It’s been long, my friend, since the day we sat and ate together. I still remember the day when I met you, the memory of your beautiful face. Things changed over the past year, but I keep remembering you in everything that I do. I recall those times when we used to sit for hours together and have discussions about our lives, this world, and of course, the political developments, because, like you used to say, “Nothing is apolitical.”
Now, it’s just the memories that I have. Not a day passes by when I don’t get a reminder from my phone of our photos, videos, and a Facebook memorial page in your name that I still revisit every day to let you know that you are still alive within me. That is all I have of you as a person. You left this place for God knows what reason, but it was too soon, my love. There was not a single sign of it coming. It’s very true what they say, that the good die young. But, for what? I guess no one will ever know the answer to that. I don’t think you understood the extent of happiness you brought to so many people. The way you would light up any place you walked in. Nobody was a stranger to you, because you were a treat to be with.
Death is a pretty strange thing. One moment you are talking and singing, and the next, you’re on your knees, crying and struggling to breathe. It’s like being hit by a train, even though it takes forever to realise that the person you were so close with is gone, never coming back. That day, it was not just me who lost a friend, but the whole of Kashmir was at a loss, because a person with calibre like you is scarce in a place like ours. Although you’re gone, I continue to learn and live from your understanding of this world and remember you talking about death as an eventuality. As a friend, I promise to try and live through your learnings of always standing up for the right, even if that would mean being against the whole world.
Though I miss you every day, but today on your birthday it feels a bit different. Yeah, we can’t go celebrating today like we used to with everyone, but I wanted you to know that I’ll still go out – still stop by all our old haunts and still buy you a birthday gift.
I didn’t get to say goodbye to you, but, in a way, you can say that I did. It’s just that I didn’t know it’d be the last time. I vividly remember us standing and talking on that evening at Boulevard and how we made plans to see each other in a couple of days. I asked you to call me once you come back to Srinagar, but little did I know that you would only come here to breathe your last.
I haven’t written since the day you left, Abrar, because no words are enough in this world, at least, to let you know how impactful of a person you were, and I know that if you ever wanted me to write for you, it would be for a daily, like you used to. So, here I am pouring my heart out on your birthday with the few words that I could muster.
Happy Birthday, Abrar. I know you are in a far better place than this, and you will continue to remain “the unforgettable.” I love you.
The writer is a Law student at School of Legal Studies, Central University of Kashmir. [email protected]