(Or, on his transformation into a butterfly that has taken wings)
I vividly recall, in St. Joseph’s Boys School, some five decades ago Actually in the library, first crossing paths with Joy, our very shy hero. Into our school world, in 7th grade, did he first burst out in a blaze Thanks to Fr. Peter Pinto and a non-traditional heat transfer problem “Oh, ‘twas thanks to falling over and hitting my head, I was in a daze!” He’d recount later, with a chuckle, about that first moment of stardom. When he parachuted onto the national scene, cracking that silly JEE Those dudes at Agrawal’s were, no doubt, jumping up & down in glee! The rest of us looked on in awe, best described by Oliver Goldsmith: “And still they gaz'd and still the wonder grew, That one small head could carry all he knew." Fortunately, in his footsteps, I was also able to head to IIT, forthwith. It was, however, at Stanford, that I truly dug into Joy’s humanity Where, with his trademark smile (no hug!), he welcomed me at SFO Our journey together continued till we scored a memorable twenty At his & Ajit’s home we’d all party, solving the world’s problems, all aglow! Together we grew up. Inspired by Vikram Seth’s The Golden Gate We even exchanged email, laboriously writing some brilliant doggerel Understanding ourselves & the world; who cared about the doctoral? Many hours, many cups of coffee, tea, and cheap wine, raging debate. When my world changed, when I decided to but marry None other than my dear wife, Surekha, aka Dolly. Joining me in NYC was Joy, there to welcome and smother And, like for so many others, become her (elder) brother.
Us good friends, shadchans, tore our hair in despair, Till Priya arrived in Joy’s life, like a breath of fresh air It took a while for Joshua to arrive, a bundle to enjoy Joined by Leah. To be doted on by our very own Joy. A trotting they would go, from Antarctica to Turkey The quirkier the place, the happier; this crew all perky! As I sit here, think of my friend, look back on the years, and sadly bid “Adieu!” So many thoughts flash past my inner eye. Dr. Gizmo. Paparazzi. Generous. Gentle. Unassuming. Vulnerable. Curious. True friend. Doting spouse. Proud father. Phew! Like a comet, you briefly blazed across the firmament All the lives that you have touched, your living testament.