Do you remember when we first met. I think it was in Prep School; you were eight and I was nine. It could have been earlier, after all our parents were acquainted. However, it is Prep School that I remember. Even then you had the knack of seeing the funny side of things. Remember the skit you staged making fun of a teacher we did not care so much about. The climax was the best part. The annoyed teacher was supposed to catch you by the ear and yank you off the stage. Eventually it was one of the girls from the senior School that did it. And she did a rather thorough job of it.
After three years or so in Sanawar you left for Doon but we were back together in Jamalpur. Those were the days when we were searching for new ideas and developing our worldview. So much of the time went in discussing philosophy, poetry and science and engineering. You could never resist quoting Eliot and reading Kipling; and I would try to fit it all into the scientific ideas of the day. Art and Science, I think we learnt much from each other. Then there was jazz, and Willis O’ Connor on the VOA. Those were the days of transistors. We could barely catch the signal but we listened all the same and enjoyed it.
I remember placing before you a sort of goad and saying, “We discuss so much but can we put together a chart of ones future actions or goals.” You thought for a moment and said, “Why not” and finding no paper opened a Charminar packet and made a net work on its back. It started with, ‘the dopes we are today,’ and ended with ‘sad demise after finding lasting solution to world peace.’ Perhaps you have found that solution now; but knowing you, I am sure you will find something funny in it too. Dear friend, I still have that Charminar packet with me. I don’t know why I preserved it; perhaps to remind me of the time we spent together.
I remember so clearly the letter I received from you in hospital after my injury. It contained a resolution of support from the SAMs and of course your letter. Kitty and me read it and laughed; you could find humor even in our situation. We felt so much better. Thank you dear friend.
I do not know if you recollect how Kuku introduced me to you. He came to our Malcha Marg flat and asked for the telephone. He dialed a number said a few words and handed the phone to me. I did not know who I was talking to, and finding a strange girl on the other side of the line assumed that Kuku was up to one of his tricks. I made some polite conversation and got out of the call as fast as I could. As I put down the phone he said, “You hung up. That, sir, was the girl I am going to marry.”
Of course, just before you left for Nepal you rang me up and wished me happy birthday, which was next day. Said how sorry you were to be away and added that you would make it up by a big hug on return.
Unfortunately that was never to be. O how I wish I could with fate conspire and rebuild things nearer to my hearts desire.
( This obituary has been written by Mr. Sarabjit Arjan Singh ’61)