I remember the first time we met.
It was the 08:10 train to Cannon Street and I was a newbie joining the London rush,
I spotted a friend on the train sitting with you,
That’s when I first noticed your black briefcase, used as a makeshift table for playing cards.
At first I was embarrassed to join, aware of commuters eyes peering down.
I remember your first words, “Kaka (baby), come play Bhabi with us”. You had a certain charm, a golden smile.
Three years passed, we boarded the same train, settled in our carriage, out came the briefcase and the playing cards.
I remember one morning, we made a pact, “let’s not play any cards, let’s talk”, you said.
Ten minutes into our journey, no one had spoken a word, I recall that chap from Chase Manhattan saying, “no cards today boys”? Out came your briefcase and playing cards, that experiment didn’t work.
I remember sitting in your car one evening, we sang some old Bollywood classics, you could sing, there was no doubt about that.
There was this smile on your face, hence why I couldn’t ever take you seriously. You were the centre of attention, you loved it, but we loved it too, we were all glued to you, it was addictive.
You sang at my wedding, I remember that, we were all mesmerised, I Thank You for that.
Years passed and we lost contact. I heard things, sad things. Bumping into you last year was great, you still had that smile. Bumping into you in April this year was great, but that smile had vanished, you looked different my friend.
I came to see you last week, but we were late for visiting time. I don’t suppose you would have noticed, I was told there were machines keeping you alive.
I didn’t come back to see you, I had an image of you in my head and I wanted to keep it that way. You know, that charming smile of yours.
This morning, I got the call, that you had cheated us and gone somewhere far.
I have mixed emotions because of your lifestyle, but you were truly a good man. You will be missed my friend.