top of page

A Friend To Remember | Swastihaa Ravi

A Friend To Remember!

At 8 o’clock in the Monday morning, train station was buzzing with crowd. Standing in the middle of the crowd, all she could see was human heads moving front and back. She is Anya. She was 5 feet 10 inches tall, Brown skinned girl. Her wavy black hair adds to her beauty. It was a normal day for her if seen from outside but from inside she felt like someone is strangulating her.

Waiting for nearly 15 minutes, her train arrived. She escaped all the crowd and made herself comfortable in a seat. Window seat. Train started to move as did her mind. Her thoughts moved back to today morning. Today started as usual. She got up at 5.30 and got freshen up to do some exercise. Her phone was buzzing like crazy. She went to pick up the phone to find out that, the things to happen from then is going to be the worst nightmare ever.

It flashed on the phone that her friend with whom she has collective memory is gone. Gone Forever. Seeing this she stood there her eyes pinned to the phone like ice sculpture. Even though she wants to move, she wasn’t able to. Not only did her body froze, her thoughts also got frozen. As early like this, she doesn’t know who to call, what to ask, even she got, “Is this all a prank?” stuff. But then she also answered to herself that a person will not go this edge for a prank.

She read it over a hundred times. It read, “I am sorry to say this. Our friend Pradeep has passed away in an accident on Sunday”. And after that text there were numerous photos and videos of him that were taken in past and especially from their trip. She played the videos one by one and thought of the happy times he had and how he made others happy.

Though she felt she was sane at that time, her mind is slowly becoming insane for every second that is passing by. As long as she asked her friends nobody had known anything except he died in an accident. Then suddenly a news article sent by a friend pops in her screen titled “Accident near Anna Salai – One died”. She touched the link, it directed to the article in Google. There was complete details of the accident and when her eyes suddenly captured the name Pradeep (23) as mentioned in the article with the age, she couldn’t hold her tears any longer.

With her tears blocking the vision, she was reading the rest of the article, where it mentions that he was taken to the nearby hospital and then to another hospital but nowhere the treatment was successful. She was not able to imagine all the pain and sufferings he had to go through before everything was over.

Suddenly she jolted back to reality. She became aware that she was surrounded by ‘n’ number of people and wiped the tear that escaped from the corner of her eye. The train was waiting in a station. She needed water so she got out of the train bought a water bottle and washed her face too. She came back to her seat and the train started moving again. She was heading towards Thoothukudi, to pay final tribute to him.

As we all can agree to the fact that “Nobody can play with you like your mind does”. Now the memories is moving further back to the time when they all went for a trip. The trip is to Malaysia arranged by the college themselves. They had planned it for 10 days including departure and arriving days. There were different departments joining this trip, so knowing each other and everyone is not possible or it was what Anya thought. She even gave the idea of trip a second thought.

There were nearly 40 members who joined this trip and Pradeep was one among them. Parents were asked to drop their kids at college and from college to Airport, private van was arranged. Travel from college to Airport was the ice breaking moment for everyone and especially the dance for Vaseegara (A famous romantic song) by Pradeep and Kathir made everyone laughed hilariously. That’s when Anya realised it’s going to be a breath taking experience and it really was. Luckily or Unluckily Anya was placed next to the seat of Pradeep and Kathir in airplane. That was when their friendship started.

They landed in Malaysia the next day and was taken over to the apartment by private bus. It was a 21 storey apartment and a group consisting of 4 people were given single apartments in each floor. There was also outdoor swimming pool in the 8th floor.

Every day was different there. They went to all the places in a single group and everyone was friendly. They went to the college there for a course too. Food in Malaysia was completely different from India, so they all were told to take ready to eat foods and easy preparing food like breads, jam, maggi etc. Every day for breakfast and dinner, either Anya and her roommates would go down to Pradeep’s apartment or Pradeep and his roommates come up to Anya’s apartment. They would prepare the breakfast in hurry and would eat them together along with talking and laughter.

One day while visiting a place there, Pradeep was taking a solo photo and Anya photo bombed. Unexpectedly, this photo turned out to be the happiest one. They went for amusement rides, went to temple there, spent in swimming pool playing catch and catch, did assignment for the course there, and ate Indian food drooling because it was one week of non-spicy foods and at last they got some Indian food and so on. He was one of the reasons those memories were all happy and contented.

After returning from Malaysia, they would meet rarely in college. Last time Anya saw Pradeep was in the convocation of hers. Malaysia gang got back together once at that event and took photos and spent some fortunate time together. Little did everyone there knew it was the last time to see him.

Even though those 10 days were the time Anya got to spent with Pradeep, he will definitely be one of the faces that pops right into her head whenever she thinks of Malaysia. On spur of moment, her phone started ringing. She took it out of her bag and it was her friend Saindhavi waiting in the railway station for her. She answered the phone with heavy heart. After half an hour, train reached the Thoothukudi station.

Anya got off the train and was walking towards her friend. There were several questions running through her mind right now for which she doesn’t have an answer. But surely she does know one thing. Till now the memories of Malaysia which bought her bliss is now tinted with grief. Whenever she thinks of those times, she will miss a person who can never be brought back and now lives just in memories. He can never be met again and she hoped HE is making everyone happy up there too!

Swastihaa Ravi