Like I said in my previous post, it was an exciting day and I couldn’t have asked for better results. It was like a dream sequence being played. But, by the time I reached home I was dead exhausted. And that’s when all hell broke loose.
The first set of calls to enquire about my ‘death’ came in around 9 PM when we were having dinner at home. I still remember the first call from one of my ‘then’ best friend to find out whether I was still alive. It was bizarre.
The news had spread among some of the students, teachers and the principal of our school that a boy had died later in the evening after the sports day and somehow it was universally believed that the boy was me. It was a relieved voice on the other side when my friend heard my voice. Thankfully he didn’t think he was talking to the dead. Multiple calls came in that night and by the time another hour had passed, we realized there was indeed a tragedy wherein one of my classmates had died. Now, I don’t want to ponder or dwell over the cause of his death but lets just say it was an unnatural death. So there we were a bunch of 15-16 year olds many of us witnessing death in close quarters for the first time. Atleast it was quite an experience for me!
Anyway the next day the school had declared a holiday and many of us went to our friend’s home to pay our last respects. It was like a big adventure. We didn’t know how to reach his home (it was quite a distance from school), how to react in such situations, how to behave and what to do. But still all of us went. Only when I reached my friends house I realized what death means to the person’s immediate family. My friend was all at peace on his deathbed, but the madness and hysteria surrounding his body was a sight I will never forget. It was indeed painful.
It was at his home that I realized the sheer number of people who thought I was the one who had died the previous night. My principal came to me and said that, after he had heard about a student’s death, he was cursing himself the previous night for allowing me to take part in the long distance running. He straight away had assumed that I was the one who had died. Many of my teachers also said the same thing. Somehow they just plainly concluded that after my adventure that day, it just had to be me who had died. All of us had a hearty laugh about it later.
So many things happened on those two days that it’s etched in my memory. I still remember each moment, each conversation and the feelings associated with the sad demise of my friend. And to be honest more than the loss of my friend, it was even more painful to watch his near and dear ones go through the pains!