किसी के साथ दरिया जा रहा है…
— मोहसिन ज़ैदी

Kamayani Bali- Mahabal

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