For the many thoughts that come and go unannounced and the ones which refuse to budge out of my head…

This is for you, Tejaswee. The ever so beautiful, you. For your birthday, it’s a little way to celebrate your life and most of all, to celebrate you.

It’s intriguing, how God functions in the most weird possible ways. One of those weird ways was when I was barely 8 and I found myself lying in a medical room with an oxygen mask on my face during a mild asthma attack in school. This tiny figure with two braids walked up to me and said, “Hi, I’m the new girl, remember? Do you need anything? Should I tell ma’am to call your mum? I’ll carry your bag to the bus, don’t worry. You just relax okay, I’ll take down your notes too.” And that is how I met ‘Tejaswee Rao’- my best friend.

Tejaswee's hand and mine

You may not be with us any more. It’s been almost five months since you’ve gone. But there have been so many times that have proved, that you still live on, and your presence is there somewhere around us. I know you’re hiding in one corner and looking at all of us and whenever I miss you too much, you show up in my dreams, and make me feel better.

There are many things I’ve done and continue to do that have been inspired by you, Tejaswee. You’d always pester me to write more. And you always nagged me to start a blog. I never did when you were there. But I am doing it now.

August was difficult, and September was even worse when it started to sink in. But there were always these little things that reminded me of you from time to time and kept me going.

Caricature

I caught myself doodling in class many a times. They were rather unconscious. And many times they were because classes were just too boring. It was not until two months back, when KD told me that seeing me doodle, felt like she was watching Tejaswee in class somehow, that I realised what an inevitable part of everyone’s lives she had become and always will be.

I always admired the brilliant artist that she was. Especially after she had she had made a caricature of me.

You know, Tejaswee, I started doodling so much in class my notebook has started looking like a scrap book. I’d be happy if I’m even half as amazing an artist as you, but I am getting there and it’s all because of you and your inspiration. I never thought that caricature you made of me would be so precious to me and it very much is my favourite sketch anyone’s ever made of me.

She was usually late to class. Most of the time she would enter panting, because of running from the gate to class. She would usually stand at the door and flash that million dollar smile and no teacher would ever say anything to her. And the best part was she was never scared of what could happen or what our teachers would say.

Tejaswee and the cat

She would go around petting stray animals and she’d always give water and food to a homeless dog outside our college. Most people thought that dog was ferocious, but she was never bothered about what people thought and she never got scared if she wanted to do something good. Tejaswee Rao did not know fear.

I know you’re listening, and your gloating, sitting somewhere around here. But you have really taught me to be brave. I’m not afraid any more, of what could happen, or would happen. I’m not afraid of consequences. I listen to my heart. It seems like you’re telling me to do things. It seems like I have this guiding force above me which is looking out for me, and I know it’s you. I’ve learnt to be more honest and I’ve learnt to be strong, just the way you were.

I walk in late to class and tell the teacher I overslept. I pet stray dogs and I even have started liking cats. I made friends with your cat, Puppy. Your mom told me it was very unlikely of Puppy to get along with anyone, but maybe you did rub off on me, and your aura can be sensed by Puppy.

I’ve seen many people dress up for college. Seen people try too hard or not try at all. But Tejaswee Rao, was just effortlessly a walking fashion statement no matter what she wore. I’d never seen so many colours on someone at once, and never carrying it off as well as her. Sometimes she wore an orange trench coat, a turquoise muffler, purple trousers, and held her pink camera in her hand all at the same time and still looked as beautiful as ever. And the colours? Well Tejaswee just made all of them look good together. I guess she was the only person I knew who could piece together two of her favourite colours like orange and blue and make it look so beautiful.

Don’t know how you did it, Tejaswee. But you just made the colours look good. A few weeks ago I went shopping with my aunt. And there were so many things around me that reminded me of you. I didn’t think twice before buying any of the bright coloured things I did, but I just went ahead and bought them because sometimes, it just seems like you’re telling me to do things.

The colours around you looked best on you but you’ve inspired many to be as bold as you were. And I am one of those people. There is more colour around me now. And I know where it’s coming from. You’ve taught me to be myself and not be afraid to show the world who I really am. You’ve taught me to not fear being judged.

You’ve brought much more in my life than beautiful friendship, Tejaswee. You’ve influenced me in so many ways and you’ve taught me so much in this lifetime. You were more than a friend to me. You were like a sister.

Tejaswee, you will always have that special place in my heart. And for me you’ll always be the girl who changed me and that girl who brought colour in my life.

The things that I bought because these were Tejaswee's favourite colours

I will always love you, Tejaswee and we’ll forever celebrate this day as the birth of a beautiful person and the greatest person I’ve known that even lived, and one who will live in our hearts forever more.

The first and the last time that I saw her were both in a medical room. God does work in the most unusual ways. Being with her made me realise that not only does God chose your beloved but he also chooses your friends before hand, and you are destined to meet that special person somehow. And meeting this special girl, my best friend, Tejaswee, was my destiny.

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Comments on: "For the Girl who Brought Colour in my Life" (25)

  1. Hugs Arushi! The post is beautiful and Tejaswee would be so happy when she reads this.

  2. Beautiful words Arushi!!! Hugs. Much, much love. -IHM

    • Thank you so much IHM.
      I’m so glad you liked it. It really means a lot.
      Loads and loads and loads of love and big, tight, suffocating, asphyxiating hugs. 🙂

  3. I am changing my header to the earlier one Tejaswee had created for me… it has bright colours, and the turquoise bracelet too. Hugs.

