I’m darned if I know why the heck you did yourself in. Really. I pride myself on being resilient, just because I’m from NITK. You being from IITM I’m sure you’re much more resilient to pressure and disappointments. Balls to non-elitism and all that, the college you’re from matters, we all know that. Your really can’t have come so fucking far without either of those, I’m sure.
So what was that beyond all the usual humdrum that hurt you so bad? It really bothers me. I am not willing to believe all the tripe people talk about ‘You never know what is wrong with people’ and endless speculation on whether you had a good relationship with your parents (or not), and your mental stability… you struck me as being beyond all this, however little I knew of you. You aren’t an impulsive guy, as we see from the way you even planned your death. Man, how did you, how could you go through all that with a calm demeanor? Most others would ask ‘Did he not think of his parents before he did this?’. You don’t strike me as the type who wouldn’t. Which is why your death distresses me all the more. What provoked you beyond all this da?
Though I’ve known you only for the past six-seven months off and on, and in mostly pun-filled conversations, I feel shattered by your death. It’s probably because I’m so used to seeing you on any damn online community I frequent, some of the blogs I read regularly… you were always there! Right from the first community I joined in Orkut in 2005, I’ve been seeing your blue-with-white-‘I Was Here!’ profile pic everywhere I’ve been online. Hindu crossie, Punning, Blackadder, every damn place I frequented. I fucking cringe now whenever someone or the other tries to read extra meaning into the ‘I was here!”.
And then when all that ceased, Paronomasia. I can’t tell you how much I like that googlegroup I created. It wasn’t just another thing to me. It was solace in my boring professional life… A year and a half back, I used to be racked with tension all the time, and just reading you people posting back and forth brightened my whole day. I am so not exaggerating here, swear to god. And you were one of the highest contributors. While the quality of your puns amazed me, I just felt ‘oh, he’s just like me!’, which I never did really feel about anyone else who posted there. I’m not playing up the whole online thing, I really am not! I had no idea how much of my life I spent online that I’d feel so bad you were gone.
And then I got my UCI admit. No one I mailed off the univ website ever responded, and no one I knew had any friend there who responded. And then I remembered that while cybersnooping you, I had come across the fact that you were at UCI. I’m really really thankful for all your advice, it really helped. And that you weren’t unnerved by my snooping.
I suppose no one knows better than you what it means to have the whole damn world not understand the jokes you make. For various reasons I won’t go into, I place great weight on my sense of humour, and it really pains me if I’m among people who just don’t get it. I feel desolate if I’m stuck in such a place, and can’t wait to move on to the next place I’m meant to go to. Such a place was UCI, for the most part. I come straight from a group of people who’ve gotten used to my sense of humour, to people who can’t comprehend it, and ask “Why do you have to make a smart-ass comment in every second sentence?”. I do that because it comes naturally to me. I don’t try, I don’t fucking try one bit. When anyone says “There’s no chicken in chicken sandwich”, my reflex is to say “You won’t find mysore in mysore pak”, no two ways about that, and when people burst into giggles for that like they’ve never heard anything like that before, I feel very sad about myself, I’m not kidding. And so I was so darned glad you were there. Solace it was, talking to you, about some synagogue we suspected was named spamalot, making chinglish puns, and your telling me the correct way to pronounce paronomasia. It was all light on the outside, and mostly interrupted by my various deadlines, but you have no idea how much that meant to me. I am at my best not a very social person, more of a loner, and it is these little-little things I find happiness in, in discovering that someone else around you has the same line of thought as you do. I live my whole life thinking there’s something slightly different about me – don’t we all – and when I meet someone who’s much the same, only more hardworking and more brilliant and more fun, it’s natural that I begin to look up to you.
And life is so fucking short Mahesh. I so wish I’d gotten to know you better. I’d gotten so used to your always being wherever I went, in the background, that I cannot even begin to comprehend that you are finally gone. What is it like, Mahesh? What happens when you die, when you disappear off the face of the earth? Do you just leave? Does asphyxiation hurt? Why the heck did you pick asphyxiation? How did you bring yourself to do it?
I’ll say all the usual things… you will be missed, rest in peace… but the fact remains that you’re not coming back, and that’s unnerved me, especially since you are so fucking young. For the first time in my life I’ve felt that a death was too close to me for comfort – it’s always been people not my age, and when they were, I never did know them personally. And suicide, da. From someone who I consider ‘just like me, only more hardworking, brilliant, smart, fun, better in all possible ways’…. you can imagine how unnerving it is.
I’m not romanticizing your death, and suicide never is and never will be a solution, but I can’t judge you and say outright that you were a fool to do what you did either. I’m fine I assert and this is not the end of my sense of humour or anything, but everytime I come across wordplay, I’ll remember you.
Pun-pannra-ponnu (as you once called me and had me wonder HOW I didn’t think of that before).