To my friend Shrey….
I have hesitated a lot before writing this blog.
Shrey was someone who never liked talking about his health too much & so those of us who knew his condition generally honoured this sentiment. However on his birthday it also feels strange that no one has spoken about him .A friend is no longer there & things are just moving along.
But I am writing this mostly because I genuinely miss him & he was my room mate,friend but more than anything he was one of those guys I genuinely admired. He fought a fight like I have seen no one fight.
This is my memoir of a great guy..because some people definitely ought to be remembered.
Shrey passed away last December (that’s what I heard from his wife Shweta).
Last I had called him was exactly a year back but he couldn’t talk.His cancer had left him partially paralyzed & speech had become difficult.
Shrey & I had taken up an a rented accommodation in our final year.His agenda was to focus on his GRE,mine to figure out what next. It was fun.
Though we were always friends ,sharing a place helped us connect more. Long conversations on life, dreams, family. A guy who was perceived by a lot of us as a jerk initially came across as a genuinely nice guy. Somewhere both of us were idealistic but very aware of life, love & even death. I remember a conversation over dinner where we were discussing existence. “I don’t know when it’s going to all get over but before it does dude I definitely want to leave a mark.”
During the 7th semester exams Shrey suddenly collapsed & subsequently was diagnosed with cancer. Till a minute before he fainted he was completely fine,slogging for his exams as usual.
Post that for a year the guy struggled .He had to repeat the year & shockingly not because of his grades but because our brilliant college couldn’t accept his low attendance (because of his tumour).Even in that his response literally was “Fuck dude,I know I will figure this out.” He got an admit from the university he had wanted to get into but couldn’t join because of the back year..next year he got it again with I think a scholarship
Over the course of the next 6 years he recovered at least thrice & then had a relapse.The first time he completely recovered, from what I hear doctors were like “this is a miracle.”
The best part-he was one guy who actually said “Cancer made me a made person.” (no exaggeration at all! The guy had guts) & frankly he had become a much nicer guy. I & Rahul,another batchmate had gone for his marriage & he was completely fine.
Post that he went to US ,started working & suddenly 2 years –June or July ’11 I suddenly get a call from Shweta that they were back because he had a major relapse. Doctors had given up.
I flew down to Chennai to meet him & I had never seen him like that..he had changed.Face was bloated, lost all his hair & was partially paralyzed. Still the same week when he was discharged from ICU he went back home & to walk literally dragged the lower part of his body “I am going to soon start walking again”
I had never seen determination like that…read about it only in books & seen in movies
.The guy on a regular basis was an inspiration. He did get better, he lived for probably a year & a half after the point when most doctors had given up.
I am pretty pragmatic about life. I know things have to end & though this is extremely unfair..that’s life. What I hate about this is not that he is no longer here,it was meant to be. But that a few people he genuinely loved gave up on him before he did. He was one of the few guys in this world who could have taken it & got better.
Anyway I am not sure what leaving a mark in the world is .But in the last few years whenever I have felt overwhelmed & I have seen people close to me in tough times my thoughts very naturally have gone to Shrey… & he has genuinely inspired.
Originally written on September 15th ‘2013. Republishing these here after I lost the earlier domain.