February 8, 2013
one last conversation,
past the frivolities of the mind,
Into the depths of our hearts.
so much of life
is left unspoken,
so much feeling
before we find
the ‘right’ opportunity,
life shrugs us off
leaves us behind.
I will miss Rahul Cherian. I feel his loss not as one momentous event but as a one that portends of a wave of losses to be felt in all the spaces that define life. I know I may ‘feel’ Rahul when someone cracks a particular type of joke, in the turn of a phrase, in an invitation to have a coffee, in a spirited discussion about changing people’s lives, in moments of tension on the verge of being disrupted by raucous laughter, in the twinkle of eyes, in a hot-headed squabble, in the company of certain common friends, in the attempts to film someone fidgety with a macbook camera, and in the riffs of so many songs we shared a love for. Rahul’s loss may come upon me in all these moments and I must be prepared because this is what he was - unexpected, spontaneous and diverse.
I have unfinished conversations with Rahul, maybe everyone does, and those i’ll have to live with but there are some finished ones that I recall ever so fondly. Federer was king and I would get messages when Federer won big. When I took the hard line that Nadal had his number Rahul dismissed me with cackles and expletives, and never forgot to message when Nadal lost. Lance Armstrong was ‘the’ god and he reminded me of his religion frequently.
With Rahul, grand plans for changing the world were interspersed with the lightness that kept a smile on every face. Who would not want to be friends with such a man? It was my privilege. Many an afternoon were spent riding around his jalopy which he squeezed into every possible parking (and non-parking) corner proudly declaring that he was both disabled and a lawyer. This is the same man who, when asked to suggested a campaign for bringing out the ability in the disability, showed up at Koshys with printed t-shirts with aliens exiting spaceships in crutches. And then beat down our shocked expressions with 'It totally rocks man!”. Rahul was unputdownable and that’s how I’d like to remember him.
All of us are headed in one direction. Rahul got there much too early, but en route he forged many a path for others - through adversity and resistance, with heart and lightness.
Live in light Rahul, I know you’re not one for resting in peace.