Life definitely gives you jolts you never would even think of, in your wildest dreams. I cannot believe the ironic situation that my life put me through – where on one side I published my blog on road accidents to create awareness, and just the next day I lost my first cousin, aged 38 to a bike accident in Malaysia.
It’s hard to believe at this irony of life – My family and I are yet to come to terms of his loss. It’s still hard to believe that he has left us but when I look back at his life who’s lifespan – roughly 4 decades (short of 2 years to 40) was definitely a rewarding and challenging one🙌such that I always looked upto him for his wonderful attitude towards life irrespective of any situation.
Asif Ahmed, my brother from another mother – my first cousin. Born in 1980, he was adored by his parents, grandparents and even his neighbours. He was a child who was loved by all, nurtured and cared for, by all. In a small town in Bangalore, he spent his childhood in little streets running from one neighbouring home to another, chattering with all the naughtiness and fun. This way he became an internal part of so many lives that even during his death, all of them came over to pay their last respects. For the little boy who loved to play hide and seek with his cousins and aunts to scare them, now has really hidden in the Almighty’s shadow that we cannot even find him for real.
As a brother, he was more than blood relation, he was more a friend who loved to be in touch, discuss how life is going, he was always helpful and caring to each one he met,be it the elderly, the middle aged or us youngsters. He loved bodybuilding and had complete dedication to maintaining fitness, such that he never compromised on his healthy diet any day. Protein shakes were not even popular in the millenium then, his diet was simply more on greens, eggs and fruits on regular basis. Someone who loved to maintain his body, was always popular among his aunts and youngsters like us. He was a hero to us all – he also looked like Salman Khan of the 90s to me because of his face cut, the smile, hair, biceps, body etc.
When it came to family responsibilities, he was a pro – a loving son, a caring brother who was always pampered even when he was in his 30s. But his pampering wasn’t for money or hanging out with friends, instead it was for his mother to feed him lunch or dinner with her own hands, put him to sleep, get a massage from her during the days he had a bad backache. This was how he was pampered.
When his mother passed away in 2012 due to a heart attack, he was very shattered. He himself needed so much strength at that time that he still stood like a rock to his family. His eldest sister, who considered him her baby brother, was broken at their mother’s loss. But there Asif bhai stood holding her tight, when she cried she rested her head on him – Both stood in unity in front of my aunt’s body. It looked like he never would leave his sister alone , and he didn’t till his last breath. His love for his mom was so dear that he kept adoring her face for those last moments before we all bid her goodbye. This scene was so close to my heart that it’s hard to believe I saw my favourite aunt and my brother, Asif bhai leave the world so early in front of us.
2 years before my aunt passed, my uncle (his father) ran into a financial crisis. My aunt was also terrified with this problem and how people troubled them asking them to repay by threatening them at their home. Both of them did not share this with their children as they didn’t want them to face what they were undergoing.
Post my aunt’s death when Asif bhai was informed of the financial situation and loans, he remained calm and sensible. He took it up on himself, assured every person who had lent to my aunt-uncle of repayment, and in a year’s time he repaid everyone’s loans and even withdrew my mom’s jewelry that aunt had borrowed for want of cash. Such a responsible son he was who didn’t fret even once but took it up on him to help his father get rid of the burden.
Within a short span, we saw him touch the skies of victory – he was lucky to get settled in countries like Phillipines and Malaysia – working with big companies, well settled with his own home and good life. At the same time his passion for bikes, speed grew there and owning the best bikes became reality. He rode them with great enthusiasm, maintained them like they were his kids and before every ride he had his trademark style of a thumbs up. His last moments also had the same trademark – just that it did not last.
His accident turned out to be the worst for us. A usual Sunday, his routine riding schedule but this was his last. On the grand prix road of Malaysia, his bike lost control due to traffic ahead and hit a car, with the force he flew in the air and landed badly on his back at a far distance. His rib broke and one of the bone pierced his organs that led to severe internal bleeding. Upon being asked by his friends and cops if he was alright, he showed his thumbs up, but that was the last. On the way to the hospital, he succumbed to the internal bleeding. With him, his BMW bike also burnt – his death was a death of his passion too!
For us it was losing a gem of a person, who loved us immensely and we loved him too. We remembered his everlasting smile, never had we seen him worried or angry or even badmouthing somebody. His trademark style of meeting us was his hand on our shoulders and that smile, it expressed his joy of seeing us. We were as joyous looking at his vibrant attitude. His facebook photos with friends, colleagues, relatives or his bikes (his family members almost) – has that beautiful smile that could bring sunshine to anybody’s day. Never thought I would be reading his condolence messages put up by his friends with his pictures – he definitely was loved and respected by all ages.
When his body was arriving from Malaysia we were restlessly waiting to see him, but that was for the last time. People came in large numbers, this showed how much he was loved by all and how he touched each one’s life with so much love and happiness. Someone who comes home happily with a surprise and the golden smile, came home this time in a coffin, in deep sleep. Everybody wept for him. His life made us smile and his death really broke us. When his body was being taken to the burial ground, it looked to me like he was waving to all of us with his sweet smile, his coffin covered with flowers – his life was definitely full of colors and fragrance.
At his death, he was lucky enough to be buried at his mother’s feet (the place which my uncle reserved for his body) eventually went over to his son. That’s how hurtful he was to be burying his son this way.
Asif bhai’s life was an epitome of joy and passion. I learnt that life is short, unpredictable. Life is too small to fight over money property religion, wasting time complaining, sticking to negativity etc. Life is all about happiness, spreading joys, doing things you love with passion, spreading love, treating problems as challenges and walking out victoriously, achieving goals that make you happy and not losing even a moment to smile, share, care, love all and pray for all and live like you never get this opportunity again.
We love you Asif Bhai, This is my dedication to you – thank you for setting such a great example of your life to us. Your Charming smile lives on with us forever!