Chirag Desai

rubeen, me & arva (photo credit: r)

Your voice has played in my head non stop over the last two weeks. When I would call, invariably disturbing your studying, I’d ask if I was interrupting. Your response was always “No, no. I was just about to take a break anyway.” You didn’t fool me Rubeen, my timing can’t have been that spectacular every time.

That time in January, when we all ate the chocolatiest chocolate cake while you played the guitar for us.

Or my birthday last October. (pictured above)

Or yours this year, as we watched our friend obliterate a baked potato.

Or Adopt-a-Camp, when we were exhausted from waiting and packing, you wouldn’t leave and continued to help.

Or the first day of Ramadan last year, when you got lost (as usual) and demanded I sit in the passenger seat and just show you how to get to the parking near Hard Rock. That morning and the next, I shared something significant in my life with you.

On the first day of Ramadan this year, how things changed.

There was a sincerity in your conversations that made it very easy to talk to you. Your struggles through your research, visits up and down Abu Dhabi, your canceling of plans to go out so that you could attend to the health of a stray cat and crazy entrepreneurial ideas. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve learnt that your stories are exponentially larger in volume.

I hope you didn’t suffer too much, because you didn’t deserve to. You’ve left your mom and dad in your brother’s capable hands, and we’re all here for them. I know you fought hard, and you are now at peace.

They used to tell us, when we were younger, as kids, when we asked about all this … that when God loved someone a lot, He would take them away young. I don’t think I ever fully believed that. But it does seem to be the case here. You are remembered a lot down here, but it is clear He loved you just a little more up there.

The jokes about my 3-women limit will never be the same again. But you’ll always be one of the original and only Hard rock team.