Death of a friend

I feel compelled to write a little eulogy for my friend who committed suicide – he was found dead on some train tracks in Bangalore a few days ago.

I could hardly believe the mail when I read it but in truth I wasn’t surprised as over the past few years he had went from not being contactable to sending distressing mails to his whole address book. These mails talked of accounting for sins and the mistakes he had made in this life. After some digging I found out that he was on psychosis medication and he had moved back from the UK to India where he was living with his parents.

I first met him in the UK when we were working together on tech projects. He was from Kerala and we soon became friends as a result of our common love of South Indian Carnatic classical music. He was a Brahmin and had clearly been well educated. I remember him telling me how he used to enter quizzes in order to get money for university. He said he was a ‘professional quiz competitor’ and he did well due to his photographic memory. He was erudite on tonnes of topics, unafraid of controversial statements and awkward situations and to top it off he was really funny with it. His grasp of English was better than most English native speakers. He used to tell me I was prone to hyperbole 😉

He hooked me up with a number of musicians in the UK and I recorded a light classical/folk album for him with some leading lights in the UK scene. We did it in his friends living room and it was a great experience. I really must release it.

When I mentioned that I was looking to go out to India to do some music for a few years it was him who advised me to “go to Kerala as it will be safer for you – you won’t be ripped off or hassled as much” He was right. He even helped me with connections in customs in order to be able to take a tonne of music equipment into the country. He opened up his friends in Kerala to me and was very generous indeed.

The last time I physically saw him was when he visited my place in Manchester. He was clutching a book on Symbols and we hung out in the garden under the night sky talking about the stars and life. He told me about how he was sad that the arranged marriage he was due to be involved in fell through. He discussed how difficult it had been living in the UK and that would return to India. He forgot his book of Symbols the next morning and it’s on my bookshelf today.

Near the end he had became obsessed with a variety of cults and suspect philosophies. He was lost to nearly all. I miss him.