Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Friend Anand





Anand passed away on Dec 05, 2010 of a massive stroke to the heart. He was a shade over 50 and still played squash.In fact from what I gather he was on his way back from his morning game. Does that make any sense? Staying in shape apparently does not guarantee a long life-- so what does??!!

I first met Anand during our degree course in 1983 and soon found a common bond in the game of Squash.Besides our daily game , the most memorable ones were the ones we played after a series of exams. Those were specially extended hard hitting and punishing games after which we sat exhausted in a pool of sweat, happy without a care in the world. After we finished the degree course , I never ever found a squash partner of Anand's caliber. The few times we met post our pre-mature retirements, he did mention that he was still playing and I did experience a twinge of envy , but i was very happy for him. He was just such a guy you would want to see happy always & share some time with and have him as a friend.

Anand & I once did a motorcycle trip from Pune to Mhow with a stop over at Devlali. We both rode different Yezdi machines and as it so happens in long distance rides, riders get seperated due to traffic & road conditions.This being before the cell phone era, I always found Anand waiting for me a few kms ahead with a worried look on his face. He always had this considerate streak in him which in those days i found irritating but today I can not, but respect.

His innocence and simple nature endured most of us to him all through our degree course and beyond. Most evening during the degree course, would find us congregating at some one's house. Anand would amble in help himself to a drink and somehow be the source of all the merriment and laughter. At one such occasion I recollect he had wanted gin and somehow picked up a bottle of vinegar. Anand being Anand did not notice this till I went back tothe kitchen and realized what had happened. Till then Anand was oblivious and happy with his "drink".

The last I spoke to Anand was around the middle of Nov this year after a long time. The tele conversation lasted for an hour and we laughed a lot recollecting mutual friends and incidents of days gone by. We ended the call promising to keep in touch, little realizing that this was the last call I would ever make to my friend.

Today Anand is no more. He died doing what he loved best ie playing squash. Our hearts go out to Neena and the kids , Karan and Raman. We wish them strength in these trying times. All of us have lost a great friend & like I read in an email from some one -- he was a true Officer and a Gentleman.

Rest in peace, Anand.

3 comments:

Ajay said...

Very well written Theta!!!

kiwi said...

Neeraj

It brought back the memories of IMA. We were in the same company.

Col (then Maj) John Taylor's voice still rings in my mind calling out his name fondly "Anand Vashisht".

Always a Happy guy. We did YOs together. Always seen him happy and keeping everyone laughing. Though I wasn't touch with him since 1996 (that is when I left Army) but I still remember his ever happy face.

May God Bless his soul.
Satish
(from down under - New Zealand)

KPM Das said...

Dear Neeraj,

A great piece- bring backs memories of AP-a person with unconditional trust on offer- all the time. two weeks ago, when he sought me out on FB, I was happy to reconnect-well, the maker knows it all..............