September 04, 2012

A friend that he was!

Some of the friendly people in our life may leave us permanently at an un expected time. For me it happened on several occasions over a period of four decades. 

I left my native place in 1970s. After completion of studies , I was searching for a job like our other friends. Some smart and some dull. Some tall and some short. Some vocal and some dump. Because of the affinity of challenges faced our friendship grew stronger and stronger.Another binding factor was that we both hailed from the same village albeit from its south and north .By the current standard it is only a stone throw distance. But the beauty was that there is a hill that separate us apart .The hill is picturesque with thick forest cover and a hairpin curve road, sloping steeply downward making it a villain for vehicles cyclists and pedestrians alike.

The frequent visits to the local library and looking for the English news paper became a habit by then. Only we too were very particular about the appointments page and by that reason librarian kept an eye on us. The particular page alone was not there on a day when the number of advertisements on appointment s page is unusually more .I alerted the librarian. He looked at me sympathetically and told me that there is another person visiting here in the morning itself and going through those columns daily. Before he could finish the statement I uttered "he is the culprit !"

Worried as such that there was no chance for me to see the missed opportunities, I felt very very frustrated and looked restless. Librarian calmed my composure. He said "it is with me!"

I felt extreme sorry for my thoughtless thought that such an innocent man would have committed such a mistake. Who this other person would be, was my next curiosity. I should apologize him for an evil thought occurred to me. Oh... Prabhakar ! When I heard the librarian, no time was there to waste. That friendship strengthened by manifold. Days passed and we had to say goodbye for taking up the tasks ahead. Prabhakaran moved to Bombay and me to Bangalore.

That was the last meet in our life.The way to keep a dead person alive is in a sense, as I said earlier, by remembering them . Only thing I know about him certainly was the challenges of poverty and employment problems prevailing in 1960-70s faced by youngsters of his age. He was pleasant friend indeed...!

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