Friday, June 15, 2007

Die Another Day

'Die another day….', I said to her, as I held her close to me. 'Die another day, when I'm not there to see it', this was the thought that kept pounding me everytime my eyes met hers. The eyes which once talked millions, now looked me with sheer helplessness. Salasha was my soulmate. Like whoever said, 'It takes two to tango' said it right. We could make things happen only when we did it together. We vibed really well right from day 1. We were the envy among our vast circle of friends, with each of them vying to find for themselves, the kind of bonding that they found in us. It is said that its easy to die for a friend, but indeed a tough task to be able to find that special friend, who is worth dying for. And yes, that special friend of mine they called Salasha.

Our friendship dates back to our post-school days. We were just out of school & the big hunt for admissions into college was on full-swing. Man, those were the days of utmost excitement, anxiety & fear. Fear of the new kinda world that we'd be stepping into to carve a niche for ourselves in the mad world of tough competition, which screams 'survival of the fittest', loud into our ears.

Salasha & her family had moved into our neighbourhood during this time & the first conversation that we had was indeed a memorable one, with all the accented English that Salasha had used to impress her new found friend. I felt it damn funny though. We then discovered that we had enrolled into the same college though in totally different streams. While I had taken up science, Salasha had enrolled for commerce. So the two of us were pretty excited that we had company to college & back, everyday. Hence began our wonderful journey of friendship, which had seen its ups & downs during the course of time. The more the number of 'downs', the more stronger grew our bond.

Salasha had been an ace student at college. Topped in studies, excelled in other activities like debate & drama & was a very active member of the cultural club of college, hence was widely known by all for her bubbly nature. Me on the other hand, was just an average student & loved to stay away from the glare of all, loved to be to myself as much as possible…& they say, 'Opposites attract'

Over with PU, we then parted ways as she'd taken up BBM in another college while I continued in the same. Nevertheless, we missed each other's company terribly. Out there she got to make more friends & we would exchange a daily digest of the day's events. Never missed anything at all that happened with either of us.

As the days went by, Salasha had found a special someone in her life. He had been her classmate & the two of them seemed to have discovered a lot of commonalities between them & so had begun enjoying each other's company. However, she had never mentioned to me, the special kinda liking that she'd developed for him, but had introduced him to me as her classmate, a good friend.

Days went by & life went on. On a warm Sunday morning, I was still deep asleep when mom woke me up saying that Sayil wanted to see me urgently. Sayil was Salasha's maid. Still dazed at being woken up in the middle of my deep slumber, I lazily got out of bed, only to find a totally frenzied Sayil waiting outside my room. Sensing something wrong from the petrified look on her face, I was now totally in my senses, forgetting about the grumble to have to wake up earlier than ever. I could see fear, helplessness writ large on Sayil's face. My throat went dry as I asked Sayil what the matter was. Her hands trembling, Sayil gave me the shocking news & I felt that my world came crumbling down on me….. I nearly fainted.

The next moment I was at Salasha's bedside, after informing my parents about the mishap. I was totally frozen not knowing what to do or how to react. All I saw was Salasha gasping for breath. The lady had taken an over dose of sleeping pills. I felt her body & it was turning cold. Desperately tried rubbing some balm on her feet & palms in order to generate some heat. Her parents weren't in town & with just Sayil around, I just couldn't figure out what I needed to do or how quickly I needed to act. Grief had transcended on me with a terrible blow.

Just a stone's throw away lives our family doctor. The next minute I was racing away to fetch her in order to help my dying friend. On narrating what had happened, the lady came rushing at once, while I actually thought she'd back out for the fear that this could turn out to be a police case. But my worries got the better of me, when the good Samaritan that she was, shunned any inhibitions & set out to save my friend. Salasha's pulse was fast deteriorating & she needed to be rushed to the hospital, with no further delay. Parents in tow, we managed to get Salasha to a nearby nursing home while her parents were also informed about the mishap & who had started immediately.

And now Salasha is by my side. The damage had already been done. I once again said, 'die another day' & all I could see was her tear clouded eyes, which wanted to say a million things to me & the quick deep breaths that she was taking out of the respiratory support that she was put on. It's really difficult to explain what I went through that day while I was waiting on her…never want to say waiting for her to die. Her failed relationship with that classmate of hers, had led her to take this extreme step. I was totally mad at her for this but at the same time wanted to be empathetic towards her. Sitting beside her, all the wonderful times of our togetherness, came flashing by, scene after scene. My head pounding, my body trembling, engulfed by dizziness & with one final grasp at my angel's hand, I blacked out.

I woke up on the hospital bed only to see my worried parents by my side. I still couldn't figure out if all this had actually been happening or was it just a terrible nightmare. Hoped greatly that it'd be the later, but alas that was not to be. Trying to bring myself up, I finally got to learn that Salasha had left for her heavenly abode. My mind was totally blank. I felt that I was going insane & wept uncontrollably. I was struck by a number of waves & thoughts that day, the day when the dear departed had left a big void in my now lonely world. Perhaps, it was the envy of my friends that had separated us forever. But that's just a physical separation. The moments that I spent with Salasha is etched deep in my heart & would only die with me. However, the reason behind why she'd kept me in the dark about her love life still remains a mystery. Perhaps she thought that I would divulge it to her parents, as she very well knew that I'd never entertain anything like this.

Now its been four long years since she's gone & I'm here going through my life with only her fond memories as solace during my tough times. I know she's always around me & is wishing well for me & I strongly hope that we'd be born friends again, the next time around. I'd now like to end this on a wonderful note which goes thus "A Friend is one of life's Blessings. To be a Friend, is to be a little towards Heaven…. each day"!!!

Salasha had been a wonderful blessing to me – never say die, but live forever in my heart!

 --Authored by my beloved friend Akshatha G