  4. Arushi , I am amazed at how you have dealt with this terrible tragedy – and iv been with you since, you were bitter, angry and resentful of all the shards of faith that people try to hold onto . I am sure, she is proud and glad that you have made peace with life with her new presence or absence whatever we call it.

    I hardly knew her, like have said a million times – yet, when you start talking about her, I can remember her smile , I can remember the colours and I can remember her fondness for dogs.

    Did u start writing a blog because of her ? you’re blog has become such a part of my life, I cannot even begin to imagine how it would be without it. I am glad , you started writing a blog. I cannot you imagine you without your bright colours, you always snowball into me in college.

    Everytime I see a post here for tj , I feel sad – engulfed with the sense of waste of life – waste of life on us as it were…… it has changed me in ways, a death of a person , I hardly knew – she is powerful and strong , as you have always said.

    I love you arushi – I know it sounds weird , but I do . from the bottom of my heart I do.
    Keep the faith , that’s all I can say , for I am sure, she is there , watching and remembering the things you now do , which she must have asked you a dozen times to do.

    I wonder now, wat would she remember me as ? as somebody boisterous im sure, who hogged all the lines of that little thing we did together as dramsoc….. doesn’t matter… I will always remember that smile, which even in all my loud mouthed obnoxious , I never failed to notice, I will remember her as the quitest of people I have met . a good quiet , an intelligent quiet.

    This is overwhelming. I hope you’re alright .

    Take care darling , my god , in whom I believe for he keeps me believing in him, is going to take care of you .

    p.s. tell , tj’s mother , that many of us , who hardly knew her remember her , and that we pray for their family and that may god help them to try and make semblance of life devoid as it were of their beautiful daughter.

    • Thank you so much, Devika.
      Your words always work like magic, and always make me feel better.

      You have seen me in my worst times. I had become a recluse, and had started cribbing about even the smallest of things. (Remember, when you were sitting with me at Nescafe?)
      I didn’t really notice myself coming out of that stage, but now that you’ve told me this, it really does make me feel better. And I hope she’s watching this from wherever she is.

      I did start writing a blog because of her. She used to pester me to write more often and kept nagging me to start a blog. I would always say, I don’t have the time, or I forgot or give
      some lame excuse.
      We had started this thing together, on a private blog. We were writing a book together. But there are only four chapters in it as of now.

      I’d really like to take her dream to another level. Of course that book can’t be published, but I’d really like to write a book on her. That’s the least I can do for the amount of stuff she’s done for me. I’m sure she is in a better place, but whenevr I think of the unfinished things she’s left, it really pains me.

      I’m sure she remembers you too, Devika. Just for the fact that she’d remember all those people she knew who had a pure heart.
      I love you, Devika. You have no idea what an immense source of strength you’ve inadvertently been to me. You’ve been a Godsend.

      I have taken a hold of my life now, and I have decided to do all those things which Tejaswee would’ve wanted me to do. And I’m sure she’s going to be watching all this from wherever she is and give herself all the credit. 🙂

      Loads and loads of love and big, squishy hugs.

  5. This is one of the most touching piece I’ve read, AK. It’s beautiful and straight from heart.
    Be strong. =)

    Love and Hugs.

  6. Hi Ar… i cant begin to tell how this has affected me despite me not knowing her at all… so i can not then imagine how it must have been for all of you… as much people say and speak of families – i know that even friends are affected in the worst possible way…

    we just cant afford to console when it comes to certain things and this is one such… i just hope n pray – God n ur loving Tejaswee gives you all the strength in the world…. this was really a touching post… could not comment earlier.. am not able to say anything even now… will a hug do?! 😦

    hugs to you kiddo… tc… love`

    • Thank you so much for understanding SB.
      I know exactly how it must’ve felt. I’m only coming to terms with it now. After almost six months. I guess time is the biggest healer, but it’s taking longer than I thought.
      A hug will definitely do SB. Thank you so much. It means lot.
      And a big hug to you too.

  7. Its funny and fascinating how an influence of an individual changes your life.

    It is said that our life and the decisions we make and going to make is something God has already written. Pretty sure that is written in a way we can comprehend but the universe and beyond is complex and in sync- everything in time and space. I am sure she already read this.

    • I hope she reads this too.
      Thanks so much for understanding, Sorcerer.
      Really means a lot.
      And beautiful words..
      Thank you so much.

  8. A beautiful, touching post. 🙂

  9. i am waiting for that book. and in my english-honourness, i would love to contribute a little paragraph to it….

    i love you. big big big , obese girl hug :)))

    • That’ll be beyond great.. I will need all the help from you (in all the English honour-ness 🙂 )
      Love you so much Devika..
      And thank you so so so much.. this means a lot.. 🙂
      Big, tight, asphyxiating, suffocating hug.. 🙂

  10. […] she is with her favorite turquoise bracelet, also seen in the header and on the […]

  11. sioneve said:

    I just wanted to say that you have written beautifully about your beautiful friend.

  12. I got you a turquoise hat from Goa.

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