Ashir Ahmed, Ashi, Ashir Bhai, Vavar Swamy, too many names for a single person. Extraordinarily multi faceted, unbelievably genuine and a human for all season. I could go on and on, but he is not here to listen and give me one of his trademark grins and ask me “ithu kurachu koodi poyile ennu Guruswamyik thonninile?”
Never born, never died, visited planet earth reads Oshos epitaph. I am sure you will also visit soon. When you decide to visit again, I will be waiting with a Mojito and a Long Island Tea, my favorite poison. We will get a chance again to talk about everything and everyone under the sun with no malice, unfettered by the notion of hurting anyone. I say this not just for me I reckon, but for the hundreds who remember you as having been an inseparable part of their lives during your visit however short it was.
I know all of them not because I have met them but thanks to your vivid and graphic descriptions. I feel like I have known your family (dad, mum, brother, cousins etc) my entire life though the only people I am have had the privilege to meet in person are Simi and the boys. I know almost all your close friends from school, college and professional life. Feels like I have attended the reunions with you and know them intimately including what food and drink they like though I have never met any of them in person. I came late mate and there has never been a day where I have not fervently prayed that our paths could have crossed earlier.
Though not blessed like you with a photographic memory and a head for dates and numbers, I remember clearly the first time we met thanks to Sathish. From then to the time you decided to end your visit abruptly, I don’t think there have been many days we have not spoken or messaged each other on the important or the nonsense. You introduced me to a new way of thinking; how to survive with a smile despite being on the verge of being crushed to death under the weight of expectations. How to laugh at oneself and see humor and positiveness in the worst of conditions. I miss the reassurance of having you on speed dial; a number I have dialed so often for just that one word of comfort you have never failed in providing.
A friendship circle we built and nurtured exists today with Sathish, John and Dinesh aptly named Kuthiran Tunnel Swamys albeit without its Vavar Swamy. We long for the day when you return and we get together at Satya or any of our other haunts to reminisce about what we did together and update you on what we did after your last visit. I cherish the friends you gave me; Sima and Hafeez. Through them, I am constantly reminded that you spread your zest for life, cheer and unadulterated passion for life not just to me but to a lot of people around the world. Though you took a part of all of us when you departed, we believe you left a part of you with all of us and we hope to remain true to that and pass it on to others.
I am sure more than any of us, Simi and the boys are awaiting the day of your visit. They miss their best friend, which is what you were, way more than just husband and father. A relation built on mutual respect, abundant love and a genuine kindness just as it was with your friends as well. I will tell you this; they are exactly the way you would want them to be….proud, cheerful and with a zest for life. Always caring more about others than themselves just like you would have wanted. Aggu was more worried about me driving down to Kochi and how I was handling my grief than his own on this day one year past. Imagine that from a 21 years old man who just lost his father! Simi and you have raised without doubt, both the boys as exceptional human beings!
To be able to say cheers again, to hear your guffaw to a pj, to be able to jump into a car and drive off on an adventure for no reason, to be able to gate crash parties we have not been invited to, to listen to those stories from Model School Trivandrum, SH College Thevara, Law College Manipal, Mumbai, Chennai and your travels around the world, I pray for a chance. I miss you Bhai, I really do! Guruswamy.