it's unbelievable how, days after I had a conversation about my beliefs regarding "death being a celebration of the fullness life", I received the news of abhi's untimely passing away. there are very few people who have made such a difference to my life, and definitely none else who managed to do so despite living in different cities and even countries for many of the years since we got to know each other.
abhishek and I met when we were halfway through college, by virtue of us both being in the comps department for malhar. despite the general geekiness that pervaded those first couple of months, it's surprising how we found so much common ground, from movies, to music, to books, and even food. but I guess abhishek and I connected so well because we shared our attitude to life. in retrospect, abhi has a greater part to play in me becoming the person that I currently am, than I ever imagined possible. and I think that's the mark of an awesome person. he touched lives without making it seem so. most of my friends would say I'm a happy person, with a positivity that sometimes borders on the irrational. but abhishek is one person who I've never seen sad or depressed, even in situations where I'm sure I would have been. and it wasn't a fake happiness. he genuinely saw the humour in everything, and I'm glad I've picked up a bit of that from him.
and so, I remind myself yet again that he lived life to the fullest, and that, hard as it may seem, the only way to honour his legacy is to carry it forward as he would.
as I wipe a silent tear from my eye, I remember one of those late evenings in college, in the comps room, playing unreal tournament, teamed up against "godlike" level bots, us humans equally matched with the game's AI, our teamwork against their accuracy, palms sweating, adrenaline pumping, until the server unexpectedly crashed. we were sad, because the game ended before we thought we had won. but the sadness was only till we realized we had held our own against what felt like an incredible challenge. and it strikes me that this isn't the end for abhi either. he has simply turned "godlike" :)