Update: This blog is the winner of The Chronicwriter Best Blog of the Year award 2008
I dont like waking up early..Not one bit...Just like Obama doesnt like Osama inspite of having such similar sounding names..
I dont like early morning calls on my cell.. Not even on my birthday.. Well 8 in the morning is not exactly early morning, but what the heck!
Anyone who has been my friend knows this.. All my bday wishes start pouring in only after 10 am..
We gonna have a party..turn the music up..
lets get it started..go ahead n move your butt..
I hate my ringtone.. I mean Eminem's Shake that is good all day long, but early morning even he sucks.. I rubbed my eyes and looked at the caller id.. I looked at the watch.. 8 am in the morning..Who could be calling me at this unearthly hour..
That sent my thoughts running..
Raka is the name I gave to Rakesh. Rakesh was in my college.. I hated him the first day I met him.. He was very in-your-face.. too bubbly if you may call a guy that.. His youthfulness pissed me off.. He would always be chirpy, even in the mornings...every 9am lecture he and the professor would be the only two guys awake in the classroom.. I soo hate early mornings.. More than that I hate morning people
We had different groups, his group was the nerdy one, mine was the influential one..I guess we became friends when my group had a fight with his group.. Like most fights I have no idea of the reason why we were fighting.. It wasnt like a fist fight, but I almost punched him in the face..
He was quite a character this guy Rakesh.. At 6'2" he was the only guy taller than me in the group.. He was what girls like to call tall, dark and handsome..He had this devilish smile which apparently was cute to girls..He was quite the smooth talker and would have girls falling for him wherever he went..the lucky devil.. Hence the name Raka.. Rakesh is too somber for such a character..
There were times when I was jealous of him sure, even after we became best friends.. but thankfully he went after the girls who I considered outta my league.. There was this girl who both of us liked.. When he got to know that he stepped aside.. He actually helped me write poetry (since I am emotionally retarded) for her. I consulted him bout what gifts a girl likes to receive and stuff.. I wanted to gift her an Xbox.. Raka suggested a pair of earrings..(yeah.. tht sounds better)
He had a heart of gold.. He would do anything for a friend.. Hes the one you want to be around if you get in deep shit in life ever...Raka was always up for some masti.. He did spend a small fortune on his friends everytime someone from our group topped an exam or something..Rich dad he must have I thought..lucky devil saala..
There were 6 guys and 3 girls in our group.. He knew each of our birthdays byheart. He was the first to wish me birthday every year, year after year.... Used to wake me up at 8 in the morning on my bday.. devil saala..
"Why do u have to wish me tht early..??"
"Cant wait yaar..Its like a habit..I gotta be the first one to wish you.."
"You have to change tht habit mate.."
"You know wht they say, old habits die hard.. Some habits dont change even after you go.."
"Go where? to the loo?"
He was also the first to ask for bday treats.. I dont know how he remembered all those dates.. Even today if you ask me Rakesh's bday, I wont be too sure.. I know its in June or was it July? Btw, the girls got a return bday present from him, the guys didnt.. devil salaa..
Around the 3rd year of college, I noticed he was gaining weight..not the kind you gain on the holiday.. He was losing hair too.. He used to miss a lot of classes..
He seemed sick.. and it seemed chronic.. I did confront him.. I wanted to know what was wrong with him and why was he not attending the lectures...But then he would flash a smile and say something hilariously stupid and that would seal the topic for then..
Around the 6th semester he stopped coming to college all together..He wouldnt answer my calls, wouldnt reply to my messages..
One of our classmates used to stay near Rakas house, we got the address from her, and showed up at his house uninformed.. His mom opened the door..
Aunty, Raka home?
Er..I mean Rakesh.. I am his college friend..
Oh.. Hes not here.. He is in the hospital..
Why? He sick? viral fever kya?
Tears swelled up her eyes..
I had known Raka for 3 years.. For more than 2 and a half years he had been my best friend.. But not once.. not even one time did he mention he was touched by cancer..
He had been undergoing chemotherapy for the last few months.. And he never told me.. devil saala..
Men have a weird way of showing hurt.. I didnt go to meet him in the hospital.. Everyone from my group and my class went.. His best friend in class didnt..
Then one day he called.. "Kya saale aaj kal milta nahi.."
They say grown men dont cry.. They were damn right.. I didnt cry.. neither did he..
I did go and meet him that afternoon.. 3 days later he left us... Everyone in our class cried...I didnt..
Its been 6 months since he left us.. I miss him sometimes.. But I dont cry..
My string of thoughts was broken by my mom- Your phone is ringing beta..Answer your phone..
I looked at my cell..
Hello beta.. This is Rakesh's mother calling..
Many happy returns of the day, beta..
Er.. thank you aunty, but.. but.. how did you know?
Oh..Rakesh had set an alarm on his cell for your birthday..So I called you on his behalf..
Tears ran down my cheeks..
Hes gone, but he was still the first one to call me on my birthday.. devil saala..
P.S. - Inspired from a true story. Rakesh was a friend of a friend..
Rest In Peace mate.. Raka calling...
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