For the past 3 months I have been sitting down to pen my thoughts on the overwhelming feeling that Zhya's name brings. And I just have not been able to. There's so much going on in my head and heart that I am unable to fathom it all, to say the least. Somewhere I am also trying not to believe in reason and reality.
And today, when I saw Z's mom on Facebook(FB), I got very emotional. I have never met her till date, but I did see her (for the first time) during Zhya's funeral and of course never had the guts to go meet her, anyway drowned as I was, in my own tears. And normally, I don't just connect to a friend's parent on FB (or any social networking site) unless I know that person really well, and here the connection was a good friend but still it was different. It's a sad irony that I have come to know Z's mom because of his passing away.
Z was one of the few people on my regular close friends mailing list. And so now, when I write and send the mails, I have to literally make a conscious effort to delete his name from the list. And once in a while when his name pops up in some stuff that I am searching in my email account, maybe discussed during our chats or the to and fro mails... I actually pause and go numb. Of course I cannot and will not ever delete his name from my contacts list!
And on FB/Orkut/ Linkedin or whatever groups we were on, when I see his smiling face come on the friends' box or the contacts list, I actually smile and plan to write or message him, and then realise he's not going to be reading it. But I still write on his FB wall once in a while, when it gets unbearable. And just a line saying that he was thought of... as he always is.
If it's so hard for me, I cannot imagine what it must be for closest friends and especially his family... every thing around must be reminding them of him. And if I am feeling it, they are more than ever living it.
And what is surprising, maybe to many others too, is that we were never really close in college. We were classmates, friendly enough- you could not but help being friends with him, he was such a nice guy.- but we belonged to different 'groups'. It was after college, when we both began our individual professions, me as a writer and he as a budding architect, was when we really got to know each other better. Later on, I even wrote about his first architecture building he had designed in Mumbai... and I was very proud and happy for him then.
He went to Harvard (too) for his further studies and then on, we were regularly in touch for a long time. In between he went underground and no one knew where he was or what he was doing, save a few... and surprisingly again, I happened to be one of those few he still was in touch and his college friends who were so close to him then were now asking me his whereabouts. Of course, Z was always like a burning light, and hard to keep down for long... and when he did resurface it was to a much better life in all ways.
But one that lasted for a very short while only.
Zhya Jacobs, brilliant architect, helpful colleague, intellectual advisor, great communicator and writer, warm,sweet and funny friend and a wonderful, sensitive human being passed away on Nov 11, 2008... It's been 3 months since and he's being missed- a lot...or perhaps not really so much if you still can believe he's around somewhere, looking at you. I do.