Far away from the hustling life of the big cities, I was in a bus, on my way to some small remote village in Konkan. I was sitting by an open window in the last row of that nearly vacant bus, watching trees pass by in speed. The blurred view of the young green leaves going past in a split second was pleasant. It had just started getting dimmer outside. Sweet warm light rays of the orange setting sun were intermittently piercing through the trees, ballooning the pupils in my brown irises for a moment. Outside there was a slight scent of wet soil in the wind. It was rushing in through the window to me, bringing stories of the past, as if it was excited to meet a long lost friend after so much of patient waiting. Felt like it had just showered.

and then I thought of him.

I remember. His funeral. I was there. Sitting on a rock at a distance, looking down blankly at the earth between my feet. I could feel the bleak warmth of the fire hitting in waves on me. It was fierce, ruthlessly taking the last remains of his body buried beneath the burning pyre to nowhere. The air was solemn, and was filled with a dark void of dejection.

He was around twenty years older than me. A man with a kind heart. The ways in which he used to make the people around him burst in laughter, the ways in which he used to magically spark his surroundings, it is just unexplainable. He carried that little world full of enchanting happiness with him and being a part of that world was a pure joy in itself. I thought of him as the last guy I knew who could get hit by the misery of life. But lately I hadn't seen much of him, I was getting past my teenage years with all the thoughts and questions. Now I can imagine the inner crisis he must had been through that he silently succumbed to it. Don't know who is to blame. Is it the society or was it him? One evening, I heard he was in coma with no turning back. That had to happen. I visited the hospital in hesitation before they decided to cut off those tubes. He was lying on that white bed in white clothes; motionless. I stood there for a minute in confusion and in silence, looking through the glass window, knowing that it was the last time. What else could I have done to wave the final goodbye?

I don't believe in the afterlife and the other improbable things. I wish I did. If somehow it does exist, I would love to see him there. I would love to ask him how he has been doing all these years. I would love to hear his heartfelt laughter, I almost hear it now in my mind. Wont ask him if it was a deliberately planned inaction which led to his death, they say it was a slow suicide. Wont even ask him why. Will just make him do those antics he used to do to make us laugh when we were kids. Just once.

and the bus started to loose its speed gradually as the village was getting closer. After smoothly taking turns after turns in the low light of the fallen dusk, the engine went silent, vibrations ceased and the bus stopped; but I couldn't.

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