Last evening I got the tragic news that my friend Mehmood had passed away a little while earlier. I had known Mehmood for about three years thanks to Misfit, my theater group. During the time I knew him, Mehmood was the man trying to make everyone smile, with his jokes and charismatic way of talking.
As I traveled to pay my respects, all I could think of were different instances of speaking to him and being with him. I recollected the last time I saw him and that instance was the fondest memory I had of him. That was the last conversation I had with him and it is something I have to share with everyone…
The incident happened about a month and half ago, we were leaving my friend Vishal’s birthday party. I was dropping him home and I have the habit of speaking a lot with the person sitting behind me on the bike. That day I asked him a question I had asked a few of my friends “What was the most special moment of your life?” Mehmood thought for a moment and I explained to him that I wanted him to think of all the special moments of his life and pull out one moment he thought that was the most unique, beautiful and for him the most treasured…
He narrated to me this incident from his life:
Many years ago he was in Mumbai and on the day he was walking back home pretty late at night. That night as he walked back, the streets were all empty. The street he was on had only shops and there wasn’t a soul in sight.
Mehmood was a diabetic patient from when he was much younger. He explained to me that when the sugar level in his body goes down, the patient starts to feel giddy and if they dont eat any form of sugar/glucose they can lose consciousness.
As he was walking Mehmood felt a slight giddiness and realized that his blood sugar levels were probably down. He searched his pockets for a chocolate that he usually carried and realized he had none on him. He looked around for a shop so that he could buy a candy but all of them were shut. He moved on hoping that he could make it home or at least find some shop or home to get a little sugar.
He moved on and slowly realized that it was getting worse, he could not walk anymore and sat down next to a tree. All the while the scenario of him fainting there and being discovered early in the morning was playing in his head. He prayed to god to help him from this predicament. He sat there, waiting…
After a while he was on the verge of losing consciousness and he saw a flicker of light from the distance. The light slowly got brighter and he realized that it was a group of men coming his way. As the men approached, Mehmood tried to hold on… Then all of a sudden one of the men grabbed his had and thrust something into his palm. Mehmood opened his palm to discover three huge lumps of Khal-Shakkar(Rock sugar). He could not believe his eyes, the men were returning from Durga puja and had give him prashad from the temple.
He thanked god and ate the sugar. A little while later he felt better and walked back home.
Mehmood told me that this incident had changed his life entirely. He said this was one of the most special moments of his life…
All through his narration his voice had this aura of emotion. This was clearly a very special part of his life…
After narrating the story he asked me why I had asked him the question in the first place. I told him that I felt it was important for people to relive the special moments of their lives and by asking the question I gave them a chance not just to revisit it but also to share it with someone else. I told him that whom ever I asked the question always ended up being more happy in that moment.
By then we had reached his place and he thanked me for dropping him home. I smiled and told him it was my pleasure and I should be thankful for that conversation. He smiled and waved me bye as I continued towards home.
My last memory of Mehmood will be him smiling and waving at me… Thank you Mehmood for all the memories and the sweet moments we shared. You are truly an inspiration to everyone of us who knew you. God bless.
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