It’s so easy, isn’t it, to just think that things won’t exist when you won’t exist and that it doesn’t matter anymore. But yup, it matters, it matters a lot. However lonely we have been in this world, there must be someone – at least one person in this world, who we have effected in such a way that we will be thought of. And for those good humoured ones, who want nothing from anyone, going away, is just another phase of being remembered dearly.
And may it be voluntary or not, which doesn’t matter, once the person is gone, it is forever. I didn’t know she had such an effect on my life, till she left. Really. I was on a vacation (the much waited summer vacation from school) and as usual had planned many things up for the day, when Appa (my dad) called and told Amma (my mother) that there had been a homicide, and a whole family was just gone. It was disturbing, just the thought of it; a whole family, who must have meant the world to at least some people, were just gone. A few seconds later, Appa added with a sigh, that the children had been studying in my school. Oh God! No, please no! Let it not be anyone I knew (Selfish me, to even think like that)! Then he read out the news, and I went in to a shock.
She had been a sweet gal, a very good natured one, in true high spirits who could infect any ones moods with that pleasant smile. And now she was gone. To be frank, she wasn’t the most best of friends with me, was just another regular face (a didi, because she was my senior) that I met daily at school who would just smile or blurt a Hi, when we met. That was it, nothing more. But still, today even after almost a decade of the incident, her smile remained fresh in my thoughts.
Often I used to think, did those smiles, hide so many a problems behind it, which finally resulted in this. Oft I wonder, poor her and the family, they never knew this was coming their way. Her father (under financial pressures) just decided one day that this was it. Poison was mixed in their food and they all were gone, just gone.
It was surprising, there was this particular assignment that had to be submitted the day before at school. The vacation was starting the next day, and the day after I was going to Kerala. I was worried about the assignment and she walked up to me and told me not to worry and that that teacher had not come to school. A smile broke out on my face. Then she told me to keep smiling, and that a smile triggered by one triggered someone else’s smile. I stood smiling there, also wondering what she actually meant.
Little did I know that that regular smile, I got every day, would not be there to greet me on the day I was back from the vacation. There were issues and problems, at home, with dear ones and all, but her smile always made me feel that one could look at the world in a different way. And yes, I had begun to. And now … that smile was gone.
I will miss you my dear senior, the face that still brings a smile, (and now a sigh), on my face. I have tried and kept the smiling chain on. Thank you for being there, however much time you were there.