got back from travelling to be met by the news. Ketaki had told mum, mum didn’t want to tell me over the phone. She said, "your classmate, Shivani". It didn't make sense. It doesn't make sense. You're still alive to me, you posted in my scrap book a week ago, you're interning in Cali, and about 8 months ago we just started talking again, since school. Orkut isn't helping, dude. Everyone is there, every other minute a friend or relative of yours is typing their disbelief, their sorrow, their love for you, but somehow the fact you won't reply to them or me is making this a whole lot harder.
When you first messaged me on Orkut, I had to check your page a few times just to make sure it really was you. Not because you have changed much: still the same powerful academic drive, still the same competitive spirit. Your profile said you were studying at CMU; that made perfect sense—you were always the good student. And back then, I was always the clown. You used to hate my guts back then, and it was no surprise. We were as different as could be: you were good in math. I could only count uptil 20, and that’s if I had no shoes on. You were serious in class and took notes, I would distract krithika and write notes to the others in the back benches. You got the grades. I got the laughs. And you couldn’t understand why I existed and I was amused whenever you got mad because of something I said or did. We made fun of each other, and calmly existed in relative peace through school.
Except for the day we heard anjana ratinam had passed away. We were all in shock, dude. I saw you cry and suddenly you were as vulnerable as I felt, and there were no pranks at that moment, or any need to get the best grade. I didn’t think I would be mourning you today, Shiva. Three paragraphs on and I still haven’t made sense of this.
You hated me calling you Shiva. Heh. Back then I gave nicknames to people with absolutely no grace. You didn’t mind Ms. N calling you froggy though, because you would always be the first one jumping up from her chair to give an answer.
And then, a few years later, you message me on Orkut. Full of fun, ready to refer to all those times in school, ready to laugh at them and forgive me and become friends. And somehow I knew you weren’t connecting just for the sake of it.
30/11/06. "hmm friends are easy to forget sometimes.wat about hard core enemies ? ..need i ask "remeber me?"
Heh. Dang. You were all grown up, but still as ballsy as ever. We stayed in touch, not everyday but enough for both of us to know that we had out-grown our classroom wars, and would probably get along just fine now.
The last message you sent me was on 12th july. And I had quit smoking till I heard the news today that you wouldn’t be scrapping me anymore.
This is not me wallowing, dude. Your close friends, your family and loved ones, I can’t measure my grief against theirs. But when mum told me, it was like 8th standard all over again. Death makes even less sense now, especially for a person as alive as you, as filled with energy as you.
This is a note of memory, because I always did, and always will remember you, my old nemesis and friend. And a note of thanks, because you had the grace to come looking for me, and retie an old knot that most people would’ve ignored, saying that that was school anyway and we were all children then.
We were. And still are, in a way. They say only the good die young. I will miss you, and your smiling face on my page. Rest in Peace, Shiva. You weren’t just the better student. You were also the better human being, and all our lives are going to be emptier because you aren’t with us anymore, my dearest enemy. You will be remembered for your humor, your fierce loyalty to those you loved, your hard-working nature and for all else that made you the one and only Shivani K.
May God bless you and your family. And may he give me a damn good reason why you had to go so soon.