I want to hug him and cry

This 28 of June will mark 6 months of my brother Nileshs’ demise. Sonu as he was fondly called within the family is being missed till date.

Everyone, from his ailing grandparents, parents to his uncles, aunts, siblings are all finding their ways to get over this gruesome reality. It’s hard to write off this event that shocked us and makes us go numb and cold when we think of it.

As the bus was scaling the ghats of Lonavala towards Pune, my heart felt heavy and my eyes moist. The last time I crossed this scenic valley view was when I was with Sonu.

He was all dressed up in his best suit and tie and was lying right next to me inside the most elegantly carved coffin. I kept talking to Sonu, hoping he would be hearing all that I had to say. I thought of all those little moments we brothers spent together as kids.

Images of his smile and his trademark laughter kept flashing right in front of me. I so wished he would wake up from in there and sport his infectious smile. 
Nilesh was seen last with us for my wedding, which was in February 2009. He was my Man-Friday. He took me through all those anxious moments that one has before one’s marriage. Sonu teamed up with my sister Preeti and decked my room for the wedding night. Dozens of candles, a seating sprinkled with scented flowers and more.

My wife and me thanked him and pledged that for his wedding we would come up with something better. Little did we know he would deprive us of it. His aura and presence is still felt and we miss him to the core.
 Before shifting Sonu into the ambulance and accompanying him on his last journey home, he was flown down to India by his elder brother Mahesh and his wife Kanchan. The three were together in the same car when the mishap happened on that fateful night.

A pickup van came and rammed head on at the passenger seat. That’s where Sonu was sitting right next to his brother, who was driving the car. Sonu had flown down from San Francisco to Mahesh’s town in Ohio to celebrate Christmas.

Tormented and shattered, with no family members around, Mahesh and Kanchan broke the news to their uncles in Pune. They then broke the news to Sonu’s parents. A scene and an emotional moment no one would want to be present for or experience.

The death of their most beloved child, and not being able to be beside him during his last moments pained the parents. Something that cannot be put in words. 
 Mahesh, who was at the wheels, does not remember a thing, but his pain is immeasurable. The burden of his own brother’s death, who was a few minutes back laughing and chatting before the accident, will never die in him.

Whenever I would see Mahesh, there seemed a broken heart crying out loud, covered with a grim smile. I pray to God to give my brother Mahesh the strength to see him through this pain. 
His embalmed body was placed in mortuary, after removing him from the coffin. My uncles braved themselves to change Sonu’s dress from his graduation suit. Mahesh had gifted Sonu a brand new shirt at the time of their wedding anniversary, which my uncles changed him into.

They were devastated and in disbelief as their nephew had no scars or marks of injury, it looked as though he were asleep. Little did he know that he was being dressed for the biggest day in his life by his uncles. Both my uncles hid their pain, and held their nerves and performed the last rites.

Today Sonu’s parents fly to the USA to be with their now only son Mahesh. I pray to God to give the family the strength to overcome the agony and trying times that lie ahead for them. That said, I would want to believe the God up above would have kept our Sonu in safe hands, as he looks down at each one of us missing us twice as much as we do. 
 A sincere prayer to God right from the pained heart in me would be,

“…bring us back our Sonu 
 for once -
 to see him smile, 
 for once -
 to see him leap mid air with his masters degree in dentistry,
 for once -
 for him to rest his head on his father’s lap, 
 for once -
 for his mother to feed him his favourite food, 
 for once -
 for him to taunt his brothers and sisters,
 for once -
 for him to seek blessings from his grandparents, 
 for once -
 to click a picture of him on his wedding day,
 for once -
 for him to put his arm around his loving brother and tell him 
 I’m back and I’m fine.

For Once, 
 please oh god..
 for once bring my brother Sonu back,
 I want to hug him and cry”

This post was originally written on 13 June 2010, 6 months after I lost my cousin brother Nilesh in a car crash in US.


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Hi, I’m a music director/composer/producer from India and work for films, television series, television commercials / advertisements, jingles, video games, musicals and concerts. Here through my series of This Life Happens, i intend to share the simplest of stories that I get inspired from, hoping it’ll inspire yours too. 
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prashantpillai.com/blog. Drop in to say Hello! there.