I first heard about you in a conversation about a competition, then in a lecture, then your name popped up in a casual conversation with a person I adore and finally, I read a poem, for which you were the muse. It feels like I know everything there is to know about you — your image in my head is that of a perfect human being.
For one thing, I know you love the adrenaline rush. The stories about your adventures ring in my ears, inspiring me with every verse. I know you love treks. When I think about my first, I imagine you would have stood by, cheered me on and maybe even held my hand to prevent me from falling. All, but let me give up.
Then there are stories of what a careless soul you are. Always lost. Yet, somehow, in my head, you are someone who loves to look beyond. It’s as if you observe everyone in your own sweet melancholy while sipping chai at my favourite tapri. I like to imagine droning you in my talks and plans about The Revolver. You, listening and nodding sometimes, just to break the flow of my words. You don’t speak much, not even in my imagination, but I know, you would do your best to support every little idea in my monologue.
Your image in my head is perfect — probably because it’s second hand from the people who belong to the place you and I came to thrive. I call it home, in my head, you do too. Maybe it’s perfect because I will never have the chance to know you for real. Maybe, I would have hated you? Though I doubt it very much. I think you would have been a fantastic mentor and maybe even a friend, to me. Your image certainly is.
I guess I will spend many more years listening to words being spoken in your memory and they will elaborate your image in my head — making you much more real than just flesh, blood, and bones. And then, of course, there is social media documentation that can be referred to. To the man I will never know, maybe I do.
Happy birthday, Richard.