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I wish...

I had been asked by my guide to design a set of primers to amplify a portion of TLR7. The primers should contain a suitable restriction site apart from meeting all the basic requirements. The job hardly seems tough to me now, but in my second year of M.Sc. when I first got a taste of research, it made me think a little.

One of those days, I was climbing down the stairs of SLS (School of Life Sciences), completely frustrated as internet server was down. I could hear two of my seniors, Faisal and Sanjay, coming behind me but I decided not to turn back as I didn’t feel like talking to anybody. And more because I wanted to avoid talking to Faisal Sir, (I used to call him ‘Sir’ since he was 4-5 years senior to me) who was famous for his cheerful nature, and used to tease me for several things. But my attempts to escape turned out to be futile as he called out my name. I ignored at first, but then decided to stop. Both he and Sanjay joined me and Faisal sir asked why was I running away. I told him that my mood was off since I could not go home for my cousin’s wedding because of work, and work was not happening. He said, “Bas itni si baat, chalo canteen chalte hain”. I tried to resist but he virtually dragged me.

By the time we reached canteen my mood was better. We ordered tea and dal-vada. Faisal sir started narrating the number of times he has missed important family occasions because of some or the other reasons. He told us, how he was stranded on Singapore airport on Eid. After I passed out from school I hardly celebrated Eid at home, I said. On knowing this he invited me to his home on Eid, that year. He shared some funny incidents and made us, Sanjay and me, laugh continuously and within half an hour I completely forgot my primer-designing tension.

I told him that I would go back to the hostel, as the net was not working. He was going to stay back in lab (he was a day scholar) and he asked me whether I would like to come back to lab if the net starts working. I said, “Yes”. He said that he will pick me up from my hostel between 9 & 10 pm if the net connection normalizes, and asked me to smile. He went back to lab and I came to hostel.

It was already 10:00 pm and I was waiting for Faisal sir. It was raining still I decided to go back to lab. I went straight to his lab looking for him. On the way I met one of his lab-mates who told me that Faisal sir had left for home and asked him to let me know that internet was still not working.

The next morning I came to know that Faisal sir had met with an accident on his way back home. Some 5-6 students immediately left for the hospital as lot of blood was required. The liver was severely damaged and doctors were trying to stop the internal bleeding. 2 days passed and I kept on thinking whether I should visit the hospital. I remained in touch with each and every person who went to see him. He was in ICU, under the effect of sedatives and painkillers.

After more than a week of efforts and prayers, Faisal sir, passed away on 15th Sep 2002, leaving all of us with the life-long grief. I could not gather the courage to see him the last time. I didn’t want to remember him life-less. I wanted to remember his face with his characteristic smile. The smile, he had on his face when he last said bye to me.

The memories of the last few moments shared with him haunt me till today. He forced me to come to the canteen. And I agreed, not knowing that it would be the last time I had tea with him. I wish he had not gone back home that day. I wish internet had worked. I wish…he was amongst us today. I miss you, Faisal sir.


soma chaudhuri said…
A very nicely wrtten post: thoughtful, sensitive...
Shazia said…
Thanks Soma for the appreciation.
Shanta Laishram said…
Welcome to the blogging! Quite a nice description! Btw, what does "sagittal.." mean?
Shanta Laishram said…
I expect more interesting post later:-)
Very touching Shazia. Incidents like these differentiate an adult from 'a' person.

ALso, nice name for ur blog.
Abhijeet Bakre said…
And words are not enough ...
When the moments fly past
The lens of memory
And the clouds of tears
Diminish the pain felt over time
Suddenly some day
Like a flash of lightning on a sunny day

The company of friends lost to time and space makes me feel lonely. Only to realise and hope that maybe they are looking down on me and smiling.

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