To Mahesh Gopan…. The Boy Who Lived
“Dude, you got any food?”
“Dude, give me a smoke man.”
“Light re baap, Peace Bro!”
And then the floodgates of my mind open up and I remember my first day at NALSAR. 15 minutes into NALSAR Gopes (as we called him), Aneesh, Shayak and I hit Shankar’s and the rocks outside the 55 acres of Justice City.
Today he is no more with us. At 7.15pm on 28th June one of our closest friends breathed his last in the arms of his best friends.
Our batch was devastated. I remember all the 70 odd weeping sitting outside the mess. It had not hit us then. Yes, it was confirmed. Gopan had breathed his last.
He was the first to get up and wake me up from my slumber. Yet he could never attend the first hour lectures. He couldn’t care two hoots about what class it was or whether he would need to carry a book or pen to class. He would come to class five minutes before the end of the first hour and say. “Duuuuude I slept off man.”
He would never wear a t-shirt in the hostel. Bear chested came the Gopes-man. The best part about him was his smile. He just could not stop smiling. Even while being ragged he would be smiling. Nothing could ever get him worked up.
He was a genius in music. From composing his own covers to lending vocals at music events Gopan was always right there on the stage. He would come up with the weirdest theories about anything and everything in the world. He always had a theory of his own. He always knew something about everything which most often was tail first and devoid of normalcy.
His poetry was brilliant. His singing was even better. Especially while in the loo. At 6.30 if you heard a loud voice singing Morrison you could be sure Gopes was in the loo and know in your heart that even though he was up so early (by hostel standards) he would not attend the first hour.
He had the spark in him. He was an ardent supporter of Marxist ideals though he would have the choicest of swear words for the Marxist Party in India. He was the one who could come to you 1.30 in the night and suddenly ask you if you concurred with Hegelian philosophy.
He was the life of our batch. From those wise cracks from the last bench (yes he always sat in the last row with the rest of us who looked ‘down’ upon the front rows with disdain) to the heavy philosophy Gopes was a character loved by all. There were people across batches who had spent more time with him than they had maybe with some of their own batchmates.
Academics was always low on his priority list. Not that he was not good at it but because he did not believe in the system. He was the proverbial rebel who never had the chance to rebel. As Nuten put it, “He was a punk who never rebelled.”
His icons were Morrison and Kurt Cobaine. He always said he did not want to grow old. He wanted to die early.
Maybe God granted him that wish.
Sorry, Gopes that I never could play football with you. I was too lazy to go to the stadium right after class. I could not be the “Bong-defender” you wanted on your team while we chatted even before coming to law school. As cruel fate would have it the first time I played football in Nalsar was at the fateful time when you were breathing your last.
Never again would we bunk the fifth hour just because we felt like it.
Yes you indeed knew how to live life. You were the boy who lived.
As I saw your lifeless countenance, as we bid our last adieu I knew in my heart that you were happy wherever you were.
I am sure you would agree to what Dumbledore had to say about death.
“Death is but the next great adventure”.
Mahesh Gopan. May your soul rest in peace.
P.S. I know if you read this you would say, “Chill re, light re baap.”
On behalf of the CG Team.
Peace Bro \m/ !!!