Raju & Me

This a picture I took yesterday, of an old picture. Thats Raju and me. We're sitting on the steps, in front of the house. It's Holi and we've just finished playing. I use the present, bcz time is frozen in pictures, isnt it? We both looked so alive. Now we're both so dead, in our own ways. Raju, died a couple of years back.

Raju & Me, originally uploaded by prerona.

Some people said it was an overdose, some people said he killed himself. Noone really knows why. We had both seen happy times. We had both been so happy, at times; But all the same, he had been very unhappy, for a long time.

I had been in Texas then. I still remember how I had called home on Sunday and I had been told. He was my landlord's son. We lived in their flat, where Aparna Sen and Mukul Sharma had lived before us. In sin, so to speak.

He used to have a lot of guns. They made noises and lit up. Neeraj, Juls brother, and me, we loved to play with the guns. We usually got the ones he had already broken. We hid behind opposite sofa's: Neeraj & Me on one side and Raju & Juls on the other side, and we shot at each other. He had rabbits and they ate the carpet. He had dogs, he was wonderful with dogs.

He used to call me Bonu - which is like little sister, in Bengali. We drifted apart as we grew and moved to different cities. We grew up, grew lives, personalities and ego's.

When I was a kid, I used to go to every flat in the building and say, I am hungry, noone's fed me at home, pls give me something to eat. I was the most notorious hog in the neighborhood. I was nicked Motu by most people. And Fatts at school. Or Golu. Now I've lost my baby fat; and I worry about wrinkles. And Raju's dead.

I heard he recorded a cassette for Juls when she Faisal got married. Fallal ... but thats another story.

He gave me a Queen album for my bday once. Day at the Races, I think. Then he started listening to pop and rap and I think I was a little condescending about it. I was quiet a snob, musically, back then.

He used to tell us tales of how they went to the beach and got stoned in college. I used to listen fascinated. Waiting for my turn to come, for grown up magic. Dark, Strong, Intoxicating, Forbidden, Hidden.

They say that their are 2 types of people in the world: children from dirty childhoods, and the rest of the world. 'And the twain shall never meet'. Amongst them, I believe, within the former, there are 2 categories. Those who are bitter, and those who take it in their stride: raping fathers, promiscous mothers, sometimes abusive, sometimes wonderful, whimsical, capricious grown ups, who are their own people, and who have a life, and see no reason they should reign it in, just bcz they now have children. No, he wasnt bitter; He was probably just tired.

Originally Posted at Prerona.

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