By Huzaif Ashraf Khanpori
IT’S been long, my friend. Long since the day we sat and ate together. I still remember the day when I met you and the memory of your beautiful face still replenishes my eyes. Things changed over the past year, but I keep remembering you in everything that I do. I recall those times when we used to sit for hours together and have discussions about our lives, this world, and of course, the political developments because, like you used to say, “Nothing is apolitical.”
Now, it’s just the memories of us that I have. Not a day passes by when I don’t get a reminder from my phone of our photos, videos, and a remembrance Facebook page in your name that I still revisit every day to let you know that you are still alive within me. That is all I have of you as a person. You left this place for God knows what reason, but it was too soon, my love. Not a single sign in sight. Nobody could have seen this coming. It’s very accurate what they say that the good die young. But, for what? I guess no one will ever know the answer to that. I don’t think you understood the extent of happiness you brought to the faces of so many people. The way you would light up any place you walked in and everybody would know who you were. Nobody was a stranger to you, that’s because you were a treat to be with.
Death is a pretty strange thing. One moment you are talking & singing, and the next, you’re on your knees, crying and struggling to breathe. It’s like being hit by a train, even though it takes forever to realize that the person you were so close with is gone, and they’re never coming back. That day, it was not just me who lost a friend, but the whole of Kashmir lost an intellectual because the calibre that a man like you had is scarce in a place like ours. Although you’re gone, I continue to learn and live from your understanding of this world and remember you talking about it as a liability and death an eventuality. As a friend, I promise to try and live through your learnings of always standing up for the right and on the upfront, even if that would mean being against the whole world.
Though I miss you every day, but today on your birthday it feels a bit different. Yeah, we can’t go celebrating today like we used to with everyone, but I wanted you to know that I’ll still go out – still stop by all our old haunts and still buy you a birthday gift.
I didn’t get to say goodbye to you, but, paradoxically, you can say that I did. It’s just that I didn’t know it’d be the last time. I vividly remember us standing and talking on that evening at Boulevard and how we made plans to see each other in a couple of days. I asked you to call me once you come back to Srinagar, but little did I know that you would only come here to breathe your last.
I haven’t written since the day you left, Abrar, because no words are enough in this world, at least, to let you know how impactful of a person you were, and I know that if you ever wanted me to write for you, it would be on a daily like you used to. So, here I am pouring my heart out on your birthday with a few words that I could fathom.
Happy Birthday, Abrar. I know you are in a far better place than this, and you will continue to remain “the unforgettable.” I love you.
- Huzaif Ashraf Khanpori is a final year law Student at School of Legal Studies, Central University of Kashmir. Email: [email protected]
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