I was a tough guy, at times very rude too. As a result, I barely had any friends while growing up.
It's not that I didn’t have friends at all but no one would stay with me for a long time.
I’d always been crazy about sports especially cricket. When I joined pre-university college, I registered my name for the college cricket team and that is when I met Ravi David. Ravi asked me to include him in the team and I did. He was a good player and we often met on the ground. Slowly, he became my cricket friend.
As we started talking, I realized that he was brilliant with accounts and weak in languages while I was the opposite. So we decided to help each other in studies. Once, I went to his house to study but we hardly touched our books.
We ended up talking for hours and that's when my cricket friend became my best buddy.
After completing class 12, Ravi, who was an extremely responsible guy, joined evening college and started working during the day. I also got busy with regular college and friends. Yet, we always had time for each other on the weekends.
He enjoyed spending his hard earned money on his friends and lending a helping hand to everyone.
We would hang out, go for parties, watch movies and spend all our weekends together. He taught me how to handle money, how to help others and most importantly, how to make and maintain friendships.
As the day and years passed, our friendship grew stronger. We completed our graduation and joined different corporates. Life was going well. Our families also met on a few occasions and we became family friends. He knew everything about my family, my girlfriend and me.
We never left each other’s side even in the toughest times.
Since childhood, I wished to visit the holy Velankanni Church, which is in Tamil Nadu. Ravi made my wish come true. He arranged the entire trip and we went with a group of five other friends. I was so happy after the first trip that we decided to continue visiting the holy place every year.
During the sixth year of our visit, there were a lot of things that happened. We couldn't fix a date and kept postponing it for the longest time. Finally, we managed to fix one day and left for the trip with eight other friends.
On the day of our departure, both Ravi and I were late for the train. Somehow, we managed to get on the train but the journey was not any better. I still wonder why I was so restless that day.
For the first time in life, I felt that Ravi was avoiding me.
In fact, he was avoiding all of us but we didn't bother him assuming that he was tired. He spent most of his time alone. When we reached our destination, I became even more restless for no particular reason. We decided to head directly to the beach.
Every year, Ravi and I would go to search for hotel rooms but that year, he told me to go ahead while he waited back. So two of our friends and I went to look for rooms and he was on the beach with the other guys. We found a decent hotel and decided to freshen up. As we were about to leave for the beach, I received a call from one of our friends.
He sounded extremely shaken and told me that Ravi had drowned.
I was shocked; I couldn’t believe my ears! I shouted at my friend for allowing Ravi to get into the water. The call got disconnected but I was confident that Ravi would be fine because he knew swimming. We rushed to the beach but Ravi was not there.
People around informed us that they’d taken him to the hospital. I was on my way to the hospital when I got a call saying that Ravi had left us forever. I was devastated!
How could he go, how could my only true friend leave me!
I kept holding on to my hopes as I walked into the hospital. When I saw my friends crying, my heart sank. I asked them where Ravi was and they pointed towards the mortuary. My heart was pounding rapidly.
I walked into the mortuary and saw that great soul, my best friend lying dead on the floor.
I broke down, I cried, I shouted, I begged him to open his eyes and look at me; I spoke to him as if he could hear me but he couldn't. Ravi had left me forever. With tears in my eyes, I closed his eyes and walked out.
It has been 7 years since he left me but I’ve not been able to get over that horrifying day. It killed me to travel back with his lifeless body.
His death left a scar on my heart, which can never be healed.
The days I spent with him was the best days of my life and he will always remain my best buddy.
He made me realize the importance of friendship and how precious a friend can be.
I miss you, Ravi. May your sacred soul rest in peace.