Baldy as we all knew him was one hell of a friend. He was no fair weather friend but someone you could always rely on. Maybe we did not speak every other day or for that matter see each other every day, but I was sure that if the chips were down and you wanted someone on your side he was the man you could turn to and he would not disappoint you.
He was one of the nicest human beings I have come across. A great son, near perfect husband, super dad, a caring brother and born sportsman: he touched every soul he came across always with a smile on his face.
I believe there can be only one answer that he was needed for better things by god himself and hence snatched away from us recently.
My friendship with him started 30 or so years back when we were all still in school. He was my brother Mazhar’s best buddy.
In my younger years, Baldy threw the best parties one could ever dream of. All of us waited for them and the only rule was that once you got in you were not allowed to leave till the early hours of morning as the host himself dragged you back in if you made an attempt to try and sneak out .
As we grew out of our twenties and all became respectable married men with family and kids, Baldy’s parties changed. They were still classy but not as wild. The joke was that if you were fashionably late you almost missed the party: all this because he was dedicated to taking his daughter Gayatri to swimming early morning and would not miss that opportunity for anything in the world.
I still remember the long drives we took in his Contessa to see his lady love Bhairavi who lived in Lokhandwala, about 20 years back that was considered really far from town (South Mumbai) . He continued to love her till his last breath.
He was a great sportsman who excelled in cricket for his school, club, state. In the recent years was an avid golfer who was proud of his achievements on the sports field. He put in the long hours needed to hone his skills and was a hard working student of the game. He never forgot his teachers and was there for Patil sir — his cricket coach till his last breath a quality some of us need to imbibe.
Baldy always found the funniest and weirdest ways of getting injured on the field and we all used to joke about it. Unfortunately in death too, his manner of exit has left all of us speechless.
He was from an influential family but never made us his friends, feel little. He was instrumental in me buying my first car to me buying my first house which was beyond my means when his dad gave me a loan. Surprisingly after all these years, he handpicked my latest Mercedes as a surprise for me along with my wife Priyanka.
He was very concerned of his mom’s health and was by her side all through her illness.
He was one of the fittest 40-year olds you would come across, someone who exercised regularly, did yoga, slept early , ate healthy hence it is just not fair for him to go so early. The shock and disbelief at his sudden untimely demise will take a while to register.
Uncle, Aunty, Bhairu, Gayatri, Anandi, Jyoti and Pramod – no amount of words or hugs can replace you loss I can only hope that god gives you strength to bear this irreplaceable loss. He was eager that I take some time of surgery and go to Australia with him for the World Cup. All I can say now, is that Baldy you will not miss the World Cup rather the World Cup shall miss one of its cricket purists.
Recently he was trying to call me as he had a bout of Gastro-enteritis and when I finally finished surgery I messaged him jokingly saying -”Still Alive” and his words to me were “Alive! I thought I was going to die!”.
I replied saying “Not so soon, my dear” and his last words were “That I know, have no intention to go so soon. But what a mess I was!!! ”
There is a lesson for all us in Rajesh’s Death.
In this crazy rush to get ahead, meet deadlines , achieve more we quite often forget the basics
Did we steal a moment every day to say I Love you to the one we love – wife, mother , daughter , sister, father , son , girlfriend , boyfriend whoever it is we truly love ?
Did we thank our parents enough?
Did we cuddle our kids one more time?
Did we take time out to meet our closest buddies?
Did we forget our egos and mend old friendships that matter so much to us?
Did we find time for ourselves to do the things we want to do the most before we die?
Let’s pledge to do this for Baldy’s sake if he had touched our lives in any way…….Kal Ho Na Ho
RIP my friend until we meet again!!!